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Pinball Rehab

pinball repair and restoration

Repainting Cabinet Screens Repainting Cabinet Screens Hot

Nothing worse than a freshly painted cabinet or backbox with a dirty, oxidized screen (see Image 1).  The screens were originally zinc coated using a process called hot-dip galvanization.  It is possible to have them redone this way, but since most galvanizing shops charge by the bucket it's rather expensive if you only have a couple of pieces.

In the case of cabinet and backbox screens a good solution is to use a zinc-rich cold galvanizing compound (you can buy it in a spray can at Home Depot).  While you do get a patina with the hot-dip method the paint doesn't replicate, the holes in the screen hide any slight difference in appearance. 

The first step is to clean the screens.  While you can do this with a metal brush or sandpaper, it's a lot easier, because of their shape, to use a sandblaster (see Image 2).  I used a setup from Harbor Freight with 70 grit media.

In Image 3 you can see the screen after two coats of paint and in Image 4 you can see the re-installed screen.  The Rustoleum paint is a slightly darker shade of gray (as in too dark) than some other brands I've used.  Note: Some restorers prefer to use Aluminum paint, which turns out ighter shade.

Image Gallery

Repainting Cabinet Screens
Repainting Cabinet Screens
Repainting Cabinet Screens
Repainting Cabinet Screens