Painting when any mask I use pulls up old paint

(Topic ID: 235827)

Painting when any mask I use pulls up old paint


By DCRand

6 days ago



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  • 12 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by DCRand
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 6 days ago

Working on a Doodle Bug with major paint loss between the Doodle button and the doodle ball mech. Will be using slide on decal, or sign vinyl for some of the repair. But some needs direct painting on the pf. At the moment painting with a brush, and as on some previous projects not happy with the result because no matter how thin the paint is, (craft paint thinned with water) it doesn't apply evenly. Would like to use an airbrush, which I have, but not experienced with yet (will do lots of testing before trying it on a play field) but everything I have tried so far to mask or tape on previous machines, and this one, no matter how low tack, pulls up old paint. Checked a number of the playfield touch up threads and couldn't find where this had been discussed, sure it is there and I just couldn't find it. Any help - suggestions would be appreciated.

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#2 6 days ago

You could try a no-tack stencil material and use pressure from the top to maintain registration. Maybe a long, flat piece of scrap wood held against the playfield with clamps at either end to keep the stencil aligned. Because the air pressure from the brush will lift the material, your free hand can be used to apply discrete pressure to hold the mask down so your edges stay sharp. I’ve done this when spraying craft acrylics. Paint gets on your hand but it comes off easily.

#3 5 days ago

I don’t use craft store acrylics but I do use fuller bodied acrylics when I touch up/airbrush. I heat set each color with a hair dryer before I use frisket over it. Does your paint need to be set?
It may help to only apply slight pressure on the edge of the mask you’re applying.

#4 5 days ago
Quoted from MrArt2u:

I don’t use craft store acrylics but I do use fuller bodied acrylics when I touch up/airbrush. I heat set each color with a hair dryer before I use frisket over it. Does your paint need to be set?
It may help to only apply slight pressure on the edge of the mask you’re applying.

Thanks, it isn't recently applied paint though. It is the 40 or 50 year old original paint on the old em's I work on. And still fairly new to trying to do major touch ups. I tried a frisket like, low tac material tonight, and even cutting it fairly close to the area I was painting, it still pulled up flecks of the old paint. So I think you are both correct, going to have to find a way to do it with pressure only. Which will pretty much be a PITA.

Any ideas for brushing and having the paint flow evenly?

#5 5 days ago

Ah, gotcha. It’s the old paint coming up. If the paint is that flakey I’ll clean the playfield as best i can, even if it means losing some of that flakey paint, then give it a coat of clear to lock in what remains. Then I do my airbrush and touch ups on the new clear.
Smooth brushing- I’d make sure you have good quality sable brushes and that the paint is nicely thinned. I keep a cup of water close by to keep the bristles moist to really smooth on the paint. Hard to explain but there may be a YouTube video out there showing acrylic painting techniques.

#6 5 days ago

What you want to use is frisket not masking tape. Are you planning on clear coating the play field when done? If so consider laying down a "lock in" coat to ensure you don't lift or damage previous layers.

#7 5 days ago
Quoted from MrArt2u:

I heat set each color with a hair dryer.

What MrArt2u just mentioned in passing here, this is something crucial you have to understand when spraying water-thinned acrylics with an airbrush: you have to spray many light coats and use a blow dryer (or heat gun) in between to accelerate the curing process. Otherwise it will take you forever to get good coverage.

#8 5 days ago

Thank you all. No not planning to clear coat - I am not at that level of restoration yet. And spend enough time and money on games now. Not sure my wife is willing to lose me for that many more hours on a game. LOL I am more of the get it running, clean and polish anything that can be removed and reinstalled. Then more or less freeze the game at the best level possible of the condition it is in now.

Thanks for the tips on brushing, I was the C or D grade kid in art class, so touching up playfields by brush which I have just tackled in the last 6 months or so is a challenge. For example, I probably end up with 15 or 20 little 1/2" dabs of color on clear plastic to hold against the play field until I finally get an acceptable color match.

As for airbrushing, haven't pulled it out of the box yet. But thought this project might be a good time to make my first effort. After practicing on scrap wood first. May try holding down a mask with some kind of small perimeter weights, then spraying from a little distance so the air doesn't force the paint under the mask.

Finally, did find one great product at Michael's the other day. A black paint pen, it applies paint - not ink. And did a really nice job of applying nice clean black lines using a straight edge.

#9 5 days ago

The brand of paint you want to seek out is Createx. That was one of the first tips I stumbled upon when I joined pinside in 2014 and man, that stuff changed my life approach to detail painting. It mixes and blends consistently, and flows like an ink dream, cleans and corrects easily, and sets with heat. Pricier than cheapo craft but awesome stuff that's worth the expense; the primary color set is pretty close to the "stock" colors used on a lot of playfields: black, white, and red are especially near dead-on in my experience.

That said, I'm not above using craft colors when a match is convenient. The problem with them as you have discovered is they do not thin well. And don't even waste your time trying to thin light colors like yellow: thin enough to flow makes it pretty much transparent and useless; you have to add so many coats that way that you're pretty much back to "bottle thickness" in the end. So thin as much as makes you comfortable, but realize there is only so much you can get away with, and learn to adjust to those limitations.

In all cases, use the best quality brushes you can afford. I mean the individual $5 "000" and $5 "0000" brushes for detail work, not the crappy "thin brush" from the assorted 10-pack for $5. A quality brush holds more paint between reloads, dispenses it evenly, and most importantly holds its shape. And they can be cleaned and reused a lot more, too.

As for the paint loss issue: if it's only with tape and adhesive, then short of maybe using post-it-notes, there's not much else you can do. Still, I would be very worried about (near) long-term adhesion issues with the paint if frisket is pulling it up. That pf might be a victim of who-knows-what, and it might not be long before ball pressure and incidental wear starts doing the same. Before you invest too much time and effort into your paint work, I would be very aggressive with test burnishing and rubbing on the playfiled just to make sure that old paint is going to stay stuck. You don't want it to start flaking on you after hard work. You may not think "normal play" is that bad but things happen, if not during play then during shop jobs and the like.

The airbrush is your friend but requires lots of patience and practice. Light colors will be your nemesis and may take many thin light coats to look right. Darker colors take longer to set up and teardown the brush than it does to get coverage. But know that an airbrush will absolutely put paint in *any* nearby air gap. Meaning if you don't have solidly burnished airtight mask, you better not airbrush.

One advantage to cleacoating after paint is, a nice clear job can make subtle brush strokes disappear

One final thing: with acrylic paints, don't be afraid to make minor mistakes. Even in a bad case, most of the time you wipe off or scratch off or sand off, and recover. Just approach it carefully and remember every step forward is another improvement.

#10 4 days ago

You will continue to loose the old paint and possibly the new paint if you don't seal the art first. The first step to any touch up application especially with frisket is to seal or clear that area first. While a Lot of reading Vids Pinside thread is one of the most valuable you will read if this is something you want to do correctly. Good luck with your project!!

#11 4 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Vids Pinside thread is one of the most valuable you will read if this is something you want to do correctly.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration

#12 2 days ago

Thank you all three. I’m not ready for the full Vids restoration process which have read a few times. So trying to find a decent middle ground between that and doing nothing. And not sure it is a good idea to seal in my imperfect work with clear. Trying to improve look, wax to protect, then if future owner wants to do full restore, they can easily correct any mistakes I have made.

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