How To … Paint Your Case (Part 3)

11/18/2012 11:37:26 AM

Description: Description: Description: Remove masking

Let the paint dry completely before removing the masking tape; not doing so can result in paint running into areas that were masked. Allow enough time for drying then gently remove the masking. If any paint has strayed, this can be touched up with a fine brush after spraying some paint into a pot. If the straying is extensive, consider masking small areas off and then respraying.

20. Inspect for imperfections

Description: Description: Description: Inspect for imperfections

As well as issues with masking, check the case for paint creep and imperfections in the paintwork, such as hairs, dust or insects. These will be difficult to remove once the lacquer has been applied, so now is the time to sort them out, even if it means sanding and respraying sections.

21. Sand the paint, if necessary

Description: Description: Description: Sand the paint, if necessary

If you end up with a rough or rippled surface, don’t fret. All you have to do is sand down the area, as you did with the primer, so that it’s smooth, and you can then start again. You can do this if dust or insects become trapped in the paint while it’s drying too, but you’ll need to make sure the paint is dry before attempting it.

22. Wash the case

Description: Description: Description: Wash the case

Allow the colour coats to dry thoroughly overnight. Not doing so will mean that they’re soft enough to pick up fingerprints with even small amounts of pressure. Once the paint is dry, give the case a final wash to prepare the surface for the final coat - lacquer, which will add shine to your work and protect it.

23. Apply lacquer to large areas

Description: Description: Description: Apply lacquer to large areas

Start by lacquering a large area, such as a side panel, to see how the lacquer settles, and how much to use on smaller sections. Use a slower, more generous movement than with the other coats, allowing the lacquer to gel and create a shiny layer. If possible, practise first using some spare material. You’ll need at least three or four layers of lacquer – the thickness will determine your case’s resistance to scratches.

24. Lacquer smaller parts

Description: Description: Description: Lacquer smaller parts

Smaller sections will need more attention to prevent the lacquer from running, or building up in corners or troughs. It will dry hard, so you’ll want to apply it thinly in these areas. Once you’re finished, leave the lacquer to harden overnight. It’s best to leave it in a garage or somewhere outside of your house - the fumes emitted while drying are pungent.

25. Polish with T-Cut

Description: Description: Description: Polish with T-Cut

As with respraying cars, your newly painted case will respond well to some T-Cut, which will help to buff the layer of lacquer and smooth out any imperfections as you rub it. Use the same method as you would when polishing a car – circular movements with plenty of pressure. After that, remove the residue with a clean cloth. If you opted for a gloss paint, you can achieve an impressive shine.

26. Put everything back together

Description: Description: Description: Put everything back together

If you needed to dismantle your case then now is the time to assemble it. Don’t be tempted to do this before the lacquer has hardened - it’s all too easy to knock a side panel or scratch the case as you put everything back together. After that, you’re finished – you can now sit back and admire your painting skills.

Tools you’ll need

·         Wet and dry sandpaper -1,000 to 1,600-grit: From most hardware stores

·         Dust sheet, sponge and microfibre towel: From most hardware stores

·         Primer, colour and lacquer acrylic spray paint: From most hardware stores

·         Masking tape: From most hardware stores

·         Vinyl line tape: From www.tapes-direct.com

·         T-Cut: Halfords

Professional paint jobs, custom logos and decals

If you don’t fancy spraying your case yourself, or you’re after a more elaborate job, such as powder coating or anodising, there are professionals who can do it for you. For around $150, you can send off your case and have a professional apply your dream colour scheme; for a little more they’ll spray the inside and outside of your case with your desired designs too. Checkout www.chilledpc.com for more information.

Mean while, there are plenty of companies that offer custom decals and logos too. Etches and stickers are also a great way of adding a unique touch to your case, and adding the icing to the cake.

Checkout www.kustompcs.com, which stocks a variety of custom decals.

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