(Topic ID: 2047)

Back glass help/question

By ldj1002

9 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by MikelJ
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 9 years ago

I just bought a 1955 Williams "Band Wagon" with back glass needing help. See attached image It is probably 75% or more background and most of it is gone. The images are mostly there. My idea is to paint solid it with rattle can. Does that have a chance to work? If so should I paint the whole thing except where the clear is or should I mask off and not paint where images that are good? If I mask off I am worried that the masking tape, when removed, will pull off what is still good.
Any ideas appreciated.


#2 9 years ago

I wouldn't paint it with a spray can, the solvents in the paint could lift and bubble the original artwork. Check this site out before doing any work on your glass. Its very informative and helpful. Good luck.

#3 9 years ago

Definitely don't use tape.

#4 9 years ago

Use Triple Thick Crystal Clear spray (you can get it at walmart) on the back and than touchup over the clear with acrylics. Not spray! Thin down the acrylics to let more light through. If you dont like the outcome you can always wipe off and try again. Definitely go to pinrepair and check it out. Link in above post. Dont tape! It will lift off screen ink. Good luck!!

#5 9 years ago

I appreciate to responses but I don't understand. I have attached photo of the actual glass to show it is more than a touch up. The whole back ground, the blue needs to be redone. The images are good enough for me. Now the triple thick stuff, if I spray it over the whole glass then when I paint the blue back ground, how do I keep the blue paint off the images? Maybe I can then spray or brush the blue over everything except of course the clear places.


#6 9 years ago

Never made that job
First i would try the paint on another classic glass to check how it stick , and to compare the color
Do you use a Pantone tool to check to exact color ?


#7 9 years ago

The online repair guide that I posted has all kinds of tips to restore a backglass.

What you need to do is seal it with clearcoat before doing any work so the original paint/ink will not peel off so . Plus in the repair guide there are tips to stop it from flaking by using saran wrap.

Once its clearcoated, Brush on the acrylic to touch up the colors around the score reels,clearcoat it again.

I would go to a dollar store and find some star stickers put them on the glass to simulate (like stencils) the stars that were originally there.

Mask off the light blue area with painters/pinstriping tape. Brush on the light blue then remove the star stickers wit an exacto blade. Then paint the stars dark blue. Repeat but reverse the step for the light blue stars on the outside.

then you can use painters masking tape to tape off the clear score holes and paint the whole thing blue. After that I would seal it again with a spray of flat white to diffuse the light

Because it is so bad, I honestly suggest you look online for a replacement, If you do not possess the artistic skill necessary.

The best of luck.

#8 9 years ago

Spray/rattle cans are approx 70% thinner in order to give them shelf life so they have time to sell. All that thinner will make the other paint still on the glass soften and release from the glass. ANY can off the shelf will have a high thinner amount and potentially cause you long range problems.

If you only intend on doing a machine here and there your way better off taking this to a restore shop and having them do it. If your dead set on doing this yourself then get a spare piece of glass and some craft paint, (Plaid is good) and pratice.

Get a auto paint shop to clear it when ready, they use a type clear that wont cause lifting/softening to the rest of the paint.

#9 9 years ago

Wow that looks terrible - however like you said its really only the blues.
I would trace out the areas you dont want to paint onto paper and then lay them down on the back before painting then add a larger 'cover' to block over the light blue when you shoot the darker blue. Of course a 'cover' to protect the new outer blue when painting the inner blue.
A nice thing about triple thick (before you do any painting) is after you apply it you can remover any latex applied over it latter on.
but not with oil based paint - something to think about

#10 9 years ago

I went to Phoebe's seminar at the Chicago show. What I think you need to do is get all the little flakes of blue off and clean those areas with windex. Then triple thick it. Then mask off anything you don't want turned blue. Use only water based acrylic paints and a sprayer to spray it on. You have to thin the paint to use it in a sprayer. If you paint a large area like that you will have brush marks. Maybe you don't care so much at this point if there are brush marks..... But definitely use the water based paints they suggested. Then seal with the triple thick again They also do a layer of silver (white was suggested above which would do the same thing) to finish it off. Phoebe has a light table she uses, it is helpful to see the colors you're painting. I think her seminar may have it's audio file posted on pinball news soon.

#11 9 years ago

I'm gona try that. When I spray on the triple thick, it is on top of the old paint I want to leave. If I mask it off what keeps tape from pulling it up? The triple thick is on top of the paint that isn't stuck good. Wouldn't tape pull up triple thick and old paint.

#12 9 years ago

you want to paint over the old paint that is there with the CLEAR "triple thick" this will seal it in place so it will not peel off. Use a light coat first, let it dry. Then you can put it on fairly thick after that. Just be patient and let it fully dry.

Then use Green Painters masking tape to mask off wherever you need. It has far less "glue" to lift the paint.

Honestly, check out the LINK to the repair tips and read it carefully. If you do not fully understand how to do it. I suggest you do not try to attempt a repair.

If you don't really care how it looks, just put small pieces of masking tape in your score reel holes and paint the whole thing blue. This will seal it too, however it will look bad.

If you can figure out a way to ship it so it wont break, I would do a restoration for you.

#13 9 years ago

erak Wrote: you want to paint over the old paint that is there with the CLEAR "triple thick" this will seal it in place so it will not peel off.

There is better clear to use called "intercoat", made by House of Kolor. http://www.tcpglobal.com/hokpaint/itemdetail.aspx?itemno=HOK+SG100-4Z

This is what I use when I paint with candy colors because candy paint drys tacky and will bleed through if it's not sealed.


House of Kolor Wrote:Use only when top coating with urethane enamel. Must be top coated with UC1, UFC1, UFC19, UFC35 or UC35.

I don't use their (HOK) top coat, but as long as you use "urethane enamel" for the clear you wont have any problem with this intercoat should you choose to use it. I buy the cheepest the hardware store has to offer, I'm cut that corner LoL.

#14 9 years ago

You might consider getting a local college student majoring in graphic arts to do it if you aren't comfortable. They get an art project (maybe as a class assignment) and some money and you get a nice backglass in return.

2 weeks later
#15 9 years ago

I've done touchups on a few backglasses now but I have never seen one like that! That's amazing how all the blue came off. You got your work cut out for you. Personally, I'd look for a replacement. I've found that painting a backglass is one of the hardest things to do well in pinball restoration.

#16 9 years ago

I did some work to the back glass. Not good but better than it was. I still want a back glass for this machine just encase anyone locates one.


#17 9 years ago

If you have a decent quality digital camera, take a pic straight on, of your backglass. Send me the exact dimensions of the glass and I will photoshop you a reproduction. You can then take it to a print shop or sign shop have them print it on vinyl.
Get a new piece of glass or plexiglass and just lay the vinyl sticker on it. It will be good as new, because... no offence, but that looks awful.

I will do it for free, it will take some time but at least you can get a decent backglass for the cost of printing. Probably around $40.

If you are interested let me know.

#18 9 years ago

Sure I would like that. Did you notice the photo in my 1st post? It isn't straight on, but could software stretch it? It has so much detail that mine is missing. Yes I have a good camera that send in high resolution of 10M. I can send dimensions overall plus between score reel windows and elsewhere. You can PM me or I can send you my email to keep from boring folks in the forum with some chit chat that will go on.
Thanks for the offer

#19 9 years ago

Just some work done, I still have to clean up some more, and then do the background and paste this on top after its finished.


#20 9 years ago

I think you need to capitalize the I in It's. Looks good though.

#21 9 years ago

Yeah I just threw that text in, I'm actuall going to do it like the original.

#22 9 years ago

Nice work erak! It's people like you that keep the old machines and this hobby alive. I'm sure the final product will be amazing.

#23 9 years ago

Hay Eric,
That looks GREAT!
Got some questions. There are places where numbers or text doesn't show until a light behind it comes on. For example, where it says "PLAYERS", on each side of that it says, "GAME OVER". Also below each players score is "TILT". What I did was put the stick on text on the back of the glass. It didn't show until those lights behind lit up and the text showed dark because the light won't penetrate the letters. Is that what I should do?

#24 9 years ago

Yeah, I was going to suggest that. I could see it a bit in the green area at the top when I zoomed in.

If you print out the finished product on a vinyl sticker sign material, it lets light through no problem, then you can print your letters on a clear shipping label paper(sold at any kind of office store like staples) in black. make sure to flip the letter image so it is reversed,(you can do this in microsoft paint) and cut and stick it to the back of the glass.

If you want to get real fancy with your backglass, measure the thickness of the glass, then get 2 pieces of plexiglass (each1/2 the thickness) cut to size 28 x 27 and put the vinyl sticker in between the two. It will look like it is painted on the glass, when done.
plus easy to clean.

#25 9 years ago

I think I'm finished playing around with the pic, I think this will do considering what you had to work with for a starter glass.

Hope you like the results.


#26 9 years ago

Thats some fine work erak

1 year later
#27 7 years ago

I have a 1954 Spitfire and I am having the same issues as ldj1002 did. I would love to bring this one back, but I have checked everywhere and no one has any experience painting old backglass near me. erak - are you interested in creating one of these for me? I would be happy to pay you for your time. Let me know. Thanks!

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