(Topic ID: 331461)

Best clearcoat choice for 2023 DIY Restorers - Safety First!

By SilverBallzzz

1 year ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

You

Linked Games

#1 1 year ago

Fellow Pinheads,

I'm working on two playfield restorations I plan to repair and clearcoat, a Firepower and Six Million Dollar Man. I've read Vid's Restoration Guide nearly in its entirety and I know the best choice for hardness, durability, clarity and working time is a two-part automotive urethane. But I'm not a fan of spraying isocyanides at home... to wit...

So I actually have a semi-professional spray booth in my basement. 8x10' with proper exhaust ventilation, intake and exhaust filtration, lighting. I've got a proper air compressor and various spray equipment both HVLP and old school. I used to spray model aircraft, motorcycles, homebrew speakers, and handmade guitars etc with a variety of products but always avoided the catalyzed two-part products due to the serious safety issues. The howling from my wife alone as the fumes are vented to my backyard is enough to make me pause... but the toxicity of these products is really what concerns me. I've got two dogs - one a young puppy - as well - and I don't want any of them breathing this stuff.

I've considered going (Silver!) balls to the wall and purchasing a proper air-fed respirator as Vid recommends. I would NEVER trust cartridge-based systems for spraying catalyzed acrylic paints since fit is critical and I've got facial hair, and the cartridges need to be fresh and in good condition. And I've still heard horror stories about these things failing to adqueately protect. I've personally used the cartridge masks with mixed results. The only way I'd touch the 2PAC paints is with the air-fed respirator. But that still doesn't solve the family and neighbor problem.

Honestly, I haven't kept up on the new classes of waterborne clears that may be less toxic. What I'm looking for is a safer, let's call it "family-friendly" alternative to the PPG Shopline 661 or equivalent. Something I don't need a full-on biohazard suit to safely spray and that I won't risk castration for the odors generated.

I know all the various polyurethane-Varathane options, but per Vid, I'm not sure the hardness, durability and clarity are what I am looking for. I want the benefits of a good 2PAC without risking the health and safety of those around me. A good, hard clearcoat that won't yellow over time. Low odor ideally.

What are currently the best recommendations for a good playfield clearcoat that's safe and gives professional results? Any new products that look promising? Love to hear everyone's thoughts and experiences. Thanks!

#2 1 year ago

OK, so here is an interesting candidate in a spray can, USC SprayMax 2K Glamour High Gloss Aerosol Clear. Still has the safety issue, but possibly somewhat less noxious. I've seen posts about cabinet use, but has anyone used this as a playfield clearcoat? Any opinions or other preferences?

https://www.amazon.com/SprayMax-Glamour-Gloss-Aerosol-Clear/dp/B0082LJMC6

#3 1 year ago

I don't have any experience, but there is an extensive thread with lots of pros and cons on Spraymax 2k if you want to check it out: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-spraymax-2k-auto-clear-in-a-can-club

#4 1 year ago

The ironic thing imo is ceramic clear coat done right is hands down the best ever....but it needs to be done right!
Flameon clear coaters!

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Strohz:

I don't have any experience, but there is an extensive thread with lots of pros and cons on Spraymax 2k if you want to check it out: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-spraymax-2k-auto-clear-in-a-can-club

...Wow, I missed this one! Thanks for the link...!

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from KJS:

The ironic thing imo is ceramic clear coat done right is hands down the best ever....but it needs to be done right!
Flameon clear coaters!

Hmmmm... can you mention some products you like in this category, the "ceramic" clearcoats? I've been up and down PPG's automotive product pages and a few are noted as "ceramic like" finishes. What are the products you are aware of?

I definitely want to do 2PAC, especially given that the best alternatives like 2K SprayMax are still catalyzed urethanes with the same safety concerns - just in a more convenient package if you don't have access to spray equipment and facilities.

Really getting tempted to just break down and buy and air-fed respirator. I don't trust the cartidges and they don't last very long. In addition to playfields, I've got cabinets and a few new guitars I'll also need to spray and I'm considering 2PAC for them instead of traditional nitrocellulose lacquers.

Anyone recommend a cost-effective air-fed respirator? There are cheap Chinese models but they use cartridge filtered air on a short hose. I'd love to hear some thoughts on how others have approached this dilemma.

#7 1 year ago
Quoted from SilverBallzzz:

...Wow, I missed this one! Thanks for the link...!

OK, so I just reviewed much of that thread and I'm back to, "Well, I've got a booth and gear... just need a respirator"

The lack of control over flash time, no fisheye additive, and typical spray can issues as well as the related costs and the fact that I've got more than playfields to spray really suggests I just need to suck it up (pun intended...) and get a proper air-fed respirator set up plus an updated, good quality cartidge mask for solvent work.

I'll have to extend my exhausts to ventilate past my roof line, which won't be hard to keep any fumes out of the backyard. Seems to make more sense at this point.

#8 1 year ago

Conversion varnish or an epoxy finish would be less toxic alternatives to automotive urethanes. Even acrylic lacquer would be more durable than the nitrocellulose lacquer that was used originally.

1 week later
#9 1 year ago
Quoted from Pin-Bob:

Conversion varnish or an epoxy finish would be less toxic alternatives to automotive urethanes. Even acrylic lacquer would be more durable than the nitrocellulose lacquer that was used originally.

Interesting. So I just upgraded my air compressor to 60g 3HP for 11cfm so just got the Eastwood Concors Pro HVLP set on sale and am about get a proper air-supplied respirator with a good quality spray suit and hood so I can spray whatever my preference is.

Older guitars like the ES 335 I'm working were sprayed with nitrocellulose lacquer but it's certainly not the right choice for playfield. Acrylic lacquer is interesting - do you have any product preferences? I'll have to try some test shoots to see how well it hardens and polishes up. I've used some epoxy paints with model aircraft with mixed results, at least we know that will harden nicely if properly catalyzed. An epoxy clearcoat that lays out nicely could be a good choice. Again, if you have any products of choice I'd love to hear them.

That said, the final safety measure will be to put a vertical extension on my exhaust fan, about 2'x2' with an explosion proof 3500cfm rating... I'll run HVAC 10" duct up about 10' to my roof line so the vapors are properly dissipated, just like an autobody shop. Then I can spray guilt-free and no matter what I choose.

Definitely would like to experiment with some of the 1pt clears and acrylic lacquer. But my concern is living in NJ with no effective way to heat or dry - a LOT - of humid incoming makeup air l might have solvent trapping issues cause blushing with any lacquer in many conditions which is aggravating to deal with.

Have you tried anything specific you could recommend?

#10 1 year ago

SprayMax 2K would be your best bet. I have used it several times with great results.

2 months later
#11 1 year ago
Quoted from SilverBallzzz:

That said, the final safety measure will be to put a vertical extension on my exhaust fan, about 2'x2' with an explosion proof 3500cfm rating... I'll run HVAC 10" duct up about 10' to my roof line so the vapors are properly dissipated, just like an autobody shop. Then I can spray guilt-free and no matter what I choose.

Just started reading your thread and have had similar concerns.
I installed a spray booth last year in my shop; heavy curtain to cordon off the space, 18” blower fan, filtration pre and post.
I’m not right next to the neighbors and usually spray sessions are pretty brief.
I have wondered about stepping up to carbon filters on the exhaust wall to mitigate the smell. Might be just the thing, considering that spraying a playfield or two really is quite a small amount of spray work at a time.

I live in New England, so not quite as heavily humid in summer as you have it in NJ, but I have found that the 2PAC curing is fast enough that I can move the fumes out fast and it will set up without any issues, so far anyway.
I’ve been using the clear coat products sold by The Coating Store and they seem fine. It’s a big topic and I’m not quite convinced that anyone can say decisively which 2PAC clear is the optimal choice for this particular application. I suspect it has a lot more to do with how it’s applied and how much cure time is allowed (Kruzman seems to to have a really good process for this.)

I’ve been using a standard cartridge filter mask so far, and what I can tell you is that I can’t smell *any* of the fumes while I’m in the booth. After finishing, I have ducked my head back in to take a sniff, because I want to see if the mask is really working or if my nose has just become deaf, and I can definitely smell the stuff curing when my mask is off. I can’t scientifically demonstrate that I’m being protected sufficiently, but in reading up on the positive airflow systems 3M makes, there’s a distinction between particulate filtration and vapor filtration even at that end of their product line. People report the definite difference between the less expensive particle filtration design (you can smell fumes, smoke, exhaust) and the more expensive line, which eliminates those odors.

I’m not certain there’s a definite health advantage to using the airflow system over a more commonly available cartridge filter mask, but it is true that the more expensive systems have indicators to show when to change filters. I have been debating the purchase; I mean, how much is your life expectancy worth to you, right? I don’t do a ton of spray work, but whenever I do, I think about this stuff.

Promoted items from Pinside Marketplace and Pinside Shops!
From: $ 11.00
$ 199.95
3,250
Machine - For Sale
Huntsville, AL
$ 11.00
Electronics
Third Coast Pinball
 
$ 18.95
Eproms
Pinballrom
 
From: $ 2.99
$ 42.95
Eproms
Pinballrom
 
2,100
Machine - For Sale
Atlanta, GA
$ 69.00
Gameroom - Decorations
Pinball Pimp
 
$ 12.00
Electronics
Yorktown Arcade Supply
 
From: $ 1.25
Playfield - Other
Rocket City Pinball
 
$ 27.95
Eproms
Pinballrom
 
$ 65.00
Boards
Pinball Haus
 
$ 10.95
Eproms
Pinballrom
 
3,000 (Firm)
Machine - For Sale
Corinth, MS
2,800 (OBO)
Machine - For Sale
Dayton, OH
From: $ 170.00
Hey modders!
Your shop name here

Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

Donate to Pinside

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


This page was printed from and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.