Spray Painting My Computer

By 1bellb ยท 14 replies
Jun 28, 2008
  1. Hi, I am modding my computer and it is made of Aluminium, it is Silver at the moment but I want it to be blue but I also want to keep the Aluminium Effect, I have read about a Translucent Blue Polycarbonated Body Shell Spray Paint but im not sure if this will work, Can someone tell me if they have done this before and tell me what they used to paint their case but keep its metal effect.

    Ow ye also if you live in the UK, can you tell me where you ordered it from as well please
    Thanks alot
  2. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I am also interested in this, As I have a case like that, but want it Red or something that goes a bit better with my Blue LED's, because silver just doesn't cut it. I was worried that it would cause more of a heating problem with paint than without, correct?
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    Painting your case probably would change the heat transmission characteristics. Ideally bare metal would be best.

    BUT, we live in the real world where my best guess is that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    The truly "avid computer enthusiast" (sic; hopeless paranoiac) might strip the case first and use common sense in regard to the build up of film thickness.(1) Most finishing systems perform best when only enough to cover, and in the case of clearcoats, only enough to give the required degree of gloss are used.

    (1) here's where you could do some serious damage, stripping the case.
    My choice would be to wet sand it with 220 wet or dry paper followed by 320 to 400 so as to avoid seeing sanding scratches though the new finish.

    Bottom line is, simply use automotive painting techniques, at the end of the day a case really isn't that much different than a fender.

    Plan "B"; Take all of your s*** out of the case, mask up the wires, close up the PSU hole, and the side panel vents, then present it to your friendly local body and fender shop. Ask them to give it a quick shot the next time they fire up some pretty red (or whatever color) acrylic enamel. Hey, it's a thought.
  4. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    Or, since my dad does paint and body, we could just do Plan B, yet, do it ourselves and immediately? ;) I have done plenty of sanding, so I know when to stop.

    So pretty much a simple Automotive paint would work? If so, we have some Red, White, and Green Matallic left over. Green + Blue=err.... White + Blue = Ewww.... Red + Blue = awsome!

    Seriously, though, I probably won't put many coats on, probably 2.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    I mentioned Acrylic Enamel since the original finish on these cases is likely Baked enamel, as such it would crinkle and lift in the presence of automotive lacquer materials. I'm sure that your father has the understanding of paint materials cross compatibility if he's in that business.

    That said, I haven't been around that business for years, but I think that most lacquer materials have disappeared. EPA regs and all that.
  6. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    Yes, We have all Acrylic Enamel, so I will probably do it within the next month or two.
  7. 1bellb

    1bellb TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Ok but will that a still keep the Aliminium effect because i want to have a metal effect still showing through the paint.
  8. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    Well, I don't really know, because my dad says he doesn't think so. Maybe if you could go to the local paint store and ask them for a paint the color you want that has an effect similar to aluminum?
  9. 1bellb

    1bellb TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Well i have just ordered 2 spray tins of the blue translucent pain and i will test it on some scrap metal that we have laying around and then see if it sticks without pealing or anything like that LOL
  10. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I guess testing is the best way to go about this one.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    You're trying to get an effect known as "candy" paint. It's a 3 stage process, done by laying down a metallic base coat, (either gold or silver), then following up with a transparent color, and finally a clear finish coat.

    Just clearing bare aluminum stands to wind up looking nasty, since it's not going to have the nice regularity that a base metallic coat would. Without a primer on top of the aluminum case adhesion would be a problem.

    But first, if your case looks like bare aluminum, it likely has a clear coat applied already. If so, you might be able to dull it our with 400 wet or dry, then apply your color.
  12. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    You can paint any type of metal, iron, zinc alumn doesn't matter. What you should use is high temp paint though. Or what they use on car finish you can buy that anywhere. Work in a vented area though.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,971   +2,527

    Overspray, Breakfast of Champions......!

    This I don't quite get. High temperature paints tend to have a limited color palate, and it's unlikely that a computer case gets hot enough to damage a standard automotive finish. Just touch a black fender on a sunny summer day, you'll see what I mean.
    Well,now that takes all the fun out of it.

    Well, at least read the warnings on the can, so as ya know what yer doin' to yerself .:confused: ;)

    DISCLAIMER: All joking aside, the best and most sensible approach to spray painting, is to have adequate ventilation, AND an approved type organic vapor respirator.
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    High temp paint works better sure you don't have much color choices. I use granite look for my new cases.

    For cool bright colors like this:

    Duplicolor would work (yes it's for the car, but you can use it on the computer case. Just prepare the surface prior.)
    Prime the paint, Then use wet/dry sand paper but you'll be using it wet to smooth over anything excess paint.
    Then use clear-coat paint to give it a nice wet look shine.

    This is all optional and it the cheapest way to do this.. With a few cans.
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    1. pre-pare the surface

    2. prime the surface

    3. apply the color


    4. apply the clear coat

    5. post application buff and polish


    Okay - though these step are for car painting you can apply the same
    techniques to mod your case.
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