Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook) Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook) Hot

I recently did a cabinet touch-up on a Data East Hook pinball that required a different technique than I would normally use.  In Image 1 you can see a large black smear on the left side of the cabinet front.  The black area appears to be a manufacturing defect; either the black color ran or later colors weren't applied properly.

Since I needed to cover the black with yellow, which is absolutely the worst color as far as coverage, I decided to first paint the entire area yellow and then come back and redo the brown and black areas.  In Image 2 you can see my first few coats of yellow (I used Model Master Enamel, Yellow Insignia) and lightly sanded in-between coats with 400 grit sandpaper.

In Image 3 you can see what it looked like after a few more coats of yellow and some brown (Burnt Sienna Acrylic with thinner added to lighten the color).  At this point I needed to smooth out the yellow paint since I had applied it fairly thick in order to cover the black.  I used 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the paint and then finished with 600 grit.  Following is the best method I've found to sand small areas while minimizing damage to surrounding areas.

Cut off about 1/2 an inch from a 1/2 inch diameter dowel.  You can vary the dowel size based on the area you're sanding, but always cut off a short piece or you will get wobble while sanding.  Depending on the shape of the area you are sanding you could also use a small square piece of wood.

Next sand the cut end of the dowel with some 220 grit sandpaper until you have a smooth, flat surface.  Then cut a small square of sandpaper and glue it to the end of the dowel with Super Glue.  Once the glue is hard trim off the excess sandpaper with a pair of scissors.  As the sandpaper wears, which it will do fairly quickly, just glue more sandpaper on top of the used sandpaper. 

Image Gallery

Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)
Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)
Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)
Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)
Cabinet Touch-Up Paint (Hook)

Even using this technique you can see a couple of small areas where I sanded good paint in Image 4 (below the new yellow on the right side).  I just touched these up with a little yellow paint.  In Image 5 you can see the almost finished product with the black paint applied.  I used a fine black paint pen for the wider areas and black hobby paint with a very fine point artist brush for the thinner areas.

The last step was to apply a couple of coats of clear semi-gloss.  The yellow came out an almost perfect match and the brown was much closer than it appears in the photo.  (Addition: I later thinned the brown paint with more thinner and got an almost perfect match.  For some reason adding white paint didn't work well, it just created a gray/brown baby poop color.)