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(Topic ID: 51521)

Playfield Wall Art -- Work In Progress

By Mudflaps

7 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Mudflaps
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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#1 7 years ago

Well, while I build funds for pin #3, I'm embarking on a wall art project for a beater Eight Ball Deluxe LE playfield. I have the playfield, backglass, and Airfield LED kit for an integrated light show & attract mode.

The plan is to lift the mylar, clean & sand, touch up the art, and clearcoat. Once the playfield is ready to hang, I'll install the LEDs and board and somehow mount the backglass to the playfield. Not sure how I'm going to do that part yet.

The playfield arrived today -- typical beater playfield. Mylar was (badly) cut and set on top of the playfield after significant wear. I removed the top half of the mylar... along with much of the paint. I'll have to touch up much more than planned.

Tomorrow I remove the remaining mylar and clean/sand everything to prep for painting.

The goal is not to have a collector's quality playfield, but have some fun and end up with something neat to look at in the gameroom. Wish me luck!

Before: // Error: Image 102464 not found // before.jpg

#2 7 years ago

Top mylar removed... along with a ton of paint

// Error: Image 102465 not found // mylar.jpg top_mylar_removed.jpg

#3 7 years ago

Wow that looks a lot like my EBD did when I removed the mylar. Only reason I had the balls to remove it is because I was already on the fence to buy a new PF & do a swap, so I was fine either way.
Given the amount of EBD repro's out there, there must be thousands of beater PF's out there like this one.

#4 7 years ago

Wow that mylar did take a lot of paint with it...wall art a neat idea....GL

#5 7 years ago

Pulled the bottom portion of the mylar -- and Good Lord, it pulled up basically all of the paint. My minor touch up job has turned into significant painting. I also discovered tons of Sharpie touch ups and Scotch tape.

I'm hand painting everything vs. airbrush -- I'm better at it, there's less mess, and it's relaxing. Ordered a 36 color acrylic paint set and I'm using a small detail brush.

It's extremely tedious, but if you're standing across the room and you squint hard enough, it looks decent.

All mylar removed and significant paint loss:


#6 7 years ago

Touch ups all over the playfield -- working in no particular order:


#7 7 years ago

Dang that's a lot of work. Can't wait for more progress pictures.

#8 7 years ago

Slow going, but almost there. Color matching is tricky, but details are much better around the guns and pool balls. Look at the before and after around the red at the top and bottom -- much cleaner.

Probably another week or so of painting, then sanding and clearcoat. LEDs are programmed and ready to mount!

// Error: Image 104691 not found // // Error: Image 104692 not found // // Error: Image 104693 not found // painting.jpg pic.jpg close_up.jpg

#9 7 years ago

That's a lot of work for wall art, but starting to look good!
Seems like you are also getting great experience with playfield touchup.

#10 7 years ago

It's genuinely a lot of fun -- it gives me a relaxing project for a few hours a week. I didn't anticipate this much effort, but I think the final result will be a neat addition to the game room. Not quitting my day job, though.

#11 7 years ago

You have a lot of time and patience my friend.
I am really interested to see the final results.
Good luck on this unique project.
Can't wait for the next update!

#12 7 years ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

I didn't anticipate this much effort, but

Famous last words we've all said at least once while working on anything pin related
I've been toying with the same idea of taking an old playfield and back lighting it to hang.
These old playfields truly are works of art.
Enjoy your project!

#13 7 years ago

Looking very good! The painting is coming along very well.

I got a beater Force II playfield stupidly cheap at the ATL Pinswap and turned it into wall art.
I've still got to get the flippers off (and maybe put some felt/fabric on the back to hold down the light wires) before it goes on the wall, but I'm pretty proud of it now that I've got the lights in. ($20 string of 100 LEDs from Amazon that is battery operated and has randomizing patterns.) It has been in a warehouse for 20 years so I just cleaned it the best that I could and didn't worry about touch-ups because I'm not that skilled yet.

You can barely see it between the two pins. I left some plastics on and left it in the metal tracks because I honestly don't know how to get it just down to the bare wood like you have.


#14 7 years ago
Quoted from blondetall:

$20 string of 100 LEDs from Amazon that is battery operated and has randomizing patterns.

Great idea, and much cheaper than the AirField option. I'll tell you, though, that the sky is the limit with the kinds of patterns you can make with the programmable LEDs. I've got around 15 patterns programmed so far (slow fade, fast fade, fan, star, explosion, etc), and I'm pretty excited to see how it looks in person.

#15 7 years ago

Painting and touch-ups are complete. Sprayed the first layer of clear last night -- two more coats over the next two days, then sanding, then more clear.

I'm happy with the way it turned out, especially with the major paint loss after I removed the mylar. The lines aren't perfect, and some of the text is blurred, but it was fun project.

I'll update the thread next week once the clear is finished and sanded. Then the LED conversion starts!


#16 7 years ago

Great job! looks 50x better, colors much more vivid with touch up and clear.

#17 7 years ago

Did you use the freeze spray method or the heat gun method for getting the mylar off? That's an unusual amount of paint to come off.

Touch ups seem to be coming along nicely though!


#18 7 years ago
Quoted from Pinwizkid:

Did you use the freeze spray method or the heat gun method for getting the mylar off? That's an unusual amount of paint to come off.
Touch ups seem to be coming along nicely though!

I used freeze spray, but the issue was that the previous owner installed the mylar AFTER the playfield started to wear. It was trimmed badly, so I assume he just cut some mylar and slapped it on top of the dirty playfield. I also found scotch tape, sharpie, etc.

I removed the mylar on my F-14 (freeze spray) with zero issues, but that was likely installed on a new playfield.

In hindsight, I probably should have soaked the playfield with Goo Gone and been more methodical. I simply didn't expect that level of paint loss with freeze spray, but it certainly gave me an opportunity to perform massive touch-ups!

#19 7 years ago

Ah, that'll do it. I've run into that a couple of times, but thankfully got away without too much damage. It's nearly impossible to remove mylar without taking some of the paint off if it's applied post-factory like that.

Have fun!


#20 7 years ago
Quoted from Toasterdog:

Great job! looks 50x better, colors much more vivid with touch up and clear.

I agree, much better looking now

1 week later
#21 7 years ago

6 coats of clear later, and I'm just about done. Still need to sand with 1200 grit and polish with Novus 2, but I need to wait 2 weeks for the clear to cure.

photo_1.JPG photo_2.JPG

#22 7 years ago

Labeled the inserts on the back of the playfield. I also blacked out the open holes (pop bumpers, flipper holes, etc).

After I taped the LEDs to the inserts, I mounted the board and added the mounting hooks.


#23 7 years ago

Looking good!

#24 7 years ago

Mounted! I added a block to the back after these photos were taken so it's more level with the wall, but it looks great in person. The AirField LEDs are amazing and the chase sequences I programmed turned out very well.

Next is backglass restoration and mounting, so I'll keep the thread updated.

photo_4.JPG photo_5.JPG

#25 7 years ago

looks awesome.

#26 7 years ago

I'm impressed! I have a spare Firepower and Paragon playfield I'd like to make into wall art someday. However, I don't plan to restore 'em before hanging - if I went to all that trouble, I'd want to play on it!

#27 7 years ago

After painting, sanding, spraying, and lighting the playfield for 2 weeks, I hung it on the wall. My wife said: "It's just for the wall?? I thought you were going to play on it."

#28 7 years ago

Looks GREAT! I'd like to try that someday but I have a million things going now. Gonna try another one? The BG for that game?

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from Mudflaps:

After painting, sanding, spraying, and lighting the playfield for 2 weeks, I hung it on the wall. My wife said: "It's just for the wall?? I thought you were going to play on it."

That is what I was thinking.

You did such great work on it, it looks so incredibly awesome. It just begs to be inside a machine.

LTG : )

#30 7 years ago

Fantastic Job! Such a good idea!

#31 7 years ago

Looks like you're doing a great job! I didn't have the heart / patience to do as much of a restore as you -


#32 7 years ago

That's awesome! There's just something cool about hanging a playfield. Looks like you're using Christmas lights, which still looks great and is certainly much cheaper.

Spraying the second coat of krylon on the backglass tonight, then touch-ups. I'm not really sure how to connect a back-lit backglass to the playfield without heavy plywood. Anybody have a good idea?

2 years later
#33 4 years ago

It looks really really awesomely cool. I have a old Black Belt pf that Om making into to wall art. I just finished polychrylic the Playfield with a total of 6 coats of topcoat. Now I'm going to work on putting the LEDs in the back with a Airfield light system that I also bought. I didn't think of taping off the holes the back. I'm going to take your idea and try it on mine. I'll post pics of mine as well. My touch ups aren't prime but I'm happy with it. I just ordered another airfield and now looking for another of. I may sell one. I havnt decided

#34 4 years ago

Thanks! This is still hanging in my house. I bought another LED kit during the massive sale for my Mustang playfield.

It's a fun project for sure. Post pictures when you can.

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