Spray painting a computer case – a short HOW-TO

… or it is simple but with some caveats 🙂

Intro

During my restorations, I’ve often found it impossible to bring back a computer case to its former glory without using a spray paint. I’ve mastered my retr0brighting skills to the max but sometimes the plastic is so unevenly yellowed that it cannot be retr0brighted evenly. Sometimes, some plastics become over retr0brighted. Very often there is a need to fill cracks or holes with a putty and spray painting it afterward is simply a must.

The problem is that there are no matching colors on the market and every paint has to be custom made. The idea to create custom Retro computer spray paints was born.

Since I am releasing these paint series (available through my web shop), I’ve decided to write a short How-to spray paint a case properly.

This isn’t really complicated procedure but there are some steps that might ruin the whole job if skipped. Lets get started 🙂

Preparations

First of all, plastic part that is going to be painted has to be thoroughly cleaned and de-greased. Usually, I wash it with a brush and a detergent in a warm water.

Once a case is nice and clean, we need to remove all badges, rubber stands or stickers and cover those that cannot be removed.

To remove badges, I usually use a hot air gun set to 100 degrees Celsius or a spray freezer, depending on a badge type.

To cover various stickers, I usually use a paper painters tape which is later cut with a sharp tool.

Applying primer

Next step is to apply a thin layer of a plastic primer or undercoating. It is worth mentioning to choose a proper color of an undercoat spray. Get bright undercoating colors if a final color is bright. In my example, I’ve used a light grey undercoating.

We only need a thin layer of it but sometimes it has two be done in to rounds. A rule of thumb here is to keep a spray nozzle at least 30 cm away from a part being painted. If a single layer is not enough to cover darker spots, I can always apply another thin layer after 20 minutes.

If possible, apply spray paint outside or in well ventilated area. Also, remember to wear at least a face mask or even better, a face mask with a filter. It is not really healthy to inhale paint dust and airborne paint solvent.

Final layer painting

Once an undercoat layer is dry (usually after an hour), a final layer can be applied. Again, keep a nozzle at least 30 cm away from a part while painting and if there is a need, apply second layer.

Results

Below some pics of a painted parts.

On the left – original and not painted. On the right – over retr0brighted. The spray painted one is in the middle.

Getting Retro computer spray paints

All above spray paints are available in my web shop.

So far, I’ve managed to manufacture paints for:

Atari XE and ST series – Satin Grey

Commodore 64C and 64G – Satin Beige

Amiga 500 – Satin Beige

There are more colors to be made so please leave me a comment which color you think should be manufactured next.

I hope this post was helpful 🙂

Outro

If you want to get retro gear or hardware modules, please visit our shop -> https://retrohax.net/shop/

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4 thoughts on “Spray painting a computer case – a short HOW-TO

  1. These are awesome! I’ve been looking for this solution for a long time. I’d also love it if you’d make IBM beige and IBM grey, I have an XT and and AT that need a little touch up.

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