BALISTX's Guide to Painting your Case
Guide to Painting your Computer Case
Now first off some of you might say that this isn't the proper way to paint a case but there are many different ways of doing it. This is the way that I have been spray painting for years and the way I was taught when I worked in an auto body repairs shop from a painter who has been painting for over 30 years. Now onto the guide.
1. Sand the case with an 80 grit (for steel surfaces) or 150 grit (for aluminum surfaces) sand paper. Another option here if you know anyone that does sand blasting take it to them, an hour long job sanding would only take 10 mins with a sand blaster.
2. After sanding spray the case down with the can of air used for cleaning the dust.
3. Use some lacquer thinner and wipe down the case with a lint free cloth (paper towel would also work)
4. Wipe down with a tack rag. If you don't have you can pick them up at CT in the paint section or Home Depot. Here is a guide on how to make your own.
5. Lay down the first coat or self etching primer; remember more light coats are better than one heavy coat. Hold your can about 6"-8" above the case and spray in a back and forth motion, remember to start and end each stroke past the piece your are priming. This is so the primer looks even and doesn't look blotchy on the ends. Also over lap each stroke about 1/2" inch. That way you get better coverage.
6. Let the primer dry for 1/2 hour or as per what the instructions on the can says before applying the next coat.
7. For the second coat follow the same instructions as in step 5.
8. Let the last coat of primer dry for an hour before applying your base coat of paint.
9. As for the paint, you can use Krylon, Tremclad, or any automotive enamel. (You can find most in the automotive section of CT) You could also be like me and if you like a particular colour on a car you can find out the paint code by going here. Then take that code and go to an Auto body supply store or even Auto Parts Extra or NAPA and they will mix the paint up for you in a aerosol. (I think the only colours they can't do are tri-coats (Pearls or Candies), but the orange I used had a pearl in the base and the mixed it up. It usually costs around $30 for this.
10. When spraying the base follow step 5, but in between coats let it dry for an hour or so or what the instructions say on the can. In between, wet sand the paint with a 800-1000 grit sand paper. Then spray off the area with the aerosol can of air and use your tack rag to wipe down the surface.
11. Apply your second coat. Just repeat step 10 until you have applied as many coats as needed. I did 3 for my case.
12. Once you finish your last coat and it has dried, take your 1000 grit sand paper and wet sand the final coat. Again spray the area and use your tact rag to get the surface clean and then apply your clear coat. You don't need to apply clear but if you want it to be durable I highly recommend it. You don't need to sand between your coats of clear. As for drying time follow the instructions on the can. I did 4 coats of the clear. The more clear you put on the shinier it will be. You can get clear coat again at CT or any auto body supply store that sells them aerosol.
Once I go to paint my next case I will put up pictures to go along with the guide.
^nice.... well done man, i'm gonna follow your ideas very closely. i'll post pics of how it turns out!
Thanks for the guide. When you painted the inside of the case did you disassemble it by drilling out the rivets or painted it in one piece? My first case painting experience was for my daughter. I tore the case down to individual pieces and painted each before reassembling them. I should find some pics and post them. I really like the Metal Cast paints for their colours. They look like anodised metal in various colours. Basically they use a metallic silver base with a clear coloured overcoat (the more coats applied the deeper the colour). Thanks again.
I'll say it once again.. steel or aluminum 80 grit is just to heavy. You only need 220 grit as your not trying to chew up the steel but just rough it up. Another alternative is steel wool which works just as good.
Step #10: Its better to wet sand than dry sand as you'll get a better finish and surface but it does make a bit more mess.
Also with enough layers in the case you shouldn't need a clear coat. Clear coat is really to just make it shine.
Snafu: I didn't drill out the rivets, I did it as one piece. But if I were to do it again I would. I think my next case I'm going to powder coat the inside.
Enaberif: You can use steel wool and you can use 220 grit sand paper if you feel 80 or 150 gritt is too coarse. I've used 80 grit before and didn't find it too coarse. I would also recommend only using a Scotch Bright pad on plastic parts.
Thanks for catching the error. I meant to put wet sand between coats.
Nice Job! thanks for the pointers- I'm feeling inspired...
Powder coating would be very cool and more durable than paint - particularly when reassembling the torn-down case. I know of a good place in Erin (Ontario) that does powder coating if anyone is interested (Fireball coatings). I have had them do my exhaust and combustion chamber on my snowmobile but they also do other parts (with a good rep).
Question, wouldn't sandblasting be to coarse?
YouTube - Case Mod: Paint Computer Chassis (mnpctech.com)
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