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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage Hot

I'm always amazed when someone goes to the trouble of doing touch-up paint on a cabinet but doesn't properly prepare the surface (see Image 1).  No matter how well you match the paint and gloss, the repair will stand out like a sore thumb if you don't level and smooth the surface.

On the other hand, if you've ever tried to repair shallow cabinet damage (a divot) or scratches with wood putty it is not easy and requires fairly aggressive sanding.  Which of course we would prefer to avoid in order to preserve the surrounding area. 

Dolphin Glaze High Viscosity to the rescue (see the references for more applications and usage information).

The first step is to test for any ridges around the damaged area.  Think of it like a bomb going off in your back yard.  You'll have a big hole, but part of the dirt will form a ridge around the hole.

Using a plastic scraper, push it across the damaged area (in Image 2 I'm pushing from right to left).  If it catches then we need to remove any raised areas.

Image Gallery

Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage
Repairing Minor Cabinet Damage

Use the same pushing technique with a razor blade to remove the damage (in Image 3 I'm pushing from right to left).  The razor blade must span the damaged area or you will likely dig into the cabinet.  Also use very light downward pressure to avoid digging in.

For larger areas you can work around the edge with the razor blade, but be very careful and keep 80% of the blade on the un-damaged part of the cabinet.

Mix up your Dolphin Glaze and apply with a brush or small spatula.  Smooth the area using a plastic scraper or rubber squeegee (see Image 4).  If there''s any excess around the edges it can be removed, before drying, with alcohol.

Note: If you lay the cabinet so the damaged area is horizontal you can do this procedure with the standard Dolphin Glaze, which is auto-leveling.

Sand the area with some fine grit sandpaper and you're ready for painting.  In Image 5 you can see the area after sanding for a couple of minutes with 600 wet/dry sandpaper.

Although it looks like there are horizontal scratches in the finish, it's just the substrate showing through.  Trust me, with very little work, the area was as smooth as glass.  Although I did get a little carried away at the bottom and the blue is starting to show through.

No problem, I need to over-paint the area anyways.

Normally though (if you're paying attention, which obviously I wasn't) you can minimize any damage to surrounding areas (as you can see at the top of the patched area where I was paying attention). 

Because of the angle I was sanding at I should have applied some painters tape to protect the area below the patch.