Painting/Re-finishing computer cases...

From: Greg Mast <>
Date: Sun Sep 14 02:42:25 1997

> > "Hammertone" finish has been popular on electronic equipment going back
> > to the 1910's, at least. (Earlier stuff often used a far more
> > extreme "wrinkle" finish.) Not only does it reduce glare off an
> > instrument's surface, but it also hides small manufacturing defects
> > a lot better, too :-)
> Wrinkle finishes seem to have mostly died out near 1960 or so. The only
> (production) computer I have seen in wrinkle finish is the outer case of a
> Packard Bell 250.

Yea but wrinkle still looks cool, it's just not as tough. Mostly 50's stuff.

Hammertone is easy to do also. It's available in spray or regular cans (which I
spray). The formula has been changed to meet newer standards but it looks good and
is easy to apply. I even matched the color on some 50's gumball machines I
restored a few years ago. They're on my web page.

> The textured finish found on more modern stuff (sometimes called a
> splatter finish, as the first coat is splattered on with a purposely
> crummy airbrush setup) can be restored quite easily, unlike wrinkle
> finishes. For small (or big, if you are patient) bare spots, all one must
> do is match the color of the paint at the paint shop, then manually apply
> the texture with a toothpick or swab. For larger jobs, you could try a
> badly done airbrush job. After the texture has dried, a smooth coat is
> then applied to cover the whole repair and blend the new and existing
> paint (an airbrush is a must for this job). The color will match, but most
> likely the new paint will be duller than the old paint. This may be
> acceptable to some, but if not, the new paint can be slowly buffed to the
> proper sheen.

We used to touch up that type of finish at work (way back in the 70's, yikes!). We
used a piece of sponge or foam rubber and dabbed it on. That can help blend it in
and minimize mismatch. Worked great. Toothpicks, etc work fine for smaller areas.
The trick is to match the color or it'll stand out like a sore thumb. The
glossiness can also affect the job. Buffing is hard to do because of the texture.
Maybe I'm getting too picky here but you get the idea. They do make splatter guns
and there are always the commercial coatings guys that can do it but that could be

I'd say if you want it matched, take it down to the auto paint shop and have them
match the color. Ask if they can match the glossiness (??) and if they can't, buy
some additive and do it yourself. Probably easier to find something close and
spray the whole thing. The "crummy airbrush setup" might work but it'll take some
time. I find that learning the process and doing the job is the best part of the
whole thing.

Received on Sun Sep 14 1997 - 02:42:25 BST

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