Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

5 years ago



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#1001 3 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Any advice on larger waterslide? Can be difficult to lay down.

Cut it into manageable pieces.

#1002 3 years ago

After shooting the final coat with the JC660 clear how long do you wait before?:

A. waxing
B. repopulating
C. playing

Getting close!

#1003 3 years ago
Quoted from KloggMonkey:

After shooting the final coat with the JC660 clear how long do you wait before?:

A. waxing
B. repopulating
C. playing

JC660 is rock hard after a week, but there is some shrinkback/dieback .

You will see your totally smooth playfield develop light telegraphing of the insert lines sometimes in a month.

The wood shrinks at a different rate than the inserts.

If I'm not on a tight schedule, I'll put the 2nd coat on, then just let the dieback do it's thing for a month or two.

Then I'll sand flat and shoot the final coat.

#1004 3 years ago

Is there any disadvantage to shooting two coats with 20 or so minutes between coats? Maybe you shoot one coat heavier. I am still learning but I have been shooting a mist coat to lock all new work and then 2 coats allowing it to dry to tacky touch with no strings. I learned from a buddy that used to paint cars. I then sand it down and do any other work that needs to be done. Or if it was the last application I will wet sand and buff.

#1005 3 years ago

Vid, quick one for you. Are these fine black dirt lines in the actual paint on my PF or is the wood PF expanding/cracking? It looks like hairlines of dirt to me. To remove them I've tried Novus #2 (that didn't work).

266592-i.jpg

I'm ready to bust out the Magic Eraser, but want to ask before leaping.

#1006 3 years ago

Are you talking about the outline of the Mylar protector, or the dirt in the grain of the wood?

The grain of the wood all goes lengthwise to the playfield.

The Mylar changes directions.

#1007 3 years ago

Hi, Vid! As per your request, I'm posting my questions about my Congo PF because it seems I'll have to tackle it myself (can't find anyone taking work right now!). Here are the three questions with accompanying photos:

1. I have very minimal cracking in the PF art around one insert. What's the best way to stop that from progressing?

photo 2.JPG

2. To fix chipped holes, should I really use that wood-weld stuff you can get at Home Depot (like someone suggested to me) and just sand it to shape? Then how to I clearcoat just that part without taking the whole PF apart? (I know - multi-stage question...I was cheating when I said three questions.)

photo 3.JPG

3. I have a round area of wear around my left outlane post - a circle of wood about the size of a dime. Do I have to have my artist wife touch that up with paint (which will probably look like shit), or can I have someone scan it for me so I can laser print a water soluble decal, slide it in, then clearcoat it (again, how do I do just a spot without stripping the PF?)

photo 4.JPG

NOTE: All issues look MUCH worse than they are due to the extreme closeup pics. Tough to see when you're just casually looking the game over...

Thanks for any and all help!

#1008 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Are you talking about the outline of the Mylar protector, or the dirt in the grain of the wood?
The grain of the wood all goes lengthwise to the playfield.
The Mylar changes directions.

The grain of the wood. So it's just dirt? I'm glad it isn't the PF cracking. I tried cleaning it with Novus #2 but it didn't help. Would gentle use of a magic eraser be the next thing to try?

#1009 3 years ago

Hey Vid, thanks for all the info. I have a question. I am debating painting my Dipsy Doodle play field to fix the bare spots, or just give it a good cleaning/ waxing. This will be HUO, and I intend to keep it forever. Thanks for the help!

image-202.jpgimage-341.jpgimage-780.jpgimage-40.jpgimage.jpg

#1010 3 years ago

Just read back a few posts. Looks like it's best to just leave the dirt. I wish there was a way to clean it, but for now I'll leave the magic eraser alone.

#1011 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I have very minimal cracking in the PF art around one insert. What's the best way to stop that from progressing?

Glue the insert from the back of the playfield so it stops moving around.

Quoted from beelzeboob:

To fix chipped holes, should I really use that wood-weld stuff you can get at Home Depot (like someone suggested to me) and just sand it to shape?

Yes, drill some holes into the old wood to give extra tooth to the wood repair epoxy.

The stuff that comes in a "log" and that you kneed together works great. Sand before it is 100% cured, or it is really tough to sand.

Quoted from beelzeboob:

Then how to I clearcoat just that part without taking the whole PF apart?

It's a lot harder to spot clear, but if it's just a saucer hole, you might do it with a small brush.

#1012 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I have a round area of wear around my left outlane post - a circle of wood about the size of a dime.

You might be able to cover the whole thing with a stainless steel washer of the correct size under the post. Just make sure the washer is not so big as to contact the ball (and chip the ball).

If the spot is too big, have wife paint it, then wax it, then Mylar it.

#1013 3 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

The grain of the wood. So it's just dirt? I'm glad it isn't the PF cracking. I tried cleaning it with Novus #2 but it didn't help. Would gentle use of a magic eraser be the next thing to try?

The playfield may crack once you scrub off the topcoat with a Magic Eraser and alcohol .

The alcohol sometimes wets the woodgrain and it expands and checks.

Sys11 games are known for their crappy playfield topcoats.

#1014 3 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Hey Vid, thanks for all the info. I have a question. I am debating painting my Dipsy Doodle play field to fix the bare spots, or just give it a good cleaning/ waxing. This will be HUO, and I intend to keep it forever. Thanks for the help!

That would be an easy one to repaint, then decal back all the text, and clearcoat.

If not, just touch up the paint, wax it, and put Mylar over the top.

#1015 3 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Just read back a few posts. Looks like it's best to just leave the dirt. I wish there was a way to clean it, but for now I'll leave the magic eraser alone.

Once you remove the protective top coat with the Magic Eraser, you need to protect the playfield from wear.

#1016 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That would be an easy one to repaint, then decal back all the text, and clearcoat.
If not, just touch up the paint, wax it, and put Mylar over the top.

Okay, great! Thanks.

#1017 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Once you remove the protective top coat with the Magic Eraser, you need to protect the playfield from wear.

This can only be done by clear coating correct?

#1018 3 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

This can only be done by clear coating correct?

Clearcoat is best, but you could Mylar and be pretty happy.

#1019 3 years ago

You know you're awesome, right, Vid?

Two quick follow-ups:

What kind of glue to use on the underside of inserts, and how do I get the glue into the cracks with the PF in the upright position (or do I have to take the whole thing out and flip it over (and please say no cuz then I have to buy a rotisserie for a glue job!))?

And what is the purpose in waxing repaired/painted areas first before applying mylar? Doesn't that keep the mylar from sticking properly? And the mylar should be cut just big enough to overlap the repaired area, right?

Thanks again! I promise to shut up now.

#1020 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

What kind of glue to use on the underside of inserts

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

Quoted from beelzeboob:

how do I get the glue into the cracks with the PF in the upright position (or do I have to take the whole thing out and flip it over (and please say no cuz then I have to buy a rotisserie for a glue job!))?

You can probably stand the playfield back against the backbox.

If not, pull it out and lay it across 2 sawhorses.

#1021 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

And what is the purpose in waxing repaired/painted areas first before applying mylar? Doesn't that keep the mylar from sticking properly? And the mylar should be cut just big enough to overlap the repaired area, right?

If you wax before you lay down the Mylar, it will be easy to remove it later when you clearcoat for real.

#1022 3 years ago

I have some questions on my High Speed playfield. I have a spare playfield and it's not rare so I don't mind doing some experimenting. After removing the mylar I lost a little black ink from the inserts, fantastic results really. I tried removing some of the little black lines in the cracked clear and lost a little paint. Damn it! I started in the pops thinking it was an inconspicuous spot. Not so much on this game. Anyway, my questions..

Some of the inserts are gone, none look great. Should I remove every one? The picture shows the overall condition.

The wear spot from the magic eraser is beyond my hand touchup skills. Is this a candidate for a waterslide decal?

The wear at the left sling I plan on touching up by hand. I know it won't be perfect but it's a thin line, I'm hoping the paint will sit in the divot. If I want to utilize the divot should I touch that up before any clear?

So my plan moving forward is

Try to get as much of the tiny black lines out as I can by hand.
Remove all the insert art.
Light sand
Clear
Insert decals and waterslide
Clear
small touchups
More clear

Any suggestions?

DSC03945.JPG DSC03946.JPG DSC03947.JPG DSC03948.JPG DSC03949.JPG
#1023 3 years ago
Quoted from Shredso:

Some of the inserts are gone, none look great. Should I remove every one? The picture shows the overall condition.

Don't remove inserts unless they are cracked.

Scrape off any bad ink and clearcoat.

Quoted from Shredso:

The wear spot from the magic eraser is beyond my hand touchup skills. Is this a candidate for a waterslide decal?

Sure.

You can paint the playfield, and then put the black print waterslide decal on top to restore the details, or if you have a good color laser printer, you can print a color decal.

Quoted from Shredso:

The wear at the left sling I plan on touching up by hand. I know it won't be perfect but it's a thin line, I'm hoping the paint will sit in the divot. If I want to utilize the divot should I touch that up before any clear?

Don't paint by hand, because it won't be perfect.

Use Frisket and an air brush.

Paint the divot, then fill it with clear before you clear the playfield.

#1024 3 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply! I didn't mean remove the inserts, I meant should I scrape the ink off of every one? My guess is yes.

I don't have a laser printer, I planned on going to Staples or something. It's on the list of things to buy though.

I have all the supplies to do the airbrushing, I've just been putting it off because I'm used to hand painting. This might have to be the time....

#1025 3 years ago
Quoted from Shredso:

I didn't mean remove the inserts, I meant should I scrape the ink off of every one? My guess is yes.

If they are chipped up, then clean them off.

#1026 3 years ago

Lots of good info on clearing a playfield. With all the tools one has to acquire and skill level needed to accomplish a decent job, doesn't it make more sense to just buy an overlay found at Bay Area Amusements and call it good?
Your down to just removing the old Mylar,doing a touch up,and possibly filling in a few inserts going that route.
Are there drawbacks to going overlay vs clearing?

#1027 3 years ago
Quoted from karmalord:

Are there drawbacks to going overlay vs clearing?

Clearing makes the colors pop.

Clearing gives the ball similar traction to the original finish.

Clearing does not allow abrasive dust to get between the overlay and the playfield.

But if you like the simplicity of the overlay, it's better than nothing; and you don't have to pull up any Mylar. For many people, not a bad choice at all.

#1028 3 years ago

Okay, Vid! Follow-up question on my Congo: I can do the repair on chipped paint, and I can fix the chipped hole (although drilling it to give the wood putty "teeth" makes me nervous - I'm guessing only like an 1/8th of an inch holes you should drill?). But I don't have the skills to fix the moving insert, the picture of which I've copied below to remind you:
267073[1].jpg
In order to epoxy that, I'd have to actually pop it out, possibly causing more damage to the artwork, then reglue from the top, right? I think it might create more visible problems since I don't know what I'm doing.

So, Plan B: Can I just throw a layer of wax down and put the piece of mylar over it to stabilize it and protect it from any further chipping, etc?

#1029 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

In order to epoxy that, I'd have to actually pop it out, possibly causing more damage to the artwork, then reglue from the top, right?

Nope.

Do not remove inserts unless they are broken. They are fragile and many are completely unavailable.

Make sure the insert is level with the playfield, then epoxy the insert in place from the back of the playfield.

Then wax the area and Mylar it.

#1030 3 years ago

Vid - thanks for all this work. It's a huge help to me. I'm in the middle of a complete restore of my BOP. I've got her down to bare playfield, sanded smooth, and have color matched (using plastic chips and naptha) all colors.

ISSUE:
I've probably already airbrushed more than 15 hours of paint work BEFORE laying down any clear - oops ... Sprayed using my airbrush right on the bare (sanded) playfield. (I did all this work about 10 months ago so this paint has had some time to cure if that matters)

I will be using JC660 per your recommendation when the PF is ready. I've done all the paintwork with Anitas and Folk Art brand water based acrylics that can be bought in any Hobby shop. What's the best way (is there any way?) to make sure the paint is "stable" so the CC doesn't interact with it? Shoot a very light coat, 2 -3 times?

Starting over is a painful thought. Just to airbrush both sides of the multicolored "half moons" on the top part of the playfield was hours of taping and spraying - not to mention frisket work around the astronauts and shuttle. Any advice would be appreciated. I've got a bit of painting to complete yet (whites, insert outlines and one waterslide) but I'm hoping all the work I've done will be "OK" ... (fingers crossed)

2014-08-04 23.10.42.jpg

#1031 3 years ago

After the final coat is down and hard, what do I need for the final sanding/polishing?
I have some 1000, 1500, and 2000 sand paper. As well as Novus 3 and 2.

Lastly what is the procedure to get the best end result?

#1032 3 years ago

I have a Taxi playfield I'm restoring that had mylar on the lower half for a long enough time that there's a very clear split between the grimy and non-grimy parts.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/yo-another-taxi

To quote my own thread:

"I can either delicately trace around the various taxis and such on the road and shoot the whole thing with grey, or I can cover the entire thing with grey and apply decals afterward. Both choices have their pros and cons, and to be honest - I'm leaning towards the latter."

I really feel like trying to delicately trace around a giraffe riding in a taxi with a swivel exacto knife on frisket is a recipe for disaster. How would you proceed with a playfield like mine?

IMG_1735-63.JPG
IMG_1736-918.JPG

IMG_1730-89.JPG
#1033 3 years ago
Quoted from KloggMonkey:

After the final coat is down and hard, what do I need for the final sanding/polishing?
I have some 1000, 1500, and 2000 sand paper. As well as Novus 3 and 2.
Lastly what is the procedure to get the best end result?

I'll go into more detail later, but run through your grits to flatten out the final coat.

If you are not going to totally flatten the field, then just use the 1000 to spot sand out any dust specks in the final coat. Remember to keep the sandpaper wet with water, or it will clog instantly.

Then spot sand with the 1200, 1500, and 2000. Remember water.

After 2000 grit, put some Novus2 on an orbital buffer and polish yourself out. If the playfield is indeed cured, you will now have a high shine.

#1034 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

"I can either delicately trace around the various taxis and such on the road and shoot the whole thing with grey, or I can cover the entire thing with grey and apply decals afterward. Both choices have their pros and cons, and to be honest - I'm leaning towards the latter."

I really feel like trying to delicately trace around a giraffe riding in a taxi with a swivel exacto knife on frisket is a recipe for disaster. How would you proceed with a playfield like mine?

I'd probably make up the decals too.

Frisket would not be a disaster, but a lot of time for sure.

#1035 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'd probably make up the decals too.

So you think I should go the hand scanner, Photoshop and decal paper route?

#1036 3 years ago

Vid, if I buy a repro playfield does it need to be sanded and polished or has that been done already?

#1037 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

So you think I should go the hand scanner, Photoshop and decal paper route?

But don't use a hand scanner, get one of those 9x12 HP flat scanners from earlier in the thread.

#1038 3 years ago
Quoted from JohnDelNJ:

Vid, if I buy a repro playfield does it need to be sanded and polished or has that been done already?

It will come with an ok finish, but not a high end one.

If there is lots of crazy problems (and there often is), then you will need to sand and re-clear.

If you want a harder clearcoat, you will need to sand and re-clear.

Sometimes there are gross errors to correct and repaint (like WH2O and AFM).

If it is relatively good, then you can maybe just polish it out.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-to-expect-from-a-new-cpr-playfield

#1039 3 years ago

Vid, any thoughts on the below? On my BOP, I painted using my airbrush right to the PF with no base clearcoat. Will I need to apply differently now? Will clearcoat even be viable at this point. I airbrushed my last coats of white in the outlanes tonight but don't want to do too much more work on this until I'm sure I know what my best options are for laying down the clear ... worried

Quoted from MT45:

Vid - thanks for all this work. It's a huge help to me. I'm in the middle of a complete restore of my BOP. I've got her down to bare playfield, sanded smooth, and have color matched (using plastic chips and naptha) all colors.
ISSUE:
I've probably already airbrushed more than 15 hours of paint work BEFORE laying down any clear - oops ... Sprayed using my airbrush right on the bare (sanded) playfield. (I did all this work about 10 months ago so this paint has had some time to cure if that matters)
I will be using JC660 per your recommendation when the PF is ready. I've done all the paintwork with Anitas and Folk Art brand water based acrylics that can be bought in any Hobby shop. What's the best way (is there any way?) to make sure the paint is "stable" so the CC doesn't interact with it? Shoot a very light coat, 2 -3 times?
Starting over is a painful thought. Just to airbrush both sides of the multicolored "half moons" on the top part of the playfield was hours of taping and spraying - not to mention frisket work around the astronauts and shuttle. Any advice would be appreciated. I've got a bit of painting to complete yet (whites, insert outlines and one waterslide) but I'm hoping all the work I've done will be "OK" ... (fingers crossed)

2014-08-04 23.10.42.jpg 294 KB

2014-08-04 23.10.42.jpg

Shooting the white in the outlanes and robot base (frisket used in base and pinstriping tape on outlanes)

2014-08-05 22.05.27.jpg
#1040 3 years ago

From my experience. For some reason, matching grey is very difficult. Hope you have better luck than I am. I am still working on it. Almost any other color I have been able to match but grey sucks. Lol

#1041 3 years ago

For the Bride of Pinbot guy, I will let vid give the professional advice but the very first playfield I ever auto cleared I did the exact same thing you did except I didn't sand first. (Because I didn't know what I was doing. Lol)
I sanded the best I could without messing up the paint. I shot the playfield and had a ton of fisheyes. After it dried I sanded it and eye dropped the fisheyes and cleared again. The playfield looks amazing now with no hint of my mistakes.

I was using another brand of clear so I cannot comment on any adverse reactions it may or may it have.

You might have to do some leveling since the wear areas are probably lower than the rest of the playfield so you will probably have to shoot it again.

I am not responsible for anything I just said.

#1042 3 years ago
Quoted from MT45:

On my BOP, I painted using my airbrush right to the PF with no base clearcoat. Will I need to apply differently now? Will clearcoat even be viable at this point

As long as the paint is sticking and not coming up with the Frisket, you should be fine.

1000 ways to skin cats.

#1043 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

As long as the paint is sticking and not coming up with the Frisket, you should be fine.
1000 ways to skin cats.

Paint is sticking very well, so I'll proceed. Thanks and thanks again for stewarding folks on this site...

#1044 3 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

From my experience. For some reason, matching grey is very difficult. Hope you have better luck than I am. I am still working on it. Almost any other color I have been able to match but grey sucks. Lol

Lonzo, thanks for all of your comments. If it's helpful, tonight I will send you the colors I used to mix my gray. It's almost undetectable when sprayed on existing. I also used clear acetate chips to paint tests on, then after dry, wipe with naphtha while holding on playfield to check color...

#1045 3 years ago

Lonzo not sure if it's helpful but I used Folk Art Plaid brand acrylic paint and several base colors to get my gray. One was "Light Gray" and the other "Steel Gray" - I sure wish I remembered by mix ratio. I'm pretty certain I added both white and black to these to get them "just right" ... gray is tough

Quoted from Lonzo:

For the Bride of Pinbot guy, I will let vid give the professional advice but the very first playfield I ever auto cleared I did the exact same thing you did except I didn't sand first. (Because I didn't know what I was doing. Lol)
I sanded the best I could without messing up the paint. I shot the playfield and had a ton of fisheyes. After it dried I sanded it and eye dropped the fisheyes and cleared again. The playfield looks amazing now with no hint of my mistakes.
I was using another brand of clear so I cannot comment on any adverse reactions it may or may it have.
You might have to do some leveling since the wear areas are probably lower than the rest of the playfield so you will probably have to shoot it again.
I am not responsible for anything I just said.

#1046 3 years ago

Gray sometimes needs just a drop of yellow or purple to match Williams colors.

#1047 3 years ago

Not trying to be rude, but there are a lot of duplicate questions on this thread. The entire thread is absolutely worth reading from start to finish. Your questions may already be answered.

#1048 3 years ago

Bookmark

#1049 3 years ago

So I pulled the mylar off off my playfield. Probably shouldn't have done it, because after reading this I'm not sure I want to clear coat it myself. Should have left it alone...meh, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, should I see if an autobody shop can spray it for me? If not, is new mylar the next best option?

#1050 3 years ago
Quoted from asay:

So I pulled the mylar off off my playfield. Probably shouldn't have done it, because after reading this I'm not sure I want to clear coat it myself. Should have left it alone...meh, hindsight is 20/20.
Anyway, should I see if an autobody shop can spray it for me? If not, is new mylar the next best option?

Is there any planking of the wood visible after pulling it off, and did you loose any paint? Hope it went well.

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