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Subject: How to make a damaged box beautiful again? rss

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Sonia Mitchell
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Background: Buying games from the Marketplace has risks, I get that. It doesn't stop me from being a little disappointed to receive a damaged game box which was described as being in excellent condition.. I tend to avoid buying second hand because of my issues with imperfection. However, with the price of board games and my eagerness to grow my collection, some sacrifices had to be made!!!

Problem: The Batman Gotham City Strategy Game has wonderful artwork on the box. Unfortunately there's a couple of rips, one 5-6 inches long along the edge of the front-face of the lid. It's not a super big deal.. I'd just prefer not to have had that particular surprise.

Possible solutions: I could tape it up but that would be ugly and I'd rather not tape over the art. I could tape up the inside of the lid to preserve it's structural integrity, but without protection the paper may rip on the decorative outer surface.

Suggestions: Are there any perfectionist BGGers out there who feel my pain? Can anyone suggest some kind of sealant which I could use? Is there such a thing as matt clear nail varnish? Any other ideas on how I could make it pretty again?

Thanks! arrrh

EDIT: Grammar related issues..
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Bryan Thunkd
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I've been fortunate enough not to be surprised by any trade damages. I did get a copy of Endeavor with a split corner, but the trader was up front about it. I ended up taping the corner together from the inside of the lid. I'd be very hesitant about doing anything on the outside as it will noticeably impinge on the beauty of the game. I'm not sure that clear varnish/nail polish is the best plan either, but I don't really have a useful suggestion as an alternative.
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Sonia Mitchell
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Thanks for the reply anyway It felt a little weird writing a few paragraphs about what is essentially a torn box.. now I feel a little less crazy!

I'd rather not nail varnish it up either but the paper is peeling a little along the edges of the tear. I have visions of it snagging on something and taking The Joker's face off with it!!!

Hopefully someone else has a good solution!

Thunkd wrote:
I've been fortunate enough not to be surprised by any trade damages. I did get a copy of Endeavor with a split corner, but the trader was up front about it. I ended up taping the corner together from the inside of the lid. I'd be very hesitant about doing anything on the outside as it will noticeably impinge on the beauty of the game. I'm not sure that clear varnish/nail polish is the best plan either, but I don't really have a useful suggestion as an alternative.
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McDog
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When I get a brand new game I like to kick it around the living room like a football to give it that certain used look. So I'm never disappointed when I get a dinged box.


edit: that wasn't too helpful....
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Sonia Mitchell
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Funny though!

Rastak wrote:
When I get a brand new game I like to kick it around the living room like a football to give it that certain used look. So I'm never disappointed when I get a dinged box.


edit: that wasn't too helpful....
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secoAce -
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Try those large sheet laminate covers that come in 18" width like this one:
http://www.staples.com/Duck-Clear-Laminate-18-inch-x-8-Yards...

You can find them easily at any office supply store like Staples and Office Depot. Probably on amazon too.

Cut a piece large enough to cover the enter box surface and sides and enough to tuck inside the cover a little bit.

The trickest part about using them, especially a large piece like what you'll do for your box, is to not trap air bubbles under them. Start with one corner of the box top with only that portion of the laminate adhesive side exposed. Slowly peel the backing away and apply more and more of the laminate slowly while smoothing down the laminate as you're applying it over the rest of the box.

If you do happen to trap air bubbles (bound to happen on a large surface), the easiest way to get rid of them is to use a sharp pin and poke a tiny hole and then press the air out. It no longer makes it waterproof, but I don't think you'll be exposing a box cover near water. If the air bubble is really close to the laminate edge, you can try pushing the air bubble out, but I don't recommend that if the bubble is in the middle of the covered area. What happens is as air gets pushed, it's actually separating the laminate from an area that's already adhered to the surface. If the surface is a bare surface it should be fine, but some things might have some kind of coating so that it sticks to the laminate. If the laminate is pull off, it might pull of the coating so it never sticks to the surface again. You really don't want that.

The next tricky part will be deciding how to handle the corners when you fold the laminate down to do the sides. I've never laminated a box, but there are a couple ways you can do it. They all involve cutting slits enough so one side would overlap to the adjoining side and the laminate on the adjoining side goes over that piece. Apply the laminate on one at a time before doing the corners.

You might want to experiment with a small piece on something else before doing the box cover so you know what how you want to do it.

And they are permanent and don't turn yellow, at least not the ones I've ever tried.
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Bella
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I have repaired boxes with strong clear packing tape (about 2 inches wide), usually on the corners/sides. You could do this on the inside or outside, depending on the damage.

For an extensive area (or anything on the top), the laminate sheets might be better so you don't have rows of tape.
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Nate Straight

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Redefine beauty.
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Clare Cannon
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I got a copy of takenoko in a trade with a busted corner. I repaired the corner in the standard way (cardboard hinge) but the art work on the box was damaged.

I applied a slightly watered down PVA glue to the damaged artwork on the box and smoothed it back into place. Its not perfect but it looks ok.
I will try to add a photo when I get back form work if you would like.

Don't water down the PVA to much because otherwise the cardboard will absorb the liquid and go all bumpy.


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Danny's Land

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Quote:
Can anyone suggest some kind of sealant which I could use? Is there such a thing as matt clear nail varnish?


http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-matte-fixative/
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Sean Boyll
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I Just picked up A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) on clearance at a ToysRUs that is moving locations. I immediately placed it on my for trade list as I wasn't sure my group would get to it right away and I had Runewars higher on my want list.

I listed the condition as in shrink.

Turns out my group was real excited to play it. So I unwrapped it and the lid practically fell apart in my hands. The damage was down a seam, and on 2 corners so it was not easy to see while held together. I'm so glad I didn't trade this out to someone, because the game looks awesome and because I would have hated if that had happened to someone that trusted my quality statement.

I ended up just using clear 3M packing tape on the out side. I have tried using it on the inside before but that always comes off. With taking my time I can get it on smooth enough that it is not noticeable while up on my shelf.
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Bryan Thunkd
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The laminate cover sounds like what I would vote for... but putting it on would be a tricky thing I'd likely mess up.
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Ian Wakeham
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For repairing box corners I usually follow the process detailed here. It involves very minor gluing of torn corners which look pretty good afterwards. Translating it to a larger tear might work. Using a very thin layer of glue (or watered down as suggested above) would be fine; but it may not look brilliant and could give a matte look to the repaired section.
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Darrell Hanning
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I generally use a white glue (such as Elmer's) and toothpick, put some in the split on the outside (cleaning off the excess after squeezing it together), putting painter's tape over it, and running a bead on the inside of the box where the split is. You have to be careful about pulling the tape off when it's done, but I usually get pretty good results with this.

For caving or crushing of lids, I do the same thing, but also clamp the box half between two pieces of wood - one that fits the inside, and one that is bigger than the outside. Soak the inside with glue, rub into the cardboard, remove excess. Use wax paper between the wood pieces and the box. Let sit overnight. The glue rubbed into the cardboard from the inside, once set, will help retain the uncrushed form that the clamping straightened out.
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The root of all evil ...but you can call me cookie.
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Here is a good tutorial:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/RepairingBoxes.shtml

Additionally to this however I cut a small strip of 110lb card stock and fold it in half the put the same white glue on the back. Press the folded corner of the strip into the corner of the box after you have done the repair as in the tutorial and then lay the "flaps" out to stick to the sides. This adds a level of strength to that corner that is now so much stronger than the original even. I've repaired probably 35-40 boxes in this manner and never had one resplit.
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TannaBanana!
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We have repaired lots of boxes (some picked up at thrift stores and others that got damaged when transporting to game nights, etc). I think the technique you use will depend on how meticulous you are.

For any tears along the seams or corners of the box, my go to technique is to use a 1 1/2" wide strip of paper in the XYRON CREATE-A-STICKER 150. You can pick these up at any Joann's, Michael's, etc. and they cost around $10 (less if you use a coupon!) There is 20' so they last a loooong time. They are located usually where the scrapbooking supplies are, with all the adhesives and look like a plastic "X" about 4" tall. The great part about these...they sandwich the paper between two sheets so you can get a nice fold in the paper, cut it to length,etc before you peel it off so there is very little mess. (no aerosol, no wait time for it to dry- it's instant!!!) Be sure to get the one that is permanent and not re positionable though.

For tears in the actual box affecting the art work, I try to get it as much in place as I can 'manually' and then reinforce the inside of the box with paper and modpodge or if it is small just a strip of paper run through the Xyron 150. It is not the prettiest (on the inside) but it works! If there are small 'flaps' of paper that want to curl up on the cover, I have a strong preference for either the SAKURA QUICKIE GLUE PEN (this looks just like a pen and has AMAZING fine details to it so there is not leaking glue everywhere) or the TOMBOW MONO MULTI LIQUID GLUE (has a pen tip and a broad tip which is nice). If the damage is really bad, you could just do an even layer of modpodge on the whole front so it blends in, but the other adhesives mentioned have worked for all of our boxes so far.

Just my two cents on tapes and nail polish- my understanding is that over time they will yellow because they are not acid free and break down. G'luck though!
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TannaBanana!
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thoia wrote:
Here is a good tutorial:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/RepairingBoxes.shtml

Additionally to this however I cut a small strip of 110lb card stock and fold it in half the put the same white glue on the back. Press the folded corner of the strip into the corner of the box after you have done the repair as in the tutorial and then lay the "flaps" out to stick to the sides. This adds a level of strength to that corner that is now so much stronger than the original even. I've repaired probably 35-40 boxes in this manner and never had one resplit.


LOL...He *used to* repair boxes like this! Since we've been together he just passes them to me and says "fix this please." :p
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Adrian Iordache
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The Surgery: Board Game Repair Tips
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Sonia Mitchell
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Big thanks to all of you for the helpful advice

Being too scared to mess up with the laminate I think I'll be going down the glue and cotton bud route. Cheers!
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