Painting/Re-finishing computer cases...

From: Mark W Kuefel <>
Date: Sat Sep 20 01:42:42 1997

Larry Anderson & Diane Hare wrote:
> I just read a newsgroup post about a (somewhat) poor soul who has
> gotten a PET 2001 with a rusty case looking for re-finishing/painting
> suggestions.
> Thinking about it this is a cool topic for discussion, has anyone
> re-painted their computer cases and what tips/suggestions do you have
> for us or what should we avoid (also got any good color schemes?).

Thinking again, eh? Well we all know what kind of trouble
THAT sort of activity can lead to, but since you asked...

Powder coating is way cool. The stuff is damn near indestructable
(take my word for it). Many colors are available and it should be
fairly inexpensive if you don't mind waiting for them to run a line
with the color of your choice and slip your piece in. The process
uses an electrostatically charged gun to shoot a polymer pigment
(powder) with compressed air to a target charged with
the opposite polarity (no VOCs, less material waste).
It then runs through an oven to reflux (melt)
the powder resulting in a (usually) SMOOTH finish (depending on the
surface preparation of the target). Previous finishes should be
removed for best results. I usually bead blast them with glass
bead media. Obviously this will not work on non-conductive or low
melting point materials like plastic. You are also limited to
monochromatic, non-mettalic finishes so forget about the metalflake
splash graphics if that's your thing. (Disclaimer: Before anyone
jumps my ass, this description is highly simplified and slightly
inaccurate from a technical standpoint. Meant for general background
only but I think you get the picture.)

Nix on Imron. It's iron age technology and more poisonous than
swimming pool full of pit vipers. Also REAL tricky to shoot well.
A much better choice ,IMNSHO, is DuPont ChromaBase. Available in
every color in the rainbow an then some (ever seen a pearled,
metalflake, clearcoated rainbow?). This requires spraypainting
equipment (preferably HVLP [High Volume Low Pressure]) and, being
a polyurethane enamal, respiratory equipment is MANDATORY! Your
local bodyshop should be able to do this for a reasonable amount
if you lack the proper hardware. Good ones will be able to
do about any trick graphics that you can dream up limited only by
your imagination and bank account.
> I have a few 64s lying around that would look neat
> with a custom paint
> job, since they are plastic, what do you suggest?

For a classic like that, I'd suggest flames. I flamed the frame
on my monitor and it gets more looks than a polka dotted Vette.
Kids, don't try this one at home but if you do, pull the guts out
first (the overspray can play hell with sensitive electronics).
And watch out for that big fat red wire ;-).

I use DuPont VariPrime acid based self etching primer for the base
coat after wiping the case with lacquer thinner to promote surface
adhesion. Sticks tighter than an ugly dog.
If Hammertone is the thing that feeds your need, you might want
to try HammerTite (TM) which is retailed in spray bombs. I did
a Kennedy toolbox that was donated my way after the previous owner
finished "customizing" it by running it over with his pickup. Not
"quite" as good as my other Kennedys in terms of finish but pretty
clean for a rattle can job. I'm using it to store my "computer
specific" tools after tiring of making all them trips to the
garage everytime I wanted to pull a board or solder up some leads.

I'm thinking about blowing a couple of lightning bolt accents on
the cover of the THE COLISEUM SLAVE one of these days. Might
improve my benchmarks some (:-8
(hee, hee, hee)

Good luck Larry et al, and good hunting.

Mark W Kuefel
and THE COLISEUM SLAVE (Netwrecker II)
Received on Sat Sep 20 1997 - 01:42:42 BST

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