After my case mod i got some PMs asking me how to paint a case and what material to use so i thought why not make a guide for everyone.
All the materials mentioned in this guide are locally available, you might have to search hard to find a thing or two but most of it is easily available.
So here we go
We need waterproof sanding paper of different grits and a sanding block (block for uniform sanding), make sure you have plenty of water when sanding (its a messy business).
Starting with 200 which is used to cut through the old paint, this number paper is very coarse and hard on cutting so make sure you dont cut through into the metal, use the sanding block for even pressure. Sand the panels in a north-south direction.
Second comes the 300 grit paper, this is finer than the 200. Use this paper in a east-west direction and sand the panels with a light pressure because we are using this paper to smooth the panel.
Third step is applying the primer. Now here we will run into problem, a lot of people wont be able to find primer but not to worry, instead you can use grey paint (use lighter paint for lighter colours and darker paint for darker colours). The primer is basically used to fill very small gaps on the panels left from using the sanding paper.
The process for both, primer and paint, is the same. Apply the primer according to instructions given on the spray can, apply several thin coats of primer and let it dry. After the first coat is dry (around half hour) get a 400 grit sanding paper and very slightly sand the primer coat, you will cut through the primer but no need to worry. After sanding the primer let the panel dry and apply another coat of primer on it the same way as you did the first. Just direct some extra primer towards the areas where you have cut through the primer. After the second coat of primer is dry sand it again with the 400 grit paper with light pressure.
After the sanding you can start with the paint coat and again apply several thin layers, dont apply a very thick layer in just one go to save time (it will ruin everything). After the first coat of paint is complete let the paint dry. We need to sand the paint coat as well but we cant sand it right after like the primer, we need to leave for atleast 2 days for the paint to cure (you can can leave it to cure for three or four days as well).
After the paint has cured use a 600 grit sand paper and sand it with medium pressure, the paint will change from glossy to flat and your sanding block will start "grabbing" to the surface indicating that its done.
After sanding let the panel dry and then apply a second coat of paint same way as you applied the first coat.
Now if you are using a matte paint then you are almost done, but if you are using gloss paint then there are a few more steps to this.
FOR MATTE PAINT:
If you can find matte lacquer use it on your paint coat to protect the coat but there is not a specfic need for it because i have not used any kind of lacquer on my PC and its fine. You can use rubbing compound on matte paint as well but it would reduce the matte effect.
FOR GLOSS PAINT:
Now if you are using gloss paint then we start with sanding the second coat of paint using the 600 grit paper as for the first coat. Use medium pressure because you dont want to cut through the paint because if you do, you have to apply another coat and add another two three days to your schedule, if you cut down to the primer than you have to start all over again.
After the sanding the second coat, make sure you clean the panel and then apply the gloss lacquer, the panel will attract dust very quickly but no need to worry. Leave the lacquer coat to cure for a few days as well. By now you see that it is a lengthy process and not for impatient modders.
After the lacquer coat has cured sand it again with a 600 grit paper. Now you can either stop here and use rubbing compound to buff out the surface and get a good shiny surface.
Or if you want to go further and get a show car look, carry on. Now apply a second coat of lacquer and leave it to cure for a few days again and after the second coat has cured flaten it out with the 600 grit paper again (more sanding?!....meh).
Now the final steps, the scratch removal. Use the 1000 grit paper and then the 1500 grit paper with very light pressure to remove the scratches left by the previous steps. after scratch removal is complete, apply some rubbing compound and we have given a show car look to your PC.
TIP 1: I have not tried this personally but if you put the spray can in warm water for a few minutes before shaking and spraying it would give better flow of paint, but the downside is the paint flow rate is increased so you have to move quicker to compensate for that and that requires a very expert hand
TIP2: To make sure you get an even coat of paint maintain a minimum of 50% overlap between each stroke of paint.
TIP3: When painting, instead of keeping your hand stationary and swinging the can, move your hand horizontally or vertically (depends how you paint) (as shown below)
TIP4: Before Using the sandpaper, just dip it in the water for a few minutes. This will make the sand paper a bit soft for first time use (you will understand once you do it).
TIP5: Its more of a hint than tip but if you cannot find matte paint and want to give a matte finish, you can use matte lacquer instead of clear lacquer and the final finish would be matte. That said, matte lacquer might not be easy to find.
WARNING: When painting, make sure you are in a properly ventilated area, wear a mask to prevent inhaling the fumes (they are toxic and can be very dangerous)
PAINT RECOMMENDATIONS (BROUGHT TO NOTICE BY LIV3WIR3)
I did not mention what brands of paints to use, i did show some pictures of which paints i used but forgot to warn about the crappy paints.
Brands with good standing
Abro (Personal Recomendation)
Snowfall (Second Recomendation)
Win (By TOA)
Brands To Avoid
7CT (Knock off/Crappy copy of 7-star)
Please let me know what brands are good in your city and i will update this list.
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Hope you like my guide and if you have questions or suggestions post a reply here or PM me.