Monday, November 14, 2016

Pinball Update: My Paint is Running (out of time)

I had high hopes that somewhere underneath this awful paint job the original Full House artwork was waiting to see daylight.

I tried using a weak, organic chemical stripper to remove just the green sky and the blue stars. Sadly, the original design had been erased by sand paper.

Luckily, I found some of the original paint color under the legs.

The rest of the machine was a blank slate.

I asked the members of for pictures of the original artwork that were straight-on and level. A gentleman in Carrol, Iowa answered the call. Here are his pictures.

Daphne helped me pick out the paint colors, and a buddy who is good with the Illustrator program helped me make the stencils. 

Step one is to paint the base color. I think you want to cover lighter colors with darker ones, so I started with a layer of white.

When pinball manufacturers sprayed the base coat, they used a paint technique to cover mistakes in the paint and/or the wood. Gottlieb used a webbing style that's hard to replicate. Williams machines like Full House featured a "splatter" technique that isn't as tricky to copy. I used this brush to recreate the splatter look.

It's hard to see with the flash, but you can get the idea.

The green paint was next. I covered the bottom of my paper stencil with Elmers Multi-Purpose spray adhesive. The adhesive kept the stencil from moving when the green spray paint was applied, but it's not strong enough to remove paint when it's peeled off. That's the theory, anyway.

After three coats of green, it was time to hold my breath and remove the first stencil.

Hey! That doesn't look too bad. The red stencil was next after a couple of days of drying time.

That actually looks like a pinball graphic. Cool! I repeated the process for the other side, and then it was time for the "frame" on the front. I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the backglass, and taped it into backglass's spot.

What you can't see is that I had taped off the white section and covered the rest of the backbox with newspaper. I then sprayed the black paint. In a rush to check my progress, I forgot to take a picture that newspaper mess.

 Here's the backbox with the glass in place.

I couldn't resist the temptation to attach the backbox and play a few games.

Now I have to tackle the bottom cabinet. I emptied it last night. There's a lot of real estate to paint, so we'll see how that goes. I really should remove the metal siderails, but I'm afraid I'll damage them. I'll do my best to keep them free of paint.

My biggest challenge is going to be getting this painted before the temperatures drop below 50 degrees.  I have to paint in garage, and when it gets too cold, I'll have to call it quits and wait until spring.

We'll see. I've got two daddy-daughter nights this week, but I might be able to squeeze in a few minutes each night.

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