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404

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  1. Like
    404 got a reaction from Mel0nMan in Experiences with non-techies   
    I went to fix my friends computer and he just built it. He was still a PC n00b so he had me come and troubleshoot it. After an hour of running diagnostic tests, I figured out the PC was thermal throttling. I opened up the case and it was filled with fiberglass insulation.
     
    Come to find out his mother jammed all the fans and stuffed fiberglass insulation into the case on the claim that "the AC was running and she didn't want it to put hot air inside the house." I credit her on her knowledge of thermodynamics, but she killed a $1,000 system. The only thing salvageable and not infested with fiberglass, or overheated  was the motherboard but it died from ESD because all the fiberglass acted like a carpet and he zapped the CPU socket.
  2. Informative
    404 got a reaction from ONOTech in The Proper Way to Paint Your PC Stuff   
    If you have ever wanted to paint something, whether it be a case, keyboard, game controller, or an accent piece to a build. There is a proper method to do it.
     
    I know what you are probably thinking. "Linus already did a video on painting." And to that you are correct. But Linus could not have been any more wrong with his method. Plastidip is great if you need to RMA your part as you can peel it off, but any good paintjob should not be using plastidip. There are simply too many flaws with it, and yes, I have used it. It peeled off of my keyboard in less than a month. If you are going to come here to argue "Plastidip master race" than please go start your own post.
     
    I have been modding and painting PC parts for over 5 years. I have done most of my keyboards, some PC cases, graphics cards, motherboards, video game controllers, household items, and furniture.
     
    Disclaimer: you can void the warranty if you paint a part of your PC. You can also ruin your part if you do not do things carefully.
     
    PAINTING GUIDELINES
     
    1.Visualize
    The first thing to do when painting is to not paint. Know what you want to do. Do you want a glossy ar flat finish? Textured or smooth? What color? How many colors? Any patterns? This first step is dynamic. Come back here often as you do your research, as you will   probably change your mind as you begin to see and realize more things. 1. Acquaint Yourself
    Find out what type of materials you are working with. Is it plastic or metal? What type of plastic or metal? Paints that work well with ABS may not work well with Vinyl. 2. Research
    You want to do research on multiple topics. Research components that have a similar paint job. It could be as simple as typing into Google "Painted Yellow PC Case." This will help you revise and finalize what you want to do with your part as you see what other people have done. Next you want to start to do research on paints. Things get really difficult here. The paints that appear most frequently on Google searches are the ones that usually get the worst reviews. Automotive and Hobby forums are usually the best places to find good paints. Read reviews in multiple places. Paints that have a good rep on Amazon may be the laughingstock of a reputable hobby forum. (Beats anyone?) A good method is BRAND + APPLICATION + SURFACE; "Rustoleum Primer for Vinyl" Usually when doing research, you will find out various painting techniques and tricks. Look at videos that show proper painting technique for your paints. Most paints just require lots of light even layers. But this may be different if you want a pattern or have a special paint. You need to make sure to paint in a gentle sweeping motion, say left-to-right and back in zig-zags, and don't spray over a single spot for longer than a moment or you will spray too much!  It is better to spray too little and go over a bare spot a few times again later than to spray too much. Spraying too much results in sagging and inhibits proper curing. Research Proper Sanding techniques of your objects material. If you sand an item wrong, you risk making hard to cover up marks. More on this below. Go back to your original idea and revise it if you feel you want or need to. Make sure you have done research for all layers of paint you need. (More details later).
    2.5. MAKE SURE YOUR PAINT WORKS.
    Some paints are not meant to be exposed to sunlight like florescent paints. Some may not work without certain primers or basecoats. Some are not very durable; some are thin, runny, not supposed to be heated, and don't cover well; some depend on the color of paint under them to influence the outcome (chameleon paints), etc. This is all part of your research. Make sure you have the right paint for the right job. 3. Paints
    Paints. Make sure you read / research carefully which paints you are getting.  Their composition varies, and they usually fall into these common categories for rattle cans: acrylic lacquers and oil enamels for general purpose rattle cans. 
    There are also other varieties of paint which are intended for automotive painting and are generally more expensive: acrylic enamels (enamels are harder than lacquers), acrylic urethanes (1K (1-stage) and 2K (2-stage, multiple components)) and they usually require more preparation, such as an adhesion promoter, an epoxy primer for urethane paints, an appropriate urethane top clear coat, etc.  Urethane paints are also dramatically more toxic, and you must have good ventilation while spraying as well as wear proper full-face masks and protective clothing.
    Anyway, for most people here, acrylic lacquers and oil enamels will be the paints of choice, as they come in easily accessible rattle cans and don't cost a mini fortune. Note that acrylic lacquers and oil enamels are not really rubbing and finger-oil-proof.  So say if you paint a mouse and clear coat it and all that, you will still see the paint will begin to wear off in a month or so over the click buttons.  For touch-proof frequently handled surfaces, you need to go with more professional paints, such as 2K urethane paints. But you may be able to get away with something cheaper, depending on its use. I use Oil Enamel on a lot of my keyboards. The edges really don't get touched often enough for rapid wear.
    Oil enamel can be layered over oil enamel and over acrylic lacquer.  Acrylic lacquer SHOULD NOT be layered over oil enamel.  This applies to colors and clear coats and is important for proper curing as well as avoiding dissolving and lifting your base layers when spraying new paint over them. Primers/Promoters. If your paint does not come premixed with a primer, it's a safe assumption that you should get a primer or some sort of an adhesion promoter just in case. Get a complimentary color primer. If you are looking for a darker color, get a black or grey primer. If you are looking for a light color get a light grey or white primer. If you wish to retain some of the color of your part, get a clear primer. Fillers. If you have an uneven surface and you cannot sand it, get a filler. They really do help to make an uneven surface smooth enough so it may be painted over. Make sure you sand or scuff it when you are done. Clear Coats. For most paints, I would STRONGLY recommend a clear coat. 
    Clears are generally harder than colors, and they help protect your work against scuffs, minor scratches, and dullness.  For example, you will have a much harder time scratching a clear-coated paint job with your fingernail than if you just left it with color paint and no clear coat.
    Clears come in different types: gloss, satin, matte, as well as mixed with some pearl or iridescent particles for a desired effect.  Gloss clear is the most transparent clear you will get.  It is, understandably, glossy and generally requires some polishing work afterwards. Matte clears generally contain a sort of a milky substance that's part of what makes them matte, and you will unfortunately see your matte clears if you spray them over dark gloss base color paints.  So say if you're spraying gloss brown, going over it with a matte clear is not a good idea.  You want to look for a matte brown and then follow with a very fine veil of matte clear.  Otherwise, gloss clear over gloss brown will look best.  You can spray matte clear over LIGHT-toned gloss colors (like over light beige) to end up with a semi-matte textured effect, sort of like old school beige computer plastics.
    You can spray clear right after you paint your colored paint--if you're happy with how that came out.  If you wait more than an hour in between, you should wait the recommended 24-48 hours (or even longer) before adding clear coats to ensure proper curing.
    Spraying gloss clear paint too much too fast can result in yellowing.  If you see any yellowing in some crevice where clear paint has accumulated--don't panic!  Generally (not always) the yellow tint goes away after the paint cures in a day or two. Once you do coat your work with a clear, it will be significantly more difficult to touch up.  So do all the corrections before you spray your clear.  
    4. Pre-painting Preparation
    Prepare a workspace. Painting with spray paint is not the neatest of jobs. Clouds of tiny aerosol particles of paint will form around the area you're spraying, and those clouds are 1. not exactly healthy to breathe, 2. can cover you and your clothes with paint over time, and 3. will paint the surroundings. Use plenty of cardboard to cover your work area and preferably spray outside or in a well-ventilated garage. Stay away from areas with lots of particles in the air or dust as they can show on a painting job and prevent the paint from settling on the material. Make sure you read the instructions on the can.They often contain crucial info. Including how long to wait in-between coats and other important info. If it says to wait at least 5 minutes between consecutive coats--please wait at least 5 minutes.  Paints must cure for proper hardness and adhesion, and improper application can stall or prevent proper curing, causing your paint to lift, crack, peel off, etc.  Painting in high humidity also has adverse effects on curing as well as the actual process of spraying an aerosol cloud of paint particles onto a surface.  You may end up with a cloudy uneven finish. Surface Preparation/Sanding. You want to strip your surface down to the base plastic. Remove any coating, including paint, rubber, plastic film, or clear coats. This is done for adhesion purposes, it will not matter if you have the right paint, if you are applying it to the wrong surface. Good quality sandpaper is really important, and make sure to sand wet surfaces. Water helps to rinse away any particles, prevents the object from warping, and  provides a more consistent sanding job. Clean down to the bare material (plastic, metal, etc). While sanding, let the paper do the work, if you are too aggressive you can make large scuff marks that are tough to cover up. Gentle circular motions are good. Avoid sanding corners and angled surfaces too much. Once you have sanded your piece to the bare material or your piece is all that material to start with, use steel wool or fine sandpaper to scuff the surface. Paint loves to adhere to microscopic scratches. Never paint mirror-smooth surfaces, always scuff them a bit. Wash with detergent and water, rinse really REALLY well, allow to dry COMPLETELY, then go over the surface with a fiber cloth soaked in alcohol. Get a cloth that removes lint and dust--any dust particles left on the surface tend to come through the paint. If you have any grease on it, and you cannot remove it, use a professional grease and tar remover (can be gotten for under $10 in auto supply shops). 5. Test Painting
    What you DON'T want to do at this point is to hop right in and start painting your piece. You don't want to commit all that time to find out you have a bad can of paint halfway through painting your piece and risk scraping it, or redoing everything, including all that tedious sanding. Guidelines to test painting.  REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON PAINTING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers, plastic sporks and other utensils, really anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will 1. work together
    2. how long it will take for them to dry
    3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
    4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)
    When Beginning to Paint. Each time you haven't used a particular can of paint for a while (or it's the first time you use it), after shaking the can well, spray elsewhere other than on your project to get the flow of the paint going properly.  Then spray onto some scrap cardboard or plastic to see if the paint comes out evenly.  Sometimes a nozzle is bad, and you'll get paint running down the can onto your fingers.  Or worse, you will get larger droplets of paint onto your project, that will look like small splatters among the finely sprayed paint.  Cleaning the nozzle with a paper towel or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball periodically helps, if it's one of those poorly-spraying ones.  Sometimes it's best to take off the nozzle entirely and give it a good cleaning with some alcohol.  If any paint has dried to cover the hole of the nozzle, you will get an uneven spray.  It can even just be a poorly-designed nozzle to start with, and you should use something else.

    Furthermore, some paint starts out with small caked bits that end up shooting out of the nozzle and sticking to your painted surface.  It looks terrible--like small particles of dirt or lint trapped under paint.  Usually shaking well and regularly is great to help with this, but some paint is just bad, and you won't be able to get rid of those little balled up congealed pieces.  Better to scrap that can and get a new one.  This is another reason for painting onto something unimportant first.  Imagine your surface is all nicely prepared and already painted with a few layers of paint.  Then you come back, spray some more... and get a bunch of tiny pieces of gunk onto the surface. 6. Painting
    You made it. All that time and effort. You are ready to do a really good paintjob.
    Light Layers. Unless you really know what you are doing. (If you are reading this guide, you probably don't). Make lots of really light layers. Things will look poor at first, you will have this awful blend of colors, but as you add more layers things will look better. Don't worry too much if your layers are inconsistent. It is worse to hover over an area for too long, rather than not enough. The color will even itself out the more layers you add. Make sure you are waiting the proper time in-between layers. Apply enough layers of primer, paint, and clearcoat. Your research or the can should help you with this. Order. If you haven't figured it out yet, the order to paint is
    1. Sand/Scuff
    2. Primer
    3. Paint
    4. Clearcoat Patterns. Patterns work differently than most paintjobs. ALOT of experimentation and research must be done. You have to decide your base color and accent colors. How you are going to layer them, and what you are going to use to create the pattern. Painters tape and various household items are your best friends. I cannot give you specific guidelines as the layering varies per pattern. Google and your experimentation sporks are your best friends. Curing and Waiting. Unfortunately there will be a lot of waiting. Curing is one of the most important things you can do for your boards. But it tests your patience alot. All you want to do is get your hands on your fancy new keyboard, but if you start playing with it prematurely that paintjob is meaningless, as you probably just screwed up your settling paint. Read your paintcan label and it will tell you when it is safe to start handling the board. This waiting period is usually 24-48 hrs. 7. Post Painting
    Polishing. Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake. I recommend you do a bit of research yourself, as polishing can get tricky.  Surface preparation extremely for a smooth finish. Wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper. Make really light circles, and avoid sanding edges too much. I know what you are thinking, dosent sanding destroy all that work we just did? And the answer is yes, if you are not careful. This is very high grit sand paper, and it is used to make a better surface for polishing in this case. This WILL make the surface look dull, but the polish will fix that. Wash with warm soapy water and inspect to see if you need to do any more sanding. Once you are satisfied, continue to a rubbing compound. Follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) rub with cotton balls or a special high density foam sponge. Finish with a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls). Once you are done you should have a really nice and shiny finish on your keyboard. A Few Tips on Polishing.
    MORE POLISHING IS NOT THE ANSWER. This will not make your surface any shinier. You could do too much and end up with on uneven looking cover. If you find you have done a poor job, the wrong approach is to re sand and polish. You will destroy your clear coat and paint, and have to re-sand and repaint EVERYTHING. Your sandpaper and rubbing compound can rub through your clear coat and paint. Be careful to not remove too much clear coat. The proper way to re-polish if you have done a bad job is to wash the surface and re-apply a clear coat. If you know you are going to be doing any polishing, make sure you apply a thick clear coat. This is tricky because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull. The best solution is to use your handy Practice Sporks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you are using an oil-based enamel where you do a gloss clear coat. There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth. As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on surfaces such as a keyboard case, so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing).  For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process. Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more. Upkeep and Maintenance. If you did a good job, your paint job will last you a long time. If and when that starts to deteriorate, chip, or peel. It is most likely time to redo everything anyway. By the time you fix one problem, another will arise. For everyone else, generally I would advise redoing a chipping or peeling paint job, but if it is fading, I recommend to just do touch ups. Start by sanding off the clear coat, and a tiny bit of the paint. Repaint, until you have an even surface, or until you use enough layers. Then re-apply the clear coat. If you just have a chipped corner, a quick fix would be to use model or hobby brush paints. It won't look great, but better than chipped. Re-painting. Sand. Rinse. and Repeat.  
    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY PAINTING!!!
     
    Please feel free to leave any compliments, criticism, or anything that you think needs revision.
    Please Like this guide and share it.
     
    I want to give alot of credit to Photoelectric at Geekhack who really catalyzed my painting hobby.
  3. Like
    404 got a reaction from bennyy49 in The Proper Way to Paint Your PC Stuff   
    If you have ever wanted to paint something, whether it be a case, keyboard, game controller, or an accent piece to a build. There is a proper method to do it.
     
    I know what you are probably thinking. "Linus already did a video on painting." And to that you are correct. But Linus could not have been any more wrong with his method. Plastidip is great if you need to RMA your part as you can peel it off, but any good paintjob should not be using plastidip. There are simply too many flaws with it, and yes, I have used it. It peeled off of my keyboard in less than a month. If you are going to come here to argue "Plastidip master race" than please go start your own post.
     
    I have been modding and painting PC parts for over 5 years. I have done most of my keyboards, some PC cases, graphics cards, motherboards, video game controllers, household items, and furniture.
     
    Disclaimer: you can void the warranty if you paint a part of your PC. You can also ruin your part if you do not do things carefully.
     
    PAINTING GUIDELINES
     
    1.Visualize
    The first thing to do when painting is to not paint. Know what you want to do. Do you want a glossy ar flat finish? Textured or smooth? What color? How many colors? Any patterns? This first step is dynamic. Come back here often as you do your research, as you will   probably change your mind as you begin to see and realize more things. 1. Acquaint Yourself
    Find out what type of materials you are working with. Is it plastic or metal? What type of plastic or metal? Paints that work well with ABS may not work well with Vinyl. 2. Research
    You want to do research on multiple topics. Research components that have a similar paint job. It could be as simple as typing into Google "Painted Yellow PC Case." This will help you revise and finalize what you want to do with your part as you see what other people have done. Next you want to start to do research on paints. Things get really difficult here. The paints that appear most frequently on Google searches are the ones that usually get the worst reviews. Automotive and Hobby forums are usually the best places to find good paints. Read reviews in multiple places. Paints that have a good rep on Amazon may be the laughingstock of a reputable hobby forum. (Beats anyone?) A good method is BRAND + APPLICATION + SURFACE; "Rustoleum Primer for Vinyl" Usually when doing research, you will find out various painting techniques and tricks. Look at videos that show proper painting technique for your paints. Most paints just require lots of light even layers. But this may be different if you want a pattern or have a special paint. You need to make sure to paint in a gentle sweeping motion, say left-to-right and back in zig-zags, and don't spray over a single spot for longer than a moment or you will spray too much!  It is better to spray too little and go over a bare spot a few times again later than to spray too much. Spraying too much results in sagging and inhibits proper curing. Research Proper Sanding techniques of your objects material. If you sand an item wrong, you risk making hard to cover up marks. More on this below. Go back to your original idea and revise it if you feel you want or need to. Make sure you have done research for all layers of paint you need. (More details later).
    2.5. MAKE SURE YOUR PAINT WORKS.
    Some paints are not meant to be exposed to sunlight like florescent paints. Some may not work without certain primers or basecoats. Some are not very durable; some are thin, runny, not supposed to be heated, and don't cover well; some depend on the color of paint under them to influence the outcome (chameleon paints), etc. This is all part of your research. Make sure you have the right paint for the right job. 3. Paints
    Paints. Make sure you read / research carefully which paints you are getting.  Their composition varies, and they usually fall into these common categories for rattle cans: acrylic lacquers and oil enamels for general purpose rattle cans. 
    There are also other varieties of paint which are intended for automotive painting and are generally more expensive: acrylic enamels (enamels are harder than lacquers), acrylic urethanes (1K (1-stage) and 2K (2-stage, multiple components)) and they usually require more preparation, such as an adhesion promoter, an epoxy primer for urethane paints, an appropriate urethane top clear coat, etc.  Urethane paints are also dramatically more toxic, and you must have good ventilation while spraying as well as wear proper full-face masks and protective clothing.
    Anyway, for most people here, acrylic lacquers and oil enamels will be the paints of choice, as they come in easily accessible rattle cans and don't cost a mini fortune. Note that acrylic lacquers and oil enamels are not really rubbing and finger-oil-proof.  So say if you paint a mouse and clear coat it and all that, you will still see the paint will begin to wear off in a month or so over the click buttons.  For touch-proof frequently handled surfaces, you need to go with more professional paints, such as 2K urethane paints. But you may be able to get away with something cheaper, depending on its use. I use Oil Enamel on a lot of my keyboards. The edges really don't get touched often enough for rapid wear.
    Oil enamel can be layered over oil enamel and over acrylic lacquer.  Acrylic lacquer SHOULD NOT be layered over oil enamel.  This applies to colors and clear coats and is important for proper curing as well as avoiding dissolving and lifting your base layers when spraying new paint over them. Primers/Promoters. If your paint does not come premixed with a primer, it's a safe assumption that you should get a primer or some sort of an adhesion promoter just in case. Get a complimentary color primer. If you are looking for a darker color, get a black or grey primer. If you are looking for a light color get a light grey or white primer. If you wish to retain some of the color of your part, get a clear primer. Fillers. If you have an uneven surface and you cannot sand it, get a filler. They really do help to make an uneven surface smooth enough so it may be painted over. Make sure you sand or scuff it when you are done. Clear Coats. For most paints, I would STRONGLY recommend a clear coat. 
    Clears are generally harder than colors, and they help protect your work against scuffs, minor scratches, and dullness.  For example, you will have a much harder time scratching a clear-coated paint job with your fingernail than if you just left it with color paint and no clear coat.
    Clears come in different types: gloss, satin, matte, as well as mixed with some pearl or iridescent particles for a desired effect.  Gloss clear is the most transparent clear you will get.  It is, understandably, glossy and generally requires some polishing work afterwards. Matte clears generally contain a sort of a milky substance that's part of what makes them matte, and you will unfortunately see your matte clears if you spray them over dark gloss base color paints.  So say if you're spraying gloss brown, going over it with a matte clear is not a good idea.  You want to look for a matte brown and then follow with a very fine veil of matte clear.  Otherwise, gloss clear over gloss brown will look best.  You can spray matte clear over LIGHT-toned gloss colors (like over light beige) to end up with a semi-matte textured effect, sort of like old school beige computer plastics.
    You can spray clear right after you paint your colored paint--if you're happy with how that came out.  If you wait more than an hour in between, you should wait the recommended 24-48 hours (or even longer) before adding clear coats to ensure proper curing.
    Spraying gloss clear paint too much too fast can result in yellowing.  If you see any yellowing in some crevice where clear paint has accumulated--don't panic!  Generally (not always) the yellow tint goes away after the paint cures in a day or two. Once you do coat your work with a clear, it will be significantly more difficult to touch up.  So do all the corrections before you spray your clear.  
    4. Pre-painting Preparation
    Prepare a workspace. Painting with spray paint is not the neatest of jobs. Clouds of tiny aerosol particles of paint will form around the area you're spraying, and those clouds are 1. not exactly healthy to breathe, 2. can cover you and your clothes with paint over time, and 3. will paint the surroundings. Use plenty of cardboard to cover your work area and preferably spray outside or in a well-ventilated garage. Stay away from areas with lots of particles in the air or dust as they can show on a painting job and prevent the paint from settling on the material. Make sure you read the instructions on the can.They often contain crucial info. Including how long to wait in-between coats and other important info. If it says to wait at least 5 minutes between consecutive coats--please wait at least 5 minutes.  Paints must cure for proper hardness and adhesion, and improper application can stall or prevent proper curing, causing your paint to lift, crack, peel off, etc.  Painting in high humidity also has adverse effects on curing as well as the actual process of spraying an aerosol cloud of paint particles onto a surface.  You may end up with a cloudy uneven finish. Surface Preparation/Sanding. You want to strip your surface down to the base plastic. Remove any coating, including paint, rubber, plastic film, or clear coats. This is done for adhesion purposes, it will not matter if you have the right paint, if you are applying it to the wrong surface. Good quality sandpaper is really important, and make sure to sand wet surfaces. Water helps to rinse away any particles, prevents the object from warping, and  provides a more consistent sanding job. Clean down to the bare material (plastic, metal, etc). While sanding, let the paper do the work, if you are too aggressive you can make large scuff marks that are tough to cover up. Gentle circular motions are good. Avoid sanding corners and angled surfaces too much. Once you have sanded your piece to the bare material or your piece is all that material to start with, use steel wool or fine sandpaper to scuff the surface. Paint loves to adhere to microscopic scratches. Never paint mirror-smooth surfaces, always scuff them a bit. Wash with detergent and water, rinse really REALLY well, allow to dry COMPLETELY, then go over the surface with a fiber cloth soaked in alcohol. Get a cloth that removes lint and dust--any dust particles left on the surface tend to come through the paint. If you have any grease on it, and you cannot remove it, use a professional grease and tar remover (can be gotten for under $10 in auto supply shops). 5. Test Painting
    What you DON'T want to do at this point is to hop right in and start painting your piece. You don't want to commit all that time to find out you have a bad can of paint halfway through painting your piece and risk scraping it, or redoing everything, including all that tedious sanding. Guidelines to test painting.  REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON PAINTING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers, plastic sporks and other utensils, really anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will 1. work together
    2. how long it will take for them to dry
    3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
    4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)
    When Beginning to Paint. Each time you haven't used a particular can of paint for a while (or it's the first time you use it), after shaking the can well, spray elsewhere other than on your project to get the flow of the paint going properly.  Then spray onto some scrap cardboard or plastic to see if the paint comes out evenly.  Sometimes a nozzle is bad, and you'll get paint running down the can onto your fingers.  Or worse, you will get larger droplets of paint onto your project, that will look like small splatters among the finely sprayed paint.  Cleaning the nozzle with a paper towel or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball periodically helps, if it's one of those poorly-spraying ones.  Sometimes it's best to take off the nozzle entirely and give it a good cleaning with some alcohol.  If any paint has dried to cover the hole of the nozzle, you will get an uneven spray.  It can even just be a poorly-designed nozzle to start with, and you should use something else.

    Furthermore, some paint starts out with small caked bits that end up shooting out of the nozzle and sticking to your painted surface.  It looks terrible--like small particles of dirt or lint trapped under paint.  Usually shaking well and regularly is great to help with this, but some paint is just bad, and you won't be able to get rid of those little balled up congealed pieces.  Better to scrap that can and get a new one.  This is another reason for painting onto something unimportant first.  Imagine your surface is all nicely prepared and already painted with a few layers of paint.  Then you come back, spray some more... and get a bunch of tiny pieces of gunk onto the surface. 6. Painting
    You made it. All that time and effort. You are ready to do a really good paintjob.
    Light Layers. Unless you really know what you are doing. (If you are reading this guide, you probably don't). Make lots of really light layers. Things will look poor at first, you will have this awful blend of colors, but as you add more layers things will look better. Don't worry too much if your layers are inconsistent. It is worse to hover over an area for too long, rather than not enough. The color will even itself out the more layers you add. Make sure you are waiting the proper time in-between layers. Apply enough layers of primer, paint, and clearcoat. Your research or the can should help you with this. Order. If you haven't figured it out yet, the order to paint is
    1. Sand/Scuff
    2. Primer
    3. Paint
    4. Clearcoat Patterns. Patterns work differently than most paintjobs. ALOT of experimentation and research must be done. You have to decide your base color and accent colors. How you are going to layer them, and what you are going to use to create the pattern. Painters tape and various household items are your best friends. I cannot give you specific guidelines as the layering varies per pattern. Google and your experimentation sporks are your best friends. Curing and Waiting. Unfortunately there will be a lot of waiting. Curing is one of the most important things you can do for your boards. But it tests your patience alot. All you want to do is get your hands on your fancy new keyboard, but if you start playing with it prematurely that paintjob is meaningless, as you probably just screwed up your settling paint. Read your paintcan label and it will tell you when it is safe to start handling the board. This waiting period is usually 24-48 hrs. 7. Post Painting
    Polishing. Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake. I recommend you do a bit of research yourself, as polishing can get tricky.  Surface preparation extremely for a smooth finish. Wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper. Make really light circles, and avoid sanding edges too much. I know what you are thinking, dosent sanding destroy all that work we just did? And the answer is yes, if you are not careful. This is very high grit sand paper, and it is used to make a better surface for polishing in this case. This WILL make the surface look dull, but the polish will fix that. Wash with warm soapy water and inspect to see if you need to do any more sanding. Once you are satisfied, continue to a rubbing compound. Follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) rub with cotton balls or a special high density foam sponge. Finish with a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls). Once you are done you should have a really nice and shiny finish on your keyboard. A Few Tips on Polishing.
    MORE POLISHING IS NOT THE ANSWER. This will not make your surface any shinier. You could do too much and end up with on uneven looking cover. If you find you have done a poor job, the wrong approach is to re sand and polish. You will destroy your clear coat and paint, and have to re-sand and repaint EVERYTHING. Your sandpaper and rubbing compound can rub through your clear coat and paint. Be careful to not remove too much clear coat. The proper way to re-polish if you have done a bad job is to wash the surface and re-apply a clear coat. If you know you are going to be doing any polishing, make sure you apply a thick clear coat. This is tricky because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull. The best solution is to use your handy Practice Sporks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you are using an oil-based enamel where you do a gloss clear coat. There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth. As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on surfaces such as a keyboard case, so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing).  For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process. Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more. Upkeep and Maintenance. If you did a good job, your paint job will last you a long time. If and when that starts to deteriorate, chip, or peel. It is most likely time to redo everything anyway. By the time you fix one problem, another will arise. For everyone else, generally I would advise redoing a chipping or peeling paint job, but if it is fading, I recommend to just do touch ups. Start by sanding off the clear coat, and a tiny bit of the paint. Repaint, until you have an even surface, or until you use enough layers. Then re-apply the clear coat. If you just have a chipped corner, a quick fix would be to use model or hobby brush paints. It won't look great, but better than chipped. Re-painting. Sand. Rinse. and Repeat.  
    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY PAINTING!!!
     
    Please feel free to leave any compliments, criticism, or anything that you think needs revision.
    Please Like this guide and share it.
     
    I want to give alot of credit to Photoelectric at Geekhack who really catalyzed my painting hobby.
  4. Like
    404 got a reaction from Ezcha in The Proper Way to Paint Your PC Stuff   
    If you have ever wanted to paint something, whether it be a case, keyboard, game controller, or an accent piece to a build. There is a proper method to do it.
     
    I know what you are probably thinking. "Linus already did a video on painting." And to that you are correct. But Linus could not have been any more wrong with his method. Plastidip is great if you need to RMA your part as you can peel it off, but any good paintjob should not be using plastidip. There are simply too many flaws with it, and yes, I have used it. It peeled off of my keyboard in less than a month. If you are going to come here to argue "Plastidip master race" than please go start your own post.
     
    I have been modding and painting PC parts for over 5 years. I have done most of my keyboards, some PC cases, graphics cards, motherboards, video game controllers, household items, and furniture.
     
    Disclaimer: you can void the warranty if you paint a part of your PC. You can also ruin your part if you do not do things carefully.
     
    PAINTING GUIDELINES
     
    1.Visualize
    The first thing to do when painting is to not paint. Know what you want to do. Do you want a glossy ar flat finish? Textured or smooth? What color? How many colors? Any patterns? This first step is dynamic. Come back here often as you do your research, as you will   probably change your mind as you begin to see and realize more things. 1. Acquaint Yourself
    Find out what type of materials you are working with. Is it plastic or metal? What type of plastic or metal? Paints that work well with ABS may not work well with Vinyl. 2. Research
    You want to do research on multiple topics. Research components that have a similar paint job. It could be as simple as typing into Google "Painted Yellow PC Case." This will help you revise and finalize what you want to do with your part as you see what other people have done. Next you want to start to do research on paints. Things get really difficult here. The paints that appear most frequently on Google searches are the ones that usually get the worst reviews. Automotive and Hobby forums are usually the best places to find good paints. Read reviews in multiple places. Paints that have a good rep on Amazon may be the laughingstock of a reputable hobby forum. (Beats anyone?) A good method is BRAND + APPLICATION + SURFACE; "Rustoleum Primer for Vinyl" Usually when doing research, you will find out various painting techniques and tricks. Look at videos that show proper painting technique for your paints. Most paints just require lots of light even layers. But this may be different if you want a pattern or have a special paint. You need to make sure to paint in a gentle sweeping motion, say left-to-right and back in zig-zags, and don't spray over a single spot for longer than a moment or you will spray too much!  It is better to spray too little and go over a bare spot a few times again later than to spray too much. Spraying too much results in sagging and inhibits proper curing. Research Proper Sanding techniques of your objects material. If you sand an item wrong, you risk making hard to cover up marks. More on this below. Go back to your original idea and revise it if you feel you want or need to. Make sure you have done research for all layers of paint you need. (More details later).
    2.5. MAKE SURE YOUR PAINT WORKS.
    Some paints are not meant to be exposed to sunlight like florescent paints. Some may not work without certain primers or basecoats. Some are not very durable; some are thin, runny, not supposed to be heated, and don't cover well; some depend on the color of paint under them to influence the outcome (chameleon paints), etc. This is all part of your research. Make sure you have the right paint for the right job. 3. Paints
    Paints. Make sure you read / research carefully which paints you are getting.  Their composition varies, and they usually fall into these common categories for rattle cans: acrylic lacquers and oil enamels for general purpose rattle cans. 
    There are also other varieties of paint which are intended for automotive painting and are generally more expensive: acrylic enamels (enamels are harder than lacquers), acrylic urethanes (1K (1-stage) and 2K (2-stage, multiple components)) and they usually require more preparation, such as an adhesion promoter, an epoxy primer for urethane paints, an appropriate urethane top clear coat, etc.  Urethane paints are also dramatically more toxic, and you must have good ventilation while spraying as well as wear proper full-face masks and protective clothing.
    Anyway, for most people here, acrylic lacquers and oil enamels will be the paints of choice, as they come in easily accessible rattle cans and don't cost a mini fortune. Note that acrylic lacquers and oil enamels are not really rubbing and finger-oil-proof.  So say if you paint a mouse and clear coat it and all that, you will still see the paint will begin to wear off in a month or so over the click buttons.  For touch-proof frequently handled surfaces, you need to go with more professional paints, such as 2K urethane paints. But you may be able to get away with something cheaper, depending on its use. I use Oil Enamel on a lot of my keyboards. The edges really don't get touched often enough for rapid wear.
    Oil enamel can be layered over oil enamel and over acrylic lacquer.  Acrylic lacquer SHOULD NOT be layered over oil enamel.  This applies to colors and clear coats and is important for proper curing as well as avoiding dissolving and lifting your base layers when spraying new paint over them. Primers/Promoters. If your paint does not come premixed with a primer, it's a safe assumption that you should get a primer or some sort of an adhesion promoter just in case. Get a complimentary color primer. If you are looking for a darker color, get a black or grey primer. If you are looking for a light color get a light grey or white primer. If you wish to retain some of the color of your part, get a clear primer. Fillers. If you have an uneven surface and you cannot sand it, get a filler. They really do help to make an uneven surface smooth enough so it may be painted over. Make sure you sand or scuff it when you are done. Clear Coats. For most paints, I would STRONGLY recommend a clear coat. 
    Clears are generally harder than colors, and they help protect your work against scuffs, minor scratches, and dullness.  For example, you will have a much harder time scratching a clear-coated paint job with your fingernail than if you just left it with color paint and no clear coat.
    Clears come in different types: gloss, satin, matte, as well as mixed with some pearl or iridescent particles for a desired effect.  Gloss clear is the most transparent clear you will get.  It is, understandably, glossy and generally requires some polishing work afterwards. Matte clears generally contain a sort of a milky substance that's part of what makes them matte, and you will unfortunately see your matte clears if you spray them over dark gloss base color paints.  So say if you're spraying gloss brown, going over it with a matte clear is not a good idea.  You want to look for a matte brown and then follow with a very fine veil of matte clear.  Otherwise, gloss clear over gloss brown will look best.  You can spray matte clear over LIGHT-toned gloss colors (like over light beige) to end up with a semi-matte textured effect, sort of like old school beige computer plastics.
    You can spray clear right after you paint your colored paint--if you're happy with how that came out.  If you wait more than an hour in between, you should wait the recommended 24-48 hours (or even longer) before adding clear coats to ensure proper curing.
    Spraying gloss clear paint too much too fast can result in yellowing.  If you see any yellowing in some crevice where clear paint has accumulated--don't panic!  Generally (not always) the yellow tint goes away after the paint cures in a day or two. Once you do coat your work with a clear, it will be significantly more difficult to touch up.  So do all the corrections before you spray your clear.  
    4. Pre-painting Preparation
    Prepare a workspace. Painting with spray paint is not the neatest of jobs. Clouds of tiny aerosol particles of paint will form around the area you're spraying, and those clouds are 1. not exactly healthy to breathe, 2. can cover you and your clothes with paint over time, and 3. will paint the surroundings. Use plenty of cardboard to cover your work area and preferably spray outside or in a well-ventilated garage. Stay away from areas with lots of particles in the air or dust as they can show on a painting job and prevent the paint from settling on the material. Make sure you read the instructions on the can.They often contain crucial info. Including how long to wait in-between coats and other important info. If it says to wait at least 5 minutes between consecutive coats--please wait at least 5 minutes.  Paints must cure for proper hardness and adhesion, and improper application can stall or prevent proper curing, causing your paint to lift, crack, peel off, etc.  Painting in high humidity also has adverse effects on curing as well as the actual process of spraying an aerosol cloud of paint particles onto a surface.  You may end up with a cloudy uneven finish. Surface Preparation/Sanding. You want to strip your surface down to the base plastic. Remove any coating, including paint, rubber, plastic film, or clear coats. This is done for adhesion purposes, it will not matter if you have the right paint, if you are applying it to the wrong surface. Good quality sandpaper is really important, and make sure to sand wet surfaces. Water helps to rinse away any particles, prevents the object from warping, and  provides a more consistent sanding job. Clean down to the bare material (plastic, metal, etc). While sanding, let the paper do the work, if you are too aggressive you can make large scuff marks that are tough to cover up. Gentle circular motions are good. Avoid sanding corners and angled surfaces too much. Once you have sanded your piece to the bare material or your piece is all that material to start with, use steel wool or fine sandpaper to scuff the surface. Paint loves to adhere to microscopic scratches. Never paint mirror-smooth surfaces, always scuff them a bit. Wash with detergent and water, rinse really REALLY well, allow to dry COMPLETELY, then go over the surface with a fiber cloth soaked in alcohol. Get a cloth that removes lint and dust--any dust particles left on the surface tend to come through the paint. If you have any grease on it, and you cannot remove it, use a professional grease and tar remover (can be gotten for under $10 in auto supply shops). 5. Test Painting
    What you DON'T want to do at this point is to hop right in and start painting your piece. You don't want to commit all that time to find out you have a bad can of paint halfway through painting your piece and risk scraping it, or redoing everything, including all that tedious sanding. Guidelines to test painting.  REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON PAINTING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers, plastic sporks and other utensils, really anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will 1. work together
    2. how long it will take for them to dry
    3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
    4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)
    When Beginning to Paint. Each time you haven't used a particular can of paint for a while (or it's the first time you use it), after shaking the can well, spray elsewhere other than on your project to get the flow of the paint going properly.  Then spray onto some scrap cardboard or plastic to see if the paint comes out evenly.  Sometimes a nozzle is bad, and you'll get paint running down the can onto your fingers.  Or worse, you will get larger droplets of paint onto your project, that will look like small splatters among the finely sprayed paint.  Cleaning the nozzle with a paper towel or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball periodically helps, if it's one of those poorly-spraying ones.  Sometimes it's best to take off the nozzle entirely and give it a good cleaning with some alcohol.  If any paint has dried to cover the hole of the nozzle, you will get an uneven spray.  It can even just be a poorly-designed nozzle to start with, and you should use something else.

    Furthermore, some paint starts out with small caked bits that end up shooting out of the nozzle and sticking to your painted surface.  It looks terrible--like small particles of dirt or lint trapped under paint.  Usually shaking well and regularly is great to help with this, but some paint is just bad, and you won't be able to get rid of those little balled up congealed pieces.  Better to scrap that can and get a new one.  This is another reason for painting onto something unimportant first.  Imagine your surface is all nicely prepared and already painted with a few layers of paint.  Then you come back, spray some more... and get a bunch of tiny pieces of gunk onto the surface. 6. Painting
    You made it. All that time and effort. You are ready to do a really good paintjob.
    Light Layers. Unless you really know what you are doing. (If you are reading this guide, you probably don't). Make lots of really light layers. Things will look poor at first, you will have this awful blend of colors, but as you add more layers things will look better. Don't worry too much if your layers are inconsistent. It is worse to hover over an area for too long, rather than not enough. The color will even itself out the more layers you add. Make sure you are waiting the proper time in-between layers. Apply enough layers of primer, paint, and clearcoat. Your research or the can should help you with this. Order. If you haven't figured it out yet, the order to paint is
    1. Sand/Scuff
    2. Primer
    3. Paint
    4. Clearcoat Patterns. Patterns work differently than most paintjobs. ALOT of experimentation and research must be done. You have to decide your base color and accent colors. How you are going to layer them, and what you are going to use to create the pattern. Painters tape and various household items are your best friends. I cannot give you specific guidelines as the layering varies per pattern. Google and your experimentation sporks are your best friends. Curing and Waiting. Unfortunately there will be a lot of waiting. Curing is one of the most important things you can do for your boards. But it tests your patience alot. All you want to do is get your hands on your fancy new keyboard, but if you start playing with it prematurely that paintjob is meaningless, as you probably just screwed up your settling paint. Read your paintcan label and it will tell you when it is safe to start handling the board. This waiting period is usually 24-48 hrs. 7. Post Painting
    Polishing. Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake. I recommend you do a bit of research yourself, as polishing can get tricky.  Surface preparation extremely for a smooth finish. Wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper. Make really light circles, and avoid sanding edges too much. I know what you are thinking, dosent sanding destroy all that work we just did? And the answer is yes, if you are not careful. This is very high grit sand paper, and it is used to make a better surface for polishing in this case. This WILL make the surface look dull, but the polish will fix that. Wash with warm soapy water and inspect to see if you need to do any more sanding. Once you are satisfied, continue to a rubbing compound. Follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) rub with cotton balls or a special high density foam sponge. Finish with a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls). Once you are done you should have a really nice and shiny finish on your keyboard. A Few Tips on Polishing.
    MORE POLISHING IS NOT THE ANSWER. This will not make your surface any shinier. You could do too much and end up with on uneven looking cover. If you find you have done a poor job, the wrong approach is to re sand and polish. You will destroy your clear coat and paint, and have to re-sand and repaint EVERYTHING. Your sandpaper and rubbing compound can rub through your clear coat and paint. Be careful to not remove too much clear coat. The proper way to re-polish if you have done a bad job is to wash the surface and re-apply a clear coat. If you know you are going to be doing any polishing, make sure you apply a thick clear coat. This is tricky because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull. The best solution is to use your handy Practice Sporks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you are using an oil-based enamel where you do a gloss clear coat. There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth. As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on surfaces such as a keyboard case, so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing).  For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process. Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more. Upkeep and Maintenance. If you did a good job, your paint job will last you a long time. If and when that starts to deteriorate, chip, or peel. It is most likely time to redo everything anyway. By the time you fix one problem, another will arise. For everyone else, generally I would advise redoing a chipping or peeling paint job, but if it is fading, I recommend to just do touch ups. Start by sanding off the clear coat, and a tiny bit of the paint. Repaint, until you have an even surface, or until you use enough layers. Then re-apply the clear coat. If you just have a chipped corner, a quick fix would be to use model or hobby brush paints. It won't look great, but better than chipped. Re-painting. Sand. Rinse. and Repeat.  
    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY PAINTING!!!
     
    Please feel free to leave any compliments, criticism, or anything that you think needs revision.
    Please Like this guide and share it.
     
    I want to give alot of credit to Photoelectric at Geekhack who really catalyzed my painting hobby.
  5. Funny
    404 got a reaction from Roll_Like_Rollo in Experiences with non-techies   
    I went to fix my friends computer and he just built it. He was still a PC n00b so he had me come and troubleshoot it. After an hour of running diagnostic tests, I figured out the PC was thermal throttling. I opened up the case and it was filled with fiberglass insulation.
     
    Come to find out his mother jammed all the fans and stuffed fiberglass insulation into the case on the claim that "the AC was running and she didn't want it to put hot air inside the house." I credit her on her knowledge of thermodynamics, but she killed a $1,000 system. The only thing salvageable and not infested with fiberglass, or overheated  was the motherboard but it died from ESD because all the fiberglass acted like a carpet and he zapped the CPU socket.
  6. Like
    404 got a reaction from NaLu in The Proper Way to Paint Your PC Stuff   
    If you have ever wanted to paint something, whether it be a case, keyboard, game controller, or an accent piece to a build. There is a proper method to do it.
     
    I know what you are probably thinking. "Linus already did a video on painting." And to that you are correct. But Linus could not have been any more wrong with his method. Plastidip is great if you need to RMA your part as you can peel it off, but any good paintjob should not be using plastidip. There are simply too many flaws with it, and yes, I have used it. It peeled off of my keyboard in less than a month. If you are going to come here to argue "Plastidip master race" than please go start your own post.
     
    I have been modding and painting PC parts for over 5 years. I have done most of my keyboards, some PC cases, graphics cards, motherboards, video game controllers, household items, and furniture.
     
    Disclaimer: you can void the warranty if you paint a part of your PC. You can also ruin your part if you do not do things carefully.
     
    PAINTING GUIDELINES
     
    1.Visualize
    The first thing to do when painting is to not paint. Know what you want to do. Do you want a glossy ar flat finish? Textured or smooth? What color? How many colors? Any patterns? This first step is dynamic. Come back here often as you do your research, as you will   probably change your mind as you begin to see and realize more things. 1. Acquaint Yourself
    Find out what type of materials you are working with. Is it plastic or metal? What type of plastic or metal? Paints that work well with ABS may not work well with Vinyl. 2. Research
    You want to do research on multiple topics. Research components that have a similar paint job. It could be as simple as typing into Google "Painted Yellow PC Case." This will help you revise and finalize what you want to do with your part as you see what other people have done. Next you want to start to do research on paints. Things get really difficult here. The paints that appear most frequently on Google searches are the ones that usually get the worst reviews. Automotive and Hobby forums are usually the best places to find good paints. Read reviews in multiple places. Paints that have a good rep on Amazon may be the laughingstock of a reputable hobby forum. (Beats anyone?) A good method is BRAND + APPLICATION + SURFACE; "Rustoleum Primer for Vinyl" Usually when doing research, you will find out various painting techniques and tricks. Look at videos that show proper painting technique for your paints. Most paints just require lots of light even layers. But this may be different if you want a pattern or have a special paint. You need to make sure to paint in a gentle sweeping motion, say left-to-right and back in zig-zags, and don't spray over a single spot for longer than a moment or you will spray too much!  It is better to spray too little and go over a bare spot a few times again later than to spray too much. Spraying too much results in sagging and inhibits proper curing. Research Proper Sanding techniques of your objects material. If you sand an item wrong, you risk making hard to cover up marks. More on this below. Go back to your original idea and revise it if you feel you want or need to. Make sure you have done research for all layers of paint you need. (More details later).
    2.5. MAKE SURE YOUR PAINT WORKS.
    Some paints are not meant to be exposed to sunlight like florescent paints. Some may not work without certain primers or basecoats. Some are not very durable; some are thin, runny, not supposed to be heated, and don't cover well; some depend on the color of paint under them to influence the outcome (chameleon paints), etc. This is all part of your research. Make sure you have the right paint for the right job. 3. Paints
    Paints. Make sure you read / research carefully which paints you are getting.  Their composition varies, and they usually fall into these common categories for rattle cans: acrylic lacquers and oil enamels for general purpose rattle cans. 
    There are also other varieties of paint which are intended for automotive painting and are generally more expensive: acrylic enamels (enamels are harder than lacquers), acrylic urethanes (1K (1-stage) and 2K (2-stage, multiple components)) and they usually require more preparation, such as an adhesion promoter, an epoxy primer for urethane paints, an appropriate urethane top clear coat, etc.  Urethane paints are also dramatically more toxic, and you must have good ventilation while spraying as well as wear proper full-face masks and protective clothing.
    Anyway, for most people here, acrylic lacquers and oil enamels will be the paints of choice, as they come in easily accessible rattle cans and don't cost a mini fortune. Note that acrylic lacquers and oil enamels are not really rubbing and finger-oil-proof.  So say if you paint a mouse and clear coat it and all that, you will still see the paint will begin to wear off in a month or so over the click buttons.  For touch-proof frequently handled surfaces, you need to go with more professional paints, such as 2K urethane paints. But you may be able to get away with something cheaper, depending on its use. I use Oil Enamel on a lot of my keyboards. The edges really don't get touched often enough for rapid wear.
    Oil enamel can be layered over oil enamel and over acrylic lacquer.  Acrylic lacquer SHOULD NOT be layered over oil enamel.  This applies to colors and clear coats and is important for proper curing as well as avoiding dissolving and lifting your base layers when spraying new paint over them. Primers/Promoters. If your paint does not come premixed with a primer, it's a safe assumption that you should get a primer or some sort of an adhesion promoter just in case. Get a complimentary color primer. If you are looking for a darker color, get a black or grey primer. If you are looking for a light color get a light grey or white primer. If you wish to retain some of the color of your part, get a clear primer. Fillers. If you have an uneven surface and you cannot sand it, get a filler. They really do help to make an uneven surface smooth enough so it may be painted over. Make sure you sand or scuff it when you are done. Clear Coats. For most paints, I would STRONGLY recommend a clear coat. 
    Clears are generally harder than colors, and they help protect your work against scuffs, minor scratches, and dullness.  For example, you will have a much harder time scratching a clear-coated paint job with your fingernail than if you just left it with color paint and no clear coat.
    Clears come in different types: gloss, satin, matte, as well as mixed with some pearl or iridescent particles for a desired effect.  Gloss clear is the most transparent clear you will get.  It is, understandably, glossy and generally requires some polishing work afterwards. Matte clears generally contain a sort of a milky substance that's part of what makes them matte, and you will unfortunately see your matte clears if you spray them over dark gloss base color paints.  So say if you're spraying gloss brown, going over it with a matte clear is not a good idea.  You want to look for a matte brown and then follow with a very fine veil of matte clear.  Otherwise, gloss clear over gloss brown will look best.  You can spray matte clear over LIGHT-toned gloss colors (like over light beige) to end up with a semi-matte textured effect, sort of like old school beige computer plastics.
    You can spray clear right after you paint your colored paint--if you're happy with how that came out.  If you wait more than an hour in between, you should wait the recommended 24-48 hours (or even longer) before adding clear coats to ensure proper curing.
    Spraying gloss clear paint too much too fast can result in yellowing.  If you see any yellowing in some crevice where clear paint has accumulated--don't panic!  Generally (not always) the yellow tint goes away after the paint cures in a day or two. Once you do coat your work with a clear, it will be significantly more difficult to touch up.  So do all the corrections before you spray your clear.  
    4. Pre-painting Preparation
    Prepare a workspace. Painting with spray paint is not the neatest of jobs. Clouds of tiny aerosol particles of paint will form around the area you're spraying, and those clouds are 1. not exactly healthy to breathe, 2. can cover you and your clothes with paint over time, and 3. will paint the surroundings. Use plenty of cardboard to cover your work area and preferably spray outside or in a well-ventilated garage. Stay away from areas with lots of particles in the air or dust as they can show on a painting job and prevent the paint from settling on the material. Make sure you read the instructions on the can.They often contain crucial info. Including how long to wait in-between coats and other important info. If it says to wait at least 5 minutes between consecutive coats--please wait at least 5 minutes.  Paints must cure for proper hardness and adhesion, and improper application can stall or prevent proper curing, causing your paint to lift, crack, peel off, etc.  Painting in high humidity also has adverse effects on curing as well as the actual process of spraying an aerosol cloud of paint particles onto a surface.  You may end up with a cloudy uneven finish. Surface Preparation/Sanding. You want to strip your surface down to the base plastic. Remove any coating, including paint, rubber, plastic film, or clear coats. This is done for adhesion purposes, it will not matter if you have the right paint, if you are applying it to the wrong surface. Good quality sandpaper is really important, and make sure to sand wet surfaces. Water helps to rinse away any particles, prevents the object from warping, and  provides a more consistent sanding job. Clean down to the bare material (plastic, metal, etc). While sanding, let the paper do the work, if you are too aggressive you can make large scuff marks that are tough to cover up. Gentle circular motions are good. Avoid sanding corners and angled surfaces too much. Once you have sanded your piece to the bare material or your piece is all that material to start with, use steel wool or fine sandpaper to scuff the surface. Paint loves to adhere to microscopic scratches. Never paint mirror-smooth surfaces, always scuff them a bit. Wash with detergent and water, rinse really REALLY well, allow to dry COMPLETELY, then go over the surface with a fiber cloth soaked in alcohol. Get a cloth that removes lint and dust--any dust particles left on the surface tend to come through the paint. If you have any grease on it, and you cannot remove it, use a professional grease and tar remover (can be gotten for under $10 in auto supply shops). 5. Test Painting
    What you DON'T want to do at this point is to hop right in and start painting your piece. You don't want to commit all that time to find out you have a bad can of paint halfway through painting your piece and risk scraping it, or redoing everything, including all that tedious sanding. Guidelines to test painting.  REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON PAINTING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers, plastic sporks and other utensils, really anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will 1. work together
    2. how long it will take for them to dry
    3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
    4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)
    When Beginning to Paint. Each time you haven't used a particular can of paint for a while (or it's the first time you use it), after shaking the can well, spray elsewhere other than on your project to get the flow of the paint going properly.  Then spray onto some scrap cardboard or plastic to see if the paint comes out evenly.  Sometimes a nozzle is bad, and you'll get paint running down the can onto your fingers.  Or worse, you will get larger droplets of paint onto your project, that will look like small splatters among the finely sprayed paint.  Cleaning the nozzle with a paper towel or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball periodically helps, if it's one of those poorly-spraying ones.  Sometimes it's best to take off the nozzle entirely and give it a good cleaning with some alcohol.  If any paint has dried to cover the hole of the nozzle, you will get an uneven spray.  It can even just be a poorly-designed nozzle to start with, and you should use something else.

    Furthermore, some paint starts out with small caked bits that end up shooting out of the nozzle and sticking to your painted surface.  It looks terrible--like small particles of dirt or lint trapped under paint.  Usually shaking well and regularly is great to help with this, but some paint is just bad, and you won't be able to get rid of those little balled up congealed pieces.  Better to scrap that can and get a new one.  This is another reason for painting onto something unimportant first.  Imagine your surface is all nicely prepared and already painted with a few layers of paint.  Then you come back, spray some more... and get a bunch of tiny pieces of gunk onto the surface. 6. Painting
    You made it. All that time and effort. You are ready to do a really good paintjob.
    Light Layers. Unless you really know what you are doing. (If you are reading this guide, you probably don't). Make lots of really light layers. Things will look poor at first, you will have this awful blend of colors, but as you add more layers things will look better. Don't worry too much if your layers are inconsistent. It is worse to hover over an area for too long, rather than not enough. The color will even itself out the more layers you add. Make sure you are waiting the proper time in-between layers. Apply enough layers of primer, paint, and clearcoat. Your research or the can should help you with this. Order. If you haven't figured it out yet, the order to paint is
    1. Sand/Scuff
    2. Primer
    3. Paint
    4. Clearcoat Patterns. Patterns work differently than most paintjobs. ALOT of experimentation and research must be done. You have to decide your base color and accent colors. How you are going to layer them, and what you are going to use to create the pattern. Painters tape and various household items are your best friends. I cannot give you specific guidelines as the layering varies per pattern. Google and your experimentation sporks are your best friends. Curing and Waiting. Unfortunately there will be a lot of waiting. Curing is one of the most important things you can do for your boards. But it tests your patience alot. All you want to do is get your hands on your fancy new keyboard, but if you start playing with it prematurely that paintjob is meaningless, as you probably just screwed up your settling paint. Read your paintcan label and it will tell you when it is safe to start handling the board. This waiting period is usually 24-48 hrs. 7. Post Painting
    Polishing. Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake. I recommend you do a bit of research yourself, as polishing can get tricky.  Surface preparation extremely for a smooth finish. Wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper. Make really light circles, and avoid sanding edges too much. I know what you are thinking, dosent sanding destroy all that work we just did? And the answer is yes, if you are not careful. This is very high grit sand paper, and it is used to make a better surface for polishing in this case. This WILL make the surface look dull, but the polish will fix that. Wash with warm soapy water and inspect to see if you need to do any more sanding. Once you are satisfied, continue to a rubbing compound. Follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) rub with cotton balls or a special high density foam sponge. Finish with a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls). Once you are done you should have a really nice and shiny finish on your keyboard. A Few Tips on Polishing.
    MORE POLISHING IS NOT THE ANSWER. This will not make your surface any shinier. You could do too much and end up with on uneven looking cover. If you find you have done a poor job, the wrong approach is to re sand and polish. You will destroy your clear coat and paint, and have to re-sand and repaint EVERYTHING. Your sandpaper and rubbing compound can rub through your clear coat and paint. Be careful to not remove too much clear coat. The proper way to re-polish if you have done a bad job is to wash the surface and re-apply a clear coat. If you know you are going to be doing any polishing, make sure you apply a thick clear coat. This is tricky because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull. The best solution is to use your handy Practice Sporks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you are using an oil-based enamel where you do a gloss clear coat. There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth. As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on surfaces such as a keyboard case, so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing).  For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process. Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more. Upkeep and Maintenance. If you did a good job, your paint job will last you a long time. If and when that starts to deteriorate, chip, or peel. It is most likely time to redo everything anyway. By the time you fix one problem, another will arise. For everyone else, generally I would advise redoing a chipping or peeling paint job, but if it is fading, I recommend to just do touch ups. Start by sanding off the clear coat, and a tiny bit of the paint. Repaint, until you have an even surface, or until you use enough layers. Then re-apply the clear coat. If you just have a chipped corner, a quick fix would be to use model or hobby brush paints. It won't look great, but better than chipped. Re-painting. Sand. Rinse. and Repeat.  
    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY PAINTING!!!
     
    Please feel free to leave any compliments, criticism, or anything that you think needs revision.
    Please Like this guide and share it.
     
    I want to give alot of credit to Photoelectric at Geekhack who really catalyzed my painting hobby.
  7. Like
    404 got a reaction from Timmy-P in Experiences with non-techies   
    I went to fix my friends computer and he just built it. He was still a PC n00b so he had me come and troubleshoot it. After an hour of running diagnostic tests, I figured out the PC was thermal throttling. I opened up the case and it was filled with fiberglass insulation.
     
    Come to find out his mother jammed all the fans and stuffed fiberglass insulation into the case on the claim that "the AC was running and she didn't want it to put hot air inside the house." I credit her on her knowledge of thermodynamics, but she killed a $1,000 system. The only thing salvageable and not infested with fiberglass, or overheated  was the motherboard but it died from ESD because all the fiberglass acted like a carpet and he zapped the CPU socket.
  8. Like
    404 got a reaction from Heisenbleurgh in Key Caps   
    There are a set by Vortex. That is really your only option.
  9. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Best paint for keyboard   
    DO NOT USE PLASTIDIP ON A KEYBOARD. It will peel.
    I made a really comprehensive painting guide here.
    http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/205502-the-proper-way-to-paint-your-pc-stuff/
  10. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Painting. Mod log?   
    Don't
  11. Like
    404 got a reaction from connorpiper in Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2013 Painting. Mod log?   
    Don't
  12. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Painting my Keyboard   
    I made a really comprehensive Painting guide.
    http://linustechtips.com/main/topic/205502-the-proper-way-to-paint-your-pc-stuff/
    DO NOT USE PLASTIDIP. It is a nightmare on keyboards.
  13. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Switchable switches?   
    The switches themselves are, but the plate usually restricts it.
  14. Like
    404 got a reaction from Heisenbleurgh in keycaps   
    The K70 is NOT standard, it has 1.5 Ctrl, 1 win, and 1.25 alt, Spacebar is 1.5, and Function is 1
     
    If you want straight up blue
    http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=959
    if you want a different  scheme
    http://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=773
     
    The first set is much cheaper, but Vortex Keycaps  are top notch, and worth it if you decide to go for them.
  15. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Cherry MX Super Black   
    They stopped amking them in 2012. I have like 60 of them. Your best bet would be to buy some korean springs, or find vendors on Geekhack or /mechanicalkeyboards
  16. Like
    404 got a reaction from Atomika in Razer Blackwidow chroma?   
    The Blackwidow will be far more trouble than it is worth. It doesn't look that much brighter, and you are giving up Cherry switches open source and more dynamic platform, a unique design, metal construction, and far more time and research. for Synapse, Razer Gaming switches that feel horrible to type on, Poor build quality, and synapse.
     
    Not even close to worth it. The K70 RGB is not all that dim either.
  17. Like
    404 got a reaction from Smooth Bunz in Corsair k70 replacement key caps   
    It is a 6.5 unit spacebar.
     
    Here are a bunch of websites that sell keycaps. This is my database, so dig through it until you find what you are looking for. What set is it anyway?
     
    Keypop

    Elite Keyboards- If you are going to get the Cherry Doubleshots, they have a lower profile.

    Massdrop- Has them from time to time. You may need to wait but cat get them at a lower price.

    Signature Plastics

    Pimp My Keyboard

    Tech Keys

    Max Keyboards

    Clack Factory/Click Clack

    MechKB

    Ebay (qtan and Feng)

    WASD Keyboards

    Ducky Channel

    Vendio

    Mechanical Keyboards

    Bingecap

    QWER
     
  18. Like
    404 got a reaction from moonedunk in Is this list accurate?   
    Nope, not even close. If Razer Is on the list. They don't know what they are talking about. The Model M is Buckling Spring and not mechanical. And Rosewill is known for making poor quality keyboards, they care more about the money than the quality.
    There is no 'best' mech board. They all have their own pros and cons, you just have to pick one that is right for you.
    As for switches, blues are a nice option. They have a much more crisp actuation compared to browns. And the click is nice.
  19. Like
    404 got a reaction from Maowhree in Backlit mechanical keyboard with detachable cable   
    WASD Code, Quickfire Rapid-i, Ducky Shine, KBT Vortex Race II
  20. Like
    404 got a reaction from aardappel12 in what are the different Cherry switches?   
    Blues are NOT heavy they use springs identical to reds and blues.
    not clicky can meen tactile or linear.
    Red black and grey are linear
    browns have a light tactile bump
    dark greys and clears have a large tactile bump
    some of the "obscure" ones are
    Linear Grey- 80g
    Tactile grey- 80g
    Whites- Soft Click- 80g @ actuation. The press is around 60
    Super Blacks- Linear 150g (THESE ARE HEAVY) I have 20 of them
     
    some of the really discrete ones include Hirose Cherry Variants
    Cherry MX Lock (locking switch)
    MX-M8 adapter
    Cherry Yellows
    MX Alps (alps keycaps)
    Pale Grey
    Click Grey
     
    popular modded switches include
    Tacto Blacks- Black Spring brown stem
    Ergo clears- Red/brown/blue spring clear stem
    Bruised (Ghetto Green)- Black Spring blue stem
    White Light/ Jesus- White Stem blue Spring
     
    These are some of the common ones but you can pretty much use any Cherry MX or Korean Spring with any Stem
  21. Like
    404 got a reaction from m4rkoni in First mechanical keyboard   
    Blues are still better for typing. They have a crisper actuation, and the feedback is much nicer than that of browns. Greens are a heavier blue.
    Filco makes some nice, minimalistic keyboads. Also check out the Ergo Dox, if you can find one, they are worth every penny.
    Das also has some  really nice boards.
    Finally check out the Ducky Premier.
  22. Like
    404 got a reaction from Charger in Foot Switches\Pedals   
    I just use a keyboard with NKRO and mash my foot into it. I have it set to 3 different zones using a macro software. They are designated for reload, grenade, and melee.
    Okay, i only did this once...to a board that I was waiting for a return label for. It worked really nice though.
  23. Like
    404 got a reaction from Powerbored in The Proper Way to Paint Your PC Stuff   
    If you have ever wanted to paint something, whether it be a case, keyboard, game controller, or an accent piece to a build. There is a proper method to do it.
     
    I know what you are probably thinking. "Linus already did a video on painting." And to that you are correct. But Linus could not have been any more wrong with his method. Plastidip is great if you need to RMA your part as you can peel it off, but any good paintjob should not be using plastidip. There are simply too many flaws with it, and yes, I have used it. It peeled off of my keyboard in less than a month. If you are going to come here to argue "Plastidip master race" than please go start your own post.
     
    I have been modding and painting PC parts for over 5 years. I have done most of my keyboards, some PC cases, graphics cards, motherboards, video game controllers, household items, and furniture.
     
    Disclaimer: you can void the warranty if you paint a part of your PC. You can also ruin your part if you do not do things carefully.
     
    PAINTING GUIDELINES
     
    1.Visualize
    The first thing to do when painting is to not paint. Know what you want to do. Do you want a glossy ar flat finish? Textured or smooth? What color? How many colors? Any patterns? This first step is dynamic. Come back here often as you do your research, as you will   probably change your mind as you begin to see and realize more things. 1. Acquaint Yourself
    Find out what type of materials you are working with. Is it plastic or metal? What type of plastic or metal? Paints that work well with ABS may not work well with Vinyl. 2. Research
    You want to do research on multiple topics. Research components that have a similar paint job. It could be as simple as typing into Google "Painted Yellow PC Case." This will help you revise and finalize what you want to do with your part as you see what other people have done. Next you want to start to do research on paints. Things get really difficult here. The paints that appear most frequently on Google searches are the ones that usually get the worst reviews. Automotive and Hobby forums are usually the best places to find good paints. Read reviews in multiple places. Paints that have a good rep on Amazon may be the laughingstock of a reputable hobby forum. (Beats anyone?) A good method is BRAND + APPLICATION + SURFACE; "Rustoleum Primer for Vinyl" Usually when doing research, you will find out various painting techniques and tricks. Look at videos that show proper painting technique for your paints. Most paints just require lots of light even layers. But this may be different if you want a pattern or have a special paint. You need to make sure to paint in a gentle sweeping motion, say left-to-right and back in zig-zags, and don't spray over a single spot for longer than a moment or you will spray too much!  It is better to spray too little and go over a bare spot a few times again later than to spray too much. Spraying too much results in sagging and inhibits proper curing. Research Proper Sanding techniques of your objects material. If you sand an item wrong, you risk making hard to cover up marks. More on this below. Go back to your original idea and revise it if you feel you want or need to. Make sure you have done research for all layers of paint you need. (More details later).
    2.5. MAKE SURE YOUR PAINT WORKS.
    Some paints are not meant to be exposed to sunlight like florescent paints. Some may not work without certain primers or basecoats. Some are not very durable; some are thin, runny, not supposed to be heated, and don't cover well; some depend on the color of paint under them to influence the outcome (chameleon paints), etc. This is all part of your research. Make sure you have the right paint for the right job. 3. Paints
    Paints. Make sure you read / research carefully which paints you are getting.  Their composition varies, and they usually fall into these common categories for rattle cans: acrylic lacquers and oil enamels for general purpose rattle cans. 
    There are also other varieties of paint which are intended for automotive painting and are generally more expensive: acrylic enamels (enamels are harder than lacquers), acrylic urethanes (1K (1-stage) and 2K (2-stage, multiple components)) and they usually require more preparation, such as an adhesion promoter, an epoxy primer for urethane paints, an appropriate urethane top clear coat, etc.  Urethane paints are also dramatically more toxic, and you must have good ventilation while spraying as well as wear proper full-face masks and protective clothing.
    Anyway, for most people here, acrylic lacquers and oil enamels will be the paints of choice, as they come in easily accessible rattle cans and don't cost a mini fortune. Note that acrylic lacquers and oil enamels are not really rubbing and finger-oil-proof.  So say if you paint a mouse and clear coat it and all that, you will still see the paint will begin to wear off in a month or so over the click buttons.  For touch-proof frequently handled surfaces, you need to go with more professional paints, such as 2K urethane paints. But you may be able to get away with something cheaper, depending on its use. I use Oil Enamel on a lot of my keyboards. The edges really don't get touched often enough for rapid wear.
    Oil enamel can be layered over oil enamel and over acrylic lacquer.  Acrylic lacquer SHOULD NOT be layered over oil enamel.  This applies to colors and clear coats and is important for proper curing as well as avoiding dissolving and lifting your base layers when spraying new paint over them. Primers/Promoters. If your paint does not come premixed with a primer, it's a safe assumption that you should get a primer or some sort of an adhesion promoter just in case. Get a complimentary color primer. If you are looking for a darker color, get a black or grey primer. If you are looking for a light color get a light grey or white primer. If you wish to retain some of the color of your part, get a clear primer. Fillers. If you have an uneven surface and you cannot sand it, get a filler. They really do help to make an uneven surface smooth enough so it may be painted over. Make sure you sand or scuff it when you are done. Clear Coats. For most paints, I would STRONGLY recommend a clear coat. 
    Clears are generally harder than colors, and they help protect your work against scuffs, minor scratches, and dullness.  For example, you will have a much harder time scratching a clear-coated paint job with your fingernail than if you just left it with color paint and no clear coat.
    Clears come in different types: gloss, satin, matte, as well as mixed with some pearl or iridescent particles for a desired effect.  Gloss clear is the most transparent clear you will get.  It is, understandably, glossy and generally requires some polishing work afterwards. Matte clears generally contain a sort of a milky substance that's part of what makes them matte, and you will unfortunately see your matte clears if you spray them over dark gloss base color paints.  So say if you're spraying gloss brown, going over it with a matte clear is not a good idea.  You want to look for a matte brown and then follow with a very fine veil of matte clear.  Otherwise, gloss clear over gloss brown will look best.  You can spray matte clear over LIGHT-toned gloss colors (like over light beige) to end up with a semi-matte textured effect, sort of like old school beige computer plastics.
    You can spray clear right after you paint your colored paint--if you're happy with how that came out.  If you wait more than an hour in between, you should wait the recommended 24-48 hours (or even longer) before adding clear coats to ensure proper curing.
    Spraying gloss clear paint too much too fast can result in yellowing.  If you see any yellowing in some crevice where clear paint has accumulated--don't panic!  Generally (not always) the yellow tint goes away after the paint cures in a day or two. Once you do coat your work with a clear, it will be significantly more difficult to touch up.  So do all the corrections before you spray your clear.  
    4. Pre-painting Preparation
    Prepare a workspace. Painting with spray paint is not the neatest of jobs. Clouds of tiny aerosol particles of paint will form around the area you're spraying, and those clouds are 1. not exactly healthy to breathe, 2. can cover you and your clothes with paint over time, and 3. will paint the surroundings. Use plenty of cardboard to cover your work area and preferably spray outside or in a well-ventilated garage. Stay away from areas with lots of particles in the air or dust as they can show on a painting job and prevent the paint from settling on the material. Make sure you read the instructions on the can.They often contain crucial info. Including how long to wait in-between coats and other important info. If it says to wait at least 5 minutes between consecutive coats--please wait at least 5 minutes.  Paints must cure for proper hardness and adhesion, and improper application can stall or prevent proper curing, causing your paint to lift, crack, peel off, etc.  Painting in high humidity also has adverse effects on curing as well as the actual process of spraying an aerosol cloud of paint particles onto a surface.  You may end up with a cloudy uneven finish. Surface Preparation/Sanding. You want to strip your surface down to the base plastic. Remove any coating, including paint, rubber, plastic film, or clear coats. This is done for adhesion purposes, it will not matter if you have the right paint, if you are applying it to the wrong surface. Good quality sandpaper is really important, and make sure to sand wet surfaces. Water helps to rinse away any particles, prevents the object from warping, and  provides a more consistent sanding job. Clean down to the bare material (plastic, metal, etc). While sanding, let the paper do the work, if you are too aggressive you can make large scuff marks that are tough to cover up. Gentle circular motions are good. Avoid sanding corners and angled surfaces too much. Once you have sanded your piece to the bare material or your piece is all that material to start with, use steel wool or fine sandpaper to scuff the surface. Paint loves to adhere to microscopic scratches. Never paint mirror-smooth surfaces, always scuff them a bit. Wash with detergent and water, rinse really REALLY well, allow to dry COMPLETELY, then go over the surface with a fiber cloth soaked in alcohol. Get a cloth that removes lint and dust--any dust particles left on the surface tend to come through the paint. If you have any grease on it, and you cannot remove it, use a professional grease and tar remover (can be gotten for under $10 in auto supply shops). 5. Test Painting
    What you DON'T want to do at this point is to hop right in and start painting your piece. You don't want to commit all that time to find out you have a bad can of paint halfway through painting your piece and risk scraping it, or redoing everything, including all that tedious sanding. Guidelines to test painting.  REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON PAINTING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers, plastic sporks and other utensils, really anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will 1. work together
    2. how long it will take for them to dry
    3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
    4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)
    When Beginning to Paint. Each time you haven't used a particular can of paint for a while (or it's the first time you use it), after shaking the can well, spray elsewhere other than on your project to get the flow of the paint going properly.  Then spray onto some scrap cardboard or plastic to see if the paint comes out evenly.  Sometimes a nozzle is bad, and you'll get paint running down the can onto your fingers.  Or worse, you will get larger droplets of paint onto your project, that will look like small splatters among the finely sprayed paint.  Cleaning the nozzle with a paper towel or an alcohol-soaked cotton ball periodically helps, if it's one of those poorly-spraying ones.  Sometimes it's best to take off the nozzle entirely and give it a good cleaning with some alcohol.  If any paint has dried to cover the hole of the nozzle, you will get an uneven spray.  It can even just be a poorly-designed nozzle to start with, and you should use something else.

    Furthermore, some paint starts out with small caked bits that end up shooting out of the nozzle and sticking to your painted surface.  It looks terrible--like small particles of dirt or lint trapped under paint.  Usually shaking well and regularly is great to help with this, but some paint is just bad, and you won't be able to get rid of those little balled up congealed pieces.  Better to scrap that can and get a new one.  This is another reason for painting onto something unimportant first.  Imagine your surface is all nicely prepared and already painted with a few layers of paint.  Then you come back, spray some more... and get a bunch of tiny pieces of gunk onto the surface. 6. Painting
    You made it. All that time and effort. You are ready to do a really good paintjob.
    Light Layers. Unless you really know what you are doing. (If you are reading this guide, you probably don't). Make lots of really light layers. Things will look poor at first, you will have this awful blend of colors, but as you add more layers things will look better. Don't worry too much if your layers are inconsistent. It is worse to hover over an area for too long, rather than not enough. The color will even itself out the more layers you add. Make sure you are waiting the proper time in-between layers. Apply enough layers of primer, paint, and clearcoat. Your research or the can should help you with this. Order. If you haven't figured it out yet, the order to paint is
    1. Sand/Scuff
    2. Primer
    3. Paint
    4. Clearcoat Patterns. Patterns work differently than most paintjobs. ALOT of experimentation and research must be done. You have to decide your base color and accent colors. How you are going to layer them, and what you are going to use to create the pattern. Painters tape and various household items are your best friends. I cannot give you specific guidelines as the layering varies per pattern. Google and your experimentation sporks are your best friends. Curing and Waiting. Unfortunately there will be a lot of waiting. Curing is one of the most important things you can do for your boards. But it tests your patience alot. All you want to do is get your hands on your fancy new keyboard, but if you start playing with it prematurely that paintjob is meaningless, as you probably just screwed up your settling paint. Read your paintcan label and it will tell you when it is safe to start handling the board. This waiting period is usually 24-48 hrs. 7. Post Painting
    Polishing. Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake. I recommend you do a bit of research yourself, as polishing can get tricky.  Surface preparation extremely for a smooth finish. Wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper. Make really light circles, and avoid sanding edges too much. I know what you are thinking, dosent sanding destroy all that work we just did? And the answer is yes, if you are not careful. This is very high grit sand paper, and it is used to make a better surface for polishing in this case. This WILL make the surface look dull, but the polish will fix that. Wash with warm soapy water and inspect to see if you need to do any more sanding. Once you are satisfied, continue to a rubbing compound. Follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) rub with cotton balls or a special high density foam sponge. Finish with a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls). Once you are done you should have a really nice and shiny finish on your keyboard. A Few Tips on Polishing.
    MORE POLISHING IS NOT THE ANSWER. This will not make your surface any shinier. You could do too much and end up with on uneven looking cover. If you find you have done a poor job, the wrong approach is to re sand and polish. You will destroy your clear coat and paint, and have to re-sand and repaint EVERYTHING. Your sandpaper and rubbing compound can rub through your clear coat and paint. Be careful to not remove too much clear coat. The proper way to re-polish if you have done a bad job is to wash the surface and re-apply a clear coat. If you know you are going to be doing any polishing, make sure you apply a thick clear coat. This is tricky because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull. The best solution is to use your handy Practice Sporks. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you are using an oil-based enamel where you do a gloss clear coat. There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth. As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on surfaces such as a keyboard case, so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing).  For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process. Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more. Upkeep and Maintenance. If you did a good job, your paint job will last you a long time. If and when that starts to deteriorate, chip, or peel. It is most likely time to redo everything anyway. By the time you fix one problem, another will arise. For everyone else, generally I would advise redoing a chipping or peeling paint job, but if it is fading, I recommend to just do touch ups. Start by sanding off the clear coat, and a tiny bit of the paint. Repaint, until you have an even surface, or until you use enough layers. Then re-apply the clear coat. If you just have a chipped corner, a quick fix would be to use model or hobby brush paints. It won't look great, but better than chipped. Re-painting. Sand. Rinse. and Repeat.  
    GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY PAINTING!!!
     
    Please feel free to leave any compliments, criticism, or anything that you think needs revision.
    Please Like this guide and share it.
     
    I want to give alot of credit to Photoelectric at Geekhack who really catalyzed my painting hobby.
  24. Like
    404 reacted to Gould-Digger in An Update From Corsair About The RGB Keyboards...   
    Oh dear Remember when corsair said this... 'There will be nothing more frustrating than to get a product you’ve been waiting almost a year for and it does not live up to the hype or expectations of customers like yourself.'
     
    Good to see the 'extra' development time really paid off. 
     
    What is it with companies failing on promises to customers, this and the recent news about GTA 5 for the PC has really bummed me out... Maybe I'm expecting too much? I suppose the year I've been waiting + the amount of time these companies have had to develop their products before releasing promos about them isn't a long time? Really starting to loose faith and confidence in the PC industry especially with games and gaming peripherals Someone re-assure me.
  25. Like
    404 got a reaction from nickbu1 in Logitech G710+ Modding   
    Looks Nice. Definitely has a different look to it than my pearly white and orange G710+
    Since you only did the inside, it may not peel for a while +/- 2 Months. But my only warning will be, if you start to see it peeling, REMOVE IT ALL. If it begins to flake, it can get under your plate and into your PCB and that is not fun to clean. Plastidip may work differently in regards to chipping and flaking, but I have had one of my boards chip and I nearly destroyed my PCB trying to clean it. The paint also got into some of the switches so I had to remove them all, clean them, and re-lube them, finally I had to re-soldier them.
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