(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration


By vid1900

7 years ago



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#3351 3 years ago

Hi Vid!

I had a case where a few inserts on Champions Pub were damaged while removing mylar. It looked really good when I filled them with 2pac, I put a clamp and next morning results wasnt as good as I expected. I tried adding some clear with very little success. How would you fix this and can it be done without stripping and clearing whole playfield?

WP_20160617_09_42_22_Pro_(resized).jpg
IMG_0106_(resized).jpg

#3352 3 years ago

Just sanded the old paint off today. Do I have any options for getting the wood a single shade before the clearing/overlay/clearing happens?

It wouldn't be the end of the world if I couldn't do anything, but I know there will be areas where the edges will show.

image_(resized).jpeg

#3353 3 years ago

In spraying all the grey for my Taxi's road, I realized that I'd masked an area of the road I didn't mean to. Now that it's dried, there's a hard line where the masking was. I've tried various methods of smoothing out the straight line between the old coat and the new, but it still shows up.

Do you have any handy tips or tricks for something like this, or I do just need to decide between living with it and re-doing the whole top half of the playfield (since there aren't any hard borders I can run up against)?

#3354 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

In spraying all the grey for my Taxi's road, I realized that I'd masked an area of the road I didn't mean to. Now that it's dried, there's a hard line where the masking was. I've tried various methods of smoothing out the straight line between the old coat and the new, but it still shows up.
Do you have any handy tips or tricks for something like this, or I do just need to decide between living with it and re-doing the whole top half of the playfield (since there aren't any hard borders I can run up against)?

I am no Vid, but would love to see image of it?

#3355 3 years ago

There's not much to see anymore. I think I've done the best I can with it. The best way to visualize it is almost like a flat sheet of paper with a score mark on it. I got the tip of my finger slightly wet and tried to smooth the line between the two coats, but then it got a bit runny, so I had to blot it. That caused the dimples from the paper towel I used to show up in the paint. It's kind of in an out-of-the-way place, and it doesn't look terrible, but if there's a way to make the two separate coats look smoother together, then I'd love to try it. Otherwise, I'll just call it a lesson learned and move on. I'm sure there are going to be way more oddities about this job that I'll be annoyed with.

#3356 3 years ago

Vid, I think I may have done something wrong a year or so ago when I last sanded this thing after putting a thin layer of clear. Maybe I didn't sand enough of it off, or maybe I sanded too much. In any case, some of the blue Oramask I used during the spray looks like it's pulled some of that old clear coat up. It's not that big a deal - I can do some sanding in the areas that will be visible where the clear has flaked off, with the thought that the new layers of clear will spray fine on top of it. But I'm worried that the paint I've laid down might be sitting on unstable clear coat.

IMG_3147_(resized).JPG
IMG_3148_(resized).JPG
IMG_3151_(resized).JPG
IMG_3150_(resized).JPG

I wouldn't necessarily mind taking a bottle of 99% isopropyl to this thing to get all the paint off, giving it another good sanding with some fine grit and starting over from scratch if that's what it would take to make sure this thing is done right. What would you suggest I do from here?

#3357 3 years ago

Vid-
I'm wondering what this could be and how to fix it.
The clear just in front of these targets seems to be cracking underneath the top coat of clear.
The top still feels very smooth. Any suggestions?

image_(resized).jpeg

#3358 3 years ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Vid, As you can see, the shooter lane on this Getaway is pretty dirty, and a bit of the grain has lifted, making it pretty rough. The rest of the playfield is in great shape, but I need to address this area. If I sand using the dowel or pipe, can I re-clear using the SprayMax 2K? Or will that hold up for this purpose? I am going to try and get of the dirt out, but I am betting a lot of it is too deep.
Thanks

You can try sanding, but I think that dirt has gone too deep. You would sand off too much wood before you got to clean fibers.

Paint it, and then clear over it.

Because the shooter lane is not sanded dead flat, you could even put 2PAC on with a small brush, if you don't want to waste a whole can of Spraymax.

#3359 3 years ago
Quoted from Iizi:

I had a case where a few inserts on Champions Pub were damaged while removing mylar. It looked really good when I filled them with 2pac, I put a clamp and next morning results wasnt as good as I expected. I tried adding some clear with very little success. How would you fix this and can it be done without stripping and clearing whole playfield?

It's hard to tell what happened from that dark picture.

Am I seeing air bubbles??

Need better pics

#3360 3 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Do I have any options for getting the wood a single shade before the clearing/overlay/clearing happens?

You could stain it.

Start with the LIGHTEST SHADE, and build upon it until you get an even looking field.

You can even put it in an airbrush.

#3361 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

In spraying all the grey for my Taxi's road, I realized that I'd masked an area of the road I didn't mean to. Now that it's dried, there's a hard line where the masking was. I've tried various methods of smoothing out the straight line between the old coat and the new, but it still shows up.
Do you have any handy tips or tricks for something like this, or I do just need to decide between living with it and re-doing the whole top half of the playfield (since there aren't any hard borders I can run up against)?

The hard line is in the PAINT or in the CLEAR?

#3362 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Vid, I think I may have done something wrong a year or so ago when I last sanded this thing after putting a thin layer of clear. Maybe I didn't sand enough of it off, or maybe I sanded too much. In any case, some of the blue Oramask I used during the spray looks like it's pulled some of that old clear coat up. It's not that big a deal - I can do some sanding in the areas that will be visible where the clear has flaked off, with the thought that the new layers of clear will spray fine on top of it. But I'm worried that the paint I've laid down might be sitting on unstable clear coat.

It looks like it needed a better sanding job to give the clear some tooth.

I'd probably take a fresh Xacto and cut out the flaky stuff.

It's going to be a lot of boring work, so sit down and get comfortable.

Once the flakes are gone, sand the paint below with 600 to give tooth and slightly feather.

#3363 3 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

I'm wondering what this could be and how to fix it.
The clear just in front of these targets seems to be cracking underneath the top coat of clear.
The top still feels very smooth. Any suggestions?

Who did that clearcoat?

#3364 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It looks like it needed a better sanding job to give the clear some tooth.
I'd probably take a fresh Xacto and cut out the flaky stuff.
It's going to be a lot of boring work, so sit down and get comfortable.
Once the flakes are gone, sand the paint below with 600 to give tooth and slightly feather.

Here's a better picture of what's going on. I ran some 400 grit sandpaper over the spots where it looks like the Oramask pulled up some clear coat. I'm not sure if this is my clearcoat from last year, or the factory's clear coat (assuming they did one).

IMG_3153_(resized).JPG

If it's my layer of clear that's not fully adhered, you're saying that I need to pick my way through anywhere it's flaking, and keep picking until it stops coming up? What about areas that don't look like they're flaking? Should I assume they're OK?

#3365 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

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

I've been slowly reading through this thread from the beginning, and saw this caution. I used to work professionally in animation as a cel painter (inking drawings onto acetate and then painting them). We would use cotton gloves to prevent transfer of oils to the surface of the art. The gloves are cheap and can be washed over and over again. We cut the tips off of some of the fingers and thumb so that we could maintain a good grip on the tools we were using. I haven't done any playfield restoration yet, so I'm not sure if they would be as useful for this work, but thought you might find them helpful.

http://www.cartooncolor.com/1-doz-pairs-cotton-inking-gloves/

#3366 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You can try sanding, but I think that dirt has gone too deep. You would sand off too much wood before you got to clean fibers.
Paint it, and then clear over it.
Because the shooter lane is not sanded dead flat, you could even put 2PAC on with a small brush, if you don't want to waste a whole can of Spraymax.

Appreciate the advice, I never considered painting the lane. I am assuming the createx colors would work? I have a very nice red I bought for another project, which woukd also look good here.

#3367 3 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

Vid-
I'm wondering what this could be and how to fix it.
The clear just in front of these targets seems to be cracking underneath the top coat of clear.
The top still feels very smooth. Any suggestions?

This happened to me in front of the kickout on my Jet Spin - when the ball hits the targets it jumps up slightly and hits the playfield with force, causing that damage. I don't know how to fix it, but I put a patch of Mylar over that spot to stop further damage.

#3368 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You could stain it.
Start with the LIGHTEST SHADE, and build upon it until you get an even looking field.
You can even put it in an airbrush.

Appreciated it.

#3369 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Who did that clearcoat?

I did.

Quoted from TopMoose:

when the ball hits the targets it jumps up slightly and hits the playfield with force

This is what's happening. I was thinking to do the same thing with the mylar, but I want to see if there is a fix for the clear.
I was thinking the only way would be to sand down to the defect, eye dropper in more clear, sand, buff, then mylar.

#3370 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Here's a better picture of what's going on. I ran some 400 grit sandpaper over the spots where it looks like the Oramask pulled up some clear coat. I'm not sure if this is my clearcoat from last year, or the factory's clear coat (assuming they did one).

That is not factory clearcoat because it's a sys11 (before Diamondplate).

Quoted from UvulaBob:

If it's my layer of clear that's not fully adhered, you're saying that I need to pick my way through anywhere it's flaking, and keep picking until it stops coming up? What about areas that don't look like they're flaking? Should I assume they're OK?

Yes, cut/sand back until you reach solid material.

Sand your slots and holes before you clearcoat, to give extra tooth to the clear.

Slots and holes can retain wax or silicones to give you further headaches.

#3371 3 years ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Appreciate the advice, I never considered painting the lane. I am assuming the createx colors would work? I have a very nice red I bought for another project, which woukd also look good here.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/vids-guide-to-ultimate-playfield-restoration/page/18#post-1730160

#3372 3 years ago
Quoted from brenna98:

I was thinking the only way would be to sand down to the defect, eye dropper in more clear, sand, buff, then mylar.

It looks like the clear is not adhering well in that spot. Maybe years of silicone had soaked into the bare wood in that high wear area.

Sanding back, or drilling tiny holes with an Xacto and filling might be the only solution.

I'd make sure there are foam backers behind those targets to absorb as much energy as possible.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/replacing-stand-up-target-faces-vids-guide

#3373 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Yes, cut/sand back until you reach solid material.

If I keep picking at it with an X-Acto blade, it keeps coming up. I could theoretically spend the next 20 hours picking this stuff off of the entire playfield. Would it be this easy to pick off if I had done a better job of clearing it in the first place?

I guess what I'm wondering is: how much work am I going to have to put in before this thing is ready for me to airbrush on again? The Oramask I was using tends to pull up the clearcoat, which I guess means I need to use Frisket and hand-trace everything. I really don't want to have to spend tens of hours picking clearcoat off the playfield by hand beforehand if I don't need to.

#3374 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Would it be this easy to pick off if I had done a better job of clearing it in the first place?

You would not be able to pick off any pieces, if the clear was chemically or physically bonded to the playfield.

Quoted from UvulaBob:

I guess what I'm wondering is: how much work am I going to have to put in before this thing is ready for me to airbrush on again?

Impossible to say.

#3375 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

The Oramask I was using tends to pull up the clearcoat, which I guess means I need to use Frisket and hand-trace everything.

The clear looks so poorly bonded that even Frisket would probably pull it off.

#3376 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

You would not be able to pick off any pieces if the clear was chemically or physically bonded to the playfield.

Impossible to say.

If I put these two together, it sounds like I need to go over the whole playfield with an X-Acto knife, picking away at the loosely-bonded clear until it's all gone.

57457139_(resized).jpg

#3377 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

If I put these two together, it sounds like I need to go over the whole playfield with an X-Acto knife, picking away at the loosely-bonded clear until it's all gone.

Any clear that is not bonded to the playfield might well come back and bite you in the ass.

There is no easy fix that I know of.

#3378 3 years ago

The first time I tried frisket (on a cabinet) it pulled off a whole layer on me. Try sticking frisket down over and over and let it do the work. In my case it worked great, completely removed the offending layer.

#3379 3 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

The first time I tried frisket (on a cabinet) it pulled off a whole layer on me. Try sticking frisket down over and over and let it do the work. In my case it worked great, completely removed the offending layer.

On playfields with flaky paint, I'll usually shoot a layer of clear just to hold everything together before I start frisketing.

#3380 3 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

The first time I tried frisket (on a cabinet) it pulled off a whole layer on me. Try sticking frisket down over and over and let it do the work. In my case it worked great, completely removed the offending layer.

I considered this, but I figured it was pretty crazy. Maybe I'll give it a shot anyway. What's the worst that could happen? I ruin my playfield?

laugh-cry_(resized).jpg

#3381 3 years ago

I went to Blick, picked up a #2 knife and some #18 flat chisel blades and went to town on my playfield. I hit all the spots where the masking had pulled up clear, which was mostly the lower third of the playfield. There were three layers of difficulty in getting the clear up.

It either:

- Came up in sheets really easily, leaving little residue behind. This was definitely the least bonded part of the clear, and the part most likely to give me problems. When pulled up, it's almost like it was never there.

- Came up with a little more effort, leaving a glittery layer behind. This was likely clear that was a bit more bonded to the playfield, and probably wouldn't have given me problems in the future. I probably pulled up more of this than I should have. It tended to leave a hard line where the chiseling stopped, so now I have to go back over those with some fine grit sandpaper and smooth those lines out. If I'm not careful, I end up wearing through to the art, and that sucks. Good thing I'm re-painting 70 percent of the playfield.

- Didn't come up without some really hard shoving. Even I'm smart enough to know not to mess with this.

The end result is that I have a playfield with some high and low spots all throughout the lower third. I'm doing what I can to make sure the transitions between these spots is as smooth as possible, because I certainly don't think sanding all of the clear off the playfield is the best approach.

Vid, what's next? Should I throw down some clear to get everything as flat as possible before moving on to airbrushing? My gut tells me that's what I should do next. From there, I could proceed knowing that my clearcoat is a strongly bonded to the playfield as possible.

#3382 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Should I throw down some clear to get everything as flat as possible before moving on to airbrushing? My gut tells me that's what I should do next. From there, I could proceed knowing that my clearcoat is a strongly bonded to the playfield as possible.

I am not Vid.
But what I have learned the the hard way is that the surface should be flat before you airbrush. I had some uneven surfaces and airbrushed over that. The result was the it was very visible when painted.
So now I make all surfaces that I paint flat_ before masking and airbrushing. I don't know if this is what Vid does, it does not sound like it as he only sprays a coat to lock fibers? and not to make it flat?

#3383 3 years ago

Thanks Vid....if I can get mine to look anywhere close to what you posted, I am going to be a very happy camper. Very nice work, and as always, I appreciate the advice.

#3384 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

The end result is that I have a playfield with some high and low spots all throughout the lower third. I'm doing what I can to make sure the transitions between these spots is as smooth as possible, because I certainly don't think sanding all of the clear off the playfield is the best approach.

Feather off the edges a bit, so you don't have any hard lines, and don't worry too much about it.

The final coats of clear will level everything out.

#3385 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's hard to tell what happened from that dark picture.
Am I seeing air bubbles??
Need better pics

Yes, it seems there is air mixed with clear.

IMG_0114_(resized).jpg

#3386 3 years ago
Quoted from Iizi:

Yes, it seems there is air mixed with clear.

When you clamped it, did you use a rubber block to distribute the pressure?

You can use an Xacto knife to open up each bubble and inject some more clear.

#3387 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

When you clamped it, did you use a rubber block to distribute the pressure?
You can use an Xacto knife to open up each bubble and inject some more clear.

Yes, first time softer block and second time harder, same results.

I also tried injecting more clear, but that didnt work. I thougt this would be pretty straightforward job, but it seems that clear shrunk too much while hardening. I live in Finland and I dont have access to exact brands you recommended.

I think I'll have to scrape clear off, apply new graphics, fix the yellow surrounding and clear whole playfield.

#3388 3 years ago
Quoted from Iizi:

I think I'll have to scrape clear off, apply new graphics, fix the yellow surrounding and clear whole playfield.

Just because you have nothing to lose, try **surgically** cutting around the insert text, and the black keyline around the insert with an Xacto blade, and leaving the text behind.

#3389 3 years ago

Hi Vid, I am working on a 1954 Williams Spitfire! At some point it seems like someone sprayed a solvent on the playfield that partly dissolved the lacquer topcoat. It is all bumpy/splotchy and I think it has to be removed (there is also a massive amount of grunge embedded in it). It looks normal under the apron but bad on the playfield itself. Otherwise this playfield is in nice shape.

Is 90% isopropyl alcohol + cloth a safe way to remove it without affecting the underlying artwork?

Assuming I get the topcoat removed, are the next steps:

- level inserts
- lightly sand 600 grit
- naphtha
- clear coat (SprayMax 2K for me)

#3390 3 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Hi Vid, I am working on a 1954 Williams Spitfire! At some point it seems like someone sprayed a solvent on the playfield that partly dissolved the lacquer topcoat. It is all bumpy/splotchy and I think it has to be removed (there is also a massive amount of grunge embedded in it). It looks normal under the apron but bad on the playfield itself. Otherwise this playfield is in nice shape.
Is 90% isopropyl alcohol + cloth a safe way to remove it without affecting the underlying artwork?
Assuming I get the topcoat removed, are the next steps:
- level inserts
- lightly sand 600 grit
- naphtha
- clear coat (SprayMax 2K for me)

Let's see some CLEAR pictures of what you have.

#3391 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Let's see some CLEAR pictures of what you have.

Hope these give some idea of the playfield condition -- the mottled/bumpy surface the exposed areas of the playfield has.

It's more like a spray effect on the lower playfield and rougher on the upper.

Purple oval is where I tried some IPA and a cloth.

IMG_2377_(resized).JPGIMG_2375_(resized).JPGIMG_2378_(resized).JPG

#3392 3 years ago

Vid, what's the best way to clean the glass Pyrex measuring cup I use for mixing my clear? I gave it a good scrub down with some lacquer thinner and a rough sponge, and rinsed it heavily with water. Is that good enough, or is there a chance some lacquer thinner could be left over to contaminate my next mix?

#3393 3 years ago

What type eye dropper is everyone using to transport the clear into inserts? I see several choices on Amazon.

#3394 3 years ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

What type eye dropper is everyone using to transport the clear into inserts? I see several choices on Amazon.

I got two for $3.50 at Walgreens.

#3395 3 years ago

Are they plastic, glass or the pipettes? I'm placing an order on Amazon for clear and want to include these.

#3396 3 years ago
Quoted from Silverstreak02:

Are they plastic, glass or the pipettes? I'm placing an order on Amazon for clear and want to include these.

Glass, with rubber bulbs - far less reactive and easier to clean than plastic.

#3397 3 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Hi Vid, I am working on a 1954 Williams Spitfire! At some point it seems like someone sprayed a solvent on the playfield that partly dissolved the lacquer topcoat. It is all bumpy/splotchy and I think it has to be removed (there is also a massive amount of grunge embedded in it). It looks normal under the apron but bad on the playfield itself. Otherwise this playfield is in nice shape.
Is 90% isopropyl alcohol + cloth a safe way to remove it without affecting the underlying artwork?
Assuming I get the topcoat removed, are the next steps:
- level inserts
- lightly sand 600 grit
- naphtha
- clear coat (SprayMax 2K for me)

Well I went ahead and removed the top coat with paper towels saturated in 95% isopropyl alcohol. I am pretty sure now that someone sprayed "extra" all over this playfield. When I removed some ball guides they appeared to have a coating on top but not underneath like something had been sprayed down on them.

There is some stubborn gunk that I was unable to remove with solvent (well except Goof Off which also readily removes ink so no good). I found that lightly going over with 600 grit sandpaper + alcohol was able to remove it. Magic eraser didn't work.

#3398 3 years ago
Quoted from TopMoose:

I got two for $3.50 at Walgreens.

I got the same and they did not seem to fully clean with mineral spirits. Next I will try these disposable ones amazon.com link »

#3399 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

I got the same and they did not seem to fully clean with mineral spirits. Next I will try these disposable ones amazon.com link ยป

Lacquer thinner worked pretty well for me.

#3400 3 years ago
Quoted from UvulaBob:

Vid, what's the best way to clean the glass Pyrex measuring cup I use for mixing my clear? I gave it a good scrub down with some lacquer thinner and a rough sponge, and rinsed it heavily with water. Is that good enough, or is there a chance some lacquer thinner could be left over to contaminate my next mix?

Lacquer Thinner works great.

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