The most difficult aspect of the entire jukebox restoration was repairing the faux wood-grain finish on the lower part of the metal selector panel.
As you can see the lower part of it has been chipped badly and someone painted over those areas, not even trying to get it to match.
Originally the wood grain pattern was somehow printed on the metal, probably using a silkscreen. When I gently sanded down though the layers the pixels became evident through a magnifying glass. Below the wood-grain level is a mustard yellow base, which is on top of a tan primer.
I sanded to remove all of the added paint and custom mixed a mustard yellow that matched pretty close to what was there.
It was a very tedious process that I spent countless hours on and had to re-do many times. Like with other aspects of the cabinet restoration, I discovered many incompatibilities between various stains and paints.
Finally, after dozens of tries, it’s close but not perfect. I hope I never have to do that again.
If I did have to do this again, I’d try taking a photo of the wood grain on the side of the cabinet and printing a decal. I’d have to do it in two pieces because 11×17 is the largest decal I can print. It would be a bit tricky applying the decal because of the flare of the metal; the metal panel has a larger radius at the bottom edge than it does near where the gold stripe is. Anyway, this was “Plan B” all along, and it probably would have just as many problems and caveats as “Plan A”.
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