Cabinet Prepping – Sanding & Painting

In Asteroids

Final coat of paint after sanding

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This game differs greatly from my Asteroids Deluxe restoration in that someone started sanding over the old artwork. Well, I heat gunned that shit off. However, sanding over the old stuff would have worked just fine I think, it was fairly smooth when I bought it. I couldn’t get all of the old vinyl off because it was sanded so thin it wouldn’t want to peel off. Now, some of this came off when I was sanding it down after heat gunning it, but some of it remained. In the end, it came out very smooth.

For a base coat I used Kilz white primer oil base, and a top coat of latex matte black paint.

Two coats of primer, Two coats of paint.

I made a noob mistake on the first coat of primer and put it on way too thick. I had to really sand this down with some rough grit. It was worth it.

In the end the vinyl artwork went on smooth and flat, despite some air bubbles that occurred. I will say I do not like vinyl artwork with that protective layer crap on top. It made it a bit more rigid and difficult to know that bubbles were forming. I did not get a single bubble on the Asteroids Deluxe artwork from Pheonix Arcade. Also, there’s a noticable difference in the black from the printed artwork and the surrounding area. The printed black is glossy and the outside is matte. Not a huge deal, but noticeable nonetheless.

The primer took a good while to dry. The first coat I left on for about a day. The second coat I let dry for about two days because I couldn’t get to it right away. The top coat paint dried very quickly, but I still let it dry overnight before sanding.

In the end it was worth the work, I had the smooth finish needed to get the flat surface desired for the side art.

Kilz Exterior/Interior Oil Based Primer
Behr Interior Flat Black (home depot)

Diablo 60 grit
Warroir 150 Grit
Mirka 220 Discs
Mirka 320 Discs
Mirka 400 Discs

All sanding was done with a 5″ variable orbital sander:

  • 150 grit initial sanding
  • 220 grit sanding
  • 320 grit sanding
  • Primer Coat
  • 60 grit sanding
  • 150 grit sanding
  • 220 grit sanding
  • 320 grit sanding
  • Primer Coat
  • 220 grit sanding
  • 320 grit sanding
  • 400 grit sanding
  • Black latex paint coat
  • 220 grit sanding
  • 320 grit sanding
  • 400 grit sanding
  • Black latex paint coat
  • 220 grit sanding
  • 320 grit sanding
  • 400 grit sanding

Sanding process using the orbiter used 2 discs per side, moving left-right. Halfway down, mid control-panel, I switched a new disc on, moving fairly slow on the primer passes and first layer of top coat paint. Once I hit the bottom, I made my way back up, sanding in between the edges of the previous pass. I just kept the same disc on for this upward pass. The final pass, I moved a bit quicker. For the back/middle part, one disc was enough. I did run along the sides of the very top and back before doing left-right to ensure I got the edges.

Be sure to wear a face mask while sanding!

I can’t stress this enough. I did not wear one during one pass with the paint and I felt the caked up muck in my nose for a few days afterwards. Yes, I was a mouth breather for those days. I can only imagine what that did to my lungs. I placed a fan behind the cabinet to blow out of the garage so none of this crap would get into the ventilation system of the house (yes, the idiot who designed this house placed the heater/AC unit in the damn garage).

I did try using a 2000 grit wet sanding pass, but it didn’t seem to make a huge difference with this matte paint.


Gotta give a big thanks to John’s Arcade and his Journey videos. He lets the camera roll to capture everything, helping immensely on filling in the mystery stuff that a noob like me wanted more info on. Be sure to check out the videos in his Journey series for all the wood working, painting and sanding goodness!