(Topic ID: 1835)

clear coating a playfield

By TZBen

13 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 10 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 13 years ago by jrrdw
  • Topic is favorited by 17 Pinsiders


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    #1 13 years ago

    does anybody clear their own playfields? or do you send it out to get done? or why bother?

    #2 13 years ago

    I plan on clearcoating my Taxi. It will level the playfield and the ball will roll better and a little faster. I would like to do it to my Whirlwind and all future pins as well. Its about $250 to have someone do it, but in the long run I thinks worth it. Its the same thing the use on cars. So with a wax once or twice a year your playfield will last forever. Here is the place I plan on taking it to.


    #3 13 years ago

    I getting ready to clear my 1st playfield, hopefully within the next week or two I should have some pics. Also, make sure you use the water based Varathane.

    There are some great video's on youtub.

    #4 13 years ago

    Tech Tip: NO clear coat goes on flat. Don't be fooled by the shinny appearance!

    To truly get ANY top coat smooth and flat it takes pure elbow grease, time and a little know how. With automotive clear coats 2K/2 part you have to "cut and buff" to get a true smooth surface.

    You 1st need to apply 1 coat (wet the surface, not splatter it on), wait 15 minutes and apply another wet coat. Allow it 3 days to fully cure, if you're using spray can clear allow 2 weeks to fully cure (spay can clear drys soft, I DO NOT recommend spray can clear for top coat on play fields). Then get 3 different 'wet dry' sand paper 1200, 1500 and 2000 grit. Make a quart of sanding mixture from 1 quart of water and 1 drop of liquid dish soap (I use Dawn).

    After making the sanding mixture dip in the 1200 grit and wet sand the surface, clean, then do the same with the 1500 and 2000 grit. You must clean GOOD in between sanding. After that is done apply 1 more wet coat of clear, after clear has cured repeat sanding process. Clean the play field very very good then get fine grit buffing compound and buff the clear.

    You now should have a smooth, deep, mirror like finish! Find something to pratice on like a old car hood. You will get a feel for the wet sanding, it will want to grip the surface at 1st, then it will glide smooth. When that happens move to the next sanding spot.

    Hope this helps... Feel free to ask any questions.

    Edit: Do any and all sanding in multible directions.

    #5 13 years ago

    thats some cool highly advanced advice

    #6 13 years ago

    Some great info jrrdw thanks for sharing

    #7 13 years ago

    Your welcome. I edited the how to at the bottom, I don't write many how to's and sometimes details slip my mind. I've done so much auto body work it just comes natural to me so I don't think about it, it just happens and I'm done...

    #8 13 years ago

    jrrdw, can you recommend any specific clear coat products and buffing compound to use?

    #9 13 years ago

    Check this video out he does a goodjob on giving info on clearcoating and playfield touchups. There are a few different parts here is the first one.

    #10 13 years ago

    OK, I watched all 5 parts of the video and it's pretty good technique. A few things I would do differently.

    1: Cleaning the spraying area. Pressure wash it if you can, start with the ceiling and work your way down the walls (good time to clean your garage). If you can't pressure wash it use a BIG sponge and bucket of water to wipe it all down.

    2:While spraying the clear coat you need to have a exhaust fan running drawing the after spray (the big cloud spraying makes) away from your project. Also use a 3 dollar furnace filter on the fan to catch the after spray from getting on the fan. The after spray build up can catch fire in the fan motor causing a fume explosion in your shop.

    3:For the amount of time and air usage it takes to do a play field turn the air compressor off to avoid it turning on during spraying. Even after washing down the shop from ceiling to the floor the vibration will make any left over dust/dirt rain down on your project.

    4:The wet sanding. Pindude started off with 600 grit and sanded in one direction. I suggest starting with 1000 grit, then 1500, then 2000. Sand in all different directions to keep from cutting a path in your work.

    5:Spray some clear on the inserts and any other visible low or indented area's 1st then spray your project entirely. Doing it this way will save you extra work and time in the end.

    6:Be patient! Don't touch it to see if it's dry yet, have some self control in this step of the process or you will be doing extra sanding...

    Other wise that's a good how to video/s. And please take the time to pratice on something 1st. A piece of plywood will work if that's all you got. It's better to pratice on a hard surface (metal), but plywood is better then nothing.

    http://www.tcpglobal.com/KustomShop/ Is where I get my clear coat, (do some reading here if your going to use the 2K kits, know what your clearing, READ!) and supplies that I can't get off the hardware store shelf. I also search Ebay for better prices on things like sand paper to get a deal on bulk rate quantities because I do some airbrushing as well so I go through more of these type supplies then one would if your just doing 1 play field.

    Be brave, you can do it...


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