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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#201 5 years ago

What a great guide vid1900, you are a huge asset to the pinball world! Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information with the rest of us. I only wish this guide was posted before I did my PF touch up using enamels, if I attempt the touch up again I will most certainly be using this guide as a reference!

#202 5 years ago

PLANKING REPAIR EXAMPLE:

Using Magic Eraser dampened with 99% isopropyl , I cleaned out all the planking (those little cracks in the clear/paint that run parallel to the length of the playfield). Under magnification the cracks looked clean, so I shot my first coat of clear to fill in the cracks and lock down the existing paint.

Many times, the planking fills with clear and no further painting is necessary. This was not one of those times.

The light color of the area (yellow) and the fact that this section is right under the player's nose meant that the planking stood out like a sore thumb.

Sorry about the blurry pic, I took a few shots for safety, but they all were out of focus...

PLANKING.jpg

#203 5 years ago

I color matched the paint by eye, put a drop down on the original yellow paint, dried it with a heat gun and then wiped over the area with Naphtha. My second try matched the color exactly; so I was ready to mask the area off.

Using Frisket, I masked over all the surrounding yellow. Don't try to "spot" repair, it will stand out if the two paints fade at a different rates in the future. Paint all the way to the edge of the art.

I used a Xacto knife and a metal straightedge to quickly cut out the masked areas.

There was no worry about the Frisket lifting the playfield paint upon removal because the playfield already had a layer of clear on it.

LIFTING.jpg

#204 5 years ago

Here I shot my first coat of yellow.

Because this is Createx opaque yellow, note how much coverage I got from a single coat. You would not see results like that with the cheap, $1 acrylic paint from the craft store, especially on a light color like yellow.

I set the paint with a heat gun and laid down a second, final coat.

Don't sit around waiting for cheap paint to dry. Always use paint that you can heat set. Your time is certainly worth more than a $1 bottle of paint.

THINCOATS.jpg

#205 5 years ago

After heat setting, I pulled the Frisket off.

I, of course, noted that there is an edge you can feel between the playfield and the new paint.

Using some 500 grit sandpaper, I gently knocked down the painted edges so the threshold was much smoother. This will make the next coat of clear "flow" over the edges rather than causing them to stand proud.

Because I used paint I could heat set, I had no worries about sanding 5 minute old paint. Again, you can't do that with the cheap stuff....

KNOCK-DOWN.jpg

#206 5 years ago

Great work - keep 'em coming Vid~!

1 week later
#207 5 years ago

What a gold mine of information. Thank you very much.

1 week later
#208 5 years ago

Thank you v1900 for the great information presented here! It really helps me understand the process in great detail.

#209 5 years ago
Quoted from Spybryon:

Thank you v1900 for the great information presented here! It really helps me understand the process in great detail.

It helps me realize that I only want to pay an expert to do it. Go Vid go!!

#210 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Usually I remove Mylar, Magic Eraser, and scrape paint off worn inserts .
Then I put down a light coat of clear.
This:
1. Locks down worn wood fibers, letting the paint adhere cleanly, without fuzz or texture.
2. Locks down existing paint - so masking tape and frisket don't lift paint and make more work for me.
3. Fills in planking and swirl. Sometimes the tiny cracks simply fill in and do not need further painting.
4. A new coat of clear highlights low spots that need to be brought up so the playfield is dead flat. A quick run of 220 grit sandpaper over the field will show much work needed. If you see shine, that spot is low!

Great guide Vid! I know that the water-based clear will yellow over time, but will it yellow if it's covered with automotive clear? Are they even compatible?

If someone didn't want to invest in the equipment needed to spray automotive clear, but wanted to lay down a light coat as per the above steps to do their touch-ups before they took it to someone to shoot the final clear, would that work?

#211 5 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

Great guide Vid! I know that the water-based clear will yellow over time, but will it yellow if it's covered with automotive clear? Are they even compatible?
If someone didn't want to invest in the equipment needed to spray automotive clear, but wanted to lay down a light coat as per the above steps to do their touch-ups before they took it to someone to shoot the final clear, would that work?

I dont think from what I have read that water based clears yellow. I too am interested in what one would shoot other than automotive clear.. I am looking to do it and have seen great results with Varithane and also Water based Polycrylic (which i have used on cabinets and is super clear and easy to work with)

Thanks again Vid for this awesome resource!

#212 5 years ago

I've been out of town, but the clear coating part of this is coming - sorry about the wait.

Water Based clear is nowhere near as clear as the auto stuff, nor is it as durable, nor are the colors as bright, nor can it be brought to as high of a shine.

Everyone (who does not have an auto refinishing background) starts by using the water based stuff, thinks that they have done amazing work, then one day *graduates* to 2 part iso clear and NEVER looks back.

There are a couple of places you will be using spot repairs with regular oil based polyurethane, as you will see soon in this guide.

#213 5 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

Great guide Vid! I know that the water-based clear will yellow over time, but will it yellow if it's covered with automotive clear? Are they even compatible?

I have covered other people's Water Based spot repairs with auto clear, and they are chemically compatible.

Who knows what those repairs will look like when they start to yellow over the years, though.

#214 5 years ago
Quoted from Dewey68:

If someone didn't want to invest in the equipment needed to spray automotive clear

The investment is quite small, as long as you can borrow someone's compressor. Way under $75.

You spend $150 on a plastic ramp, so by comparison, this stuff is cheap!

You'll need an air compressor with a bigger size tank, 30 gallons or larger (nobody ever complained they bought too large of a compressor). That's the High Volume part of High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP). If you are going to get a really big air compressor to use with air tools and the like (60-80-100 gallon), don't get a crappy aluminum head Husky or Craftsman. Get a real iron headed compressor (like a Saylor-Beall) used on Craigslist. It will outlast you and cost less than the Husky. The iron headed compressors can be completely rebuilt, unlike the aluminum.

You'll need a water separator:

http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-tool-accessories/12-standard-air-filter-68279.html

You'll need a moisture filter that installs at the gun:

http://www.harborfreight.com/disposable-inline-moisture-filter-68224.html

You'll need a regulator that installs at the gun (you don't want to keep walking back to the compressor):

http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-tool-accessories/125-psi-air-flow-regulator-with-gauge-68219.html

You'll need the HVLP gun:

http://widgets.harborfreight.com/wswidgets/common/displayCoupon.do?week=0813&campaign=b&page=coupon18.html&single=true&cust=77933728034&keycode=1012

-

Of course once you have a nice sized air compressor, you can wet sand pneumatically and get the playfield really flat.

#215 5 years ago

Dang.. just bought this compressor yesterday. Will this do the job just more slowly or MUST you get a large 30 gallon compressor?

amazon.com link »

Looking forward to the rest of the guide!

#216 5 years ago

Sorry Joe, that compressor only puts out 3.8 CFM (maybe) and you are going to need more.

The problem is that compressors overrate their output, and sprayguns underrate their air consumption.

If you were refinishing chairs, you would do a lot of start-stop spraying as you rotate the piece, so the compressor might have a little time to charge back up.

But a playfield requires you to do long, even shots as you flood and overlap the surface. You don't want to be caught waiting for the compressor to charge back up as your last pass starts to catalyze.

An experienced shooter can eek out a little more performance from a small compressor and an expensive gun, but that is not you (yet), so hit Craigslist and get a real compressor.

Just for a worst case scenario: figure that a HF cheap gun needs to run @ 6 CFM and 47 PSI to smoothly shoot Shopline JC 661 clear.

#217 5 years ago

I really like this compressor:

http://www.aircompressorsdirect.com/Industrial-Air-ILA1883054-Air-Compressor/p3703.html

Now I need to buy the water filters, etc. so I can use it for painting cabinets.

#218 5 years ago

Also, because this will now become an air compressor thread for the next page or so:

An Oil Less compressor sounds like a good thing ,but its not. They just don't last long and tend to be really noisy.

A regular compressor will need an oil change after so many hours, but will last 10x as long before a rebuild is necessary.

#219 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Sorry Joe, that compressor only puts out 3.8 CFM (maybe) and you are going to need more... figure that a HF cheap gun needs to run @ 6 CFM and 47 PSI to smoothly shoot Shopline JC 661 clear.

Thanks Vid. Could you recommend some examples on Amazon or HF? Not sure how to read the specs.. for instance:

amazon.com link »

This one does 5 CFM @ 90 PSI.. how would i know how the CFM translates at lower PSI? And the smaller tank would not keep up?

#220 5 years ago

When buying a used air compressor, first download the manual and find out how long it takes to recharge the tank from zero. Then look online for valve rebuild kits and don't buy a compressor that does not have them commonly available.

Drain the tank, then time how long the recharge takes. If it is within a minute or two of the manual, you are probably in good shape.

=

If you take the head off and run it for 5 minutes (I know what you are thinking, it won't hurt anything), you should not see a puddle of oil forming above the pistons. If you do, it needs new rings.

If it takes forever to recharge, and the rings are good, you probably need new valves. You can order a valve kit (for good compressors, probably not the Husky) or take it to any local compressor shop.

The shop won't want the whole thing, just bring them the head. They will put new valves in it and send you home with a new gasket to use when you put the head back on.

For home use, a real air compressor, rebuilt, with yearly oil changes and a belt every so often, will probably last 15 years before another rebuild is necessary.

#221 5 years ago

Was looking at the Createx website today. In their technical section under application guides they recommend not using heat to dry. In today's environment I'm guessing this is to cover their butts. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

#222 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The investment is quite small, as long as you can borrow someone's compressor. Way under $75.
You spend $150 on a plastic ramp, so by comparison, this stuff is cheap!
You'll need an air compressor with a bigger size tank, 30 gallons or larger (nobody ever complained they bought too large of a compressor). That's the High Volume part of High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP). If you are going to get a really big air compressor to use with air tools and the like (60-80-100 gallon), don't get a crappy aluminum head Husky or Craftsman. Get a real iron headed compressor (like a Saylor-Beall) used on Craigslist. It will outlast you and cost less than the Husky. The iron headed compressors can be completely rebuilt, unlike the aluminum.
You'll need a water separator:
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-tool-accessories/12-standard-air-filter-68279.html
You'll need a moisture filter that installs at the gun:
http://www.harborfreight.com/disposable-inline-moisture-filter-68224.html
You'll need a regulator that installs at the gun (you don't want to keep walking back to the compressor):
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-tool-accessories/125-psi-air-flow-regulator-with-gauge-68219.html
You'll need the HVLP gun:
http://widgets.harborfreight.com/wswidgets/common/displayCoupon.do?week=0813&campaign=b&page=coupon18.html&single=true&cust=77933728034&keycode=1012
-
Of course once you have a nice sized air compressor, you can wet sand pneumatically and get the playfield really flat.

actually, the most important part you need when spraying auto clear, is the paint suit, hood, and outside forced air. The health concerns are the biggest aspect of this and a large part of the cost. Air pump, lines, and what not. Very very important aspect as Autoclear is super dangerous. It will suck to anything wet, your lung walls, eye sockets you name it, so you need to be bundled up really good.

#223 5 years ago
Quoted from Kane:

Was looking at the Createx website today. In their technical section under application guides they recommend not using heat to dry. In today's environment I'm guessing this is to cover their butts. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

I always use heat to set the paint.

The video they have for their paints shows a guy using a heat press to set the paint too, LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rJgENdTcSys#!

#224 5 years ago
Quoted from JoeJet:

Thanks Vid. Could you recommend some examples on Amazon or HF? Not sure how to read the specs.. for instance:

The US General branded HF ones are actually made by ABAC/American, all the others are China AFAICT.

It's hard for me to make a recommendation as I don't know what else you are going to use the compressor for. Only HVLP, or air sander too, sand or soda blasting, or .....?

#225 5 years ago

The reason I picked up that small one was to use a HVLP gun to paint my Funhouse cabinet, do some misc bouse painting and one day mess around with trying to clearcoat a playfield. I really am tight for space so was looking for the smallest footprint compressor that would do those jobs plus maybe run some of your typical tools like a nail gun etc.

#226 5 years ago

I bought a huge air compressor because my grandpa had one when he was alive. Can't wait to start using it...

#227 5 years ago

You really will never run out of jobs an air compressor can help with. Everyone should have one

1 week later
-1
#228 5 years ago

I'm having a hard time finding the 3m plastic primer for reseating the inserts. Every place I found wants to sell me a case of 12 . Where can you find this stuff ? Is there another product that is comparable if I cannot locate the 3m brand?

#229 5 years ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

I'm having a hard time finding the 3m plastic primer for reseating the inserts.

Find the local plastic dealer that sells the bulletproof plastic to all the gas stations and pizza joints.

Many cities have the chain of "AIN" plastic stores.

#230 5 years ago

Vid, I'm seeing "adhesive promotion" sprays for sale at car parts stores. VHT has one that sprays on clear and looks to be aimed at rubber bumpers, plastic parts, etc. I may try one of these if I can find the 3M primer.

#231 5 years ago

I recently tried buying an HF compressor.

First tank had a hole in it that whistled like a tea kettle. I returned it the same day.

Second tank popped a hole on a weld spot the first time it was full and shot a piece of shrapnel into my drywall.

There was no third HF compressor.

#232 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadTower:

I recently tried buying an HF compressor.
First tank had a hole in it that whistled like a tea kettle. I returned it the same day.
Second tank popped a hole on a weld spot the first time it was full and shot a piece of shrapnel into my drywall.
There was no third HF compressor.

Yeah, my buddy returned 3 Husky in 3 weeks.

He finally bought a used Speedaire 80 gallon for $200 on CL. 20 years old and it will probably run another 20.

Look for Iron head, not aluminum. Look for USA made. Call for valve replacement part availability BEFORE you buy.

#233 5 years ago

Vid, I saw that you painted areas with old light bulbs in. is it possible to clear coat this way also?

#234 5 years ago
Quoted from tdiddy:

Vid, I saw that you painted areas with old light bulbs in. is it possible to clear coat this way also?

You sure can.

Many times you will have all the light sockets removed because they are corroded beyond repair, but for the times you don't, old lightbulbs are great fillers.

#235 5 years ago

Ok, so whats the trick to wet sand it with the sockets still attached to the playfield?

#236 5 years ago

Since wet sanding does not involve the massive amounts of air the HVLP and blow gun delivers, you can just use foam earplugs cut in half, or just foam balls from the craft shop.

If a foam ball escapes during clear coating, that can be a set back, as it leaves trash all over the playfield. If one escapes during wet sanding, no problem, just press it back in.

#237 5 years ago

I have several crack inserts on my Diner. Initially I was going to just replace them however I can't find every one I would need. Is there a recommended way to reinforce the cracked inserts to keep them from cracking further?

Also, I think I tracked down the 3M plastic primer.Is this what you use? http://www.generalrubberplastics.com/adhesives-sealants-and-accessories/accelerators-primers-and-activators/3m-trade-scotch-weld-trade-instant-adhesive-primer-ac77-2-fl-oz-59-1-ml-bottle.html

I was researching the best epoxy to use for a plastic to wood combination and came across this. Says it bonds to most plastics, composites, ceramics and wood in any combination. Any thoughts? amazon.com link »

Post edited by ArcadiusMaximus : Add to post.

1 week later
#238 5 years ago

Hey,

Simple question, and I apologize in advance if I overlooked it. If you're touching up a playfield and repainting an old section, what grit of sandpaper would you recommend such that the paint bites in a bit? I just knocked the clear back with something like 800 or 1000 so it wasn't glossy, but even after heat setting the Createx paints, I'm have paint peel up when I pull back my masking. Thanks in advance.

Luke

#239 5 years ago

I usually use 400 or 600.

Clean with Naphtha after sanding. Don't get oils from your hand on the clean surface.

Are you using Frisket or green painters tape as masking? If tape, it is old?

#240 5 years ago

Learning.....learning......learni.......FULL! Damn, reached my capacity for the day. Must find something to delete.

#241 5 years ago

Hey,

I've been using frisket on tight corners where I have to cut things due to the level of detail. For anything with longer gradual curves, I've been using 3M thin line tape (the blue stuff); I picked that up a couple of days ago, so unless the place I bought it doesn't turn over stock that often, I'd say it's relatively new.

I did the cleaning with Naptha; as I expected, I'm pretty sure I needed to drop down to a coarser grit of paper. Thanks for the advice!

Luke

#242 5 years ago

Grainger carries this 3M adhesive primer. Is this pretty much what you use? http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/3M-Elastomeric-Primer-2XLU5?Pid=search

#243 5 years ago

Vid, need your input, just cc my hs. And looks like the silk screen has separated from the pf because I put it in the sunlight for a few hrs. theres a couple bubbles. Im thinking if I clap it down and let the cc harded up over the nxt week I will beable to sand and reclear?

IMAG0149.jpg

#244 5 years ago

Hey anyone looking for the 3M Plastic adhesion promoter I found this: http://www.carid.com/install-marker/adhesion-promoter-36441.html . Its in a nice convenient pen form too .

#245 5 years ago

So my issuse is the second layer of cc separating from the first, I guess I need to sand this area off? And reclear? Our can I cut it out with an xacto knife, sand , reclear

#246 5 years ago
Quoted from tdiddy:

Vid, need your input, just cc my hs. And looks like the silk screen has separated from the pf because I put it in the sunlight for a few hrs. theres a couple bubbles. Im thinking if I clap it down and let the cc harded up over the nxt week I will beable to sand and reclear?

I'm not even sure what I am seeing in the picture.

Can you post some other pics from different angles?

Was there a sticker or overlay that lifted?

Thanks.

#247 5 years ago
Quoted from tdiddy:

So my issuse is the second layer of cc separating from the first, I guess I need to sand this area off? And reclear? Our can I cut it out with an xacto knife, sand , reclear

Cut with Xacto, carefully clean out hole (try to find what kept clear from adhering), scuff up bottom of hole with 400 grit - to give the clear some tooth, drip clear into hole to fill it.

#248 5 years ago
Quoted from ArcadiusMaximus:

Hey anyone looking for the 3M Plastic adhesion promoter I found this: http://www.carid.com/install-marker/adhesion-promoter-36441.html . Its in a nice convenient pen form too .

That does look very convenient!

I'm going to have to buy one.

#249 5 years ago

Speaking of plastic adhesion promoter -- does anyone know the type of plastic(s) used for playfield inserts? ABS maybe? It's helpful to know to match the best adhesive.

1 week later
#250 5 years ago
Quoted from selmo:

Speaking of plastic adhesion promoter -- does anyone know the type of plastic(s) used for playfield inserts? ABS maybe? It's helpful to know to match the best adhesive.

I believe they are either ABS or Polystyrene. I did a test with an abs/acrylic weld on old inserts and I was able to bond them together.

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