Author Topic: Telephone painting techniques/results  (Read 29536 times)

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Telephone painting techniques/results
« on: October 22, 2008, 12:24:07 AM »
I've been wanting to touch on this in the past. What technique, paint, and prep are you using for the job? I'm referring to metal body phones. I'd like to see what others are doing. Last, what are you gents using for paint protection on metal phones? I tend to use color correct wax when I can get it. Helps hide imperfection's and really brings out the gloss. Also, I've used Armor All in a pinch. Really shines up a black metal phone nicely.

EDIT: Plastic painting techniques are welcome.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 04:05:14 PM by BDM »

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3350
Re: Painting phones
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 12:32:40 AM »
I've only painted plastic phones.  First I run them through the dishwasher to get all oils off, and then wipe them with rubbing alcohol to make sure.  I use a high quality spray paint for plastic, shake it a lot, and set up a spray area in the garage with plastic tarping to block airflow and try to keep dust off.  (hard to do)  Several slow coats of paint follow, parts propped up on stands of some sort, with about 30 minutes drying time between coats.  Then after the last coat it goes into the oven, about 180 degrees for several hours.  Metal fingerwheels get 250 degrees.  After a few weeks go by I then apply Turtle Wax, letting the paint fully cure before waxing.  The finishes are nice and durable, though they don't look like original finishes on the plastic.

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5173
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 12:30:52 PM »
BDM;
I've just received my first metal bodied phone. A Kellogg Red Bar, which I plan to repaint.
I'm not sure how I'm going to go about this, but probably will try stripper on the old finish, If stripper does not work, I may outsource to a glass bead blast, as glass bead will not pit the finish, make sure the body is a smooth as possible, prime the case, wet sand, then apply two or maybe even three coats of black lacquer, and bake in my toaster oven on 200-220 degrees for about two hours.
This seems to work great on other metal items.
Small item I don't prime, but this I think calls for a primer coat, to fill in tiny imperfections in the casting.
Once I start I will post before, and after shots.

D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 03:13:59 PM »
I know a few tricks. Some folks use bondo to get a very smooth glass like finish. Now, from I remember about paint type. Enamle seems to be the paint of choice. Baked in the oven at a given amount of time & degree's.

Chuck Eby(long time collector) melted a 302 in the oven years ago ;D

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Firefyter-Emt

  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 10:24:11 PM »
Has anyone tried powder-coat?  I have the set up to do so and it would hold up much better than normal paint.  Not sure if they used it, but I am almost positing the finish on the metal dial of my 500 is powder coat by the way it has worn over time.

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 10:49:04 PM »
I've never Powder Coated.  All the old-time phone collectors that have been there-done that say don't.  I'm not real sure how it works but it has something to do with grounding a wire or something like that...I have heard that powder coating like a D1 base can remove the Western Electric name along the edge. 

Based on what I've heard I personally would not have my phone(s) powder coated.

Offline Firefyter-Emt

  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 11:22:36 PM »
You need clean bare metal, no filler or primer.  The only voltage is static electricity for the most part.  t will need to survive a 20 minute 350 bake cycle though.

Unless the stuff is lead or something, it should be unharmed and the finish does not "fill" in things like lines and corners as much as paint does.

Again, I have no idea what the bases are made from... I am guessing a die cast alloy?  How is the WE name on the edge of the base?  (Just curious)

Offline Dennis Markham

  • VintageRotaryPhones.com
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5583
    • VintageRotaryPhones.com
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 11:23:29 PM »
Engraved, etched.

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2009, 11:32:53 PM »
Wish I could answer this. I've seen 302s that have been powder coated, or at least a certain seller claimed so. They looked good under the high res pics. Of course, proper powder coats are very durable. But I'd have to agree with Dennis. Most top collectors seem to shun that process.

Again, it's a matter of opinion. If the phone's destroyed, do what you like. Given that, no right or wrong. I have an empty 302 shell I'm going to have chromed. It needs serious attention anyhow, so why not ;)
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 11:35:22 PM by BDM »

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline Brinybay

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4297
Re: Painting phones
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2009, 05:30:10 AM »
I've only painted plastic phones.  First I run them through the dishwasher to get all oils off, and then wipe them with rubbing alcohol to make sure.  I use a high quality spray paint for plastic, shake it a lot, and set up a spray area in the garage with plastic tarping to block airflow and try to keep dust off.  (hard to do)  Several slow coats of paint follow, parts propped up on stands of some sort, with about 30 minutes drying time between coats.  Then after the last coat it goes into the oven, about 180 degrees for several hours.  Metal fingerwheels get 250 degrees.  After a few weeks go by I then apply Turtle Wax, letting the paint fully cure before waxing.  The finishes are nice and durable, though they don't look like original finishes on the plastic.

Does this method work with Bakelite also?  Some specifics needed - how long is "several hours", 3? 4? 5?  Do you put them directly on the oven rack?  Middle, top, or bottom?  Doesn't your wife get upset about cooking telephones in her oven?
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Rowe

Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3350
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2009, 12:39:31 PM »
Quote
Does this method work with Bakelite also?  Some specifics needed - how long is "several hours", 3? 4? 5?  Do you put them directly on the oven rack?  Middle, top, or bottom?  Doesn't your wife get upset about cooking telephones in her oven

1.  Don't know if it works with bakelite, I've only painted plastic phones.

2.  About 3 hours in the oven.

3.  I put the parts on a cookie sheet with wooden dowels to rest on so nothing plastic touched the metal sheet.

4.  Top rack.

5.  My wife is very tolerant of my weird hobby.  She even put up with me cooking a phone cord one evening a while back, even when it smelled awful.  I try not to talk too much about phones to her, keep it at small doses so she does not get overloaded, and it seems to work out okay.  She did make a comment one day, I think after I'd wired up the 6th rotary phone in various rooms of the house, that "How many of those are you going to install in each room?"  Figured that was a signal to slow down on the phone installs... ;)

Offline foots

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 670
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2009, 07:41:12 PM »
Anybody have any pics of repainted metal phones to share? I'm curious on what brand/type paint was used. Any idea of what type of paint the factories used? Any special prep or techniques for brass fingerwheels?
I'll be painting 4 phones in the coming weeks - 2 SC 1243s and 2 Connecticut Telephone and Electric toaster phones along with their fingerwheels, 3 brass and 1 steel.  
« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 04:06:04 AM by foots »
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"

Offline BDM

  • 313-TUxedo 6-4281
  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1316
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2009, 12:07:37 AM »
This is something I plan on trying again when I get a chance to sit down. I did a couple of phones about 20 years ago. One turned out very nice. I even baked it in the oven, and it still looks good. But the technique and paint used escapes me.

--Brian--

St Clair Shores, MI

Offline McHeath

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3350
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2009, 12:18:48 AM »
After my fiasco melting a 554 cover in the oven,

http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=1228.0  ( dead link 9-21-17

I'm going to have to lower my heat recommendations for painting plastic phones.  I think in the future I would go no higher than 150 degrees to be safe, I was at 200 and got the melty look with this cover.

Funny thing is that I've used heat close to that before, but not with a cover this new, it was dated 1979, so perhaps the plastic is thinner or a different mixture. 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 09:30:00 PM by TelePlay »

Offline JorgeAmely

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2128
  • SC from 1973
Re: Telephone painting techniques/results
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2009, 12:50:24 AM »
Was this a Tenite (soft plastic) or ABS (hard plastic) phone? That could be the difference.

Jorge