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Thread: Guide: Paint your PC with a show car finish on a Budget !Dump the spray cans !

  1. #1

    Guide: Paint your PC with a show car finish on a Budget !Dump the spray cans !

    Hiya fellow members of Modders Inc. and my Case Modding friends.

    I just wanted to share with you How i paint my Custom PC's right at home! ( I also Paint cars Motorcycles,Helmets you name it Painting is my other passion)

    If you are like me and are always modding something and have been using rattle cans for painting you know that yes it can look really good if done right .But Full blown auto paint would cost a fortune just to paint a Pc or 2 right?Well i have found the solution and have been using it on every thing i do now.I still use Urethane and enamels for some stuff but anything i want to look really Nice i use this setup.And believe it or not its very inexpensive to have a complete setup to paint anything.I don't think i can name any stores because i believe thats against the TOS.If i get word its not against the Tos to post the names of where to get the stuff,then i will edit and add them.Or you could always Pm me and i can tell you.Its a huge store that's all over the place is all i can say.

    Ok Lets get started First you need to have an air compressor but thanks to new HVLP Spray guns it don't have to be nothing big.
    I wont post a link but the name of the place to get most stuff listed besides the paint is Harbor Freight Tools and they have an online store also.

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    What you would need:

    A compressor like this at least: (Oil less!) I see them brand new for around $50. (Mines bigger but this is fine)r anything like it.

    A couple beginner HVLP Guns to start with: Price i paid $8.99 for the detail gun and $12.99 for the fullsize. Tip size matters! To spray clear coat or Primer i recommend a 1.5 tip and for base coats you could still use the 1.5 tip but allot of times i thin my paint and spray with either a .08 tip or 1.0 tip Detail Gun (Great for Laptops or inside cases etc.) The results of the high end gun and cheap guns is all the same with the paint system i will get to in this guide: Heres some guns i started with and still use alot!


    Ok you will need some sort of half decent water trap and air filter.I use 3 on my painting setup the water separator that came on my compressor then a half decent inline Water separator/Air filter with built in regulator and guage just to make it easier to adjust pressure.Mine cost $15.99 but i have seen them for $5.99 without the regulator if your compressor already has one.I also run another air filter at the gun handle they cost $2.99 very cheap.Heres my little Setup.The red filter is attached to my gun most of the time .i was blowing the dust out of my pc so i had it setup like that for a day.

    That about all you really need for equipment roughly 100 bucks give or take a little to get started.(Remember it will look like a pro Painted it when your done and be way more durable then spray paint.)

    Ok now heres what makes it inexpensive and look so good. There are better paints on the market that are way better but cost crazy prices if your just painting small stuff and need many different colors,Plus most other paints you have to know how to mix Reducer ,Hardener,Fish eye Eliminator and all kinds of other stuff.Very difficult for a beginner and very confusing.Heres what i use and recommend It cost roughly $20. a Quart and i thin it so you actually get more then a quart. That allot of paint for painting Pc'sI even use this paint in an Airbrush thinned way down with great results!The Paints Called Duplicolor Paintshop Series and it comes ready to spray,Yup thats right Strain it first and shoot or thin it with Lacquer Thinner and shoot. No mixing needed!They have Primer,Basecoats,metallic basecoats,Pearl basecoats,Prism cleacoats,Metallic clear mid coats .They have a lot of nice colors and you can mix the base coats if you want something different.Anyway heres what the paint looks like:


    If you are painting Plastic you will also need a can of this .(YOU MUST USE THIS ON PLASTIC) Adhesion Promoter :

    Ok that's about it besides maybe some tack rags i recommend and some dish soap and WET sandpaper (I but a multipack that starts at 400grit and goes to 1500 grit. runs around $3.99 for allot of it)

  2. #2
    Ok time to Prep and Start Painting:

    First you need to wash whatever your painting with a wax and grease remove ( I just use Dawn dish soap) never had a problem.
    Then you sand whatever your painting to mainly scuff it up good with like a 400 grit sandpaper.Do not sand all the way down to metal with this primer! its not needed.If you do hit metal just use the Adhesion Promoter.before you Prime it.

    Ok now its all scuffed up nice so there's no gloss showing anymore now i blow the dust off and wipe it down with Alcohol just the regular stuff you put on cuts 50% or 70 % is just fine.To keep dust off right before spraying you can use whats called a Tak rag any auto store or paint store has then they cost $1. or under.Its just a tacky rag you lightly wipe over before painting to get dust off.

    Ok now we are all prepped and ready to start Painting WOOT. if your painting plastic like a laptop or something Make sure to use Adhesion Promoter now.Just follow directions on can.Ok now that we are prepped and the Adhesion Promoter is on get your Hvlp gun and some primer (a tiny bit of Lacquer thinner if you like) Set your regulator at roughly 18 to 22 psi. Filter your primer.You always strain any paint unless it says not to,.Allot of metallics say either not to or to use a bigger gauge strainer. Now you have a couple knobs on your gun ones for fanning the spray pattern,ones for adjusting the amount of paint coming out of the gun and the other is to adjust the air pressure further right at the gun if needed.So before spraying anything practice on something and get used to the gun and find the best settings for you.When you feel comfortable with the gun go ahead and shoot by holding the gun roughly 8 to 10 inches away from what you are spraying start spraying before you hit the surface and end after your past the surface.Make sure you overlap the paint roughly 30 to 50 percent when painting.Primer really dont matter if you mess up .just prime a light coat first.then come back every 5 minutes and re prime till you get the desired effect.Primer hides everything.Its great stuff.You should be done priming i prefer to let it dry an hour or so but you can read the label and go by that if you like.

    Ok so at this point you should be sitting there with a nice looking grey painted item that looks a little bumpy .Now for the fun part.You will need :
    Dawn Dish Soap or equivalent (Avoid the pretty smelling ones or any with lotions in them!)
    2 small buckets or anything you got laying around.
    a very sift sponge or cloth.
    500 grit wet Sandpaper
    you can also use a soft sanding block if you like but i dont always use one:

    Add Dawn dish soap to on bucket of water and add the sponge and clean water in the other,
    Now dip the sand paper in the bucket with the dish soap/water mix and start sanding the prime till it looks nice and smooth(Careful around edges or you willl take all the primer off)keep using sponge to clear away the soap to see your finish.You want a smooth finish but very lightly scratched so the base coat will stick.
    This does 2 things makes a nice surface to lay down your base coat and removes any grease from your fingers etc..

    Ready to Paint? Ok shake your can of paint and then stir it with something.Add the paint to a cup or something and again add a tiny bit off Lacquer thinner.And strain it into your gun.Use the tak rag again right before spraying to remove and dust that me be there. And spray Just like you did with the primer. Nice easy strokes,Overlapping and let each coat dry(This is very important each coat must dry at least 10 minutes before next.The paint will look dull as this is only a base coat.If using metallic paints do Not Wet sand the Base coat but its ok to lightly wet sand a solid color if needed to fix any mistakes.Its best just to use a Scotch bright pad to scuff it a little to knock down and mistakes you made.Lacquer base coat is very forgiving and can be sanded and repainted any time before adding the clear.

    Ok now i know your going to be happy now with the results because it is going to look great at this point but dont stop here.You need something to protects the base coat.Thats where you have a few choices.You can use a metallic mid coat clear or add a design or whatever you want.Anything special like designs etc must be done at this point because we are about to clear the Project.

    Clear Coat. Ok clear coat is a totally different story when painting it.You have to use a big tip to clear coat. 1.5 tip is perfect.Thats the size of most bigger HVLP guns anyway.I always mix a Little Lacquer thinner in my clear to speed up the drying time because this clear can take forever to dry.Almost a month sometime to fully cure without thinner.You spray the clear just like you would the primer or the base coat.But do many light coats.Dont rush this ot will get craters in it called Fisheyes.And they are a a pain to deal with.and sometimes unavoidable.Even the pro's still get be safe first lay down a very light mist coat and let it dry 15 minutes at least.Now when spraying clear go for a 50% overlap of strokes and do as many layers as you like but make sure the more layers you do the more time in between coats you allow to dry. 30 minutes is ideal to be safe.It really dont matter if you mess up with Lacquer for instance get a run or something isn't that smooth because you are going to be sanding the clear coat smooth and dull after anyway.

    Let the clear coat Dry at least overnight or even 2 nights if you can handle the wait.Now i use a sandy block on flat surfaces and just by hand on places i cant get the sanding block. Use a 1500 grit WET sandpaper and start lightly sanding with the soap and clearing soap with the clean water.Keep doing this until the finish is completely smooth.It will be dull But just worry about it being perfectly smooth without cutting through the clear coat.The more clearcoat you add the deeper the glass look depth will look when you are finished.

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    Now the finial Step. Yes i know its alot of work but the results will be amazing trust me,Now you could try buffing by hand but this would take forever so i suggest either buying a cheap buffer or borrowing one from a friend,A Slow buffer that dont go faster the 1700 rpm.You can even start out just using a drill that is adjustable speed.The trick to buffing is barely apply any pressure to the clearcoat.Just lightly float the buffer over the clear coat with a compound first and then a polish /swirl remover.I will get into this in a second.Dont ever wax fresh clear coat for at least a month or more!

    Ok for buffing pads i start with a wool pad and a cutting compound 3m makes a nice one but i prefer Meguiars products and they are much easier to get from a local Walmart or Autoshop.

    Buffer: roughly $20. to $30.

    Buffing pads,usually come with buffer but can be bought separately.


    Cutting Compound:

    Swirl remover/Polish:

    Besides this just wipe the item down with a very clean micro fibre cloth and you will be amazed at the results.As smooth as glass. and great depth.

    Heres a couple of things i painted.aBut they have sparkles in them so thats what the spots are.The metallic midcoat looks amazing in the light:

    In a month of so you can wax it for a super Shine and for UV protection.

    Heres a shot of my new Phantom sitting in base coat not cleared or any designs on yet: (Current Project)

    Any question just ask here or Pm me.and if i am missing anything feel free to add it.I know there are many methods of painting and many Paints but this is easiest for the beginner Home painter to get started painting like a pro right now!

    Hope you guys enjoyed this i will edit Photos and any misspelled words when i get a chance.Now get out there and Mod something



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