(Topic ID: 33446)

Vid's Guide to Ultimate Playfield Restoration

By vid1900

7 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

142 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #7 Playfield damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #8 Insert damage assessment. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #34 How to sand your new inserts flat. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #35 Cleaning old glue out of the insert holes. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #38 Prime the insert with 3M Plastic Primer before gluing. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #60 Repairing Insert Ghosting - fill, clean, remove bubbles, cover. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #61 Repairing Insert Ghosting - clamp overnight. Posted by vid1900 (7 years ago)

Post #76 Source for needles - https://www.dispensinglink.com/needles.html Posted by rancegt (7 years ago)

Post #84 Air brush information. Posted by vid1900 (6 years ago)

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#2376 4 years ago

Attempting my first pinball restoration. Been going through the full 40 something pages of this post and wow, the wealth of information is simply overwhelming. Would not have atempted without it. Thanks for sharing all this Vid!

The machine is an old 70 Bally which saw some better times and was probably maintained on location just enough to keep it going. Spent a few weekends fixing the electromech and had it going 100% a few weeks ago. Then we played it and now finally decided to strip the playfield to tackle a restauration.
My intent is to fully clear coat the PF for good play purpose. Certainly not expecting a perfect restauration. But I'm picky so I'll put the effort to get it best as a novice can.

So here is where I stand and here are a few problem areas I'd like some advice on how to deal with.

The is the stripped playfield, partially cleaned top section. You can see the demarcation line between the pop bumpers above which I have done my first pass of cleaning. The paint in that area, apart for the worn and discolored spots, is in good shape.


Next are a few areas where the paint is not in such good shape. I'd like to get some advice on how to deal with this. I haven't done any cleaning there yet other than lightly swipe with a dry paint brush to remove loose dirt. As you can see, this took off some flakes in some areas.






I'm guessing the flaking paint needs to be removed completly. Just the cleaning with ME and alcohol will likely remove some. Them maybe a light sanding to feather the edges, then clearcoat and on with paint restauration?
Just not sure how hard to push the flaking paint removal or if I should do it at all. Should I be aggressive or should I just leave the flakes that don't come off with ME?

The big ugly blue mylars have to go. I was planing on freezing them but on the last few pages of the guide there is a quick comment by Vid about how its better to use heat on some older PFs. Would it be the case here?

For all the other worn spots it will be a long tedious frisket, paint and decal job I guess. Looking forward to that! Any advice welcome.

#2382 4 years ago

Well I guess somebody had to make that call. Basically stop dicking around trying to make spot repairs, bite the bullet, ME over the whole PF. Don't hold back, whatever goes goes. Sand unpainted wood, then go for major repaint followed with good decal job. With the required clear coats in between.
Can live with that.
Will keep you posted with my progress as I go if there is interest. Not sure this thread is the best place to post this kind of info though. Will look around to see if there is a better place. Maybe a new thread.
Vid, thanks for the making the call on this one. Guess this novice restorer just needed that nudge in that direction.
As for your Playfield Restauration Guide well, it's awesome. 'Nuf said. Off to work.

#2391 4 years ago

On the topic of side rails. Once your PF is all cleared, and you need to reinstall the side rails which are Brad nailed from below how do you proceed without damaging the clear at the point were the nail will come through it?

#2399 4 years ago

Was on the prowl this past week searching for some 2PAC.

Turns out PPG’s Omni MC161 (aka Shopline JC660), which is Vid's recommendation of choice for novices clearcoaters, is no longer available in Canada since 2010 because of its VOC levels.

Vendor’s suggestion for a similarly priced and packaged product from the same family is PPG’s Omni MC262.

Spec sheet for both those products availble here under 'clearcoat'

Putting both above spec sheets side-by-side I do see some minor differences. However, I’m not sure how those would affect application.

Vendor also offered PPG’s Envirobase EC800 as a product offered in quart packaging.
But it's an entirely different family of product and is quite pricy at about 3 to 4x the cost of the two above.


Has anyone had experience with any of those alternative products.
All you Canadian restorers, what clear have you been using that you feel works for a novice clearcoater?

2 weeks later
#2471 4 years ago

Hello Vid,

I believe my PF is now, as clean as it will get.
I've ME the whole surface to get the loose flakes of paint off.
In a few spots, I've ME a bit to much. But i wanted to reveal the original color for my color matching.
I've also scanned the whole thing.


I've managed to get rid of the ball track to my satisfaction.
Still shows a wee bit in certain spots when wiped with Naphtha but acceptable to me.

And the shooter late is also fair.

I'm still debating if I will or not try to stain or shellac the wooden areas from which i have scraped off all of the old varnish.
Top, bottom and slingshots.
I cant really find shellac flakes. I might just leave as is.
Bugs me that there are a few area in upper PF with non-scraped varnish.
Color is different. May just decide to scrape these also.
Wood stain may be an option. Varnish is completely gone, so it would hold.
Would it look good under the clear?






I've even started preparing my masks for the cabinet artwork.
But that's a topic for another post.


Other than the above, here is what i think are my next steps:

-Drill out stripped screw holes, fill with epoxy and top with bondo.
-Fix larger divots with bondo.
-Sand Bondo flush.
-Scuff cupped inserts and small divots and fill with 2PAC.
-Lightly scuff PF with 800 grit to give the first coat some grip. (Scary! Is this correct?)
-Once dry, lightly scuff filled inserts and small divots with 600-800 grit also to give some grip.
-Mask holes and slots in PF.
-Bag and protect PF underside mech.
-Final wipe with naphtha and swipe with tack cloth (At local shop just before clearing).
-1st light coat of clear (At local paint shop).
-Pick up from shop (will likely be more than 24hrs later) and light sand the clear with 600 grit to flatten PF and to reveal dips.
-Scuff dips with 220 or 320 and eyedrop 2pac.
-Let dry (24hrs plus ?) and sand flat with 600
-Mask and paint.
-2nd coat clear (At local paint shop).

Does that sequence make sense?
I'm also not to certain on the grits to use in the various steps.
Maybe you can comment on that also.

Ill be using Onmi 262 as Omni 161 is apparently not avail in Canada because of VOC content legislation.
Any experience with that one?


#2486 4 years ago


Tried out the clear I just bought (Omni 262). Did the filling of cupped insert thing. Just want to report that I am amazed with the results. Up to now, it hadn't even occurred to me that my red inserts were clear (the yellowish ones are not). Just assumed that they were more or less opaque. Just barely translucent enough to illuminate when the light shun through them from underneath.
Here is a pic of one of the inserts before:


And here it is after scraping of the varnish, sanding and filling with clear:


That's my finger showing thru the insert!

Anyway, probably just run-of-the-mill result for you pros but quite cool for me.
Got me quite excited for the rest of the job.

I do have a question thought. Its now been about 3-4 days since i filled the inserts. The PF has been sitting indoors at a normal humidity and room temperature. It's dry and certainly no longer tacky. However it still seems soft. When I lightly press my fingernail into it, it leaves a mark that with time eventually disappears.

Can I expect this to harden more? Is this caused by the fact that this is a relatively thick layer of clear just taking its time to set?

I know i got my mix right because i used a graduated eye dropper to mix it since I needed very little. (4 for this clear).

#2488 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

But you can sand it flush and start on all your other touch ups, it just won't be hard enough to polish.

Can I do my first thin coat of clear over those inserts right now? Or will that prevent the clear on the inserts from drying properly?

1 week later
#2533 4 years ago
Quoted from hisokajp:

Yes, I wish I had the space and installation to do PF clearcoat... maybe some day!

This is the little paint booth i built in my garage. Footprint is 6' x 8'.



The exhaust duct stretches out about 10' beyond the garage door into the driveway.

I run my air thru this condensing coil to remove all moisture. The coil is immersed in the blue drum full of cold water.


There is a drain valve that you can't see at the bottom of the coil.

Now if I could just have the skill to shoot a nice even coat of clear....

2 weeks later
#2593 4 years ago

See Saw PF is slowly moving forward. Gathered all my courage and finally gave it a first coat of clear.


First time using a paint gun of any sort ... ever. Far from perfect with some light orange peeling and what I believe is a not so thin "thin coat" . But I'm happy with my first attempt nevertheless. Also happy to report that my small paint boot setup in my garage (see post previous page) worked perfectly. The extraction fan worked great and the only place you could smell paint was in the booth. No paint smell in the garage at all ☺.

I decided to sand down the pf with a dry wall sanding block. Used 400, then 320, finally pulled out the heavy artillery and used 220... Yeah I know, kind of went the wrong way but the finer grit wasn't removing anything significant. There were a lot of low spots mainly caused by all the missing paint (worn or flaked off) so I figured this sanding would help reduce these low spots.

Then gave have it a second coat. Same results (light orange peeling and maybe a bit thick) but the low spots improved a bit. Some of the shallower ones have disappeared and the crease around the inserts starting to fill up.


One thing I've learned regarding filling recessed inserts with clear is that next time, I will make sure the dropped clear spills over onto the PF a bit to avoid this crease around the insert.

So now I'm about to give the PF a second sanding and my question is this:

Should I give it a vigorous sanding and then a third coat to further reduce those low spots or should I give it a light sanding and start masking and painting and keep the filling of the low spots for the final coats? A third option may also be to give it a vigorous sanding (220) and work my way up to a fine sanding (400 or 600) and start painting. The finer sanding would be to prevent paint from seeping under the frisket. Not sure if this is really an issue or not.
If I decide to clear again, this coming weekend may be the last before it gets too cold.

#2595 4 years ago

I decided to go to full repaint because the PF was in pretty bad condition to start with. A lot of worn spots, flaked paint, planking and a lot of annoying pin holes in the top coat especially in the lower PF. Those pin holes exposed the base white coat and sometimes the wood base and were an eye sore.
You can see them a lot in the dark blues area. Cant see them as much in the red and yellow on this picture, but if you zoom in you'll see that they are there.


Touch ups would have been quite exhaustive in my opinion and I don't yet trust my color mixing and matching abilities. I am afraid i may have ended up with a spotted PF.

So with a little encouragement from the people on this post I decided to go for the full repaint.
The art on this PF being mostly straight lines and solid colors also made itself quite suitable for this kind of restoration.

#2596 4 years ago

I just happened to stumble on this website a few days ago:


Its a series of pics of the very same PF (See Saw) I am working on being fully repainted.
Pretty interesting and certainly a superb job.
Hope mine will be be half as good as that!

I notice that they made some stencils for their lettering rather than use waterslide decals.

// Error: Image 473676 not found //

I've been thinking of ways to do that and I'm looking for some info on that.
I have a method of cutting the letters in stencil paper (laser cutter) but the holes come loose (like the inside of an "O" for example) and I have to manually center it. Not good.
I would welcome any suggestions on how to do that?


1 week later
#2615 4 years ago

So I'm now ready to start masking and frisketing. My question is in regards to the keyline between solid colors. Should I mask to the edge of the first solid color, say yellow, and paint the yellow then mask to the edge of the second solid color, say blue, and paint the blue and finally mask to the edge of the yellow and to the edge of the blue leaving only the old keyline and paint the black?
Or should I simply mask to the center of the keyline and paint the yellow, covering half the old keyline, then mask the yellow and paint the blue thereby covering the second half of the keyline. Then finally mask on either side of where the blue and yellow meet and paint the black keyline?

The former method seems to me like it would require quite a bit of precision when masking or cutting as your cut would have to be right on the color's edge. The second method does nor require that precision as any imprecisions would be covered by the new keyline. However it may prove difficult to mask a constant width keyline as both your cut lines would have to be perfectly parallel when frisketing for it.

How is that normally done? What's the best method? To me the second one seems like the way to go.


#2617 4 years ago

Here is an interesting kelining detail between the red and the teal:


You'll notice there is no black keyline. Rather, there is a darker shade of red keyline. It looks like a transparent red was used and was made to overlap the teal color.

Two approaches to recreating this.
Base coat with white. Paint the teal then use a transparent red and paint the red while overlapping the teal.
Or simply paint the red and the teal with regular opaque colors and then mix a darker shade of opaque red and apply it as a regular keyline.
I've also seen a case where that detail was dropped entirely and replaced with a black keyline.

Suggestions on the right way to proceed here?

#2619 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Mask up to the edge of the insert and then make a brand new keyline with a decal.

That's how I'll do the keyline around the insert. Thanks.
But I'm still unsure on how to approach the straight keyline between the blue and the yellow. How would you tackle that in terms of masking?

#2621 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I'd repaint the teal and then make the red kiss with no overlap into the teal field.
It will look cleaner, and will be closer to what the artist intended.

Vid, have a look at the attached pic.


This overlap is generalized at every location where red and teal kiss. No exception.

If you also look at places were other graphics are superimposed on the red/teal kiss, or where other colors borderthe red, there doesn't seem to be any overlap there while there is still a red/teal overlap.


Looking at some other see saw PFs, I see the same overlap. I'm thinking this is likely not an registration error.

Assuming one would want to keep it that way any suggestions on how to approach this?

1 week later
#2665 4 years ago

Anybody out there have a Canadian source for water slide decal paper. Shipping fees to Ottawa are hovering around $70 for a $23 pack at decalpaper.com.

1 month later
#2815 3 years ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

I watched a video on applying Createx and the speaker said the paint is fragile, shows fingerprints etc. and recommended putting a protective clear on immediately after a coat to avoid messing up existing coats with masks and so on.
In your experience with properly heat cured Createx is this a concern? Can I safely apply frisket/mask on a previously painted layer or is it just asking for trouble.

In doing a complete repaint of my playfield, I have decided to clear and sand in between each color.
For more or less the same reasons you have described. This my first time restauring a PF with airbrush and createx paints, so as I get experience I may eventually skip some coats of clear. But for now, as a beginner, I find it easier to work this way. As an added bonus, I'm slowly filling all small pinholes and depressions in my playfield with each coat of clear.

1 month later
#2879 3 years ago

Any issues wet standing around thé openings? Any chances of water sleeping under the clear in those locations?

3 months later
#3317 3 years ago
Quoted from lb1:

More like 50ml.
20" by 42" by 0.004" is 3.3 or so cubic inches and 3.3 * 15 in ml.

With my HVLP gun set at 30psi, 1.3mm nozzle, I've been putting down very thin coats that are perfect for intermediate coats between each airbrush color. I've been using anywhere between 50ml and 70ml of clear depending on my skill for putting down a coat that day. My coats are not 0.004" thick however because of overspray. When my painting is done, I will likely use more than 70ml for my final coat in order to get that 0.004". I'm guessing 100ml.
I'm no professional paint sprayer by any stretch of the imagination, so your milage may vary.

3 weeks later
#3416 3 years ago

Back a few dozen posts, I started this full restauration on a Bally 1970 SeeSaw pf. Been progressing slowly and now colors are all redone except for the red.
Trying to mix this red using Createx paints. And not having success. I find that the Createx red that I use as the base has a definite pinkish hue to it while the red I am trying to match has more of a slightly orange hue. Added some yellow to pull it to orange but that doesn't help with the pinkish hue.


The bid blotch is the unmixed createx red while the 4 small blotches are red mixed with more and more yellow.

You can see this mix is not going anywhere. Any suggestions on how to mix this red?

Please note that the picture doesn't do the red justice. In reality, it is more ”orangeish”.
The red in the scans below are much more true to life.



#3419 3 years ago
Quoted from BlueBlood:

Would the premixed shellac play well with the 2-pac or do I have to use the shellac flakes mixed?

I used that same Zinsser shellac and then cleared it with 2pac and had no issues at all.

#3420 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Take the playfield up to the local hardware store and have them match it on the computer and get a quart of the highest quality paint (probably ~$13).

Would you choose a water based paint (latex), or an oil based paint? Or either? Or something else?

2 weeks later
#3452 3 years ago
Quoted from NotYorName:

But. The clear-coat recommended is not sold in Europe, due to the contents of toxins in the product.
I spoke to the Scandinavian HQ of PPG and this is their suggestion of the product to use as an alternative.
(To JC 661 and Omni 161)
D8122 Clear-coat
D897 Hardener
D8714 Thinner
Problem is, that 5 liters of this stuff will amount to 960 US dollars...
Is this suggestion from PPG the best (and only) alternative, or are there others just as good / better, cheaper alternatives..?

I had the same issue in Canada with MC161 being unavailable.

The lower VOC equivalent available is PPG’s Omni MC262. Hardener is MH267 if I remember correctly. It's sold in liter kit and price is reasonable.

Don't know if this will help for Europe.

2 months later
#3649 3 years ago

So all my decals are printed, cut and ready to apply on my fully refurbished and cleared See Saw PF.

IMG_20161015_223017 (resized).jpg

The clear coat has been sanded to 600 grit. It's definitely not shinny, actually it very mate but very smooth and uniform without a dimple in it. The end is close.

I've applied a few decals already as a test. The application when very well.

IMG_20161015_223132 (resized).jpg
IMG_20161015_223106 (resized).jpg

However, as can be seen on the pics, the clear border of the decal is clearly visible.
Of course, the sheen of the decal being different from that of the surrounding surface accentuates this border but on the head on picture where the difference in sheen is minimized, the border is still visible.
I don't think I should be alarmed about this as I believe i remember reading somewhere that this clear border will disappear when I clear coat over these decals.
But Im not quite certain.

I guess, I'm looking for some kind of confirmation that I'm good to go before proceeding further.
Hopefully, I dont have to trim the decals flush to the black text/keylines. I'll be at it forever.

Also for those round insert decals, I'm wondering if i should cut out the center?
Again I think not as this will make it difficult to apply and that center should fade into the clear but would like opinions.


#3652 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Decals stick best to shiny clear, and you need to trim them REALLY close to the ink.

All right, I'll get trimming then.

As for the shiny part, that's kind of a conundrum! Decals stick to shiny but the following coat of clear needs to be on sanded clear. So what would be the happy medium in terms of sanding grit that would work for both?

I tried to get the recommended decal paper but the shipping costs across the border are outrageous.
My local hobby shop store sells this one:


2 weeks later
#3687 3 years ago
Quoted from gregh:

...trick we use in the modeling world to eliminate silvering ("hazing" under the decal after being put on a rough or flat surface) is to put a little pool of future floor polish right under where the decal goes down...

Clarification on this. When you say a ”pool" under the decal, do you mean actually flood the spot where the decal goes with future, then slide the decal in place and then wipe off the excess or do you really just polish the area under the decal with future, wait for it to dry an slide the decal on?

Also, any silicone in Future? That would certainty not sit well with 2 part auto clear.

1 month later
#3816 3 years ago
Quoted from dkeruza:

I didn't know about this really nice machine.

The Silhouette is an awesome machine. Here is an example of what it can do. All those stencils for my SeeSaw were cut on one.
Courtesy of dr_nybble.

IMG_20161022_225933 (resized).jpg

#3818 3 years ago
Quoted from Nighthawk128:

Like adding toilet paper to razor cuts, Merry Christmas to you to! Leave playfied repairs to the pros, amatures ruin playfields that's a fact

Not sure what you're talking about....

IMG_20150913_184418 (resized).jpg

IMG_20161211_160949 (resized).jpg

If you don't understand what you're looking at, PM me. I'll be happy to explain.

Happy Holidays to you as well.

#3824 3 years ago
Quoted from BJM-Maxx:

... I assume you airbrushed the various numbers and letters, did you let them dry then pull the stencil or spray and pull right away? Curious what give the best result.

I did indeed airbrush with Createx Airbrush black.
Very very thin coats. Petty much a mist. 7 or 8 of them. And cure with hair dryer between each coats.
You really have to resist the urge to lay down thicker ones.
Those mist coats will build up to a full coverage eventually but you have to be patient.
That was my error earlier in this project. I would lay them down thicker, maybe just 2 or 3 coats. The paint would often peel off when removing the frisket.

IMG_20161023_195746 (resized).jpg

IMG_20161023_201410 (resized).jpg

Inspect between each coats and when happy with coverage, stop and final heat cure.

Peel stencil off and enjoy. Not once for any of the text did I have any paint peel off.

IMG_20161023_201428 (resized).jpg

#3825 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I've seen lots of big name, **pro** restorations that are terrible
Fred's work looks excellent to me.

Wow! Quite the compliment, thanks.
It's been a long process. Your post #2381 which I dubbed "10 steps to a perfect playfield" pretty much kicked it of!

Quoted from vid1900:

Here is what a pro would do:
1. Scan the entire playfield with a HP4600 scanner - so you have the art saved from the following destruction.
2. Sand out the shooter lane (paint if necessary), sand out the ball trail that leads up to the top arch (don't try to spot sand, sand all the wood to the edge of the graphics, sand the bare wood by the flippers up to the graphics, sand the two kick out saucers (wood filler and paint if necessary), sand in front of slingshots. Use some shellac to "stain" the wood back to a realistic color for it's age.
3. Clean the playfield with a Magic Eraser and 96% Iso Alcohol. Get rid of any loose paint that would blow off when you spray a coat of clear.
4. Fill in any cupped inserts or worn divots with 2PAC using an eyedropper.
5. Spray a thin coat of 2PAC over the entire playfield, now the existing paint is locked down and safe to frisket.
6. Sand the clear with 400 grit and now start masking all the colors. Do all the Blue first, then Red, then.....you get the ideas, darker colors first.
7. Seal all the paint under a thin layer of clear.
8. Apply water slide decals to replace all the lettering.
9. Clear over decals. Sand clear dead flat, and apply final layer of clear.
10. Buff to mirror shine.
11. Enjoy the nicest See Saw known to man.

Learned an incredible amount of skills doing this playfield restauration.

The cabinet restauration was also interesting.

20160916_224023-COLLAGE (resized).jpg

And now, I am finalizing everything on the electeomech side of things.

IMG_20160423_154357-COLLAGE (resized).jpg

Kids and wife can't wait to finally play the game after watching me tinker on this project for over a year now!

#3836 3 years ago
Quoted from Joey_N:

My dilemma is - how do I find the fonts that halfway match the original text? I've tried those find your font sites, and no luck. Should I just redraw the letters as I would an object? Thanks..

I could not find the exact font either and eventually did not want to anyways. On my '70s pf, the lettering was not crisp and perfectly defined to begin with. Probably because of the process used to apply the black ink. Slight bleeding of the ink and all.

10X (resized).jpg

I wanted to maintain that same look as crisp and perfectly formed letters would have looked awkward on that era machine.

So I retraced every single bit of text.

Used Gimp first to to create a b/w raster image such as the one above.
Then used inkscape to vectorize and create a svg file that was used on the silhouette to cut it.

Seems tedious and it was! Until I finally found the best tools from both those software that got the job done efficiently. These softwares have so many ways of doing the same thing, you have to find the right way. I can't recall which one I used just now but if you want, let me know and I can check my notes and document the details later.

1 month later
#4014 2 years ago
Quoted from Plumonium:

Hey Vid,
Naphtha seems not always available here in Canada. Any alternative?

I've been using this quite successfully:

0762086_1 (resized).jpg

Available at Canadian tire for 5 CAD.

Used about a bottle and a half to fully clean and refurbish a pretty grimy playfield.

6 months later
#4700 2 years ago
Quoted from tomds:

I know this has come up a few times, but I'm having real trouble removing the staple style rails in the playfield. [...] Any further advice would be much appreciated.

A little late answering this post but I had a few pics of how I proceed for mine.

IMG_20150913_205434 (resized).jpg

IMG_20150913_205746 (resized).jpg

Basically used a small pair of neddle nose pliers as a pry bar.
Levering against as thick as possible a piece of wood that I could slide under the rail.

1 month later
#4908 2 years ago
Quoted from Atari_Daze:

Vid, need some more advise for airbrushing, I can't figure out where I'm going wrong so the Createx doesn't peel. If you can take a peek at this post and let me know what I could be doing wrong / forgetting. Many, many thanks!

Well, I feel for you! I ran into the exact same problem on my first restauration. It took me quite some time to figure it all but for me the solution was really quite simple.
The problem was that I would put down 3 or 4 of what I beleived were thin coats. Every time I peeled the mask off, I would have some degree of paint peeling just like you do.

Eventually, went to thinner and thinner coats. With heat curing in between each. No exceptions. My coats are now so thin they are barely just a mist and I can sometimes barely see any color on the first coat. It now takes me 7-8 coats plus to get full coverage.
It's time consuming for sure but when I peel the mask, all is good.

The heat cures (with a hair dryer) take as much and sometimes more time than the coats of paint. I feel this is important and it works for me.

Here is an example.

Before 1st coat:

IMG_20161023_175007 (resized).jpg

2nd or 3rd coat:

IMG_20161023_195746 (resized).jpg

Last coat:
IMG_20161023_201410 (resized).jpg

Mask removal:

IMG_20161023_201428 (resized).jpg

Hope this helps.

3 months later
#5489 1 year ago

Have a completely depopulated Grand Prix pf. Only thing left to remove are the fin shank bolts for the pops and the flippers. Will be repainting and clearing this pf. Most bolts are well set and sit flush with the pf surface. However, a few were likely torqued too hard and their head has crushed through the veneer and is now sitting below the pf surface. Here is a picture showing both cases:

IMG_20180210_180717 (resized).jpg

1) for those are that are set properly, should I leave them as is and clear over them or should I remove them and reinstall after clearing?

2) for those that are sitting shy of the surface, I beleive I should remove them and remove any loose wood and veneer. I would then fill with Bondo, redrill, paint and clear. Is that the right way to proceed?

3) in regards to prepping the hole to receive the fin shank screw head, most references I see mention countersinking which produces a conical hole. However, the underside of these screws is flat. Should we not be counterboring instead which produces a flat bottom hole? And should the countersink/bore be done before or after clearing?

CountersinkVSConterbore (resized).JPG

#5490 1 year ago

Here is an other defect I need to fix.
Have a look at the vertical line on the following pics.

IMG_20180210_180821 (resized).jpg

IMG_20180210_180832 (resized).jpg

Seems to me like its the veneer that is split. Runs the whole lenght of the pf. As mentioned in my previous post, I'll be completely painting and clearing this pf. I don't think I should simply paint and clear over this split. Afraid the crack would eventually just propagate up through the new coatings. Veneer on either side of the crack could curl up or something.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

3 weeks later
#5575 1 year ago

Repairing my shooter lane. Bottom was badly chewed up. Sanded and filled. Avoided sanding the sides as much as possible. Trying to remove the least amount of wood possible. Picture shows where i stand right now.
20180306_080509-COLLAGE (resized).jpg .

Should i try to get better contact by building up the bottom and filling the gap or is this an acceptable fit and im just being picky?

1 month later
#5619 1 year ago
Quoted from jboner1058:

Hey Vid, when it’s time to repopulate, what do you start with? The things that need to be hammered in like the wire guides? Then maybe the wood rails and then the big mechs under the playfield?

That's an interesting question.
In my case for the top side, so far, i always took detailled notes when dismantling and i repopulated in the exact opposite order.

For the bottom side, dont think i will be able to do that. I stripped right down to the ground wires for the first time on this GP im working on. So although the staples holding down the ground wires are amongst the first things i pulled, they will never be the last thing i staple back down. It will be impossible to get in there even with a long nose stapler. In fact, I will likely have to desolder the sockets from the old wire, set them i place, staple the new ground wire in, install all the remaining mech and resolder the harness back on to the ground wire. Looks like its going to be a tedious job and require a lot of wire marking to make sure the right wire gets resoldered in the right spot.

Ill be curious to see how Vid or anybody else do it.

2 weeks later
#5692 1 year ago
Quoted from tomds:

Over the last few days I have spent hours masking off areas on a playfield and today I sprayed. I used createx paints and original low tack frisket. When I began removing the frisket it pulled up the edges of the painted areas making them look rubbish.
I even tried scoring the edges with an x-acto but it wasn’t much better. I have now removed all the paint for round 2. I really don’t want a round 3...
What have I done wrong here? Please help!

Vids suggestions are spot on.
Went thru the exact same problem.
Read my post #3824 in this topic for additional tips to solve your problem.
Worked for me. Never peeled paint after that.
Kind of like an epiffany.


It's all about being patient and putting down very thin coats.

#5733 1 year ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

Approximately how much liquid volume of clear do you normally apply per layer? I've been mixing a total of 5 fluid ounces and typically have just a tiny amount left in the gun after spraying.

I havent done a lot of clearing in my very short career (1 playfield....). But the one i did turned out great.
I have never mixed and sprayed more than 2-3 fl-oz in one session. Generally more like 2. And always gave it a week or two before next spraying session.

But a lot of sessions with sanding in between. Probably 8 or 10.

I am a BIG proponent of many very thin coats. Weather its clear or paint.
Works for me.

3 months later
#5929 1 year ago

Molotow paint markers.

00001IMG_00001_BURST20180731221206_COVER (resized).jpg

Opaque, deep black and compatible with clear.
Around the inserts where just a center line of black is missing, go free hand. On straight, i use a ruler. You can mask for other shapes.

7 months later
#6491 9 months ago
Quoted from ktownhero:

For those that use Createx paints, do you or have you ever used a base first prior to applying color? For example, let's say you have a blue color that you want to restore but the hue of the old paint varies due to variations in exposure (mylar). Would you just use Createx blue or would you consider doing a white or blue base first, and then the color?
Or are Createx opaques so pigment rich that the base doesn't matter?

Echoing both lb1 and polyacanthus comments. White under yellow only. And VERY thin coats only. With a blast of hairdryer heat set between each coat.

#6492 9 months ago
Quoted from Fred736:

Echoing both @lb1 and polyacanthus comments. White under yellow only. And VERY thin coats only. With a blast of hairdryer heat set between each coat.

#6494 9 months ago

No issues blending white into white. Just make sure you feather one section into the other.

Not sure why you would be working section by section though.
When doing this kind of work, 80% if the labor is masking.
So mask the whole pf but the white and spray the whole area at once.
Dont forget:. Many many many thin coats and heat set all of them. Be patient and dont get lax and start making your coats thicker.

By the way, white, i find, is the hardest color to use in an air brush. The pigments are quite big and make the paint quite thick compared to the other colors. This constantly clogs your nozzle not to mention that this acrilic paint dries up pretty fast on the needle not helping the clogging issues at all. If its the first time you use createx white, don't get discouraged with that. You'll be clearing you airbrush quite often.
If possible, start with another color to get some practice.
Or test on scrap. Black sprays nicely, you can try out with that one first.
IMG_20180923_193254 (resized).jpgIMG_20180923_220123 (resized).jpgIMG_20180924_200811 (resized).jpgIMG_20180917_213603 (resized).jpgIMG_20181012_214739 (resized).jpg

#6497 9 months ago

Right, good question. My experience is with Createx Airbrush Colors.
When i first started using these paints, I definitely had major issues with peeling. I corrected my technique with thinner coats and curing. Problem solved. But i cant really say which of my corrective actions really solved the problem. . I like to think its the combination of both...

1 month later
#6548 8 months ago
Quoted from pinheadpierre:

If you have access to a scanner and a vinyl cutter, making stencils for this kind of thing is fairly simple.

Yeah, and dont try to make a stencil for border only and then try to place the letter within that border.
Think of a regular font (in red) painted over its bold (in black) version.

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