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the engraving on the dominoes is permanent and elegant.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Domino cleanup and restoration - Painting

Domino cleanup and restoration - Painting

We are now at the final step of the process.  For this step you will need the Acrylic paint of your color choice, cotton swabs, paper towels and window cleaner.  I also like to have a small pointy object handy like toothpick or tweezers tip to apply tiny dots of paint or touch-ups.  A fine paintbrush will also work for this.  A plastic razor blade for scraping off excess paint is a very handy thing to have on hand for this project also, it will save you cleanup time.

Recommended Paints: I prefer a gloss paint or a metallic gold/silver paint because it has a bit of a sheen when dry.  

You can accomplish the same effect with an acrylic varnish.  When using the varnish, I prefer the kind you mix in with the paint rather than the kind you put on afterwards.  It simply saves a step.  

These paints can be found in the hobby isle of most box stores and fabric stores.
 
Painting:
The painting is a lot easier than you may think.  You do not have to stay in the lines.  The closer you stay near the lines, the easier it will be to cleanup so try not to cover the whole domino with paint.

For the engraved area, I rub the swab back and forth over the engraving to make sure the paint catches on the edges of every letter.  This saves on touching up paint later.

For the fronts of the dominoes where there are large areas, I use a pointy object to dab paint into the areas leaving very little area to cleanup.

Cleanup:
This process has been perfected from years of painting dominoes so do not expect to get a perfect result the very first time.  The good thing is that you can go right back to using the cotton swab with paint and try again if your timing is off.

The timing and technique:
The process that I use is to dampen a paper towel with window cleaner and wipe the surface of the domino to remove the paint not in the engraved area.
Here is where technique and timing come into play:If you press too hard with the wet paper towel, you will take paint out of the engraved area, if the paint is too wet it will just smear, of the towel is too damp it will also smear, too dry it will do nothing.  If you do this too soon, the paint will be too wet, too late and it will take more effort to cleanup.  

Here is what I do; adjust timing to your liking.  First I paint the dominoes with the swab.  Then I use a plastic razor blade to scrape off the excess.  You get something like what is on the right.  You are just moving the excess paint away from the engraving and you can also see if you missed any spots easily.
 
Then I let them set for 10-20 minutes.  When I am in a rush, I put them in front of a fan or heater to make the paint dry faster.  After they have sat for a while, I dampen a paper towel with window cleaner and do a wipe across the top.  No pressure, just getting the bulk of the paint off.  

The picture to the left is what I get when I have not waited long enough and some of the paint from the engraving smears.  If you take out too much paint, add some more and wait longer, otherwise just give it another 5-10 minutes and wipe again.

What will happen quickly is that you wipe and paint stays in the engraving and the rest of the domino is clean - you are done with that domino!

Let dry overnight before sealing domino in any container or stacking them.  At the shop here we stack the open rack/boxes overnight so that by morning all dominoes are completely dry.  

Alternative:
You can wait until the paint is completely dry - either before or after scraping with a razor blade.  The only difference is that it will take more wiping with the window cleaner to get the paint off.  

Quite a transformation.

Before and after of sample domino set cleanup



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