I wanted to take a couple of minutes to share my re-stenciling experience that I did on my Evel Knievel. I make no claims about being an expert on painting cabinets, this is the 3rd one I have done, and I think this one and the others have turned out pretty nice, but if you are thinking about doing it here are some tips to help you.
First, before you start spraying make sure you have everything you need close by. Stopping in the middle to find something is only going to make the paint dry more and make it harder to deal with pulling the stencil off. The problem with the paint drying and getting tacky is, as you pull the stencil off, the vinyl will start to stretch, which it is going to do anyway, but the paint will adhere and start to stretch as well. So as you pull the paint stretches and the breaks off of stencil causing it to fall back onto the cabinet and usually not where you want it. (see pictures)
You have to remember that the stencil is "one big sheet" of vinyl, not just a bunch of little easy to remove tape pieces. So as you pull the stencil off you have to deal with this large piece of vinyl as you are pulling. I have talked with Jeff at "Pinball Pimp" who make the stencils to get tips and he has been a big help. His stencil are some of the best and easiest to work with and I would highly recommend going thru him if you are thinking about doing this.
Ok so 1st picture is when I did my Star Trek. This is me pulling the protective film off to reveal the actual stencil that you would be spraying over. The trick is as you are pulling...do not pull part of the stencil off with the film. I have done this and it sucks!! It causes the vinyl to stretch or tear which in turn screws up the layout. Go slow.
Once the stencil is down then tape off anywhere that you do not want the paint to go and start spraying. I used Rustoleum 2X on my Star Trek and Evel Knievel but used regular Rustoleum on my Flash Gordon. (I talk about that later.)
Once the paint is down, it's time to start removing the stencil. (have a sweat towel ready, you need it. You don't want to drip sweat into your fresh paint)
I start from the back and go forward. In the 2nd picture, you can see the lines are pretty crisp and clean. That's because the paint is still wet, so it peels cleanly, but as you work further forward the paint starts to set up and gets tacky. This is not something you can do in 5 minutes.
As you work toward the front and you are pulling the vinyl you will see the paint starting to stretch with the stencil. As the paint breaks off from the vinyl it will fall back on to the cabinet, sometimes back into the painted area, but usually back on the the cabinet where you do not want it. (see pictures 3,4,5,) I am not sure how to avoid this from happeningLooks bad, but I will get all the cleaned up so you won't even notice, just takes a lot of time.
If someone knows a way to avoid this I would like to know. Basically what I do to fix this is... after the paint is dried, I just go back and touch everything up. The Rustoleum 2X paint dries fairly fast, which is part of the problem. On my Flash Gordon, I used the regular Rustoleum. The reason for this was I could not get the right color in the 2X stuff. The problem with the regular is, it dries slower which is good for peeling the stencil, but it seems to be more prone to runs than the 2X. I had to re-sand my Flash cabinet 2 times due to runs in the base coat of red. So for me, I would rather do a little touch up than have to re-sand a cabinet.
Another thing that comes up as you are removing the stencil is...some of the stencil will tear as you are pulling due to the fine detail in the artwork. Again that will want to fall back into the paint and mess things up as well. So what I have learned is as I pull and start getting a large piece of vinyl in my hand is, I take a exacto knife and cut the large piece free, so I do not have so much material to deal with. But cut it down low so a long piece does not drop back into the paint.
Remember too that your hands are going to be covered in paint. I wear latex gloves. But those will be covered in paint as well so you have to be careful not to touch anything or that will make a mess too. I wish I could have taken pictures as I went along but it was just me doing this. May if I do another one I'll get someone to shot pictures as I go.
Last picture of cabinet after I was done.
Now I know someone is going to say, "Where is the speckles?" I chose not to add those. Didn't like the look. I hope this help someone out there that might be thinking about doing a repaint. I'll post pictures after I the touch up all the messy areas.