Removing mylar from High Speed

(Topic ID: 3004)

Removing mylar from High Speed

By bradbot

7 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 44 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by shock_me
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders


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#1 7 years ago

My new High Speed has really bad mylar issues. Most of the bubbles that form over inserts have already broken open, (or previoulsy been cut away). I want to remove mylar and then clearcoat. I've reviewed previous discussions about this removal and watched the Youtube vid. I'm concerned cause this machine is too old to have been clearcoated under the mylar. How risky would mylar removal be?

#2 7 years ago

How risky would mylar removal be?

It's a fairly teediest process at any machines age. Pick the process that seems to make the most sense to you and start on a smaller harder to see piece (if you have that option). Good luck and keep us posted.

#3 7 years ago

I just completed the same job on the same machine. I used the hairdryer/Goo Gone procedure. The glue was very tacky on this particular game. I've removed mylars before, but High Speed was the toughest for me. In the end I had to use a combination of Magic Erasers and Goo Gone. This worked, but it took some time. If I used the freeze spray method, I'm assuming the same thing would have happened with the glue being left behind, so the glue removal would have been the same issue.

As far as artwork being removed with the mylar, it wasn't too bad. It was the glue removal with all the rubbing that took a bit of paint off around some inserts. Touched up around the inserts in question,as well as a few bare areas around where ball drops off the ramp and habit trails, and then clear coated with auto clear.

It turned out very nice, but I see some separation of clear coat around some of the inserts. This is not good. I highly recommend removing and re-gluing all your inserts before clearcoating your playfield. I did not do this . It's not terrible, but not perfect either. I've learned the hard way this time. I'll address the inserts from now on!

Here's some pics!

img_1748.jpg IMG_1732.JPG

#4 7 years ago

Another pic of pf installed in the cabinet.


#5 7 years ago

Wow, that looks great.... wish my High Speed was something like that......

#6 7 years ago

Trust me, it wasn't very pretty when I started! Turned out great though. We're happy with it.


#7 7 years ago

I have removed mylar 3 times using the hair drier method.
The first time with a Centaur which worked great. All the glue stayed stuck to the playfield rather than the mylar. Although this meant a lot of work the result was great. the 2nd time with Funhouse which worked well but removed a few decals off the lenses. These were easy to replace so not a problem but....
The 3rd time was a disaster. That was on Strikes and Spares and almost as soon as I had started I realized that it was going to be a disaster as although the paintwork looked great it didn't seem to be well attached to the playfield and it lifted lots of the paint off, so much so that the playfield is scrap.
I have since heard of a friend who ruined his Centaur in a similar way.
My advice would be to leave it and enjoy it as an old game unless your happy to run the risk of ruining it. I know people will say it is easy, no problem but if it does go wrong it can go very wrong.
Good luck!

#8 7 years ago

I know people will say it is easy, no problem

I'm not going to say it's easy. It is risky, and stuff can go wrong for sure. You can't be in a rush when you do this. It's the most delicate of all pinball surgeries! Once you start, you can't undo it. Luckily there will be a High Speed repro from CPR in the next couple of years, but they are pricey.

I've done four games myself so far, and like emo, I ruined one of them. It was Eight Ball Deluxe with a HEAVILY used playfield! The paint was just in pieces under the mylar due to the heavy use the game had seen. I've since picked up a repro pf from CPR, so I can replace it, but the original is toast.

#9 7 years ago

In the end I had to use a combination of Magic Erasers and Goo Gone. This worked, but it took some time.

Did that pull up any paint? I've got a Whirlwind with the same issue. Mylar came up great, left a (mostly) beautiful playfield. But it's sticky. Nothing else seemed to help get off the glue. I've been too afraid to use a magic eraser.

#10 7 years ago

Yes it took up some paint! Mainly around the inserts. Be prepared to touch-up here and there! Keep the Magic Eraser wet, and go slowly, watching for paint removal or damage.

Bear in mind that the Magic was a desperate last resort for me. You should always try Goo Gone, and a rag to soften and remove glue residue FIRST! It wasn't working well for me, so I resorted to the Magic Eraser. It is abrasive, so you can't rub too hard or too fast.

I've read that System 11 mylars have the strongest glue out there, and I believe it now!

Be careful!

#11 7 years ago

Great advice from everyone, thanks. Shock Me; I really envy your pics... hope my success is equal. I search for a new plyfield with no success... where did you find yours? (who is CPR)? My cabinette is near flawless... best on in my collection so far so I think the game is worth it.

#12 7 years ago

I've tried everything. Someone told me crisco and i'm desperate enough to try it. At this point, magic erasers sound a slight bit better than lard.

This glue is tough stuff. This is the third machine i've pulled mylar off and the only one with issues. I agree with system 11 glue being the worst.

#14 7 years ago


Flake provided the link, but High Speed is not available yet. My HS playfield is the original with auto clearcoat. I bought EBD, and Centaur playfields from them. They are perfect!

High Speed will be out in the next couple of years I'm told.


Crisco! First time I heard that one! Hey why not I guess. Clean thoroughly with naptha afterwards, no matter what you use. These products have oils in them which would not react well with clearcoats.

There is a full youtube tutorial in 5 parts on playfield clearcoating. This is exactly what I did, but I used better personal safety equipment then that guy did!

#15 7 years ago

There is a full youtube tutorial in 5 parts on playfield clearcoating. This is exactly what I did, but I used better personal safety equipment then that guy did!

I'll be looking that up! Thanks!

#16 7 years ago

sorry i don't have the link, just type "playfield clearcoat" and you will find it! It's a five part series.

#17 7 years ago

Hey, just wanted to add my take on this...
I've tried both methods. I used the hair dryer method (actually a heat gun on low heat) on my Centaur which had Mylar on entire playfield. This worked Ok but it was extrememly difficult to get the mylar up and it did remove some very small fleks of paint with the mylar. All in all it did a pretty good job though.

I have also recently used the Freeze Spray method on my Gorgar Playfield. I was a little skeptical about this method, but it worked perfectly. When you spray the mylar and then pull it, it doesn't even resist at all. It's almost like it breaks away from the playfield but it doesn't pull anything up with it. All glue is left behind.

I haven't used the Freeze spray on a large mylar piece as the Gorgar was a bunch of small mylar sheets. I will definitely be using the freeze spray method in the future. Also, keep Goo-Gone handy for removing the glue whichever method you use.


Addition: I also have a High Speed that I will be clear coating soon. Let's compare notes after to see how they come out.

#18 7 years ago

have you guys tried denatured alcohol to remove the glue - a lot stronger then goo gone, I've used it on other cabinet parts etc to remove glues/resins etc.

#19 7 years ago

have you guys tried denatured alcohol to remove the glue

Yes, I have. It's the first thing you're supposed to use with the Magic Eraser. I use the 99% stuff, no water in it. It works very well, but it seemed to work a bit better in conjunction with the Goo Gone. I had pretty much everything under the sink on this damn playfield at one point!...LOL!

For the record, Ronsonol lighter fluid works well on some glues as well.

#20 7 years ago

Actually I just remembered that I didi a taxi that also came up great so increases my succes tare to 3 out of 4. Magic erasers are great provided you don't get carried away. Removes most if not all ball swirls in my case with careful use.

#21 7 years ago

Millwax removes glue eventually. You rub away for ages and just as your about to give it up as a waste of time it starts to roll up and degrade. Lots of work so there may well be better methods but it is safe on painted playfields.

#22 7 years ago

Millwax removes glue eventually

I gotta get some of this soon. It's the only product I haven't tried yet! It always gets great reviews though.

#23 7 years ago

Acetone for paint prep works good as a glue remover. You just have to use it on the glue only. Paint can take one wipe down with it but if you wipe twice you will start removing paint. You can put some on a clean soft cloth and let it air for a minute and it's not as strong as a fresh dowsing as if you where wiping down a car body just before priming. It cost about $16.00 a quart where I'm at, use sparingly...

#24 7 years ago

I forgot to mention, when I removed the glue from my Centaur, I was getting frustrated with how much wiping it was taking (keeps gumming up the rags) so I took a plastic card (old credit card) and carefully scraped the glue (after soaking with Goo-gone). Most of it came off pretty easy that way. It still took a lot of wiping to get it all off, but it saved me a couple hours I think. And, since I used an old credit card it didn't hurt the playfield.


#25 7 years ago

@glilly-BOA, I was wondering why people did not use the freeze spray method it seems like the best way to go to me. It really seems like it leaves less of the glue on the playfield. From watching video and hearing people provide their results. That is the rout I would go for sure.

#26 7 years ago

That whole process sounds very labor intensive, and quite frankly not much fun... I hope I never have to do it.

#27 7 years ago

That whole process sounds very labor intensive, and quite frankly not much fun... I hope I never have to do it.

No it isn't fun Bill, but the rewards far outweigh the Pain factor. But again, it can be risky, if you're worried about a bit or a lot of artwork being dammaged.

Savage, I've been told that the freeze spray is easier and faster to remove the mylar, but that pretty much all the glue is left behind. I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know for sure, but this is the method I will use the next time I do it.

glilly, I forgot that too! I used an old credit card to scrape glue residue soaked in Goo Gone. It works pretty nicely! Ruined the card though

#28 7 years ago

It’s always stressful when you’re working on a machine or a part of a machine and you are in a position of ruining something that is often not replaceable…

#29 7 years ago

"It really seems like it leaves less of the glue on the playfield"

"but that pretty much all the glue is left behind"

The nice thing about the freeze spray is it detaches the glue from the mylar so the mylar comes right up with hardly any effort. However... all the glue stays behind. The other nice thing is it reduces the risk of lifting the paint since it detaches the glue. I only had one lift paint (on an old playboy) and that paint was already seperated from the playfield so it was coming up anyway.


#30 7 years ago

@Shock Me, okay I did not know that, however, it did look much easier on the how to videos to remove with freeze spray than a hair dryier. Although seems the real challenge is getting the stubborn glue off without ruining the paint. I myself have been wary of trying this and left what little mylar that is on my machine alone for the very reason Bill2626 mentioned.

#31 7 years ago

One thing to keep in mind is that if you are doing this process, you're likely going to be clear coating or doing touch up any way... or what's the point. Unless just replacing the mylar. So if you're doing repairs on the playfield anyway, a couple of minor spots of paint lifting aren't that big a deal. And, if you clear coat, you have to lightly sand the stripped playfield so the clear coat adheres properly (that's the scary part).


#32 7 years ago

shock will you take some pictures of you game room i am interested to see it

#33 7 years ago

shock will you take some pictures of you game room i am interested to see it

Sure, but I've already hi jacked this thread enough!

You can see 8 of my games in the "Pictures of Game Rooms" thread at the top of the forum. I'm somewhere on the last page. The only games not shown are Spider-Man, KISS, and Centaur. The last two are still in the restoration phase.

*edit* I guess I did show ole Spidey there too

#34 7 years ago

Bellow is a great post by donjagra in another discussion thought it would be useful here as well:

BK2K is mylar, and you don't want to remove it. The factory put the mylar on while the paint was moist, so it will bring up the paint if you are too aggressive with it. If there are bubbles that look bad, I have found that cutting them away works well.

"If the Mylar on your playfield was factory applied, I would recommend leaving it in place. When the Mylar was applied at the factory, the playfield paint had not completely cured, so when you attempt to remove it, a good deal of the paint will adhere to the Mylar. Lettering on playfield inserts will also be removed when attempting to remove factory installed Mylar. I have heard horror stories of Mylar removal attempts from games such as F14 and Black Knight 2000."

#35 7 years ago

I had same thing on my dryer and lots of elbow grease with goo gone. I cleaned it up and reapplied mylar. I didn't want to get into total restoration.

#36 7 years ago

My BoP has significant wear on her left breast (the path from jet bumpers exit downhill). There are concentric circles and black division lines there... seems like it would be difficult to touch up. Twizz63, got a suggestion?

#37 7 years ago

Wow, what a high quality exchange! The information sharing in this thread has just been fantastic! I wish our leaders could take a lesson from the spirit of cooperation and concern for success shown by you contributors. (Certainly not injecting politics... it's just really rewarding to be a part of this exchange). Anyway, my High Speed is gonna look GREAT!!! Pinball machines in the world trade center, Hmmm... Could this help promote world peace?

#38 7 years ago

Could this help promote world peace?

Couldn't hurt!

#39 7 years ago

This High Speed is kicking my ass! It is such a simple game, yet a viable challenge! To get the Hide Out reward during multi ball is like juggling chain saws. This is my oldest and most primitive machine, but I can't stop playing. $900 well spent as I could easily put that many quarters into this vixen.

#40 7 years ago

This is a great thread. I have 3 machines that I would like to remove the mylar. Ive checked the playfields and I can tell 1 might give me problems with the paint. Great info guys!!!!

#41 7 years ago

Shock Me's pics are certainly an incentive to take the risk... that playfield looks like glass... I want my machine standing that tall!

#42 7 years ago

Shock Me's pics are certainly an incentive to take the risk... that playfield looks like glass... I want my machine standing that tall!

Thanks for the kind words bradbot! Good luck with your project.

I can't stress enough though that mylar removal is a bit of a challenge, and very rewarding, but clearcoating is another ball of wax. I followed the five part series on playfield clearcoating on youtube, and it came out great! Getting geared up with all the tools and supplies was pretty costly, but I plan on doing more of my games in the near future, so the cost is justified for me. There is always the brush-on Varathane option as well. Easier and cheaper, and the results seem to be very nice!

#43 7 years ago

Good God!!!

That is one sweet looking playfield shock_me!

My BK2K had some spots where we re-did the mylar, but was very minimal. Very dangerous to pull off some of the artwork. The previous owner was thankfully smart to keep the playfield covered up with towels, while it was stored for God know's how many years. Can't be stressed that if you got a system 11 machine, you NEED to LED it. It doesn't cost that much money, and the game instantly becomes visually stunning.

I am hoping to one day run into a Swords of Fury with LED's. Here's hoping!

#44 7 years ago

That is one sweet looking playfield shockme!

I thank you sir!

It's actually a game I restored for my brother. He said he only wanted one game in his gameroom to be sort of a conversation piece......let's just say that after two weeks of playing on this thing, he's looking for more! A new Pinhead is born! LOL!!

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