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 Post subject: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Sun 22, 2021 2:52 am 
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Location: St. Louis, MO
I'm going through a Philco H765 and the black plastic cabinet was kind of scratched up. I decided to sand it an clearcoat it.

I sprayed it with clear gloss lacquer like I do for bakelites. Bad idea.

The plastic reacted and the surface acquired a fine grainy finish, like on a camera.

So I've had fun sanding the entire thing down to where I can try again.

What kind of plastic is that cabinet made of, and what paint can I use that won't cause that reaction? I just bought a can of Krylon ColorMaxx that's supposed to be safe on plastics, but I tested it on the inside of the cabinet and got the same result.

Thanks

Joe T.

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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Sun 22, 2021 1:18 pm 
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I think it's polystyrene. Not sure what paint to use, sorry.

Peter


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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Sun 22, 2021 1:35 pm 
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
Use an auto enamel primer (not lacquer) for a basecoat, then colour of choice (also enamel) over top of the primer. Lacquer is pretty aggressive for some plastics. Enamel is an easier spray from rattle cans and much less harsh.

.... just my experience ....


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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Mon 23, 2021 2:44 am 
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Thanks for the replies. Polystyrene makes sense, and there is a lot of information on the web about painting styrofoam.

I'll get some clear enamel and give that a whirl. I'll post what I find.

Joe T.

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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Mon 23, 2021 7:03 am 
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Shellac. I know this is my answer to everything, but it works because it used a different solvent than g your print does and will isolate the solvent from the plastic below.

Plus, you can quickly remove it cleanly of you don't like it


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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Wed 25, 2021 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
Peter wrote:
I think it's polystyrene. Not sure what paint to use, sorry.

Peter



If it is polystyrene, use Testors Gloss-Coat. It is specifically formulated for going on plastic models, which are also polystyrene.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Wed 25, 2021 7:24 pm 
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Brett - I had the same idea - model paint. I inadvertently inhaled a lot of model paint solvents when I was a kid and I think radio collecting is one of the long-term side effects. :D

Yesterday I was standing in the model aisle at Hobby Lobby and looked at exactly what you recommended:

Image

I saw the word "lacquer" and ran away. But it's not really lacquer. If you look at the MSDS on Testors' website - https://www.rustoleum.com/MSDS/ENGLISH/1261T.pdf - we learn a couple of things:

1. Testors is made by Rustoleum
2. It still has acetone in it.
3. It's designed for styrene models, so it should be OK. But I don't want to trash my cabinet again.

That's what's so maddening about this problem, but another member of the local radio club had a brilliant suggestion. Rather than spray the cabinet, test drive the paint on styrofoam cups.

I'll get a little can of the Glosscoat and try it out.

Joe T.

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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Aug Fri 27, 2021 12:37 am 
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Joined: Aug Wed 24, 2011 4:35 am
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Location: Sunnyvale CA
jtauser wrote:
Brett - I had the same idea - model paint. I inadvertently inhaled a lot of model paint solvents when I was a kid



Inadvertently, eh? Stick to that story.

I have had the same experience with model airplane dope, and not just as a kid - as recently as this last weekend. Didn't do me any harm, made me what I am today.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Clearcoat a 50's plastic Philco cabinet
PostPosted: Sep Mon 06, 2021 5:06 am 
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To test spray paint, shoot some in a cup, then brush it on, a bit under the chassis.
I've done this to mix 2 colors as well, such as needing to touch-up nicks or scratches with a tiny brush.

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