Skip to main content

Going Underground #2 - Foosball Table Restoration - Cleanup

These guys clean up pretty well! 

Considering that these foosball men have gotten progressively filthier from the time this table was installed, in a bar/roller rink/whatever in the 1970's, I really couldn't have asked for better results. We're talking about 30+ years worth of dust and grime and spills.

I used Goo Gone, which has been my product of choice for cleaning up vintage collectible stuff over the last 15 years. (I learned back in the 90's that you can take a brittle, 20 year old pricetag off of a Star Wars carded figure with no problem with enough patience and enough Goo Gone. I'd imagine you can take mailing labels off of an old magazine with it too - but I'd tread lightly.)

Of course, when you clean off 40 years of filth, some paint comes off, too. Frankly, the paint comes off every time you touch these players. It's really old paint. On the one hand, that's a shame - I'd like to keep as much of the vintage hand-painted folk-art aspect of this table as I can. 

On the other hand, whoever hand-painted these guys back in the 1970s had an amazing talent for making the players look CRAZY. 

Check out the before/after on Team Blue's center midfielder (we'll call him Lampard):
Look at the EYES! The horror.... the horror....

And here's the cleanup job on Team Red's center striker (we'll call him Rooney): 

You can see that some of Rooney's pants wore off, with some very light cleaning. I'm going to have to research what style of paint should be used on foosball men... there's going to have to be some touch-ups at a minimum, and potentially a total repaint for all 22 men. 

A lot of the paint has worn off - and it's gotten worse as I've cleaned the filth away. But even more troubling - the paint seems to be degrading. All of the players are a little bit sticky to touch.

And even if I repaint, it's not like I could do *worse* than the original paint jobs. The faces are a mess (way too pink, with eyes like Sloth from the Goonies), and the legs are mispainted. There's supposed to be a red or blue "sock" stripe there, but it's all pink. We're restoring this thing - we can do better!

So it's decided. We'll keep the original players, with the "waffle print" feet - but they're all coming off, getting scrubbed white, and getting completely repainted.

As an aside, we had a dinner party a couple of weeks back, and at one point in the night I gave a tour of the new house, which eventually led to the basement, which immediately led to a few a heated games of foosball. I got TROUNCED. 10-2. And it felt great! I've never been so happy to get thoroughly outclassed at anything. If I'm going to spend some time, energy and cash rehabbing an old foosball table, it's good to know that my friends not only remember foosball, but can absolutely destroy me at it. 


Popular posts from this blog

Not All AirPort Extremes are Created Equal (UPDATED)

I'm looking for a used AirPort Extreme. In all the usual places - eBay, Craigslist.  I'll probably get one this week. Why? It's a long story.  A while back, I picked up an AirPort Express A1084 router on Craigslist, and found that it was incompatible with my AirPort Utility and wireless-n network, even though it looked *identical* to the current model of AirPort Express.  So, I wrote a post on this blog about the different types of AirPort Express routers, noting that if you're looking for used Airport Express routers to extend your AirPlay network, you'd better seek out model A1264. In the months that followed, Apple updated the AirPort Express again, changing the form factor (it looks like a little white AppleTV now), adding simultaneous dual-band support, and giving it model number A1392.  ASIDE: I'm not totally convinced that the form-factor change was an improvement. The A1264 plugged directly into the wall, which was incr

Review - WOW Ultra TV vs. DirecTV HR34 Genie

Here in the Chicago suburbs, we had two options for whole-home DVR services. We initially went with WOW Ultra TV, and after about 4 months, we switched to DirecTV's HR34 Genie system. (Neither Verizon FIOS nor AT&T UVerse were available in our area, so we can't review those. I haven't used Dish's Hopper, either. This is a straight compare/contrast review of WOW vs. DirecTV.) Both Ultra TV and Genie have their plusses and minuses. Both offer 1080p output, but that's primarily for the menus, as most TV content is provided at lower resolutions.  Both systems have a similar design architecture - a central hub, with multiple tuners and a large hard drive, recording and storing all TV shows, and distributing them to televisions around the house upon request.  Both systems also bring a number of "add-on" apps and have ways of accessing "on demand" content.  We've had each system for enough time to really put them through

Review: NuCore Flooring from Floor & Decor

This NuCore flooring review will also function as a Basement Update: We're finally, officially moving forward on the Phase 2 finish work.