(Topic ID: 54392)

Cabinet Decal Application - No Stripping the Machine: Funhouse


By calico1997

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 31 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by salfab
  • Topic is favorited by 12 Pinsiders

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#1 6 years ago

I got a Funhouse in bad need of new cabinet decals and never did this before. The videos and web forums mostly talk about stripping down the entire machine and pulling everything out of the cabinet, they laying it on its side. I don't trust my skills enough to strip out all the parts and then remember how they all go back together. Or, maybe I'm just lazy. In either case, I'm sure others have applied decals on a standing pinball machine like this and I just wanted to confirm in photos - Yes, You Can! I just wish I had a 3rd arm for some parts of the install, but my forehead, knee, and elbow helped in that regard.

Step 1) put on saw horse with legs off, remove all side hardware (its just a few bolts).
Step 2) use wood filler and sand.
Step 3) apply Sherwin Williams gloss primer tinted to the blue decal color.
Step 4) measure, center, mark, and cut the decal enough to handle and position correctly.
Step 5) clamp decal to position and also use some masking tape to hold in place.
Step 6) make a "hinge" with tape down the center, lift one side of decal.
Step 7) peel off release liner from lifted side, cut off liner, hold breath and pray.
Stepspray cabinet area with slightly diluted Windex, rub all over the wood.
Stepsmooth down gently with clean paint roller, then squeegee out excess Windex.
Step 9) let dry for 2-3 days, trim edges and holes with Exacto blade.
Step 10) re-install cabinet side hardware and bolts. Best to use standoff leg protectors from Pinball Life.

Pics enclosed. I would like to note that the new cabinet decals from Phoenix Arcade are SUPERB and well worth the money! They have very high quality, high durability, and are way better than the original cabinet art. I enclosed a before and after close-up so you can see just how much better the new ones are than the original. I'm extremely pleased with how this turned out and would do it to my other machines if they needed it.

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#2 6 years ago

More pictures showing the installation.

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#3 6 years ago

More pictures showing the other side (hard to photograph doing it since I'm working alone).

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#4 6 years ago

Just look at the original artwork quality vs. the new decal quality. I'm in the graphic arts industry and was really shocked how bad the original art looked. The new ones look as it was originally intended to be. Nice!

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#5 6 years ago

That's brilliant! Very well done! Did you just remove the brackets for the backbox, or what?

I'm planning on doing new sideart on a couple cabinets soon, and was wondering if this was possible... you've clearly proven it is!

#6 6 years ago
Quoted from calico1997:

Just look at the original artwork quality vs. the new decal quality. I'm in the graphic arts industry and was really shocked how bad the original art looked. The new ones look as it was originally intended to be. Nice!

New definitely looks good! My own opinion is that it may look nicer than original, but it can't be better ...original is original, and you can't top that If they came out with high-def mona lisa, it would be nicer, but in a different way....

#7 6 years ago

I did a game this way also and removed backbox hindges put a couple of small blocks under backbox and used longer bolts to secure it . I did one side of cabinet wet and didn't like how the decal want to move so i did other side dry, if i do another i would install them dry

#8 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

New definitely looks good! My own opinion is that it may look nicer than original, but it can't be better ...original is original, and you can't top that If they came out with high-def mona lisa, it would be nicer, but in a different way....

Comparing the Mona Lisa to rushed out, poor quality printing that took halftone prints and well... is ridiculous at best. Mona Lisa is a painting, done by brush and hand that is how the artist wanted it to be produced (or so we assume). When you see halftone done properly (think of the Roy Liechtenstein paintings for an exploded view) it does look crisp and clean. Williams wasn't necessarily doing great reproductions of the artists intent at all stages. Imagine an original Ford Pinto with its increased likelihood of fire and explosion from gas tank problems, then think of a redone/aftermarket fix that meant that you and your family could drive safely. Yes, original is original, circular thinking. Putting myself in the artist's place, I would want the improved reproduction with quality halftone.

Unfortunately, it seems as though original artwork and drawings aren't all available and to compare resolutions is silly since the originals were hand drawn, not digitized jobs. (At least not on the early stuff, though I guess it's possible some shops were using Photoshop, I was in high school back in 1990 I think, Corel Draw back then as well.)

#9 6 years ago
Quoted from Collin:

That's brilliant! Very well done! Did you just remove the brackets for the backbox, or what?
I'm planning on doing new sideart on a couple cabinets soon, and was wondering if this was possible... you've clearly proven it is!

The backbox brackets were removed after first putting both bolts (left and right side) into the bottom of the backbox where it secures it to the cabinet. So the back box was fully secured and the hinges take only a few minutes to remove. I also repainted the hinges once removed. More difficult is the bolt on each side holding in the playfield hinge. For this, I did one side at a time with the playfield in the full upward position and put a wood block under the playfield on the side where the hinge bolt was temporarily removed.

#10 6 years ago

I did a game this way also and removed backbox hindges put a couple of small blocks under backbox and used longer bolts to secure it . I did one side of cabinet wet and didn't like how the decal want to move so i did other side dry, if i do another i would install them dry

I think wet or dry is really debatable and optional. I did the backbox decals dry, no problem. Before doing the wet application on the cabinet, I used scraps of decal material to test wet vs. dry. After applying and letting sit for 3 days, I tried removing the scraps. I found no difference in adhesion. Wet in theory allows you to peel off and re-apply the decal but you really cannot "float" it. For the front decal I did dry and really, really wish I'd done it wet. Reason being the big hole in the middle where the coin door goes can cause stretching and distortion of the decal when applying it. (before and after pics below)

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#11 6 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

Comparing the Mona Lisa to rushed out, poor quality printing that took halftone prints and well... is ridiculous at best. Mona Lisa is a painting, done by brush and hand that is how the artist wanted it to be produced (or so we assume). When you see halftone done properly (think of the Roy Liechtenstein paintings for an exploded view) it does look crisp and clean. Williams wasn't necessarily doing great reproductions of the artists intent at all stages. Imagine an original Ford Pinto with its increased likelihood of fire and explosion from gas tank problems, then think of a redone/aftermarket fix that meant that you and your family could drive safely. Yes, original is original, circular thinking. Putting myself in the artist's place, I would want the improved reproduction with quality halftone.
Unfortunately, it seems as though original artwork and drawings aren't all available and to compare resolutions is silly since the originals were hand drawn, not digitized jobs. (At least not on the early stuff, though I guess it's possible some shops were using Photoshop, I was in high school back in 1990 I think, Corel Draw back then as well.)

Quoted from NJGecko:

New definitely looks good! My own opinion is that it may look nicer than original, but it can't be better ...original is original, and you can't top that If they came out with high-def mona lisa, it would be nicer, but in a different way....

I agree to keep original when ever possible, unless original is so beat up that it looks like crap. That's how mine was. You can see the cabinet front before & after in one of my newest posts. I don't like reproduction art unless it comes from the original files. From what I can tell, the Phoenix Arcade graphics are official Williams licensed reproductions from the original art files and look great.

#12 6 years ago

I'll hopefully be installing my Phoenix Arcade decals on my Funhouse shortly. I was told to cut out a board and put it in the coindoor to help with the front decal installation. I've been reading as many of these posts as I can find before attempting the decal installation. I appreciate all the posts people are making when going through the process. Jason

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

New definitely looks good! My own opinion is that it may look nicer than original, but it can't be better ...original is original, and you can't top that If they came out with high-def mona lisa, it would be nicer, but in a different way....

Apples and oranges. The cabs were mass produced to begin with so it's not like there is one original. Printing methods now have improved so if they can look more crisp and last longer then sweet. If not, then bummer.

Plus, the mona lisa is a sloppy portrait that too many people fell in love with

On to the OP, that is slick man. Great pics too!

#14 6 years ago

Is it possible to get rid of the orange peel effect if you were to strip it down and bondo the cabinet?

#15 6 years ago

That is an interesting angle ( doing it upright ). I have always done mine flat and use Rapid-Tac application fluid.I spray the cab surface with rapid-tac, strip decal paper and spray the entire decal, lay flat on cabinet. it does float around and you can easily position the decal where you want. When I get it centered I spray the top surface of the decal with rapid-tac and then use a squeegee and work from the center out which forces out the application fluid. You can easily see where you have squeezed by the dry areas you squeegee away.

Cab front decals are the hardest and doing them wet make it simple.

#16 6 years ago

That orange peel would drive me nuts. Why do all that and not fix the leg damage and smooth it out?

#17 6 years ago

One thing that is a surprise using decals is you would think the decal would hide or cover any minor surface imperfection and its just the opposite. ANY little defect, void,bump,etc really shows thru the decals. The hard part is the cab prep work and the actual application is the easy part.

#18 6 years ago
Quoted from gamestencils:

That orange peel would drive me nuts. Why do all that and not fix the leg damage and smooth it out?

It is his game and he is proud of it ! Goddamn it ,it is his first decal job and he did pretty good in my eyes, perfect no . He will get better and better because he had the balls to do this one and the next one will be better and so on .

Pinside is full of opinions and not enough know how !

Thanks for sharing Calico ! When you go to sell, if you ever do, don't call it a high end restoration and you will be fine !

#19 6 years ago

What's your cost on this? Incredible job. I would never try that on my own. Kudos. If I had the skills I would do this to a couple of my players quality pins, like No Fear .

#20 6 years ago

Hey, he made it better and improved the looks a LOT.
That = WIN!

#21 6 years ago

Looks way better thn the original , good work !

#22 6 years ago

im fixin to do this myself!!!!! Thanks for posting the pix.

#23 6 years ago

Lots of great tips, nice job!

#24 6 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

What's your cost on this? Incredible job. I would never try that on my own. Kudos. If I had the skills I would do this to a couple of my players quality pins, like No Fear .

Its about $300 and 8 hours labor.

#25 6 years ago

Is it possible to get rid of the orange peel effect if you were to strip it down and bondo the cabinet?

The orange peel was most likely the texture of the primer paint under the decal, as I applied the primer with a paint roller. Probably a smoother roller and/or better primer would help with this. However it does not bother me. Many original cabinets with glossy surfaces show textures. For example, here is my Bride of Pinbot and Scared stiff. If you look at the gray color, you can see pronounced striation waves in the texture. So even original cabs have texture. This is really only something you see from 3" away with a super bright light highlighting the gloss.

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#26 6 years ago

It is his game and he is proud of it ! Goddamn it ,it is his first decal job and he did pretty good in my eyes, perfect no . He will get better and better because he had the balls to do this one and the next one will be better and so on .
Pinside is full of opinions and not enough know how !
Thanks for sharing Calico ! When you go to sell, if you ever do, don't call it a high end restoration and you will be fine !

Thanks. I'm no expert. Never even played pinball until 12 months ago. Its certainly not a high end restoration. The playfield and plastics would never qualify for that. It's just a basic restoration; a good looking players pin. I highly respect the high-end restorations and they are worth EVERY penny in terms of attention to detail and labor of love. I could never do that quality of work.

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#27 6 years ago

You did great. I am sort of in the same boat as you. I'm not even close to one of the professional guys, bu I sure do enjoy it.

#28 6 years ago

nice job and this just goes to show that will a little patience and research, anyone call pull off repairs that most people wouldn't even think that they could do!

#30 6 years ago

Very nice job man

6 months later
#31 5 years ago

I believe there's a problem with the images I would have loved to see them. any chance of re-uploading somewhere ? dropbox maybe ? or plain re-up on the forum ?

thank you very much

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