I'm back with another update! I hope you're all having a good new year so far.
Let's get down to business!
Fist up is some more playfield repairs. I'm not expecting this to be relevant to everyone but hey, maybe it'll help someone. So if you recall, I had another large gouge in the top right of my playfield that needed attention.
1 - gouge1 (resized).jpg
I used regular Bondo to repair it but you may have better results with wood Bondo. When using Bondo, definitely wear a proper respirator and work outside if possible, Bondo is powerful stuff. Just follow the normal instructions for setting the Bondo and let cure.
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Once cured, sand down smooth by hand. Avoid using power tools because you can quickly go from "not enough" to "too far, way too far" rather quickly.
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I used 800 grit sandpaper to smooth out the result. The high grit helps prevent the surrounding areas from getting torn up if they get too much attention. It worked out pretty well. My coverage with the Bondo was a little lacking so I actually came back through and filled the remaining irregular divots with primer (notice the mismatching grey spots in the above picture).
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This here is not your average primer; it's an automotive paint primer. It has a thick build and works really well! It's like a micro version of drywall mud, cement, and primer all in one. I'm sure other similar products are on the market but this is what I picked up from Home Depot.
You may not have a massive gouge in your playfield to repair but this stuff is taking us into part two of my update, ...priming. Vid's guide does not mention priming a playfield, that I know of, so why am I priming before painting?
Well, if you happened to catch Part 7 of HowToWith GEO's Flight 2000 repair videos on YouTube...
...you'll see a big flaw in his touch-up job - it results in a noticable depression between the original paint surrounding it. He hoped the depression would become unnoticed after the clearcoat but it wasn't flawless in the end.
I want to keep my playfield looking crispy so I want to make things as even as possible before the clearcoat. Automotive primer is my hope, here. Ok let's do it!
If you're following along, you'll need to prep. First, mix up the automotive primer really well (wear a proper respirator mask when handling the full can). Transfer a small amount to an empty nail polish- uhhh, jar? bottle? container? Idk. Sure. That thing. You won't need much primer so the nail polish container is perfect for quantity and for spot-applying. I used roughly 1oz of primer throughout the entirety of this project, probably less, and I touched up A LOT of areas. A little goes a long way.
Next, you need something to sand down the primer. I took some 800 grit sand paper and super glued it to a popsicle stick. Cut down the popsicle stick so you have a nice, baby sanding block
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(these ones are pretty beat up)
I think you can guess where I'm going with this. Let's grab this here spot from the bottom-left corner of the playfield.
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Shake up your nail polish guy, paint and/or dab the primer on the target area, and let the primer dry. It dries pretty quickly, within 5 to 10 minutes. If you're hitting a bunch of spots on your playfield, hit them one after another. By the time you get back to the first spot it'll be dry. Make sure it fully dries after applying.
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Throughout this whole restoration process I've been using isopropyl achohol from a spritzer bottle (empty cologne or perfume bottle, or just buy an empty spritzer from the dollar store). It was a must-have for this process. Spray the dried primer with a single spritz of alcohol. Let it sit for a few seconds. Grab your mini sanding stick and sand it smooth!
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Yes it will be messy! If it starts to gum up on you while sanding, hit it with another spritz of alcohol. As mentioned earlier, the primer has some build to it; in a sense it feels like micro, wet cement. When it feels totally flat, let the target area sit to redry. Roughly clean around the target area - pick up the excess primer with a paper towel but be careful not to accidentally wipe away the stuff you want to keep.
Cleaning up the primer becomes an art after a while. Get the big, obvious mess out of the way with paper towel. If the area has dried and still needs cleaning, hit it with a spritz of alcohol, wait a few seconds, and scrub it out. You'll probably need to do this 2, 3, 5, or even more times, depending on the mess. Use a Q-tip to clean the more delecate areas with finer detail. Spray the Q-tip head with alcohol and use it to finely clean up area. Once the entire scene looks clean, run over it quickly with a micro-fiber towel dabbed with alcohol.
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Again, here are the steps:
- Prime the target area. Let dry.
- Spray with alcohol. While wet, sand flat. Add more alcohol as needed.
- Clean up surrounding area
- While surrounding area is wet with alcohol, clean excess primer with paper towel (2 - 5 times)
- Apply alcohol to Q-tip and scrub areas close to target area (2 - 5 times)
- Wet micro-fiber towel with alcohol and quickly wipe over the area. Try to avoid target areas. (1 - 2 times)
Let's test on another area. In this example, I filled up three post rings. In each picture, I progressed one of the target areas one step in the process.
5 - tripletest1 (resized).jpg5 - tripletest2 (resized).jpg5 - tripletest3 (resized).jpg5 - tripletest4 (resized).jpg
Once you do this a few times it becomes your own science, no problem. It's doable. Now it's time to hit the areas we really mean to fix.
Do you remember this?
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Time to clean it up!
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Same thing, different angles.
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6 - main10 (resized).jpg6 - main11 (resized).jpg
What's really nice about the primer is that it can become active at any time so you have plenty of time and chances to make things right. Didn't apply enough primer the first time through? Add more later. Finished sanding a bunch of areas but don't have time to clean up the mess now? You don't have to. Come back to it later, hit it with some alcohol, and you're back to where you left off. I will say, though, be prepared to spend a lot of time spot cleaning the excess primer.
Since everything worked out so well and I really like to make more work for myself, I somewhat regretfully (sorry, not sorry) did this to my entire playfield :S
7 - other1 (resized).jpg7 - other2 (resized).jpg7 - other3 (resized).jpg7 - other4 (resized).jpg
8 - full1 (resized).jpg8 - full2 (resized).jpg8 - full3 (resized).jpg8 - full4 (resized).jpg
Oof, that was a lot of work. That's also a lot of reading you did just now. Thanks for following along. I hope I don't bore you to tears!
Next steps are to do the things I actually say I'm going to do
I need to play around with Frisket Film in preparation for paint. I still want to create an enclosure or bag for storing my playfield to keep it clean. Then I can finally start painting.