First time arcade restoration - remove veneer or paint over?

I was given a DataEast cab for free that is in pretty decent shape but is ugly as hell. It has horrible maroon veneer over the sides with bare formica underneath. Do I keep the veneer on and just sand it down and paint, or do I strip it off? If I do strip it off, can formica be sanded down to be smooth and look like a new cab or will it always look rough textured and shitty?

If the maroon veneer is coming off, strip it and paint over the laminate. Prime with Zinsser BIN. Best primer I’ve ever used. From there, just prime, sand, prime, sand etc until it’s smooth.

ya, there’s no reason to keep that vaneer, if you paint over it the paint will look horrible.

I work in paint, and agree with NiteWalker. Strip off all the veneer. Never dealt with formica personally but if it cannot be sanded smooth, you can use a hi- hide primer which creates a thicker coat on the object being painted and hides surface imperfections. One thing to watch out for with BIN is that it is shellac based and is quite expensive now, and depending on what kind of paint you wish to finish the cabinet off with, it may not adhere to the BIN primer.
Zinsser is a great company though, and you can use the 123+ primer (latex) and you can use any paint to finish the cabinet. Or also Hi-hide (oil) and use another oil paint (rustoleum or Krylon) and give it a gloss look. Although i STRONGLY recommend using a varnish over the cabinet, preferably an exterior varnish as they are strong as hell and will handle wear and tear very well.

Hope this helps, if you have questions feel free to message me, or i might come back and check in the thread.

The shellac base of the BIN is what makes it such a great primer; it works great under most paints (I’m not aware of any it won’t work under). Also note that it’s dewaxed shellac base; that’s what makes it universally compatible with most finishes.

At my Lowe’s a quart is $13 and a gallon is $39.

I just finished up a custom poplar case with rustoleum gloss white enamel over BIN; I’ll be wiring it up tomorrow nite, so I’ll post some pics then (anniversary gift for my wife). The rustoleum is extremely durable once fully cured (~7 days). I’m not even bothering with a clear coat over it. It looks great.

So to the OP; I’d get some BIN, get some Rustoleum (you’ll probably need a gallon of each for an arcade cab), and handle it that way after stripping the veneer off.

Laminate can be painted over, it just needs to be scuffed up first.

Lowes ( :frowning: ) your my enemy Nite lol. But back to the talk i totally forgot BIN was dewaxed now, so you can totally go with that or the 123+. Which ever one floats your boat for the price, and for the finish stick with rustoleum as both I and Nite have mentioned.

Lol the home depot near me has it too, but lowe’s is closer.

Neither of them have the Zinsser SealCoat I like. Well, home depot has it but only in gallons. I want to make sure I build enough cases to go through a gallon before I commit ($40 a gallon). It’s pretty much identical to BIN, just no white pigment. I had to order that from woodcraft.

o thought you worked there haha. I work retail right now ( college kid stuff) but been working with and around paint since i was 16. Now i just sell it to go along with the paint contractor side job to pay for school.

Well TC good luck with the cabinet nad post some pics when its done :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips. Rustoleum has many types, such as indoor/outdoor, marine, and enamel. Which should I get? Is the Rustoleum primer any good? If I use a semi-gloss, would I even need to apply a clear coat?

I use the plain white can Rustoleum. I haven’t tried any other primers since BIN. It works that good.
I did use a can of rustoleum 2x painter’s touch white primer and it worked out fine, but I still prefer the BIN. I can use it with my spray gun.

I don’t think you’d need a clearcoat with semi-gloss if using rustoleum. Later tonite I’ll have pics up of a stick I’m finishing up. You can get a good idea as to how it turns out.

Thats the enamel. I sat in the paint section for half an hour today trying to make up my mind. How much will i need? Two quarts? Whole gallon? Im using woven rollers.

I’d go with a gallon for a whole cab, but I’ve only painted small cases, so you may need less. Depends on how many coats you want to apply as well.

May be late, but unless the cabinet is freaking the biggest thing ever a gallon will be way more then enough.

Your standard quart of paint will do about 100ish square feet, while a gallon will shockingly (since its 4x bigger) do about 400ish square feet. So unless the cabinet is massive, a quart should be enough to cover, a second quart wouldn’t hurt and would allow you to do 2 coats on the cabinet.