How to go about repainting this cabinet

Evan

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I recently picked up this cabinet which was a tekken 2 convert of a mortal kombat cab. It’s in pretty decent shape and the monitor is in great shape, however some of the paint is pretty beat up especially on the front. I’ll just repaint it black but I was wondering what’s the best way to go about doing this.
 

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Neo Alec

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Sand, prime, and use latex-based paint. The sanding is just to make it rough so the primer has something to stick to.

 

Neo Alec

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I can't remember. Something not very fine grain. It doesn't really matter, since all you're doing is making it a little rough for the primer.

I guess I'm assuming your black portion is laminate like on my MVS:
 

Evan

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Using sandpaper and it’s definitely a mortal kombat.
 

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wyo

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Can't you just peel off the decals on the sides?
 

Neo Alec

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Can't you just peel off the decals on the sides?
Yeah, if you can easily then go for it before sanding/painting.

Evan, I didn't know you were going to paint the whole side. Aren't you going to buy some side art?
 

Evan

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Yeah, if you can easily then go for it before sanding/painting.

Evan, I didn't know you were going to paint the whole side. Aren't you going to buy some side art?
I’m not sure I want to. Is there any place good to get replacement art for a mortal kombat cabinet?
 

Neo Alec

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I’m not sure I want to. Is there any place good to get replacement art for a mortal kombat cabinet?
 

mr_b

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Bring it back to life. Dont just repaint it black again that is lame.
 

Evan

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Bring it back to life. Dont just repaint it black again that is lame.
Yeah, I’ve ordered a replacement set of vinyls and decals from mk arcade restore, as that included a marquee and control panel overlay. When I get them I’ll have to figure out how to cut it properly.
 
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mr_b

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Good man! Post your progress. It will be a bitch to get it all smooth with no bubbles. But go slow and have someone there with you when you apply it.
 

Evan

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Good man! Post your progress. It will be a bitch to get it all smooth with no bubbles. But go slow and have someone there with you when you apply it.
By the way, what tool should I use to smooth it to get rid of all the bubbles?
 

Hawwa

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I've applied smaller ones between me an the wife (the patience on this lady) and going slowly you should have no big problems.

Professionals use a mixture of water and soap they spray before applying the vinyl, that way they can easily position it and get rid of the bubbles and they just let the soapy water dry out once done, either naturally or with a hair dryer (careful with this, you can seriously damage the vinyl if you apply heat to it).

Anyhow, if you go the pro route I would strongly suggest you make some testing beforehand.
 

Neo Alec

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I've only applied a vinyl once, and I had a shitload of bubbles. We used a wallpaper smoothing tool to push most of them out. Be prepared to pop some with a small pin hole if they won't come out. Fortunately it's not very noticeable when it's done.

I wouldn't use water. Use clamps to hold in place as you peel the paper away to apply the sticky side. Good luck.

 

BanishingFlatsAC

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Lots of bad advice here. If you wanted to keep it Mortal Kombat, you should have tried to remove the paint. It’s very easy to remove the paint from decals and I’d say 75% of the time the side art is in decent shape underneath.

Since that isn’t an option, your stuck doing a full side art job now. Remove the decal, sand, fix the imperfections with bondo, sand again, paint with oil based paint applied with a rubber roller and then apply the art. Your time spent on prepping the surface will shine through on your finished product, so don’t half ass it. If you bought cheap shit art, chances are it’s just printed on regular vinyl and you’re going to need to use rapidtack and a squeegee. If you sprung for higher end stuff, then it’s probably 3m vinyl that’s microperfed with air egress holes. It’s a breeze to apply these, just take it slow and don’t use rapidtack. For the love of god, don’t use soap and water…that’s for metal surfaces.

Remove the t moulding, lay the machine on it’s side and position the art where you want it with the backing on. Painters tape the art on the ends and straight across the middle width wise. Leave it for about 20 minutes to let it flatten and then start at the top. Remove the tape holding the top down and pull the art down to that midway tape line. Carefully remove the backing at the tape line and start from there slowly applying the vinyl to the cab. If you didn’t get quality art, here’s where the rapidtack comes into play. Apply the art slowly in a rolling motion. Squeegee the bubbles and or rapidtack as you go and make sure you keep the art straight while expelling the liquid. When done with the side remove the middle tape holding the art and repeat the process with the bottom half. Let it sit again for 20 minutes, double check bubbles. If you had to go the liquid route, then you can use a sewing needle to pop and squeegee bubbles but ymmv. Trim and put on new t moulding. Done.

I’ve done a dozen or so cabinets like this and the only issue I had was when I went cheap and the side art had shit adhesive. You get what you pay for with these sellers.

Good luck!
 

Neo Alec

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Lots of bad advice here. If you wanted to keep it Mortal Kombat, you should have tried to remove the paint. It’s very easy to remove the paint from decals and I’d say 75% of the time the side art is in decent shape underneath.
He didn't say what he was doing at first. All he did was post pictures of black stuff he wanted to paint. I agree with you.
 

BanishingFlatsAC

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He didn't say what he was doing at first. All he did was post pictures of black stuff he wanted to paint. I agree with you.
In the very first post he has pictures of the cabinet and you can see the damn Midway logo. If he was just going to repaint it, why tell him to waste his time sanding it? You have to remove the vinyl to get it smooth. If you don’t care about the texture just roll latex over it and walk away.
 

radiantsvgun

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MK is a classic USA cabinet. Follow @DecepticonZero 's advice since he has worked and restored these Midway cabinets and brought them back to factory. Do not skimp, go cheap or half-ass this project. Midway MK cabinets are iconic for a lot of people my age; they deserve a proper restore.
 

Hawwa

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Lots of bad advice here. If you wanted to keep it Mortal Kombat, you should have tried to remove the paint. It’s very easy to remove the paint from decals and I’d say 75% of the time the side art is in decent shape underneath.

Since that isn’t an option, your stuck doing a full side art job now. Remove the decal, sand, fix the imperfections with bondo, sand again, paint with oil based paint applied with a rubber roller and then apply the art. Your time spent on prepping the surface will shine through on your finished product, so don’t half ass it. If you bought cheap shit art, chances are it’s just printed on regular vinyl and you’re going to need to use rapidtack and a squeegee. If you sprung for higher end stuff, then it’s probably 3m vinyl that’s microperfed with air egress holes. It’s a breeze to apply these, just take it slow and don’t use rapidtack. For the love of god, don’t use soap and water…that’s for metal surfaces.

Remove the t moulding, lay the machine on it’s side and position the art where you want it with the backing on. Painters tape the art on the ends and straight across the middle width wise. Leave it for about 20 minutes to let it flatten and then start at the top. Remove the tape holding the top down and pull the art down to that midway tape line. Carefully remove the backing at the tape line and start from there slowly applying the vinyl to the cab. If you didn’t get quality art, here’s where the rapidtack comes into play. Apply the art slowly in a rolling motion. Squeegee the bubbles and or rapidtack as you go and make sure you keep the art straight while expelling the liquid. When done with the side remove the middle tape holding the art and repeat the process with the bottom half. Let it sit again for 20 minutes, double check bubbles. If you had to go the liquid route, then you can use a sewing needle to pop and squeegee bubbles but ymmv. Trim and put on new t moulding. Done.

I’ve done a dozen or so cabinets like this and the only issue I had was when I went cheap and the side art had shit adhesive. You get what you pay for with these sellers.

Good luck!

Why only for metal surfaces? Not saying it's not correct, just wanting to learn here.
 

BanishingFlatsAC

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Why only for metal surfaces? Not saying it's not correct, just wanting to learn here.
Water will absorb into the wood and dry faster. You have to work quick and of course you run the risk of ruining the cabinet itself if the surface was prepped poorly or the cabinet is mdf. Rapidtack doesn’t absorb like water but instead floats the vinyl over the wood. This will allow you to take your time and thus give you less air bubbles. Now if this is a candy or a vehicle, sure water and soap all day. Would I recommend that to a beginner….nope.

Also, @Evan , I took a few minutes to research that seller of the MK art. It’s for sure not 3m product, so you’re gonna be in for a struggle. Also being a conversion of a Midway cabinet you’re going to want to take stock of what you need and buy it. Like other models of Midway cabinet, the control panel is in layers. Plexi, on top of metal, on top of wood. Typically when a. Op coverts they ditch the metal panel and drill a new plexi straight to the wood. The art for MK mounts directly to the metal panel, so if that’s missing you’re not gonna have any panel art. I can’t tell from your pictures if anything is missing or not. You’ll also need 30 ft or so of red, not bright red, t moulding. Lastly, the marquee in that package is just printed on vinyl, so while you should be able to use it if it has the factory marquee mount, the light is not going to shine through it.
 

Hawwa

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Ok, so not only metal, just any non porous surface (I've seen the same technique applied to glass). Didn't know about the rapidtack option.
 

BanishingFlatsAC

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Water will absorb into the wood. You have to work quick and of course you run the risk of ruining the cabinet itself if the surface was prepped poorly or the cabinet is mdf. Rapidtack doesn’t absorb like water but instead floats the vinyl over the wood. This will allow you to take your time and thus give you less air bubbles. Now if this is a candy or a vehicle, sure water and soap all day. Would I recommend that to a beginner….nope.

Also, @Evan , I took a few minutes to research that seller of the MK art. It’s for sure not 3m product, so you’re gonna be in for a struggle. Also being a conversion of a Midway cabinet you’re going to want to take stock of what you need and buy it. Like other models of Midway cabinet, the control panel is in layers. Plexi, on top of metal, on top of wood. Typically when a. Op coverts they ditch the metal panel and drill a new plexi straight to the wood. The art for MK mounts directly to the metal panel, so if that’s missing you’re not gonna have any panel art. I can’t tell from your pictures if anything is missing or not. You’ll also need 30 ft or so of red, not bright red, t moulding. Lastly, the marquee in that package is just printed on vinyl, so while you should be able to use it if it has the factory marquee mount, the light is not going to shine through it.
Ok, so not only metal, just any non porous surface (I've seen the same technique applied to glass). Didn't know about the rapidtack option.
Yeah, I’m partial to metal candy cabinets so it was a slip of the tongue. Plastic, metal, glass, etc are fine with soap and water.
 

Evan

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Water will absorb into the wood and dry faster. You have to work quick and of course you run the risk of ruining the cabinet itself if the surface was prepped poorly or the cabinet is mdf. Rapidtack doesn’t absorb like water but instead floats the vinyl over the wood. This will allow you to take your time and thus give you less air bubbles. Now if this is a candy or a vehicle, sure water and soap all day. Would I recommend that to a beginner….nope.

Also, @Evan , I took a few minutes to research that seller of the MK art. It’s for sure not 3m product, so you’re gonna be in for a struggle. Also being a conversion of a Midway cabinet you’re going to want to take stock of what you need and buy it. Like other models of Midway cabinet, the control panel is in layers. Plexi, on top of metal, on top of wood. Typically when a. Op coverts they ditch the metal panel and drill a new plexi straight to the wood. The art for MK mounts directly to the metal panel, so if that’s missing you’re not gonna have any panel art. I can’t tell from your pictures if anything is missing or not. You’ll also need 30 ft or so of red, not bright red, t moulding. Lastly, the marquee in that package is just printed on vinyl, so while you should be able to use it if it has the factory marquee mount, the light is not going to shine through it.
Thank you for all the advice. I'm not at the location where I keep this cabinet very frequently (only there around once every month for a few days) so this will end up being a very long term project. I'll definitely take into account what I need to get before I start applying everything. I'll keep this updated as time goes on.
 

Evan

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Water will absorb into the wood and dry faster. You have to work quick and of course you run the risk of ruining the cabinet itself if the surface was prepped poorly or the cabinet is mdf. Rapidtack doesn’t absorb like water but instead floats the vinyl over the wood. This will allow you to take your time and thus give you less air bubbles. Now if this is a candy or a vehicle, sure water and soap all day. Would I recommend that to a beginner….nope.

Also, @Evan , I took a few minutes to research that seller of the MK art. It’s for sure not 3m product, so you’re gonna be in for a struggle. Also being a conversion of a Midway cabinet you’re going to want to take stock of what you need and buy it. Like other models of Midway cabinet, the control panel is in layers. Plexi, on top of metal, on top of wood. Typically when a. Op coverts they ditch the metal panel and drill a new plexi straight to the wood. The art for MK mounts directly to the metal panel, so if that’s missing you’re not gonna have any panel art. I can’t tell from your pictures if anything is missing or not. You’ll also need 30 ft or so of red, not bright red, t moulding. Lastly, the marquee in that package is just printed on vinyl, so while you should be able to use it if it has the factory marquee mount, the light is not going to shine through it.
Also, it does still have the metal panel, whoever converted this was very lazy, the art is still underneath. Should I just peel off the rest of the art, then when I get the control panel replacement directly apply it?
 

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