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Painting Your Chassis

Page: 2/2
The Process
Now I can?t stress this enough: Paint outdoors! I made the smart decision of doing the first few coats in my basement because it was getting cold and windy outside. Do not do this. The chemicals in these paints are harmful if you use them in an area with poor and/or no ventilation? not to mention they smell terrible. Throw down some newspaper in your driveway and pin it with some stones if it?s windy. Before you paint anything, you will want to grab some handy Masking Tape. I saw a guide online for a similar project. The guy used a Dremel to remove the rivets on the top of his Antec 1080 so he could take off the roof of the case. I didn?t think that was necessary so I took off the case?s front bezel, and side panels. I then used masking tape on the outside of the case. Make sure there is no black exposed or else you may get some red paint on it.

Everything I removed. Fans, Power Supply, Mounts, and Panels.

My case with all the panels removed and the case top masked off.

It should look the same on the top and bottom. This is your naked case. Once you?ve got everything taped off, you?re ready to paint. Your first job is to sand down the case. Just do it lightly, don?t spend more than 10 minutes doing it. Also, as I said before, sand off any stamped things that may be on the case. Depending on your case, you may have removable pieces for the hard drive and floppy bays. Mine did and I decided to paint them black to accent the red. The overall effect is really cool. Sand these extra pieces down just like you did to the case. Before I get into the actual painting, here are some spray-paint tips you should follow:

#1. Hold the can at least 8 inches away from your target. This prevents the paint from getting concentrated in 1 area (pooling) and it lets you use less paint on a bigger area.

#2. Don?t go for a full coating on each coat. That is the reason there are multiple coats. If you try to coat the whole thing on your 1st coat, you?ll find you?ve run out of paint rather quickly. Don?t worry if you have some spots with less paint than others.

#3. This step is optional, but sand a little after each coat of paint. It helps additional coats of paint adhere to the surface better and also gets rid of uneven surfaces. I didn?t sand after every coat and my job turned out great, so do it if you want.

Now you?re ready to uncap that Gray Primer and get spraying. I started small with the drive bays. I applied a light coat of primer on the outside and a little on the inside. You?re not going to be looking on the inside of the drive bays, so you can be frugal with the paint on this area as I only did 1 coat of primer. Once I finished, I set them aside and started on the case. Feel free to use up your primer on the inside and back of the case. You?re not going to need it again. Remember though, not too heavy of a coat and keep the can far enough away from the surface so that the paint doesn?t pool. Also, you?re only going to be displaying the inside of the case. Don?t worry about painting the back of the side panel that holds the motherboard or any small areas, its just a waste of paint and time.

Remember, PAINT OUTSIDE. Here are the bays coated with Gray Primer. It wouldn?t hurt to do the back panel of your PS also.

Some people recommend 24 hours for paint to dry. I?d rather get things done quicker. I found after 4 hours, things were exceptionally dry and I was ready for my next coat. Once your pieces are done drying from the Gray Primer coat, go ahead and start to apply the black spray paint to the drive bays. Remember to use numerous, light coats! Also start painting the case red. Start with just the inside of the case. Once you?ve finished the bigger job, move to the backside of the case and use the remainder of the paint there. The back isn?t too important, but it will look great if you do it. Once you?ve done your 1st red and black coats, let it dry for a few hours. When you come back to it, sand it down lightly if you want and then apply a few more light coats of each color respectively. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times.

On your last coating, go ahead and finish off the cans of paint. That?s what they?re there for. After my last coatings of red and black, I let the case dry over night. Don?t sand the paint down after your last color coat! The next day, I whipped out my Clear Coat and did 2 coatings of it. Clear Coat takes about 45 minutes to an hour to dry. Not only will the Clear Coat give the paint job a nice shiny gloss, but it will also protect the paint from scratches and it makes the job permanent. Let the last coat dry for a few hours. Once everything is dry, go ahead and take off the masking tape on the top and bottom of the case. Here is what my case looked like after everything.

Isn?t she pretty?

Hopefully your case looks similar. If any red got under the tape go ahead and scrape it off. It should come off rather easily. Congratulations, you now have an Ub3r L33t painted case. Put all of the junk you took out before hand and throw it back in that badass case. Attach your front bezel and side panels and throw all your shiny computer parts in. Once everything is hooked up, fire that bad boy up and your ready to own.

You know you like it.

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