Painting Wood Logic Displays to Look Like Real Aluminum

Painted Logic Surround

R2’s Logic Display Surrounds are supposed to be made of metal. What are you supposed to do if yours are made of wood? The answer is simple. Take aluminum paint and fine grit sandpaper or a dremel, then paint, sand, and repeat this process until you see no grain in the wood. Since wood shows grain, the goal is to paint and sand once the paint is dry. The sanding is a light coat to attempt and sand off high spots in the grain of the wood. This process is constantly repeated over and over until the grain can no longer be seen or until you like the look of the “metal”.

Testor’s paint is the first thing I used and wet/dry sandpaper. Keep the sandpaper wet.

Wooden Logic Display Surrounds Pt. 3

Once all parts are cut, we need to glue them together.  I used the panel from the outer dome as a guide to test the fit of the wood pieces.  After verifying the fit, I took some wood glue and put it on each side of the wood pieces and assembled them in the panel.  After one hour, they were dry and awaiting a bit more cutting.

After the glue is dry, we take the piece out of the panel carefully so we don’t bend the panel.  The panel is made of Aluminum so it can bend easy.  The outside area is then cut to fit the inside of the panel per the plan.

This is a quick video of the whole process for cutting and constructing the wooden logic display surrounds.

Wooden Logic Display Surrounds Pt. 1

Logic Display Surrounds

Logic Display Surrounds are made a few different ways.

  • Aluminum
  • Resin
  • DIY

I chose the DIY path since I felt it would give me the greatest benefit and cost the least since I already have tools to do so.  All I needed were the plans, tools,  materials, and a way of constructing them.  I had 3 out of the 4, so I knew this would be a challenge.

Small Logic Display Surrounds
Small Logic Display plans

The plans were found on the R2-D2 BUILDERS CLUB Yahoo group.  Since these plans were in decimal format, I had to convert them into the American Standard of Feet and Inches.  I used a calculator to come up with most of the fractions and a few I knew were a hair off from being in between two sets of fractions such as the distance between a 1/32″ and 1/64″.  Basically meet those two in the middle and that gives you the number.

The tools need to complete this project are as follows.

  • Router w/ table
  • Miter Saw
  • Wood Glue
  • Ruler with 1/32 measurements
  • Rafter Square

Now I needed some construction material, so it was off to the local DIY hardware store to buy a piece of Poplar hobby wood for around $8.  The piece I wanted was 1/2″ thick and 4″ wide, just the right height for the part I had to build.  The good thing is that this will give you enough wood in case you mess up.  I actually bought 3 of these in first trying to figure out the best way to construct these surrounds since I didn’t have any instructions and I was trying to figure out the best method to cut small pieces of wood.

Poplar Wood
Poplar Hobby Wood 4′ X 4″ x 1/2″


For the next part in this series, we will be  marking our wood board and CUTTING OUT THE PARTS.