cabinet and playfield paint

By ruairidh

7 years ago


  • 20 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by ruairidh
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


Search this topic for posts matching certain words or written by a specific Pinsider. Or both!

Linked Games

#1 7 years ago

How does one go about matching the paint on pins, other than taking a slice of it out and having a shop match it? Did Williams print materials that specified the hues of paint used on specific machines? Or is that knowledge available somewhere that I've not found? There isn't much detail on my Triple Strike, but there is enough touch up on the playfield that it would either have to be a total repaint or an exact match for it to look right. And if it's going to be painted, it's gotta be to factory specs...

#2 7 years ago

Matching paint can be a nightmare, especially if you're working with older machines that have faded color. I'm not sure if you could be your hands on a swatch book and match the color that way, or if you can even get a place to mix the smaller quantities the paints probably come in.

#3 7 years ago

what I like to do is test a few shades on a piece of Plexiglass,
after it dries you can slide the test piece over different areas and see how close you are.
-do colors change slightly after they dry then when first applied ?

#4 7 years ago

That's a really good idea autumn. And I know that you've spent some serious time into EM/older games and what not, has it been your experience in dealing with paint that the different manufacturers used a "stock" set of paints? I.e. the sky blue that was used on Triple Strike is the same sky blue that was used on Ice Revue?

After looking through the abbreviation guide that's posted here, it got me thinking about a paint list. Has the community here or elsewhere complied a list of hues/brands of paint that they've used on various machines? It seems that since this is such a meticulous hobby, those kinds of notes would get kept. If such knowledge was around and people are willing to share it, I would be happy to set up an online database that could be easily accessed by pinheads.

#5 7 years ago

I have used a pantone book (since I use pantone matching in design work) then take that to the paint store and try and match that as close as possible, when I was working on my donkey kong restore - I actually brought part of the original cabinet - they matched it perfect/ and I posted those colors online for other people

#6 7 years ago

I am pretty sure the paint will look differently after it dries as opposed to wet. Can't remember the technical term.

#7 7 years ago

that would be a mammoth undertaking ruairidh - but the idea being able to look up a game or era of games and see a list of colors / modern makers #s would be a tremendous help to the pinball community .

* Of recent note - Krylon is no longer sold in Home Depot or Lowes in my area.
( two very large U.S. home centers) however Kmart still stocks the rattle cans.

#8 7 years ago

Unless I missed someone else saying it, paint fades with age, pigments have a slightly different hue now that lead isn't present anymore. I match mine up by eye, do a test piece wait for it to dry and go from there. I write down the measure of the mix because I use a airbrush and it's by the drop, makes things real easy.

#9 7 years ago

Finally something I can give input on:) I've done a few and the only way I've found is to use your eyes. A pantone book is awesome, but you still need to mix the paint by hand and rely on your eyes. Have a good light handy, working in shade/dark you'll never get it right. Also I rely on a digital camera, a photo with a flash really tells the tale. After mixing your colours, do a tiny test section, hit it with a hair dryer for a minute or so then snap a picture. Also it's good to have someone else look at it with you, two sets of eyes are better than one. I've found it almost impossible to get a 100% match, so you will have to do the entire section of it's a large solid colour area.
Now I will share my most valuable piece of knowledge! Learn to love paint thinners and retarders. If you try to just blob on unthinned paint it will look boogered. The best results I have achieved are from thinning the paint (not too too much) and doing about 5 super thin layers, giving a whole day of drying time for each coat. If you're retouching lines, or black circles around inserts it's usually no big deal if you don't thin it, but large areas need thinned. Then clearcoat, which is something in itself. If you aren't going to clear it, I would let it sit for about 30-60 days then put about 4 coats of buildable wax on the playfield. Painting a playfield isn't easy or fun, but it can be done pretty well if you have lots of patience.

#10 7 years ago

Hi Ruairidh,

To be honest , i have a lot of regrets about the paint i made on my Panthera.
I would had better to buy another cabinet instead painting ..i lost too much time on this machine for a bad , bad result .
On a playfield ok , on a Cabinet never again ...

2 weeks later
#11 7 years ago

Sorry, i hate to start my journey on this forum with waking up a 2 weeks old thread, but perhaps it's a useful tip for the future. At least here in Sweden a "lot" of paint-shops that do respray work on cars have the ability to use a camera with some calibration software, and a paint-mixer to reproduce the identical color of a paint years after production. Generally speaking it's used for matching respray-work with weathered paints. It never turns out great since the paint is in one shade, while the weathered paint is a scale fro one end to another, but it's better then going with the original paint.
Why would this be relevant? At least my local painter uses a rather fancy, but still regular system camera. With the right lens he's able to pick, and match the color of paint lines thin as a hair.

Your local paint-shop might have a bigger problem providing paints suitable for the environment then matching the color.

Hopefully i didn't just waste everyone's time.

#12 7 years ago

Welcome to the Pinside Mr B
and thanks for the info

#13 7 years ago

Another welcome mr b.

Just a little input from me, use acrylic water based paint when touching up. Small amounts saves money and gives you a chance to mix colors for matching. And of course I always try to use the same "brand" so I can write down and remember how I ended the journey of paint matching.

#14 7 years ago

Well, the most comon technique I'm aware of if you google or go to is the Acrylic paint method. This is the method I'm using on my Gorgar and have used in the past for others.

You'll need a decent Acrylic paint set (not the cheapest, but you don't need professional either). A color wheel is useful. It helps you by showing you what base paint colors to mix to get different types of shades (so if you need a darker green, it shows you what to mix, etc...). A decent selection of brushes (don't go cheapest, but you don't need pro). A mixing pallet (or whatever). A peice of plexi or small glass (you use this to match your color). Just mix a color to get close and paint a small layer on your plexi/glass and dry with a hair dryer. Then lay the glass over the area you want to paint to check for color match. Adjust your mix as needed.

This works pretty well and you can get a fairly close match pretty quick. If your touching up a playfield or cabinet, chances are you'll need a few color matches at the least. You'll go nuts trying to get someone to match them with a color match system. Besides, you can only get that paint by the can and that's way more than you need. Also, Acrylic paint is recommended because it is least likely to react with playfield coatings (cleaners, wax, clear coat).

Lastly, Acrylic is water based so if you mess up, you can just clean it off with Goof Off or some other cleaner like that and do it over. It's almost fool proof (not actually fool proof... there's always a better fool out there ).


#15 7 years ago

All kinds of good info, thanks peeps! I hadn't even thought of an auto shop and after talking with one of my friends, turns out a friend of a friend does high end paint restoration/touch ups on all kinds of stuff and mediums. He's on his way over tomorrow to look at my cab and the stencils I've made to give me some help. He said that he's never worked on a pin before, but has always wanted too. With luck, I hope I found a guy that can help with play field restoration...

#16 7 years ago

Anyone ever find black webbing paint in rattle cans?
-I've got a early 70s GTB. I'm working on

#17 7 years ago

I was able to purchase it a few years ago Autumnfade, I haven't looked for it recently, are you having difficultly finding it?

#18 7 years ago

yeah Bill2626 I tried the method that was explained in the repair guide with horrible results on a test screen. - was looking for another path
did it work for you ?

#19 7 years ago

Autumnfade try this link, I believe this is what your looking for. link »

#20 7 years ago

Autumnfade, I don't know where you're located at or if one is near you, but both of the Hobby Lobby and the Michaels Crafts in our area carry that stuff.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 22.00
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
ModFather Pinball Mods
From: $ 42.00
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 15.75
Cabinet Parts
Tilted Pinball
$ 239.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Tim's Pinball Mods
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 150.00
Cabinet - Toppers
Rock Custom Pinball
From: $ 9.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 76.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 989.00
Pinball Machine
$ 20.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 229.99
Lighting - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 86.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 99.99
Lighting - Other
Lighted Pinball Mods
From: $ 22.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 63.00
$ 46.95
Cabinet - Shooter Rods
Super Skill Shot Shop
$ 50.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Just 3D Mods
From: $ 19.99
Matt's Basement Arcade
$ 209.99
From: $ 95.00
Lighting - Interactive
Professor Pinball
$ 128.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 42.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 70.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 989.00
Pinball Machine


Note: This is an old thread. The last post was made to it 2,625 days ago. Resurrecting old threads is not necessarily a bad thing, if you think the topic is still relevant and/or your post is beneficial to it (e.g. following up on something). In other cases, it might be better to create a new topic.

Wanna join the discussion? Sign up for a Pinside account, or log in if you already have an account.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside