(Topic ID: 225515)

Gottlieb Pinball Apron restoration


By jfranci

1 year ago



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  • 19 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by jfranci
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#1 1 year ago

Hi all, I saw someone online restore his Gottlieb pinball game apron by spray painting it white and installing new artwork similar to the vinyl window privacy covers you can install...any ideas where I can purchase this apron art? MY apron is quite worn and I'd really like to restore it.

Thank you!

Scorecard (resized).jpg
#3 1 year ago

Thanks very much brenna98 !!! Appreciate the quick response too!

#4 1 year ago

Other than that pricing sticker, which came to be around 1975 when pricing was being changed from 2 games for a quarter to a quarter a game/3 games for 50 cents, your instruction card holder doesn’t look like it needs restoration(at least from what you have shown us). Take some lighter fluid and remove that sticker.

Don’t use waterbased cleaners on your inst card holder as they will remove the art. Alcohol and lighter fluid should be OK.

BTW, that sticker is an add on and you won’t be missing much without it.

#6 1 year ago
Quoted from MikeO:

Other than that pricing sticker, which came to be around 1975 when pricing was being changed from 2 games for a quarter to a quarter a game/3 games for 50 cents, your instruction card holder doesn’t look like it needs restoration(at least from what you have shown us). Take some lighter fluid and remove that sticker.
Don’t use waterbased cleaners on your inst card holder as they will remove the art. Alcohol and lighter fluid should be OK.
BTW, that sticker is an add on and you won’t be missing much without it.

I have also found WD40 great for removing decal adhesive on aprons but always with severe caution when near the original graphics. Agree what can be seen the apron looks ok.

#7 1 year ago

Thanks very much mikeo and wayner! Had no idea what that sticker said in the first place- LOL!

So...maybe I'm dense...I tried rubbing lighter fluid to the top of the sticker - no change, it's stuck alright! How do I apply the lighter fluid/WD40 so to have the sticker release without damage?

Also, sorry about the photo, I re-purposed an old photo to show the apron, the new photo shows the wear better, however, to your point, other than that sticker, its not so bad. I just wanted it perfect, but I see it's quite expensive to change it, especially in Canadian dollars!

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#8 1 year ago

I apply the WD40 in small sections of the decals starting at a point away from the graphics & use a piece of rag to progressively rub and lift the decal and adhesive. It will possibly take several passes to do the trick. Be patient, small sections at a time and minimise any run off to the graphics.

This was an example of a GTB King Pin which had lots of dirt but also adhesive residue in the top left:

canon19022017 006 (resized).JPG

Using WD40 it removed it pretty well:

canon02042917a 008 (resized).JPG

#9 1 year ago

Heat gun on low setting.

#10 1 year ago

I use plastic razor blades to get the edge up and then lighter fluid/naptha to continue pulling it and to cut any remaining adhesive.

You can find the plastic razor blades at Lowes or Home Depot.

#11 1 year ago

so, am I correct in understanding that naphtha won't remove the original inks?

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

so, am I correct in understanding that naphtha won't remove the original inks?

That has been my experience. Nor alcohol or WD-40. You have to be careful with water and Novus on the other hand. With the alcohol or WD-40 try an area and see how it reacts. I only use lighter fluid or alcohol for adhesive residue. I've used WD-40 along with a dental pick to get hardened glue off based on a recommendation I got here.

Personally, Novus is my preferred cleaner to clean Gottlieb instruction card holders, although very sparingly. If you need to really work something Novus is fine on the white areas. If I need to work a white area near the color I use a q-tip.

#13 1 year ago

thanks, I'm wondering if that applies to score reels as well.

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from DropTarget:

thanks, I'm wondering if that applies to score reels as well.

Anything removes ink off the score reels. just dry wipe or carefully use a wetted qtip in the white areas only.

#15 1 year ago

I used creamy peanut butter with a single edge razor blade to carefully remove sticker residue from two aprons and it worked very well (and the effort didn't remove the underlying paint/webbing).

Someone had posted this idea in another thread somewhere along the way (thank you to whoever made that post!).

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from pinhead52:

Anything removes ink off the score reels. just dry wipe or carefully use a wetted qtip in the white areas only.

That's what I figured. I've been using a dry magic eraser.

#17 1 year ago

I have done two aprons with the pinball rescue decal they look alot better than before.
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#18 1 year ago
Quoted from pinhead52:

Anything removes ink off the score reels. just dry wipe or carefully use a wetted qtip in the white areas only.

I have found in almost all cases Mean Green sprayed quickly on score reels and then warm to hot temp water rinse does not remove the inks on score reels, 99+% of the time. Shake quickly, pat dry quickly, and let the residue of water left on the reel (not puddles of it) evaporate with the heat of the plastic. Does not work as well in humid conditions as arid, but does work well and is a very quick way to get reels completely clean and looking great without damage.

As with all things, there is no 100%, but this one is damn close. Exceptions are noted:

On some occasions this process (along with others that are physical and/or chemical) will remove sports or such of the black ink. My guess on it removing 'spots' is where in the past WD-40 or some other 'lubricant' was used by a tech or owner to grease up the mech itself and splattered when sprayed, weakening the bond of ink to the plastic reel.

#19 1 year ago

Looks great @raff @wayner I was able to remove the sticker with heat from a blow dryer, a razor blade and lighter fluid. Looks much better already, however I will probably purchase the decals in the near future anyways.

Apron (resized).jpg
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