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(Topic ID: 242020)

Removing Factory cabinet decals and prepping for new ones - TSPP


By creech927

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 15 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by creech927
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

I've got a TSPP that looks like it spent most of it's life in an ashtray in a cigar lounge. I'm trying to prepare the cabinet surfaces for the new decals I've purchased and have a few questions about surface prep.

I've used a heat gun to remove the old decals from the cabinet, which has left me a mostly smooth, non sticky surface. I gave the surface a wipe down with Goo Gone, and don't feel any sticky residue. It does seem like there's something still there, however, just from looking at it.

Should I sand this surface, or do anything additional before applying the graphics? I've seen videos online about removing graphics which has left a glue residue, but these have all been Williams cabinets so I am curious if I should expect a different process with a Stern cabinet since I don't see or feel any glue residue.

Thanks for the advice.

Image is side of backbox post heat gun/putty knife removal of decal.

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#2 1 year ago

GooGone isn't going to do it, not strong enough. Xylene works well, get GOOD rubber gloves and use it outdoors. You have to sand the isht out of the cabinet; it has to be PERFECTLY smooth. Go up from 100 to 150 to 220. Then seal it and 220 again. Before decals, vacuum or brush and tack cloth. A tiny speck of dirt will look like a ripe zit on a 15 year olds forehead.

And you'll probably want to get the playfield and all the hardware and guts out of the game before proceedin further

#3 1 year ago

I used Goof Off and sanded alot. Yes do it outside. Yes sand the hell out of it. Fill in any blemishes and holes. I never sealed but from my experience, put on the decals dry. It turns out the best.

#4 1 year ago
Quoted from JoeGrenuk:

GooGone isn't going to do it, not strong enough. Xylene works well, get GOOD rubber gloves and use it outdoors. You have to sand the isht out of the cabinet; it has to be PERFECTLY smooth. Go up from 100 to 150 to 220. Then seal it and 220 again. Before decals, vacuum or brush and tack cloth. A tiny speck of dirt will look like a ripe zit on a 15 year olds forehead.
And you'll probably want to get the playfield and all the hardware and guts out of the game before proceedin further

So mind if I ask some basic stupid questions since I don't want to make any assumptions?

1: Xylene - what do I apply it with? Do I just apply it? or do I rub it in? Rinse?

2. Seal it with what? and how should the sealant be applied?

I figured I'd be taking everything out of the cabinet and removing the metal parts from it. I just did the side of the backbox to see what effort decal removal took.

Thanks for the advise!

#5 1 year ago
Quoted from creech927:

So mind if I ask some basic stupid questions since I don't want to make any assumptions?
1: Xylene - what do I apply it with? Do I just apply it? or do I rub it in? Rinse?
2. Seal it with what? and how should the sealant be applied?
I figured I'd be taking everything out of the cabinet and removing the metal parts from it. I just did the side of the backbox to see what effort decal removal took.
Thanks for the advise!

Xylene, gloves, get the cabinet side you're working on horizontal. Dampen a shop rag or paper towels or pour a puddle and spread the product over the surface. Let it sit for a minute or two and it will dissolve the remaining glue. Change the surface of the shop rag or use another paper towel to wipe off the residue. No rinse, it evaporates but you have to wipe off the glue reside. At that point you can fill in any holes, dents or scratches, and fix the corners. Then sand 100-150-220, you can blow/vacuum/tack cloth the dust off. If you are putting the decals on dry, no need for sealer (but it can't hurt). If wet, the sanding sealer will prevent the spray from raising the wood grain. If you use the sealer, light sand 220 and then decal.

Lots of quality videos out there, google is your friend.

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#6 1 year ago

That’s weird. TSPP doesn’t have decals. The cabs were screen printed.

#7 1 year ago


Quoted from Rarehero:That’s weird. TSPP doesn’t have decals. The cabs were screen printed.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That’s weird. TSPP doesn’t have decals. The cabs were screen printed.

Given that's the case, does this change the process? This cabinet has something that comes up with a heat gun and scraping, so I'm not sure. It's worth noting that this is a later run cabinet, 2005 build. See the pic of the left side backbox which I posted above...

#9 1 year ago
Quoted from creech927:

Given that's the case, does this change the process? This cabinet has something that comes up with a heat gun and scraping, so I'm not sure. It's worth noting that this is a later run cabinet, 2005 build. See the pic of the left side backbox which I posted above...

You just scraped the direct printed art off. That’s why there was no goo. The first Stern cab with decals was Transformers in 2011. Sorry, you just ruined a TSPP

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That’s weird. TSPP doesn’t have decals. The cabs were screen printed.

I ran and checked mine as well. Paint not decal.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

You just scraped the direct printed art off. That’s why there was no goo. The first Stern cab with decals was Transformers in 2011. Sorry, you just ruined a TSPP

Given it was already ruined, Why not strip, fill and sand if I'm going to decal the thing anyways? I'm just looking to make a good surface that the decals will stick to.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from creech927:

Given it was already ruined, Why not strip, fill and sand if I'm going to decal the thing anyways? I'm just looking to make a good surface that the decals will stick to.

Was it in fact ruined? TSPP is known for having an intentionally washed out cabinet look. Plus it’s dotty from their printing process. A “normal” TSPP has decent colors on the large family characters & logo...and all the incidentals are lighter.

#13 1 year ago

One thing that's is a must to keep from damaging new decals is installing metal leg protectors so legs don't wrinkle up decals .Make sure you trim away decal under metal leg protector

#14 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Was it in fact ruined? TSPP is known for having an intentionally washed out cabinet look. Plus it’s dotty from their printing process. A “normal” TSPP has decent colors on the large family characters & logo...and all the incidentals are lighter.

It, quite frankly, was gross. I've got two TSPP's sitting next to each other. While one is dirty and used, the other one looked like it was in a smoking lounge it's entire life. This one I've started stripping had absolutely disgusting yellow residue on all the art. I tried cleaning it with several methods and it just looked terrible. I've no regrets stripping what was there and replacing it with fresh art decals. It wasn't just fade, it was filthy.

#15 1 year ago

I figured I'd post an update on how things turned out. I'm pretty happy with the results. We ended up just sanding the old art and grime off with first a belt sander, then an orbital sander. It's true that missing a knick in the cabinet during sand and fill resulted in a slight blemish, but overall I'm very happy with the results given this is a route game.
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