I Spray Painted My iPhone 4

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
2,729
The title is true. My iPhone 4 of course has the "don't touch here spot" that will drop a call in low signal areas and will make a couple bars vanish in greater signal areas. So, after reading threads on this issue when it was first noted after release and getting some ideas, I decided to try something.

The spot is skin/moisture/body activated because it grounds the two antennas. So, I decided to put something more permanent on the phone that would prevent that. A barrier OTHER THAN a case/bumper/tape or other crap. After some thinking, I grabbed my painters tape and taped up the "sweet spot" on the phone. I carefully did the front and back glass edges only leaving exposed the steel band. I taped just before the bottom speaker and about and inch up from the black seam. I cut a hole in a zip lock bag just enough for the exposed area to stick out and then I taped the bag around the rest of the phone to protect it. The only area exposed and being painted is now ready.

I shook up my clear, satin spray lacquer and away I went. I put on a total of 6 coats. I let it dry for about 5 minutes and removed all the tape. I let it dry even more over night (this was yesterday).

The results? It seems to help, quite a bit. The bar drop is not as dramatic as before. Testing is still taking place to see how long it will last and if the improvements justify the work. You can't tell it's on there unless you specifically look for it. Works for me :)

I know some might think I am crazy but where would we be in this world if people didn't try crazy things? :D I just wanted to see if it really helped honestly. That's all.
 

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kels0119

macrumors member
Jul 10, 2008
45
0
Cumming, Ga
I'm curious as to how long it will be before it starts to wear off (or flake) by handling and what not. Keep us updated!!
 
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AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
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You all are a demanding bunch! Lol. I will see if I can take a pic. Hold please..
 
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parker770

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2010
66
1
Good thinking on the OP's part. With all the talk of possible coatings, etc. that could be applied to the antenna, a clear lacquer is certainly along the lines of what I had in mind.

I look forward to seeing pics and also how well it holds up to use.

Hell, you may have started a new "mod"!:D
 
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AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
2,729
Added to the first post.

The little areas where some finish is missing is due to me pulling off the tape while it was still soft. It took a couple of small areas with it.



 
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SoCalRich

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2010
266
0
NorCal
Added to the first post.

The little areas where it some finish is missing is due to me pulling off the tape while it was still soft. It took a couple of small areas with it.
Kudos... THAT's thinking outside the box... Good Job... :D

... now we'll see how long it lasts....
 
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Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,042
8
Los Angeles, CA
I would assume this voids your warranty?

Let us know if it provides consistent improvement over time.

It's too bad you didn't video a few demos of your iPhone losing bars prior to the paint-job, and then videoing it again in the same locations not losing bars (if it works).

Gutsy experiment.....
 
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AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Original poster
Sep 21, 2008
4,394
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Thanks all for the kind words :)

I will let everyone know how it turns out. I think it should last quite a while under "normal conditions". There is a chance it will peel over time as painting a smooth surface without roughing it up first, will not allow the paint to permanently adhere. With that said, it seems to be on there for now. We shall see how it goes. :)


I would assume this voids your warranty?

Let us know if it provides consistent improvement over time.

It's too bad you didn't video a few demos of your iPhone losing bars prior to the paint-job, and then videoing it again in the same locations not losing bars (if it works).

Gutsy experiment.....
Yeah, I should have however it wouldn't have made much difference honestly. I live in an area of "good" signal outside my house. Inside I get 1 bar and under. With such a weak signal to begin with, just holding the phone, not even touching that area - interferes with the reception. I have been playing with it in "great" signal areas and I am not sure as of yet. It seems improved but I don't know if that's just my mind playing games on me. That's why I am going to keep an eye on it in the next few weeks to see for sure.
 
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parker770

macrumors member
Apr 5, 2010
66
1
Hmmm....

You should have let the ***** dry!:p

In all honesty, though, if I were going to attempt this, I would think about trying to remove the antenna and then spray the whole thing, so that it would have a uniform finish.

At that point of disassembly, it may be worth it to look into other, more permanent coating options(ie ceramic) It would really matter if the antenna components could deal with the heat that such a process requires, as it appears the "strip" that separates the two antennae is plastic.

Unless you could separate each stainless antenna by itself, then you could just coat them separately and reassemble. :cool:
 
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Andrew K.

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2008
1,432
1
Why didn't you just Lacquer the black strip??? Tape it off like crazy. I think I may do that.
 
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Surely

Guest
Oct 27, 2007
15,042
8
Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, I should have however it wouldn't have made much difference honestly. I live in an area of "good" signal outside my house. Inside I get 1 bar and under. With such a weak signal to begin with, just holding the phone, not even touching that area - interferes with the reception. I have been playing with it in "great" signal areas and I am not sure as of yet. It seems improved but I don't know if that's just my mind playing games on me. That's why I am going to keep an eye on it in the next few weeks to see for sure.
Why don't you get a MicroCell if your reception at home is so bad? That's what I did, and now I get 5 bars and clear calls everywhere at home. AT&T gave me one for free..... and I didn't even have to use spray paint. ;)
 
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MicroApple

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2010
154
0
If you were ready to put some sort of paint on your iPhone why didn't you choose something clear (nail polish something that Gizmodo talked about)?
 
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