Painting 12" Al PB!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by mlrproducts, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #1
    Hi All,

    While this is something I've thought about for a while, I just bought a used 12" Al PB and was dissapointed at the scratches on it. SOOO... I've decided I'm going to PAINT it!

    I want to give it that glossy car like surface on the outside only (perhaps I can avoid taking it apart).

    Has anyone ever done anthing like this? Also, does anyone have experience painting aluminum and have any suggestions for products to use?

    Thanks... and look forward to updates!
     
  2. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #2
    Umm... no... I wouldn't and haven't done that. I've never had good luck painting metals and having them dry. I wouldn't worry about the scratches, they don't affect the functionality of the PB.
     
  3. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #3
    Please please please just send it to Colorware have them do it for you. They cost but I have seen a couple in real life and they are stunning in quality.
     
  4. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #4
    If macskinz finally gets around to making their product you can look into that: http://www.macskinz.com/

    but maybe just let it wear the scratches with pride ..
     
  5. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #5
    Thanks for the suggestions guys.

    Those colorware ones are nice, but again, $400! For that price I could eBay it and buy a new one.

    If I do any painting, I'm going to sand it down and do an etching primer first. HOWEVER - I just thought about POWDERCOATING! YEAH!

    I'm going to look into how Colorware does theres. Sorry, but I can't wear badges of "wear and tear".

    It wouldn't be fun if I didn't do this myself. I had a blast doing my Xbox white and then the "X" in a blue, silver, and white for an "ice" look. If I screw it up - well, then I'll have to wear it with pride!

    Keep the suggestions comin... THX
     
  6. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    Mar 3, 2004
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    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #6
    Your one brave solider. Or a PC lover.... haha kidding

    kyle
     
  7. maya macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #7
    Who cares? :rolleyes: :)

    It's a notebook, if you think scratches are something important now wait till you get bumps and dents on it. :p


    Just leave it alone as someone mentioned it does not affect the computers usage. :)
     
  8. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #8
    I don't have any experience doing that but I highly recommend that you take the thing completely apart before painting it.

    You might want to take the parts you want painted to an auto body shop. I'd imagine one of them would be happy to paint those pieces for $150 or so. Try to get a couple layers of clearcoat if you can. Also I guess you could go nuts with pearlescent or metallic colors.

    Look at www.pbfixit.com for take apart guides.
     
  9. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #9
    Thanks for the comments guys, keep'em coming!

    The reason I want to do this is because I take very good care of my electronics! I've gone through 5 Powerbooks/iBooks of different sizes over the last year and a half (always buying & selling), and when I get something new I always clean the keyboard and screen. I absolutely CANNOT stand a greasy, slick, mirrorish keyboard. This is why I have no doubt that I won't scratch or ding/dent it, I haven't in the past.

    Anyways, it looks like now my route may be POWERCOATING! It depends on if the product can be done, which it looks like it should. I am waiting back for info from a local powder coater and from a university (seniors do powdercoating projects, maybe I can get it done for FREE!).

    It is going to be a VERY HARD TIME taking it apart. I've already looked through the manuals/how-to's from PBfixit.com and the actual Apple manual (was helpfull on how to take LCD out of housing). I do have a few questions though if anyone can help:

    Is the RAM cover plastic? (from previous experience, I think it is)
    Also, anyone know how to take off battery cover, or have a link to someone who's done it? (I've seen it done on the iBooks, surely on the PB)

    THANK YOU TO ALL for reading this and for any suggestions, info, comments! Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday I'll know the route, and will keep up with photos!
     
  10. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    Same here! The other thing I really dislike is how whenever I've taken my PowerBook into the Apple store, the "genius" ALWAYS rubs his fingers on his nose in between using my trackpad. I keep my trackpads dry, and it bugs me when greasy fingers touch my computer. However, since other family members have used my computer I have a shiny area on my space bar. What do you recommend to clean that?

    The RAM cover is metal as far as I can tell. I don't know how to take off the battery cover, but that's getting into sort of risky territory there. Another risky thing you mentioned was getting a student to do it for free.

    Also, you know that by painting it you're probably committing to it for life? If you've been through five already, well this is sure to slow down the pace of turning over machines. Painting it will most likely depress the resale value.

    You're welcome, by the way. It'll be nice to see the pictures of your project.
     
  11. hcuar macrumors 65816

    hcuar

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    #11
    1.) If you don't take it apart to paint, it's going to look awful. I'd recommend reading the forums over at http://www.yoshi.us/forums/ . He's the chap that G4Techtv just let go that is really into case mods. I remember him warning against not disassembling to paint.

    2.) The RAM cover is aluminum... It bends. Very easy.
     
  12. Barham macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    #12
    Powdercoating works great on Aluminum. We use powder coating for the aluminum gas racks for our Snowmobiles (Sno-Cats, Snow Machines). They really look great and they are very scratch resistant. Much more so than the original aluminum of a powerbook. You absolutely need to take it apart before you do it, but I can't wait to see pictures of this.

    -Hasta
     
  13. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #13
    GO FOR IT!!!!!

    i love modding macs. here are a couple things ive done.

    http://www.leaveapenny.net/macmods.html

    i have not pained my PB b/c i dont have experience painting AL. you can always get a brillow pad or fine grain sand paper and re-brush your AL to get the scratches out. or you could use a really large grain sand paper and give it a rougher look. i think that would be pretty cool.

    as for powerder coating that sounds very good, but i think youll have to take it apart to give it a better look. otherwise it will look like a cheap/fast job and you dont want that! plus i think for powdercoating you have to take it apart b/c im pretty sure there is some heating involved which would fry your electronics.

    whatever you decide you better post the results!!!
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Location:
    Palookaville
    #14
    Powdercoating is a baked-on enamel paint. It looks great (if done properly), and adheres wonderfully to aluminum, but it does require plenty of heat. How much exactly I don't know, but it would almost certainly fry the electronics. Not only that, you'd have to very, very carefully mask off all of the parts you don't want sprayed. It also isn't very inexpensive. Most powdercoating shops will charge a minimum, probably around $100, for any job.

    Bottom line: No way would I do this to my Powerbook, unless I could take it apart first, and you've already been cautioned against trying that. Live with the scratches, is my advice...
     
  15. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #15
    WOW thanks for all the suggestions!

    As for the whole not taking apart before painting - that was just a stupid comment! At worst, I would have started masking it off and ended up taking it apart. The only reason I thought about this is because I'd do an automotive paint. I've stripped and painted a few BMX bikes in my earlier days, of course with auto paint and spray gun and a few clear coats, they all turned out amazing.

    I've read about the primers to use for painting aluminum. While I think I could paint it and not scratch it myself, I'm thinking powdercoat will be much stronger. (and yes, you have to take out the guts b/c powdercoating requires at least a 400 degree oven!).

    As for decreasing the value - I HIGHLY doubt it! One of my first PB's I took Oracle 8300 series translucent red vinyl, and put it over the Apple on the cover and carefully cut the crap away with a razor. Then I took two automotive pinstripes across the top sorta "through the Apple" (white, about .25" thickness). I sold it on eBay for much more than others were going for at the time.

    With this, who wouldn't want a Farrari Yellow or Red PB? Since I'm probably only going to do the outside (b/c it is so much easier vs. the trackpad area and screen border), I need a color that will go okay with the gray inside. I'm almost tempted to do a black powercoat on the outside, use that red vinyl for the Apple, and call it "The U2 Edition Powerbook" if I ever go to sell it!

    I'm not too worried about going with a university. These would be senior polytech students! I'll be hearing back from two places hopefully on Monday. Keep posting any ideas/comments, especially about colors...
     
  16. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #16
    the black with the red apple 'U2 eddition' sounds really cool. im partial to red and black though (check out my red apple on my PB)!!!! ill probably paint my PB once applecare runs out (which will be another year and ahalf or so) so maybe you shouldnt do black, thats what i was wanting!!! i dont want to match someone other PB out there!!!
     
  17. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    Just make sure to keep all the clips and screw holes completely clear of paint during the process, because you could end up making the case not fit back on, which, I would guess, is not something that you want to do. :D
     
  18. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2001
  19. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #19
    I don't think the screw holes should be a problem. As of right now, I'm set on powerdercoating. With this, a dry powder sticks to the charged metal. Now, when it melts is another story. I'll have to ask about that.

    As for Colorware, yeah, they look awesome, but you're not "doing it yourself." While I had hoped to paint it and do it all myself, I can take a little pride in being the one that takes it apart and puts it back together, and perhaps be a part of the powder coating process. Of course if I do black I'll probably go with a red Apple and that is something I can do as well. There is just something about taking a piece you own and making it unique, there is a huge sense of pride.

    I'll have to post pics of my CrapBox (I mean xbox), and if I can find them my old pinstriped PB.

    If anyone else has poweder coated anything before please let me know how it went. Cheers!
     
  20. NEENAHBOY macrumors 6502

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    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    #20
    We should all PayPal some money to this guy so he can get it done by Colorware. A defenseless PB! (sobbing) What did it ever do to you?????
     
  21. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 18, 2004
    #21
    What's wrong with Dr.'n it up a bit? I hate for her to look shabby...
     
  22. Jsmit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2004
    Location:
    Boston
    #22
    I wonder if the paint/powder coat would prevent proper heat dispersal. I think you could get away with red or blue with the alumninum inside. Black reminds me of the G3 PowerBooks, not a bad thing. Post some picks when you are done.
     
  23. mlrproducts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #23
    Good point! Does anyone know what Colorware uses? They're able to paint the PBs and still have them work (supposedly). Anyone have any knowledgeble guesses about the heat issue? Any other color sugg's?
     
  24. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #24
    with my powerbook rests being corroded this would be a cool option down the road.
     
  25. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #25
    I always assumed they just replaced the case parts with colored ones ..
     

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