(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

7 years ago



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#1701 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

No, no I'm applying directly to the color on the playfield that I'm matching, I wouldn't post a comment about the paint drying darker than mixed unless I had absolute proof from playfield results. It DOES dry darker. Just a heads up......
-Nate

In my case it dried darker when applied to a clear piece of plastic. On white I got the same result.

#1702 5 years ago
Quoted from mrgregb123:

What is the proper method for cleaning the playfield before clearcoating it?

Vid's guide(s) are a great resource. He has a great depth of knowledge as well as a knack for sharing all of it. He makes things look all easy peasy for someone with no knowledge to try to do. That being said, sometimes it looks too easy. Questions like "Do I need to sand before applying clear coat?" make me wonder how many playfields may be ruined by well intentioned folks who are clueless. Clear can make a playfield look wonderful, but it will only last if the foundation has been laid and every step of the way is done correctly.

Simply wiping some Naphtha on a playfield is probably not going top cut it if the playfield has been subjected to a lot of silicones. Many of the wonder wax products contain silicone or teflon or one of it's slippery cousins.(One of the many reasons that I use only pure carnuba paste wax on my games.) The engineers that designed them worked hard to be able to make a claim of "Lasting up to a year" so a quick swipe with a rag may not actually clean all of the product away.

Let's think of how one would wash a dish or a floor with soap and water. Simply taking some soap on a rag and rubbing a soiled dish or the floor will not clean the dish or the floor. It will just leave a smeared slurry of dirt and soap. You need to follow up with something after loosening the dirt to remove it. Please note that this example is a bit different because dish/household soap is a surfactant which allows the dirt to be carried away by the water. However it is an example that anyone should be able to grasp.

Naphtha, and other silicone and wax removers, are great cleaning agents because they evaporates and leave behind no residue(or residue that does not mix well with clearcoat. However, when it evaporates, what may I ask is left behind???? Not everything is going to be picked up by a tiny piece of dampened cloth when the cloth has already been saturated with cleaning agent.

For my final clean before paint I start with two clean lint free cloths. I spray one with Naphtha or other cleaning agents(there are some water based products that contain much less VOC's). It does not need to be dripping wet, but not too dry. Wipe in one direction only with the damp rag in one hand followed immediately behind it with the dry rag in the other hand. Keep moving to a clean section of cloth and/or change to new cloths often(both wet and dry). Do not wipe back and forth on your final wipe down. Sometimes it may be necessary to scrub back and forth during an initial clean to help your product get into all of the nooks and crannies, but never do so on your final pass.

Pretty flippin long winded post on such a simple task as wiping off a playfield, but I am a firm believer in doing things right and proper prep work is truly key to having a good end product. The shooting of the clear is the easy part. Doing things right is the hard part and that is exactly what Vid tries to show us all of the time.

#1703 5 years ago

I didn't see a section on polishing mylar. Is it mentioned in there somewhere?

#1704 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

I didn't see a section on polishing mylar. Is it mentioned in there somewhere?

I have often been accused of polishing turds when working on my EM's.....

#1705 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

No, no I'm applying directly to the color on the playfield that I'm matching, I wouldn't post a comment about the paint drying darker than mixed unless I had absolute proof from playfield results. It DOES dry darker. Just a heads up......
-Nate

Again, the bottom two spots here are the same mix. The left one is dry and the right one is wet.

332722-i.jpg

#1706 5 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

I didn't see a section on polishing mylar. Is it mentioned in there somewhere?

I don't think it's mentioned, but you can polish, just use something like headlight cleaner......

Someone else asked about what new mylar looks like. I will be using a full sheet of mylar on my Taxi will post a photo here - I also have a Taxi restore thread going that it will appear on.....

#1707 5 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

For my final clean before paint I start with two clean lint free cloths. I spray one with Naphtha or other cleaning agents(there are some water based products that contain much less VOC's).

Thanks for the info. Can you name some of those cleaning agents?

#1708 5 years ago

Your local auto body shop paint supplier will have lots to choose from.
3M makes a product that is mostly Naphtha if you cannot find Naphtha in your area;
http://3mcollision.com/3m-general-purpose-adhesive-cleaner-08984.html

The water based ones were produced to help reduce VOC's, but I prefer the hard core stuff especially for playfields.

#1709 5 years ago

Remember guys, don't try doing "spot" touch ups in the middle of a field of color.

Paints fade at different rates and your perfect match today may be too light in a few years.

In that blue field with stars above, I'd frisket the whole blue area and spray it all one shade of blue.

That way if it fades, it won't stand out like a sore thumb.

(yes, I understand it was an example, but I did not want anyone trying to do a repair that way, lol)

#1710 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Remember guys, don't try doing "spot" touch ups in the middle of a field of color.
Paints fade at different rates and your perfect match today may be too light in a few years.
In that blue field with stars above, I'd frisket the whole blue area and spray it all one shade of blue.
That way if it fades, it won't stand out like a sore thumb.
(yes, I understand it was an example, but I did not want anyone trying to do a repair that way, lol)

Yep.

IMG_20141219_224111018.jpg

One thing you're making me think about though... I'm not going nuts trying to cut the frisket precisely on the line, and for example around the text and stars I'm going a little wide so I'm leaving some of the old paint exposed. If you look closely and know where to look, you do spot the difference, but if you don't know you wouldn't see it.
I figure the playfield is 40 years old so it's probably not going to be fading dramatically, but maybe the new paint would?
So would I need to be more careful to cut real close to the lines and maybe go with a brush to paint around the stars and text?

#1711 5 years ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

I figure the playfield is 40 years old so it's probably not going to be fading dramatically, but maybe the new paint would?

The new paint would probably fade quicker than the old paint that has already faded.

If it's pretty close, it's probably good enough - who's going to see a tiny line through a playfield glass and all the other distractions?

#1712 5 years ago

Yeah that's what I figure... a big spot would become noticeable, not a 1 or 2mm line...

#1713 5 years ago

mmm powerplay!

#1714 5 years ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

Yeah that's what I figure... a big spot would become noticeable, not a 1 or 2mm line...

Keep us updated with pics on that one Greg!

#1715 5 years ago

Has anyone tried this HVLP system?
http://m.harborfreight.com/high-volume-low-pressure-spray-gun-kit-44677.html
I already have two small compressors and really don't want to get a third, larger one just for spaying clear.

#1716 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

This is where you start to separate the boys from the men in playfield restoration.
Even sanding the edge of the insert is not enough.
The final step is to prime the plastic with 3M Plastic Primer.
It goes on thin like water and dries in a few seconds.
Now when you apply the epoxy, you can't chip it off.

9.jpg 36 KB

Checked home depot, amazon and eBay and I can't find this product. Any place online you think I could get it?

#1717 5 years ago

AIN Plastics
Grainger

#1718 5 years ago
Quoted from MurphyPeoples:

Keep us updated with pics on that one Greg!

Yep I'm documenting the whole thing, I'll do a thread once I'm further along.

#1719 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

AIN Plastics
Grainger

Vid - I'm wondering if Dupli-Color's "Adhesion Promoter" would work as well? It's designed for plastics. Especially Urethane bumpers and such. I use it in Modeling. Spray it down as the base coat (it's clear, and hardens great) then I spray Dupli-Color's Self leveling automotive primer over that.

This creates a bond so that the final layer of paint cannot be pulled off when using masking agents like #M blue painters tape or friskets. Kinda sounds like what you're recommending. We use it in modeling because it goes on so thin and self levels so that fine details aren't lost in the buildup.

Dupli-Color products are available at all AutoZone or O'Reilly's parts stores.

On a side note, I've been experimenting with using Spies Hecker Acrylic Urethane paints on my playfield this month. After locking everything down with 2PAC, the S/H with reducer goes on and dries like a final finish. A very thin layer has incredible opacity. Pics to come later this month.

#1720 5 years ago
Quoted from LEE:

Vid's guide(s) are a great resource. He has a great depth of knowledge as well as a knack for sharing all of it. He makes things look all easy peasy for someone with no knowledge to try to do. That being said, sometimes it looks too easy. Questions like "Do I need to sand before applying clear coat?" make me wonder how many playfields may be ruined by well intentioned folks who are clueless. Clear can make a playfield look wonderful, but it will only last if the foundation has been laid and every step of the way is done correctly.
Simply wiping some Naphtha on a playfield is probably not going top cut it if the playfield has been subjected to a lot of silicones. Many of the wonder wax products contain silicone or teflon or one of it's slippery cousins.(One of the many reasons that I use only pure carnuba paste wax on my games.) The engineers that designed them worked hard to be able to make a claim of "Lasting up to a year" so a quick swipe with a rag may not actually clean all of the product away.
Let's think of how one would wash a dish or a floor with soap and water. Simply taking some soap on a rag and rubbing a soiled dish or the floor will not clean the dish or the floor. It will just leave a smeared slurry of dirt and soap. You need to follow up with something after loosening the dirt to remove it. Please note that this example is a bit different because dish/household soap is a surfactant which allows the dirt to be carried away by the water. However it is an example that anyone should be able to grasp.
Naphtha, and other silicone and wax removers, are great cleaning agents because they evaporates and leave behind no residue(or residue that does not mix well with clearcoat. However, when it evaporates, what may I ask is left behind???? Not everything is going to be picked up by a tiny piece of dampened cloth when the cloth has already been saturated with cleaning agent.
For my final clean before paint I start with two clean lint free cloths. I spray one with Naphtha or other cleaning agents(there are some water based products that contain much less VOC's). It does not need to be dripping wet, but not too dry. Wipe in one direction only with the damp rag in one hand followed immediately behind it with the dry rag in the other hand. Keep moving to a clean section of cloth and/or change to new cloths often(both wet and dry). Do not wipe back and forth on your final wipe down. Sometimes it may be necessary to scrub back and forth during an initial clean to help your product get into all of the nooks and crannies, but never do so on your final pass.
Pretty flippin long winded post on such a simple task as wiping off a playfield, but I am a firm believer in doing things right and proper prep work is truly key to having a good end product. The shooting of the clear is the easy part. Doing things right is the hard part and that is exactly what Vid tries to show us all of the time.

what brand wax do you use? as far as i know pure carnauba wax itself is as hard as a brick and must be mixed with various compounds so it can be used. the result is a formula of which carnauba is only a small part. the packaging is somewhat misleading when it says "pure carnauba wax". yes, the carnauba itself is pure but it's just a small part of the overall mix of chemicals that may or may not interfere later on with applying a clearcoat.

#1721 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_Nate:

Hey vid, just a heads up about the Createx paint - it definitely dries DARKER than the original mix.
I just spent a couple hours touching-up my playfield, exact color matches were drying darker. It was a pain to watch exact color mixed paint turn dark when dried!!!
You'll need to mix the color a noticeable shade lighter and then apply and watch for the correct match once it dries on the pf.
Have a great New Year -
Nate

i'm by no means an expert and cetainly nowhere as skilled as vid but my experience over the years with acrylic paints of many brands is that most if not all of them dry slightly darker. or at least some colors in a company's line will. i use Liquitex brand for lots of projects and these are an expensive, high quality, high pigment load paint and they too dry darker...

#1722 5 years ago
Quoted from MurphyPeoples:

I'm wondering if Dupli-Color's "Adhesion Promoter" would work as well?

Take an old insert and see if it has any reaction.

#1723 5 years ago

Hi vid and everyone else!

To clear or not to clear is the question im asking this time

Got an independence day the other day and together with it came a spare PF that is in better condition than the old. Ive stripped it totally and cleaned it up and its much better than I first thought.
My plan was to clear coat it but now I wonder if thats really necessary, it will be home use as long as I have it (cant account for possible future buyers though.)

A pic of the PF (this was before the cleaning):

1.jpg

And some pics of the inserts.

id4ins.jpg

Im thinking it will suffice to just fix the inserts, level them and/or put some glue under the clear that has lifted. Then wax it real good, apply some new mylar on the waxed surface and polish and be happy.
IF im gonna clear it, is it sketchy to do if the old clear reacts in some unknown nasty way with the new? Need some advice here.

Andy

#1724 5 years ago
Quoted from TheRingMaster:

IF im gonna clear it, is it sketchy to do if the old clear reacts in some unknown nasty way with the new?

I've never seen a Sega have a bad reaction.

Quoted from TheRingMaster:

Need some advice here.

Since the playfield is already stripped of all the parts, I'd say there is no reason not to clear it.

#1725 5 years ago

Allright! I'm thinking just a thin layer or two to seal it and make it bulletproof. Thanks for the tip! If you would've suggested not to clear it I wouldn't but since I'm already tempted...

#1726 5 years ago

OK, so I get clear is all toxic and yuck and crap.. I am getting a PF re-cleared that has ghosting. I know the guy does an *amazing* job on NOS and classic playfields, I don't know how much he's done with DMD playfields. He's saying he is going to sand off the old clear before he shoots his. I don't think he can sand enough down to get rid of ghosting without damaging the playfield, right?

My wife and I are having a debate about what to do. She wants to chip out the ghosted clear and just fill it. I'm more inclined to follow the advice here, open it up and then fill it with 2PAC or UV resin and just have it filled and ready to go for our clear guy.

My question is this... I have no garage, no place to deal with this...that's why I'm letting someone else clear it. If I wanted to get a syringe and fill these inserts in, is it "safe" to mix up just enough to do that in a cup and do it in say my living room or not? I'm assuming NOT but I don't operate on assumptions. If it's safe, I want to take care of this before we hand the playfield over.

Also, if I wanted to touch up keylines, should I do that after he has sanded it down the first time, or after he has shot the first light layer of HIS clear? =\

#1727 5 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

If I wanted to get a syringe and fill these inserts in, is it "safe" to mix up just enough to do that in a cup and do it in say my living room or not?

NOT.

Respirator, and outside the house!

Quoted from Frax:

Also, if I wanted to touch up keylines, should I do that after he has sanded it down the first time, or after he has shot the first light layer of HIS clear? =\

Ask your guy how he wants it done.

#1728 5 years ago

I'm okay getting a respirator and doing it like out in our carport or whatever. It's not like dust is going to get under there. I guess I could have mentioned that part. It's just really friggin cold outside so I don't think it will cure up right.

How he wants it done...um...honestly, he doesn't want to deal with paint at all. He probably just wants to do his thing and be done with it. For what I'll be paying, I'd still rather have it done than not. I have an offer for him but I have to deal with the ghosted inserts first and foremost.

#1729 5 years ago

Me again with the ID4 field.. is it safe to warm up the inserts and push them in with a clamp etc. Im worried the old glue will get ruined if I do that.. I can always add some extra on the back but.. I dont want to remove the inserts completely cause I dont want to crack the good side of the art (even if I cut the outlines with an exacto). The art in these spots aint the best for trying to recreate either.

#1730 5 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

How he wants it done...um...honestly, he doesn't want to deal with paint at all. He probably just wants to do his thing and be done with it.

If he does not care, then paint the keylines first.

#1731 5 years ago
Quoted from TheRingMaster:

Me again with the ID4 field.. is it safe to warm up the inserts and push them in with a clamp etc. Im worried the old glue will get ruined if I do that..

Usually the old glue is kind of elastic and freely moves when warmed.

Directions are at the beginning of this thread.

#1732 5 years ago

Allright, thanks! Lets hope the old glue will hold up good together with some new on the back.

#1733 5 years ago

Hey Vid, started this thread. Would love your assessment on how best to tackle this: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-causes-this-type-of-insert-wear#postbox. Added the photo below is you'd rather keep response here.

IMG_3238.JPG

#1735 5 years ago

Hey Vid!

Thanks so much for your past help. I'm the guy a page or so back that had his auto painter clear my Dr. Dude and fisheyed the living hell out of it.

You had said to knock it down quite a bit. While I'm not sure how flat it should be it's way smoother than it was before. I started with 400 then went to 800, then 1000. See attached pics. It's much smoother than the pictures let on, but I'm not sure how much lower I can go without more casualties. As you can see I took out insert paint on the "2" and the Dude-o-Meter already.

How far down do I need to go before attempting another clear? Common sense tells me it would need to be completely 'de-glossed' like it had to be before it was cleared. But you said it wasn't necessary to knock it all the way back to the starting point. Thanks for the guidance!

IMG_20150116_224845.jpg IMG_20150116_224753.jpg IMG_20150116_224805.jpg IMG_20150116_224831.jpg
#1736 5 years ago
Quoted from mrgregb123:

How far down do I need to go before attempting another clear?

That's more than far enough.

Degloss those pits with some soft, used emery cloth and your finger, touch up the paint sand through, and shoot a good layer of clear.

This time have him first shoot under the apron. If the clear goes crazy, don't go further!

#1737 5 years ago

Have a TZ with some insert wear, what's the best way to repair this? Thanks

image.jpg image-670.jpg
#1739 5 years ago

Thx. Don't mean to oversimplify, but is that all that really needs to be done, somehow gluing it back down? What about where there is just a hairline separation or small cracks, like in the 2 and 4 million inserts? Doesn't the black outline need to be repainted?

#1740 5 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

Thx. Don't mean to oversimplify, but is that all that really needs to be done, somehow gluing it back down? What about where there is just a hairline separation or small cracks, like in the 2 and 4 million inserts? Doesn't the black outline need to be repainted?

Repaint it and clear the playfield.

#1741 5 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

What about where there is just a hairline separation or small cracks, like in the 2 and 4 million inserts?

Fill in crack with 2PAC, lightly sand, repaint black keyline, clearcoat.

#1742 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That's more than far enough.
Degloss those pits with some soft, used emery cloth and your finger, touch up the paint sand through, and shoot a good layer of clear.
This time have him first shoot under the apron. If the clear goes crazy, don't go further!

Since some of the inserts, especially the "2" now have virtually no clearcoat on them and your guide says not to apply waterslides without a clear layer under it, is there another way to prep the inserts without shooting them with clear?

That "2" might be tricky to paint so I'm leaning toward a decal. I do not have a hand scanner available but I do have all sorts of photography equipment and Photoshop skills....is there a recommended way to grab the artwork from the playfield without a scanner (using a high-res camera)? Also, and this applies to all decals, how do you size it in Photoshop so it's the right size when printed? Is it just guess and check or is there a strategy? Thanks!

#1743 5 years ago
Quoted from mrgregb123:

Also, and this applies to all decals, how do you size it in Photoshop so it's the right size when printed?

It's WAY easier to scan, because then the image is the correct size from the getgo.

But if you are taking a pic, make sure there is a ruler in the photo so you can scale the image in PS.

#1744 5 years ago
Quoted from mrgregb123:

Since some of the inserts, especially the "2" now have virtually no clearcoat on them and your guide says not to apply waterslides without a clear layer under it, is there another way to prep the inserts without shooting them with clear?

There is no shortcut to doing decals correctly. It is best to have the same clearcoat above and below the decal.

#1745 5 years ago

So then repainting it would be a better bet? I assume that would cause fewer issues, if any, down the road w/o an underlying clearcoat then just adhering a waterslide to a sanded but uncleared insert?

#1746 5 years ago
Quoted from mrgregb123:

So then repainting it would be a better bet? I assume that would cause fewer issues, if any, down the road w/o an underlying clearcoat then just adhering a waterslide to a sanded but uncleared insert?

Yes, paint has less potential pitfalls compared to decals.

#1747 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

That's more than far enough.
Degloss those pits with some soft, used emery cloth and your finger

There are literally thousands of tiny pits across the game. This photo shows just a tiny section with probably a hundred of them. There's just no practical way to degloss them all. Is this absolutely necessary? If he reclears it as is, is it going to be a mess?

IMG_20150122_205447.jpg
#1748 4 years ago

I just worry that too much time has passed for the clear to bond with the orig layer, so you need some tooth for the new clear to hang onto.

You sure don't want the clear lifting from all those craters when a ball hits them.

#1749 4 years ago

Maybe you should try sanding with something that's going to be flexible enough to go inside the holes... Some kind of brush, or some light sandblasting maybe?

#1750 4 years ago

You would know better than me but aren't the pits the part that the clear didn't stick to? So would it still be in prepped condition in those pits?

A brush would be a more efficient way of doing it, but I don't have any idea what kind of brush would be abrasive enough to de-gloss while also being careful to not scratch away paint. Ideas?

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