(Topic ID: 249459)

Harlem Globetrotters Restoration

By adamtoth

2 years ago


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  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by adamtoth
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#1 2 years ago

Hi everyone, I’m mostly a vid arcade collector, and this is only my fourth pin I’ve ever worked on, so still relatively new here with pins, but I wanted to post some pics as I work through this one.

I found this game on OfferUp in Eastern Washington, sitting in the loft of a barn for many years in a small farming town called Royal City. Cab was totally faded and paint chipping from years of hot/cold in non-climate controlled environment. Probably a lot of people would have just parted this out, but the saving grace for it is a Mylar playfield protector that’s kept the paint underneath from cracking and kept wear down to a minimum.

I’m starting with the cabinet body, then repairing the playfield, and then moving on to the electronics.

I’ve been staring at it for a year and a half in my garage, scared to get started, first time stenciling, first time removing Mylar, first time clear coating. Finally got motivated. Here are some pics of the cab before.

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#2 2 years ago

I started with an orbital sander on all the outside surfaces, going from 60 grit then to 120. Eventually after wood filler I went through 220, 320, and then 400 by hand.

I used wood filler to get all the dings and pits, applied after the 120 grit. After several applications of the filler and hand sanding it with 120, I did the 220 and 320 grits.

Then I sprayed with Kilz spray can primer, one light coat, then another a few minutes after, then a third a few minutes after that.

Then I sanded with 320 and 400 after the primer dried overnight.

I started with the back box, placing it on a harbor freight moving dolly with casters so I could roll it around. I just left it upright and sprayed it all around.

After it was primed and cured for a full day, I then sprayed the whole back box with Rustoleum 2x Gloss White. I did two coats of this, careful not to over spray and get drips on the vertical surfaces.

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#3 2 years ago

The main cab I primed and painted the base coat the same way, but I was much more worried about drips and evenness, so I actually did each long side individually, laying it horizontally, then spraying primer, waiting for it to cure, flipping it over to spray the other side, waiting, then repeating again same thing with the gloss white. Took many days this way, but was worth it, as the paint leveled nicely and had a consistent texture and no drips.

#4 2 years ago

On to the stenciling. I bought the stencils from PinballPimp off EBay. I’ve never stenciled before, but have applied lots of arcade side art and decals before. Was terrified, but the directions on the site were fantastic, and his YouTube video gave me a lot of confidence to dive in.

Applied the stencil to the back box sides, starting with the Blue color first. I used Rustoleum 2x Gloss Brilliant Blue. I sprayed 1 light coat, then a heavier one a few minutes later. I sprayed it with the back box upright, so vertical surface, but did one side at a time.

I started taking the stencil off right away after the second coat was applied. It started to adhere to the stencil a little, and some little strings of clinging paint stretched and fell back onto the surface.

After pulling the stencil up, there were also a few places where the base paint peeled off in little chunks. Probably a result of not removing all the dust well enough before spraying the primer.

Overall not too bad and I could fix any imperfections with touch ups.

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#5 2 years ago

I let the blue cure for 48 hours. Then onto the red color. You can see some of the springiness on the edges.

After the red cured, I was able to scrape that excess a bit with an exacting knife back down to the white base. I also used an artists brush to touch up with some Rustoleum gloss white paint from a small can (not spray). It matched the spray white color perfectly, and overall I am very satisfied with how it turned out. I’ll post some other pics after the touch up too.

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#6 2 years ago

The gloss white with a brush filled in all the spots where the base pulled up when removing the stencil, and I fixed most of the messy looking edges as well. There is one spot on the R where the stencil fell back onto the paint as I was removing it, a little rough spot/line. Hard to get this perfect, but I keep telling myself it’s way better than it was.

#7 2 years ago

A few days ago I did the front of the main cab. It has stripes that wrap around the sides as well, so you have to do the front first, and then can align the stripes on the sides with the front. I did the blue first, waited 48 hours, then red, waited 48 hours.

Today I went ahead and did one of the large sides on the main body with the blue color.

I had one small issue applying the stencil. A small piece of one hand with fingers in the center pulled off when removing the backing of the stencil and sticking it down. It was such a small piece I didn’t notice until I took the premask off the top, and saw that one hand was missing two little fingers.

I was able to find the piece on the discarded backing and stuck it back on.

Removing the stencil was a real pain and nerve wracking. So many small detail pieces, and have to be so careful not to let the stencil fall back onto the surface. I had to cut into many pieces with an exacto knife as I pulled it up. My fingers got blue paint on them as I grabbed the stencil, but I had a paper towel soaked in mineral spirits nearby so that I could constantly clean my fingers after removing a section. I didn’t want to touch the cab and leave blue fingerprints.

To add to the stress, I got one light coat mostly on when the spray can started spattering and ran out of aerosol. It was still 80% full. I grabbed another can, and same thing, after a few seconds, it fizzled out. I grabbed a third can, and same damn thing!

I was now out of paint, half finished, and had to fly to the store to return the defective cans and buy more. 45 minutes later I was back home and finished.

Lesson learned - buy many more cans than you need in case some are defective and don’t spray well. I’ll need to touch up the sides as well, as I also got small strings of clinging paint to the stencil that would fall back down.

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#8 2 years ago

In a couple days I’ll do the red, then flip it over and do the other side.

#9 2 years ago

Worked on red today on one side. Forgot to mention the red color I chose: Rustoleum Gloss Apple Red.

A couple of small imperfections that I need to touch up, but the red was way way easier than the blue stencil.

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#10 2 years ago

Got a chance to start on the other side today, and finished the blue. My stencil was lined up, but shifted slightly during the application, and was 1/8 inch misaligned to the front blue stripe. I had to use some tape to mask off 1/8” of the stripe on one edge, then cut a strip of the other stencil edge with my exacto knife to get it to line up (second pic).

As I worked from one side to another the paint was drying fast (hot day), so on the right side it had dried a bit more and stuck more to the stencils. Overall I knew what to do, and this side was much less stressful, but I just couldn’t go fast enough to get it all before it dried and stuck.

Also was able to clean up the messy spots on the first side (first pic). Took my exacto knife and gently scraped off any excess paint that bled out over the stencil line. Looks much better now.

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#11 2 years ago

Looks like a fun project! I wonder if someone can chime in and figure out why the stencils aren't giving you clean lines?

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Looks like a fun project! I wonder if someone can chime in and figure out why the stencils aren't giving you clean lines?

I'd guess because he's using that 2x coverage stuff. There was another restore thread talking about the 2x and "paint + primer" in one stuff and other specialty paints seem to have some sort of additive that makes them thicker and stickier and the don't play well with stencils. Best to use the cheaper regular old spray paint if using rattle cans.

1 week later
#13 2 years ago

Got the red done on the other side. Still had a few unclean lines.

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#14 2 years ago

Managed to work on the coin door. Boy was this a pain, so many parts to clean.

Most of the interior pieces were so darkened and layered with grime and corrosion that I had to give them a soak in a vinegar bath.

For the flatter pieces I stole one of our deep baking sheets from the kitchen, filled it with vinegar, and soaked the parts. Of course the vinegar also ruined the baking sheet which I got an earful about from my wife (but the parts came out really nice!). After soaking, I hand polished everything with Mother’s Mag polish.

For the front, I polished it shiny with Mother’s, but it still had some deeper scratches in it that bothered me. So I went ahead and sanded it down, starting with 80 grit, then up through 120,220,320,400,600,800,1000, then another Mother’s polish. It isn’t perfect, but it’s damn good.

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#15 2 years ago

Did the same treatment on the shooter rod. Put shaft into my drill, and drill sanded up through all the grits, with a final Mother’s polish with drill and cloth. This was so scratched and dull, and now is as shiny as ever. Really started seeing the shine once I got to the 1000 grit.

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#16 2 years ago

Also did the same to the side rails. These took about 2 hours to sand and polish. There are still a few little dents and a couple deep scratches I couldn’t get out, but overall they look almost new now.

Hard to capture in the pictures, but the one on the left is unfinished, and on the right has been sanded and polished. In person the polished one has more of a mirror finish where I can see a clearer reflection, and the big obvious scratches are gone.

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#17 2 years ago

The cabinet is all painted, and two coats of clear applied. I used the Rustoleum 2x Gloss Clear rattle can. I know some frown on it, it may yellow, etc, but I know it wouldn’t react with the other Rustoleum colors I sprayed and it went on great and looks fantastic.

I did each side individually horizontally so I wouldn’t get runs. Sprayed one side with 2 light coats about 5-10 minutes apart, then another 10 minutes I sprayed a heavier coat until I saw it level out everywhere. Then waited 48 hours and flipped and did the other side. I did the front as well vertically while I did one of the sides.

It came out great, and I fixed most of the messy stencil lines.

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6 months later
#18 2 years ago

Very nice bud.im contemplating using rustoleum 2x but kinda skeptical with the stencils working together. But your finished product is amazing. Definitely gives me hope as I'm a rookie painter but seasoned pinball tech.

#19 2 years ago

Thanks, I’m almost completely done, and have lots of pics to wrap up this thread coming soon.

Overall am really happy with the Rustoleum and stencil job. I think the rule with this stuff is to go light. All the places where I sprayed a little heavier to get it to “lay down” nicely it ended up sticking to the stencil, and had that stringyness like a slice of cheese pizza when you take it out of the box. I think if I had just done each coat a little lighter, and added an additional light coat, it might have laid down fine without sticking.

#20 2 years ago

Ok will definitely go light and just ordered 18 cans of rustoleum for my harlem globetrotters and will start it this weekend .no rush at all but hopefully will be done by may at the very latest.

Quoted from adamtoth:

Thanks, I’m almost completely done, and have lots of pics to wrap up this thread coming soon.
Overall am really happy with the Rustoleum and stencil job. I think the rule with this stuff is to go light. All the places where I sprayed a little heavier to get it to “lay down” nicely it ended up sticking to the stencil, and had that stringyness like a slice of cheese pizza when you take it out of the box. I think if I had just done each coat a little lighter, and added an additional light coat, it might have laid down fine without sticking.

1 month later
#21 2 years ago

The Rustoleum 2X works great. You can use it as the base coat as well as the stencil colors.
I used water base for a base coat on my first couple restores and my results were similar to yours. Go 2X all the way and you wont have any peeling issues.
Also, if your hands are turning blue when peeling the stencil, you are not waiting long enough. Waiting that extra 5 minutes will make the difference. You will get nice clean edges.
I put a light fog coat of color, wait 10 minutes. Then lay down a more solid coat. Wait another 10 - 15 minutes and put a light third coat to make sure you cover everything. Don't put it down too thick.
After 15 minutes it should be ready to peel. If you are getting sticky paint or strings when you are removing the stencil, wait a few more minutes. You should not get any paint on your hands at all.
In warmer weather the dry time is more like 5 minutes to start peeling the stencils.

#22 2 years ago

Here are a couple I just completed. They were done with 2X all the way.
I should mention I use a lacquer base primer because it dries very quickly and builds well.

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#23 2 years ago

Not sure why the red looks so funky on the Meteor in the photos, but if you click on the photo it goes away.

#24 2 years ago

I just finished this Globetrotters. It was sprayed with 2X paint from start to finish.

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1 week later
#25 2 years ago

Looks fantastic! I think I may not have waited too long and was why I got stringiness, also I think I put it on a tad too thick. If you run your hands on my cabinet now, you'll feel the stencil lines. It doesn't bother me, but I think the original factory application was much lighter and thinner, and felt less stencily.

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