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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: Photoelectric on Fri, 31 May 2013, 18:31:58

Title: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 31 May 2013, 18:31:58
I love painting stuff, from modding and painting computer cases to... anything (even my Logitech G518 mouse is painted).  I can't do it often due to lack of dedicated work space (I live in a city apartment), but this thread is one of those "living painting threads" for my recent projects.

(http://i.imgur.com/uqyHzbH.jpg)

"If at first you don't succeed, Try, try again" - W. E. Hickson

PLEASE REMEMBER TO PAINT LOTS OF SAMPLES OF WHAT YOU PLAN ON CUSTOMIZING.  Use scrap metal, plastic, old gaming controllers (even plastic utencils for a color test)--anything that will give you a good idea of how your paints and primers and whatever else you are using will
1. work together
2. how long it will take for them to dry
3. if you will like the final result or whether you need to change something
4. how durable the paint will be (give it a good few days to cure)

This is in regards to the "failure" posts where people get frustrated and give up because their attempt at painting X didn't work out.

~ General Painting Guidelines ~

I'll be adding stuff I paint here plus random notes on customization:

Ducky Shine 2 TKL:

My Ducky TKL had to undergo a transformation, and I planned its case color for a while, and finally settled on a neutral "silver" (in the sense that I'll probably change my mind once or twice on the keycaps for it, so I want it to match everything).

Since I love bright colors, my silver did not end up being plain silver... It ended up being super silver!  (Silver flake + iridescent top coat).  Almost sad that it's over now, and I have to plan out my new painting project  ;D

Waiting to dry:

(http://www.overclock.net/image/id/5789891/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(http://www.overclock.net/image/id/5789899/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Trying it on (with flash:)
(http://www.overclock.net/image/id/5789904/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

Finished! (without flash)
(http://www.overclock.net/image/id/5789907/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

(http://www.overclock.net/image/id/5789910/width/900/height/900/flags/LL)

I had copper metallic on my mind as well as red.  Or even a satin brown.  Next time!
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Sat, 01 June 2013, 08:13:17
Looks good.

Interested to know a little more about your paint process!
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: absyrd on Sat, 01 June 2013, 08:32:30
I like it. Paint brand(s)?
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: w3djyt on Sat, 01 June 2013, 08:34:04
I'd like to know about more about the process/paint used, too. The end result is fantastic ;)
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: metalliqaz on Sat, 01 June 2013, 08:51:07
Nice job indeed
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 01 June 2013, 10:09:46
Thanks guys!  I really enjoy painting stuff (other than in winter, when I can't do it outside due to low temperatures).

I use oil-based enamel spray paints for my projects.  Mostly, I prefer Rust-Oleum, as from personal experience, their sprays go on the smoothest and with high pigment density.  I completely cut out Krylon, as their Fusion lfor Plastics can melt some kinds (ABS, I believe), and other kinds I tried go on too thinly and unevenly.  Plus Rust-Oleums Painters Touch can be sprayed directly onto plastic as well (and many of their other paints, though I do own and use a primer for plastics in some cases).  DupliColor has some good selection, but they share Sherwyn Williams as their parent company with Krylon, and I notice greater difficulty with achieving smooth results using DC too.

Moving on, for thic case, I used Rust-Oleum's Black Night Metallic as a light base coat to promote adhesion.  On top, many thin layers of DupliColor Metal Speck in Silver, followed by DupliColor Clear Effex, which is a clear enamel with very fine iridescent flakes in it--invisible unless illuminated with brighter light.

Thin base layer of paint / primer, followed by slightly thicker but still fine layers of base paint.  Then a fine mist of the top coat (usually a gloss clear enamel), followed by 2-3 heavier coats.  Always wait at least 2-3 minutes between coats, or until they appear dry to touch.  Over spraying results in pools of paint which can wrinkle, lift, and generally present problems for a smooth finish. 

Polishing the clear coat is what gives that car-like shiny finish to paints without enough metal flake.  Surface preparation is important as a gound for a smooth finish, but spraying from rattle cans will still result in an orange peel textured finish.  So I usually wet-sand the fully dry clear coat with 1500-, then 2000-grit sand paper and follow with a rubbing compound (finer than sand paper) and a polishing compound (the finest last stage of reducing dullness and swirls).   For this particular case, I did not sand /polish, and left the finish a bit rough, as it looks more like actual sand-blasted metal in person that way.

Let me know if you have any more questions!
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: w3djyt on Tue, 04 June 2013, 11:44:28
Wow, that was actually really thorough and helpful! Thanks!

Makes me want to try it out :o
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Lastpilot on Tue, 04 June 2013, 11:46:16
This looks awesome man, great job!
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 04 June 2013, 11:51:09
Thanks!

I did end up polishing the case after all, as the slight roughness in places was bothering me.  Only used a rubbing compound + polish and some vigorous rubbing :D

At some point I want to try engine enamels (for a cool selection of colors), but still don't know how they will end up without tempering in an oven... which would melt the case plastic.  Also want to try PlastiDip, as there are many cool effects that can be achieved with PlastiDip base coats and metallizers on top.  And then there are color-changing oil enamels, like Rust-Oleum ColorShift, and DupliColor Mirage.  Basically lots of cool options.

Here's the Ducky with the silver cable in daylight.  Got some colored caps on the way for it to replace the black

(http://i.imgur.com/qFk8mip.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Grim Fandango on Wed, 05 June 2013, 10:05:20
Looks amazing. I have seen a couple of different methods. Do you think the paint is easily damaged or "chipped" and do you think it could come off from constant use and touching/rubbing the case?
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 05 June 2013, 11:16:50
I would say it's quite durable for normal use.  Very durable on hard metal surfaces (like cars or bicycle frames -- it's basically  the same paint, just in rattle cans (and less fancy solvents probably). Plastic surfaces are more tactile, so you could dent / scratch them more easily, but for a desk keyboard it's not really an issue.  But I would advise against oil based clear coats on sufaces where acidic oils from sweaty hands would dull and dissolve the coating over time: surfaces like miceor plastic keyboard wrist rests.  I'd use something like plastidip for those.  Narrow keyboard bezels will be fine with periodic cleaning.  All of my painted computer cases still look like new--I just clean any dust and oils with a fiber cloth every few weeks.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 14 June 2013, 16:25:43
Painted someone else's CM QFR and absolutely loved the color ("Aged Copper" by Rust-Oleum). 

(http://i.imgur.com/et650Xv.jpg)

Next up is my Filco Camo TKL that will be either the same Aged Copper on top or a greenish blue metallic (dark).

The bottom of the case has been painted pure copper (Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Copper):

(http://i.imgur.com/i5jdU9o.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/j9OiInF.jpg)

That's the progress so far.  Need to decide on the top color still.  The top cover has been sanded in places to allow for wider keycap openings, as it was a bit tight around the keys. 

Also really wish I could get ahold of some switches so I could put it all together sooner! 

I'll be dying the green Camo cord black, most likely.

ETA: The top cover has been painted and clear-coated too now--"Aged Copper" :)  Now to wait 2 days until I can actually sand and polish... silly paint takes so long to dry (and the bottom of the case is already quite dry--what a difference in not having a primer mixed in!)

(http://i.imgur.com/mvAVbSz.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/AEr6g1A.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Fri, 14 June 2013, 16:33:30
Do you tape over the stickers and feet when painting? or some other type of masking?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 14 June 2013, 16:38:34
Do you tape over the stickers and feet when painting? or some other type of masking?

I was going to tape over that big one in the center, but it actually peeled off easily, so I just took it off before painting.  All the rubber parts come off effortlessly.  The Filco logo turned out to be fixed to the top cover with sticky glue--not even with plastic tabs.  I pried it out with a box cutter (have to be very gentle or you risk scratching the logo).

I did tape over the parts of the bottom tray that are going inside the top cover.  You can see the tape on the bottom edges of the tray (with respect to it being upside down).

The Camo paint is very hard and durable, so I didn't bother sanding it off.  But the areas I did sand a lot revealed fairly light beige plastic.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: khaangaaroo on Fri, 14 June 2013, 20:56:14
Looking good! If you don't feel like dying the cord, I can trade you my black cord from the Filco I'm receiving soon. I'm planning to do a detachable cable mod, so the cable color doesn't matter to me since it'll be hidden inside the case.
Title: Re: Painted my Ducky :D
Post by: Grim Fandango on Fri, 14 June 2013, 20:58:17
I would say it's quite durable for normal use.  Very durable on hard metal surfaces (like cars or bicycle frames -- it's basically  the same paint, just in rattle cans (and less fancy solvents probably). Plastic surfaces are more tactile, so you could dent / scratch them more easily, but for a desk keyboard it's not really an issue.  But I would advise against oil based clear coats on sufaces where acidic oils from sweaty hands would dull and dissolve the coating over time: surfaces like miceor plastic keyboard wrist rests.  I'd use something like plastidip for those.  Narrow keyboard bezels will be fine with periodic cleaning.  All of my painted computer cases still look like new--I just clean any dust and oils with a fiber cloth every few weeks.

Thank you for this reply to my question, I had not noticed you answered until now. Learned a little bit more, once I gather the courage I will give it a try.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 14 June 2013, 21:21:05
Rust-Oleum Universal "Aged Copper" (top) vs. Rust-Oleum Stops Rust "Copper metallic" (bottom)

(http://i.imgur.com/YBqEa2V.jpg)

The top has significantly more metal flake.  Almost as prominent as DupliColor's MetalSpeck line.  The Stops Rust in "Copper" by Rust-Oleum results in some uneven tone (lighter in some areas, darker in others), my guess is due to the fine metal particles being subject to orientation in how the paint is sprayed and dries.  Was very difficult to get it to look even.  It's even reflected on the cap of the can.  The "Black Night Metallic" from the same line is excellent, however, and has no such issues.

ETA: and if anyone is curious what flat paints look like, here's Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch "French Lilac" with a lot of clear gloss over it (in thin layers!), sanded and polished

(http://cdn.overclock.net/d/d2/900x900px-LL-d252a1e8_P1050837b.jpeg)

I've just been on a metallic kick lately...
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Sifo on Fri, 14 June 2013, 21:21:33
Whoah that looks really cool!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Fri, 14 June 2013, 21:39:01
This thread is awesome, I've got to get to work on some painting projects!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: bueller on Fri, 14 June 2013, 22:56:39
Out of interest where did you get those metal arrow keys? Haven't been a fan until now but they are sexy!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 14 June 2013, 22:58:08
Out of interest where did you get those metal arrow keys? Haven't been a fan until now but they are sexy!

Feng's ebay shop.  They are leftovers from group buys here.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 16 June 2013, 11:50:59
Filco Camo has a neat bronze/gold logo.  First I thought it wouldn't go well with copper, but it's actually pretty cool and does fit my slightly steampunk plan for this keyboard

(http://i.imgur.com/wDI8O0T.jpg)

The logo itself is actually not held by plastic tabs as someone told me but rather is glued with sticky stretchy glue to the plastic of the casing.  To remove the logo, use a VERY skinny blade, such as a box cutter, put a layer or two of teflon tape over it (the logo is made of metal and is pretty delicate / easy to nick), and pry the logo off the plastic case gradually.  The black parts of the logo are a thin layer of black paint over the metal, so take care to not scrape it off.  Though if you do, you could fix it later with some tiny paintbrush and black enamel paint.  I would recommend prying from the bottom of the logo, not the top, as any nicks will be less visible then.

I didn't think of it when I started removing my logo, and you can see the small cut I made on the "O" (thankfully not visible at normal distance)

(http://i.imgur.com/gMpXoQq.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: kenmai9 on Sun, 23 June 2013, 04:30:19
Very cool stuff. Have you ever tried using vht vinyl dye? Your method looks great though.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 23 June 2013, 08:07:16
No, I have not.  Is it good?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: absyrd on Sun, 23 June 2013, 08:22:45
I've used that copper finish on a friend's nerf gun. Turned out great!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 23 June 2013, 11:43:11
Awesome, glad to hear that! If anyone finds good paints to recommend, please do share!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SeriouSSpotS on Sun, 23 June 2013, 12:47:09
That looks awesome, nice even finish on it.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 05 July 2013, 21:40:53
Today I learned that unlike Filco Majestouch-2 TKL Camo, the standard black Majestouch-2 TKL has square holes through the casing under the metal "Filco" badge.  You can stick something narrow through them and gently push the logo outwards.

(http://i.imgur.com/L0JYm3P.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 09 July 2013, 19:51:16
Working on my 3rd and last keyboard: another Filco TKL, this time a standard Majestouch-2, originally in black (logo removal shot above).

This is a very complicated color and is a work in progress.  Drying for now.  With flash, so all the metallic flakes are exaggerated.

(http://i.imgur.com/is8GwnM.jpg)

This has:

The end result is a medium dark sea color--my favorite :)  It's getting lightly sanded and I might do more coats tomorrow and maybe an iridescent top coat--unsure yet.  I kind of like it rough--it looks like sandblasted anodized metal.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: infiniti on Tue, 09 July 2013, 22:36:38
Looking good Photoelectric! ;)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Wed, 10 July 2013, 04:28:36
Hi Photoelectric, love you work, so inspiring that I want to paint my keyboards too.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 15:41:38
Mostly sanded, still lots of fine sanding and polishing to do.  Not sure if I like it enough yet.  I've half a mind to scap it (sand) and redo in metallic orange :D

(http://i.imgur.com/5V6glHT.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/WCdDA4v.jpg)
--
bad lighting photos, trying on with the plate:

(http://i.imgur.com/0jgf7TI.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/2yTj18X.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 21:43:13
Well... I finished it, and as it happens, I didn't like it!  It wasn't quite what I had in mind.  So... the paint is off now (200-grit 3M sandpaper--really great stuff!)

Basically I loved the color, but my apartment doesn't get a great deal of light, so it looked too dark.  Great outside, dark inside.  Going to stick with lighter colors.  Trying to decide between metallic orange and darker "steel" silver metallic.

(http://i.imgur.com/JIDYX6d.jpg)
(Rust-Oleum Universal "Dark Steel" with flat clear coat)

(http://i.imgur.com/BxFlrOw.jpg)
(Dupli-Color Metal Specks "Burnt Orange")

Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:04:45
Those colors are looking good!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:07:17
But which one should I do!  I can never decide because I like a lot of them, and settling for just one is boring :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: nubbinator on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:10:42
That Orange is pretty awesome, but I couldn't imagine a full top plate of that color.  If it was a 60% it would look awesome, but not a full keyboard or tenkeyless.  I'd go for the steel silver. If you want something more dramatic, maybe just mist some of the orange over it to get some orange flecking.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:12:36
It could be cool! Here's a photo Feng linked in his aluminum Poker case GB:

(http://geekhack.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=44651.0;attach=25187;image)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=44651.msg926662#msg926662
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:14:52
But which one should I do!  I can never decide because I like a lot of them, and settling for just one is boring :)

  Both!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:18:03
It's my last keyboard haha.  My Ducky's light silver, one Filco is kind of a dark copper color, and this be the third.  It's going to have Round2 Dye Sub PBT caps on it eventually with green legends. 

Something about that orange is very exciting.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: nubbinator on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:23:20
Orange is nice, but the board you linked is a duller orange.  That one you have above is much brighter.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:24:30
It's just lighting.  I actually have 2 orange paints I could layer.  That DupliColor orange is more on the red side.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Sifo on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:30:32
Wow... I really liked that blue T_T
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:31:11
It was good on photos taken outside.  Inside it was not quite like it :(  Dark and more blue.  It's my favorite color, and I wanted it to work, but those paints I used resulted in a dark combination.
--
A silent witness to the blue-green that once was :) 
(http://i.imgur.com/qx9iCXo.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Xenderwind on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:37:54
Man this is making me hate my stock QFR even more :(.  I like the old color a lot but that orange looks really good.  Then again I used to go to Virginia Tech so I'm kind of biased.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 10 July 2013, 22:40:22
Well, I'll give the old color another shot tomorrow (on scrap metal), using a satin teal as a base and some metallics on top.  Maybe it will come out better.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: le_doosh on Wed, 10 July 2013, 23:42:34
Man this is making me hate my stock QFR even more :(.  I like the old color a lot but that orange looks really good.  Then again I used to go to Virginia Tech so I'm kind of biased.

It's extremely easy to pop off the case and paint it. Only thing is that it voids your warranty.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 11 July 2013, 12:25:39
Alright, well, I've done more samples, and decided that I liked "dark steel" the most.  Will definitely be easier to match any keycaps :)  And the Filco logo is also that darker steel color.

samples (the right-most orange is kind of a semi-transparent top cover veil orange, so I *might* still use it over the steel paint at some point)

(http://i.imgur.com/AiQHOIf.jpg)

"In the rough" (drying, before sanding / polishing)

(http://i.imgur.com/jQlUKgq.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Fri, 12 July 2013, 12:06:17
Photoelectric -- love how much enjoy painting and grateful that you share photos of all your work. I find it very inspiring.

Have you ever thought of creating a tutorial, or how-to for those of us that have never tried it?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 12 July 2013, 12:15:36
Thank you!  Yes, I love painting, but try to do it in moderation and always outside, as spray paints are not exactly healthy to breathe around.  I used to do a lot of artistic oil painting for fun, but that waned over time, due to lack of time and being tired a lot.  Then I found that I can mod and paint computer cases and such with spray paint and finally moved on to keyboards :)  It's been a learning experience, and I make mistakes and learn from them all the time.  I tend to make a lot of samples on scrap metal and plastic utencils to see how colors will mix, and how the finish will look (gloss, flat, rough, smooth, etc.)

I'll definitely work on a tutorial.  In the meantime, for oil enamels and high gloss finish, this guy wrote a very good one:
http://www.overclock.net/t/382840/guide-painting-patterns-with-spraypaint

A clear coat (presence or lack thereof, and kind) makes a difference too.  Sometimes a gloss clear coat is not what you want.  Anyway, I'll work on something in writing!

Edit: typo
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Fri, 12 July 2013, 15:17:49
Thank you for the link! Looks like a really detailed step-by-step guide. Awesome!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 12 July 2013, 21:42:47
So using those "anodizing" effect semi-clears (like DupliColor MetalCast) over darker silver--not light silver--results in a kind of a neat darker muddied color.  This is DupliColor MetalCast in Red over Rust-Oleum Universal in Dark Steel (a darker silver, the exact shade is under the fork).

(http://i.imgur.com/jSypISA.jpg)

I didn't do enough coats to get a full-on dark red, as I liked the half-way effect.  It looks like pale brick red from some angles and actual anodized pink from other angles, depending on lighting.  So now I'm thinking I'll get green and blue and do another shot at "sea blue" for my Filco case.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: TheSoulhunter on Sat, 13 July 2013, 09:24:59
Awesome work!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 17 July 2013, 15:28:27
Another shot at "sea green", which is a mix of blue and green with a silver base here.  DupliColor MetalCast in Blue and Green layered together. 

(http://i.imgur.com/Hyp4Avo.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/vzWqveG.jpg)

I think I'll stick with this.  Needs sanding and a clear coat still.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Wed, 17 July 2013, 17:27:35
Looks good! I really like how well it blends with the switches. What caps are you thinking on this beauty?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Rafen on Wed, 17 July 2013, 18:50:05
That looks really good! Since I decided not to sell my Ducky keyboard I am thinking that I might end up painting it a different color.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 17 July 2013, 18:51:31
Thanks--I quite like how it came out!  Gradients of blue and green over silver, so the color shifts slightly in places.  Just like sea water with some foam :)  It's been my favorite color range since my visits to the Black Sea in my childhood.

Eventually, Lysol's US ANSI Green dye sub PBT set for this one, and the Ural ANSI (orange/charcoal) for the Copper Filco.

Rubbed and polished (no clear coat, I like the satin anodized appearance):

(http://i.imgur.com/1AVKX9j.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/hHzA0X9.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/xutRUhV.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/OOke2ZT.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Rafen on Wed, 17 July 2013, 18:56:07
Looks better and better the more I look at it. For some reason I want to make a purple flake keyboard, about the same color of the old Chargers.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Sifo on Wed, 17 July 2013, 19:00:41
If I had that top cover... I would easily be convinced to keep my Filco.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 17 July 2013, 19:02:04
Well, one of my 4 keyboards will eventually be looking for a new home, as, well... it's too many, and my OH seems to be reluctant to use the Copper Filco I practically made with him in mind =/  So if you're interested in the cover at some point, let me know :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Wed, 17 July 2013, 21:20:40
Awesome work on these. I'll be watching this forum for when I start my painting. I've already tried the Krylon Fusion and I've found that it is quite thick and doesn't spray even (I'm not an expert spray painter though).

Thanks for the advise on paints.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Xenderwind on Wed, 17 July 2013, 21:24:51
Another nice paint job!  I learned my lesson today trying to use vinyl wrap for my QFR.  I think ill try painting/getting someone to paint it next time.  I'll be sure to keep a lookout incase you ever decide to sell that filco with clears :p
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 17 July 2013, 21:31:46
Awesome work on these. I'll be watching this forum for when I start my painting. I've already tried the Krylon Fusion and I've found that it is quite thick and doesn't spray even (I'm not an expert spray painter though).

Thanks for the advise on paints.

Not a big fan of Krylon, but how were you spraying from that can?  You need to keep the can at least 8" away from the surface, I'd even do 10", and go in quick sweeping motion left to right or similar.  Somewhat like misting it on.  Not completely misting, but almost.  You don't want to spray too closely or linger over any particular spot, or you'll get a pool of wet paint, which is bad.  It's better to go over the keyboard many times with thin layers, waiting a couple minutes between each layer.  You'll get an even coverage without runny / difficult to dry areas that will look uneven.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Thu, 18 July 2013, 00:23:09
I think the "spending to much time on an area" is what got me the first couple of times. I'm sure with more practice I will start to get it down.

I wanted to try Krylon more for some of the textured blacks they have but I'll give some of the stuff you've done a try next and see how it works out.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: unnatural on Thu, 18 July 2013, 21:00:49
 Think I'm going to pick some paint up tomorrow and give this a go on my ducky case. Any Rust-oleum colors you recommend?  ;D
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 18 July 2013, 22:06:34
Think I'm going to pick some paint up tomorrow and give this a go on my ducky case. Any Rust-oleum colors you recommend?  ;D

Nope!  Go with what you like!  But if you'd like, post what you get, and maybe I've used that series for tips.
Edit: if you want something easy, go with the Painter's Touch line.  Sticks to plastic, really nice smooth coverage.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Fri, 19 July 2013, 02:37:58
oh i just ruined my first paint job! everything went fine until sanding the clear coat to buff the paint up.

1200 is the finest sand paper I have, so i used it, so scratchy, then I thought i could use Dremer rotary tool to help me polish, half way through my patient ran out because of all the scratches so i left the tip on one place for too long and it burned out the clear coat and paint  :'(

ill try again on another board! not giving up yet. :p

Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Merloobi on Fri, 19 July 2013, 02:40:34
These are the best keyboard paint jobs I've ever seen  :cool:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Fri, 19 July 2013, 08:46:07
Photoelectric -- if you wanted to re-paint a keyboard, do you just layer on top of it, or do you remove the previous paint job?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Fri, 19 July 2013, 08:47:05
i think you have to sand out the paint before. she mentioned it somewhere before as well.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Yzeets on Fri, 19 July 2013, 08:55:27
So tempted to do this, but scared at the same time
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 19 July 2013, 09:18:51
oh i just ruined my first paint job! everything went fine until sanding the clear coat to buff the paint up.

1200 is the finest sand paper I have, so i used it, so scratchy, then I thought i could use Dremer rotary tool to help me polish, half way through my patient ran out because of all the scratches so i left the tip on one place for too long and it burned out the clear coat and paint  :'(

ill try again on another board! not giving up yet. :p

;(  1200 can be okay if you make sure to keep the surface wet with a lot of water and sand with light pressure and evenly.  Good to stop periodically and inspect.  Good sand paper:

(http://i.imgur.com/hE3hvpd.jpg)

Bad sandpaper (from a dollar store... the gritty pieces crumble off in no time, uneven, etc.)
(http://i.imgur.com/xMotzEQ.jpg)

Sand small sections, avoiding going over corners as much as possible, since they are easy to sand off, and you can just even them out last.  I often rip off small pieces of sandpaper to go over localized small areas, trying to sand flat surfaces and avoid curved areas. 

(http://i.imgur.com/ejE9z6X.jpg)

(I would normally flood the area I work on with water for this.  You can even add a little but of mild liquid soap, but be prepared to pause frequently, wash off, and re-check your progress.  It's better to end up a bit uneven than to sand off too much and mess up the whole look).

After sand paper, you should get a cutting / rubbing compound and use a special sponge or even cotton balls.  The surface WILL look dull after sanding and almost good after a rubbing compound.  Rubbing compounds are less abrasive than 2000 grit sandpaper, but still abrasive enough that they could rub through the clear coat and more if you rub a spot too much.  These are what I use.  3M also has some good stuff.

(http://i.imgur.com/K2Mw6hc.jpg)

Automotive people love Meguiar's compounds #205 and #105 for this, but they are very expensive in comparison, and the job gets done fine with the above.

I wash a cover I work on with lukewarm soapy water and pat dry with a paper towel to inspect if more sanding / rubbing needs to be done.  Usually no more sanding after I start using the rubbing compound--just more rubbing.  Finish with a polishing compound once you are satisfied with the smoothness / can't remove any more because it will affect your paint. Don't forget that doing a lot of sanding / polishing will not turn your keyboard cover into a car-like mirrored surface--you risk removing too much paint and clear coat and end up with an uneven looking cover.  Just do the best you can and stop when you can't remove any more.  You need a thick clear coat to do a lot of sanding, which is tricky in itself, because applying too much clear coat can turn it milky and make the surface look dull.
-------
Now, to answer Mashby and you, you can definitely repaint the same cover.  But sand as much of the previous paint off as you can.  It does not need to be all of it, but definitely at least the clear coat.  Good quality 200 grit sandpaper will help you (also use wet to lessen abrasion) but watch out for angles and corners--they will sand Very easily.   Once you've sanded off enough, go over the keyboard cover with a finer sandpaper, like 400 or 600 grit, and make sure it's smooth everywhere.  Then you can paint over it as before!  ( Just wait to sand and reprint until the previous paint dries well).

~Disclaimer: this is for oil-based enamels where you do a gloss clear coat.  There are cases where you might be doing a matte clear coat or no clear coat at all, depending on your desired texture and look.  In those cases, you may only need to use a rubbing compound lightly, followed by a polishing compound.  Or nothing at all, just a rub with a damp lint-free cloth~
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Fri, 19 July 2013, 09:25:44
I dip the whole sand paper into water, so i reckon it was wet enough. I suspect I didnt coat it enough, 4 coats i did, but i think they were very thing coats.

but most importantly not that im looking for an excuse, but the case i was painting (KBTalking Pro, bluetooth one), wasnt ideal with so many angles and edges rather than flat like filcos... it was sort of difficult to get even coating (considering it was my first time).

Ill try with a filco, or a leopold or a G80-3000 again first and see if i feel like sanding it off and re-paint. plus ill try to get some sanding compound too. thanks for your input  :D
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 19 July 2013, 09:28:34
I dip the whole sand paper into water, so i reckon it was wet enough. I suspect I didnt coat it enough, 4 coats i did, but i think they were very thing coats.

but most importantly not that im looking for an excuse, but the case i was painting (KBTalking Pro, bluetooth one), wasnt ideal with so many angles and edges rather than flat like filcos... it was sort of difficult to get even coating (considering it was my first time).

Ill try with a filco, or a leopold or a G80-3000 again first and see if i feel like sanding it off and re-paint. plus ill try to get some sanding compound too. thanks for your input  :D

No 4 coats sound like enough, but if you really want a glass-finish, you need thicker layers.  If you do a thin overall layer, you just can't sand it for a long time.  At most very light-touch brief sanding.  I'm updating my previous post with photos now, should be a few minutes.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: doraemon on Mon, 22 July 2013, 12:36:12
Very helpful tips...

I will paint my keyboard soon.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 22 July 2013, 12:45:06
Good luck!  Don't forget to practice on scrap stuff first.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: _PixelNinja on Mon, 22 July 2013, 13:17:36
Wow great work and nice choice of colors! Very informative as well. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Yzeets on Mon, 22 July 2013, 15:59:29
I wonder if they have any neon colors, like a yellow or green
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Mon, 22 July 2013, 16:14:33
I wonder if they have any neon colors, like a yellow or green

We use neon orange and neon green paint at work all the time but I doubt you would want to paint a keyboard with it.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Thimplum on Mon, 22 July 2013, 16:18:00
Random thought: What if you used a fluorescent paint?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Mon, 22 July 2013, 16:33:04
Random thought: What if you used a fluorescent paint?

I like the way she thinks. I've got two more cases that could use a good fluorescent orange or green.

Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Thimplum on Mon, 22 July 2013, 16:36:16
Random thought: What if you used a fluorescent paint?
she

I don't think that he's ever heard of bronies...
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 22 July 2013, 16:40:20
Yeah, there are definitely fluorescent bright paints by various brands.  I've not looked into how durable they are--they might be the same enamel type.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Tue, 23 July 2013, 03:02:56
Hi Photoelectric, thank you so much for more pictures regarding the sand papers and the polishing compounds. I will definitely try again next time. the last one has so many edges, I will try with a G80-3000 cast next time. thank you so much again you are so inspiring!  :D

another thing though, this might sound like a really dumb question but since im in Switzerland and most of the stuff arent written in English, so I dont really understand most of the descriptions. but anyhow at the supply store, there are spray paints at the car section and the hobby section, would you reckon to go to the car section and buy stuff from there? like the primer, coats and clear coats etc, since you use car polish i assume it would be a better idea to buy everything for paiting cars?

and how long do you spend polishing the case?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 07:56:30
I've been to Switzerland (Zurich and some tours around), and I can appreciate how different things are there and Europe in general. 

Yeah, for the fear of craft store paint being less durable / having lower quality nozzles, I would buy supplies from automotive supply shops.  They should have higher quality sandpaper, good quality rubbing and polishing compounds, and good quality paint.  Keep an eye on what solvents the paints use.  For example, don't put an acrylic clear coat over oil enamel--it will dissolve the enamel.  But you can put an enamel clear coat over acrylic base coat.  The general rule is to mix like with like, so acrylic paint + acrylic clear coat, or enamel paint + enamel (oil) clear coat.

As for how long you should polish, there's no right answer.  You won't get a perfect finish anyway, because you're limited by spray cans and lots of curves on your keyboard case (plus lack of experience--that even goes for me vs. professional car painters), so just do what you think looks good and don't worry about it too much. 

The more clear coat you put on, the thicker the clear layer is, and the more you can sand off with very fine sandpaper (2000-grit) to smooth out the surface to mirror shine.  Problem is that too much clear coat can be bad: if you spray too much and too soon, it can turn milky, can become dull, or can even give your paint a yellow shade (depends on clear coat, some are better quality and resist yellowing better, but nonetheless, if you spray too thick, most likely you will see the yellowing). 

For computer cases, you can safely do multiple thicker clear coats and sand them later, as surfaces are generally flat and extended, which makes polishing easier.  For keyboards, I'd stick with a few thin layers of clear coat.  There's a difference between a wet shine look from a thinner clear coat and a wet shine look from a too-thick clear coat where you spray too much at once, and the paint is all runny.  As you practice, you will get a feel for "too much" for a single layer.  Remember that you don't want too much paint in total, as it will inhibit the curing process.

If there is very little clear coat, I only go very lightly with 2000-grit sandpaper in a circular motion, applying very little pressure and keeping the surface completely wet with water--just enough to get rid of the roughness, and then use polishing compounds.  That means that the surface will still have some of that "orange peel" texture to it.  Which is not necessarily a bad thing--it can suit a particular look.  Sometimes I'd do just a fine couple layers of matte clear coat, in which case I don't really polish much at all.  And sometimes I'll use more clear coat and polish longer for a more mirrored look.  Just stop often, wipe your surface, and make sure you don't over-sand / over-polish.  It's very easy to eat through the clear coat and onto the base paint, which can actually make it much worse.  For example, if you use metallic paint, if you sand the paint under the clear coat, you will sand off the color part, leaving a lot of the metal flake, so that spot can look more dull and more silver (or whatever the sparkle component color).  That goes for any paint that is not a single uniform color throughout.  It's better to leave the surface a bit rough and deal with it than end up with blotchy color variation, because fixing that later will be near-impossible, unless you redo the whole thing.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Poom on Tue, 23 July 2013, 09:31:03
oh thanks for the tips, I feel like the best bet now is to get very fine sand papers, finer than 1200grit at least, that should reduce the risk of scrubbing off the clear coat too fast.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 09:39:52
Yes, if you do a thin layer of clear coat, I wouldn't go below 2000-grit, and never sand dry surface--always wet the surface really well.  I sand next to a sink with running water and rinse frequently to inspect the progress.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 13:01:46
This is what a silver QFR cover looks like after being wet-sanded with 200-grit rough sandpaper to remove much of the rubbery silver coating, followed by fine 1000-grit sandpaper to smooth out the resulting grooves:

(http://i.imgur.com/2mIhA1S.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/NUt29CQ.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/4zK4zhk.jpg)

I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the coating is very thin.  The shinier silver parts are the original surface.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:02:14
This is what a silver QFR cover looks like after being wet-sanded with 200-grit rough sandpaper to remove much of the rubbery silver coating, followed by fine 1000-grit sandpaper to smooth out the resulting grooves:

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/2mIhA1S.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/NUt29CQ.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/4zK4zhk.jpg)


I don't know if you can tell from the photos, but the coating is very thin.  The shinier silver parts are the original surface.

Has anyone ever just stripped it down and used the original surface?? Just out of curiosity.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:04:40
Do you mean not stripped it down, painting over the rubbery coating?  Confused by the wording.  That would probably be okay, but I have no idea how the paint will react with that coating in terms of long-term durability.  And if the rubbery coating is too soft for the hard enamel over it in terms of susceptibility to dents.  I just sand it off, because it doesn't take long.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:24:20
Do you mean not stripped it down, painting over the rubbery coating?  Confused by the wording.  That would probably be okay, but I have no idea how the paint will react with that coating in terms of long-term durability.  And if the rubbery coating is too soft for the hard enamel over it in terms of susceptibility to dents.  I just sand it off, because it doesn't take long.

Sorry, I meant if you completely strip the top down to the original bare surface and use it that way, is it silver-ish?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:25:37
No, the plastic is black.  Silver bits are the remnants of the top coat which has that rubbery texture.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:32:14
No, the plastic is black.  Silver bits are the remnants of the top coat which has that rubbery texture.

Doh!! I had it backwards then...sorry about that ;)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 23 July 2013, 14:32:39
No worries!!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:24:52
So because my "Sea Green" theme had to be scrapped due to me having to sell one of my keyboards with MX Browns (had 2... one just sitting in a box), I realized that the green theme was not going to be everyone's cup of tea.  Plus it didn't really jive with the white plate that well.  It's been irking me for a while, and I finally repainted it.

Here's the new color, for the overall "Starry Night" theme (Metallic Black / Gunmetal cover, white LED indicators, white plate)

(http://i.imgur.com/sTTOHQj.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/JXqkIv5.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/koPaHDn.jpg)

It can look gunmetal silver or sparkly black depending on lighting.  I love that paint (Rust-Oleum Black Night Metallic) and have had it on my Logitech MX518 mouse for quite some time, as the stock paint started to wear off after years of use.  Plus it goes very smooth.  Really great paint.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Batmann on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:29:37
Once again your paintwork is really great
how many layers of paint and clear coat did you apply?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Techno Trousers on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:35:11
 Wow, that's gorgeous. Great job!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:36:03
Once again your paintwork is really great
how many layers of paint and clear coat did you apply?

For this, I sanded most of the previous paint, did 3 very fine layers of the black metallic paint and one final thick layer of it.  No clear coat here.  It's not always necessary, and in this case, I like the satiny finish of this paint.  I have a gloss clear coat over my mouse, which made it very, well, glossy after polishing.  I think the dark-colored keyboard will look better with less glare coming from the screen when it has a satin finish.  I've not yet found a matte or satin clear coat that looks good.  And polishing those results in a smooth surface and gloss.  It's likely due to the limitation of spray cans--even matte clear coat sprays with bits of gloss.  If I had fancier spraying equipment, matte / satin clear coats would be nice.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: foxtrott on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:55:12
really beautiful .. you're technically very gifted ..  :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Batmann on Thu, 25 July 2013, 12:58:25
For this, I sanded most of the previous paint, did 3 very fine layers of the black metallic paint and one final thick layer of it.  No clear coat here.  It's not always necessary, and in this case, I like the satiny finish of this paint.  I have a gloss clear coat over my mouse, which made it very, well, glossy after polishing.  I think the dark-colored keyboard will look better with less glare coming from the screen when it has a satin finish.  I've not yet found a matte or satin clear coat that looks good.  And polishing those results in a smooth surface and gloss.  It's likely due to the limitation of spray cans--even matte clear coat sprays with bits of gloss.  If I had fancier spraying equipment, matte / satin clear coats would be nice.

Is it still durable even without clear coat?



Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 13:34:18
It's a keyboard, it's not a car!  I totally saw that question coming judging by your previous post.  Unless you plan to jab stuff into it all the time or carry it in your bag daily...  then even the clear coat will get scratched.  Sure it's quite durable.  You will easily scratched anodized aluminum cases if you're not careful.  Durability is a relative term.

P.S.: My pink Filco came to me a bit scuffed up on the sides from its original owner.  I can tell that the pink is not really durable at all as far as if I had to carry the keyboard around--and that's Filco factory finish.  Oil paint is a LOT more durable than that if done properly. 
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Yzeets on Thu, 25 July 2013, 13:36:07
you should make a how to video with what you do step by step!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Thu, 25 July 2013, 13:36:37
You should offer case painting as a service.

Seriously.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 13:38:46
You should offer case painting as a service.

I am, sort of... already painted 2 people's keyboards, and 2 more coming soonish.  But I can't make it into a mass-production type deal.  It's a hobby, and I have to do it outside (paint fumes are not exactly healthy).  Sometimes it rains, sometimes it's too hot.  I also want to make sure people are happy with the results, which means I take time to paint, polish, etc.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Xenderwind on Thu, 25 July 2013, 14:32:27
How much $ would you say is needed to get the stuff to paint a case?  Like I know a can of paint is at least ~$5 and then there's the sand paper (and it seems like I need multiple different grits), but im not sure about all the other things like the polishing/rubbing compounds,primer, and clearcoat.  Seems like this all adds up to a decent amount, which means I may just try and go for an acrylic case since I don't plan on painting that much.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 14:36:54
Well if you don't want to get fancy, just paint is all you need. 

If you want to get fancy stuff, different sandpaper is around $5 a package from automotive stores (that's per each roughness level).  Rubbing compound and polish are around $10 per bottle.  I use them with large cotton balls for small surfaces like keyboard covers (can get those at a pharmacy).   Paint can be cheap and less cheap.  Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch / UltraCover and Stops Rust lines are around $4-6 at Home Depot.  Universal line is more like $8.  Fancier metal flake paints are more like $10-13 a can.

If you just do paint and don't plan to polish, go with flat or satin finishes--not gloss.  Same for clear coat: satin or flat.

It's still cheaper to paint than to buy an acrylic case, even with all the added costs.  Plus I'm not sure about those acrylic cases--I feel like they scratch easily, especially the gloss finishes.  Fine swirls and such from cleaning over time.  I'd love for someone to comment on that though.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Batmann on Thu, 25 July 2013, 15:09:40
That's some really useful content here. I didn't know you could expect such good results with paint in can and car detailing techniques.
I have an IMSTO poker case that I'll paint that way (due to blemishes on the anodizing)
Powder coating is too expensive here in France
Keep up the good work!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Xenderwind on Thu, 25 July 2013, 15:16:10
Well if you don't want to get fancy, just paint is all you need. 

If you want to get fancy stuff, different sandpaper is around $5 a package from automotive stores (that's per each roughness level).  Rubbing compound and polish are around $10 per bottle.  I use them with large cotton balls for small surfaces like keyboard covers (can get those at a pharmacy).   Paint can be cheap and less cheap.  Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch / UltraCover and Stops Rust lines are around $4-6 at Home Depot.  Universal line is more like $8.  Fancier metal flake paints are more like $10-13 a can.

If you just do paint and don't plan to polish, go with flat or satin finishes--not gloss.  Same for clear coat: satin or flat.

It's still cheaper to paint than to buy an acrylic case, even with all the added costs.  Plus I'm not sure about those acrylic cases--I feel like they scratch easily, especially the gloss finishes.  Fine swirls and such from cleaning over time.  I'd love for someone to comment on that though.

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it.  I didn't even consider how easily those acrylic cases can be scratched.  I really want an aluminum case since those reds look so nice, but they're also really expensive and I don't think I've seen any for QFR.  I'll have to look into paints to see if there is something I like.  Not sure if I like how metal flake looks kind of...sparkly? but I think it would look much better than just plain gloss red.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 15:16:30
I have an IMSTO poker case that I'll paint that way (due to blemishes on the anodizing)
Powder coating is too expensive here in France

If you're going to paint aluminum, you should do some reading about it.  I believe you need a base coat of some sort: a primer for bare metal.  I know there are also semi-transparent paints that work to look like anodizing that can go over bare metal.  For example, DupliColor MetalCast.   MetalCast paints are semi-transparent (I have 4 of them), and you keep misting them on to get desired color intensity.  From what I've read on auto forums when reading about paint, they can be very durable.  They may need a top clear coat.  If you want to do non-transparent enamel, you will still need a primer.  And I'm not sure if it's okay to spray over the anodized coat or if you need to sand it off to bare metal first.

http://www.duplicolor.com/products/metalCast/

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it.  I didn't even consider how easily those acrylic cases can be scratched.  I really want an aluminum case since those reds look so nice, but they're also really expensive and I don't think I've seen any for QFR.  I'll have to look into paints to see if there is something I like.  Not sure if I like how metal flake looks kind of...sparkly? but I think it would look much better than just plain gloss red.

I don't know how easily they scratch--it's something I'd like to know about myself.  It's my guess that they scratch easily, at least in terms of fine scratches you can see against the light.  Just based on acrylic I've used.  But maybe there are different grades of acrylic, and the ones used for those cases are really nice and scratch-proof.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Xenderwind on Thu, 25 July 2013, 15:19:39
Oh I don't plan on painting aluminum, I just meant I really like the way they look.  If I paint anything it will just be a QFR top cover.

edit: also thinking about it...I really hated the gloss black on my das, I don't think I'd want a case like that again.  I guess that means acrylic is out.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 25 July 2013, 15:20:28
Oh I don't plan on painting aluminum, I just meant I really like the way they look.  If I paint anything it will just be a QFR top cover.

Yeah, I was replying to Batmann as you posted your reply at the same time :)  Fixed to include quotes and reply to you as well.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 30 July 2013, 19:29:36
Good stuff!!

(http://i.imgur.com/GQP20a7.jpg)

Clear, goes on in a smooth fine mist.  Using that on everything now, under paint.  Here is a Filco plate--normally powder-coated matte black--sanded down to bare steel, coated with the Adhesion Promoter, and followed with DupliColor Metal Cast in Red

(http://i.imgur.com/77xnUQx.jpg)

It's been a few days after spraying, and the finish is very hard.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: unnatural on Wed, 31 July 2013, 23:45:30
Just finished exam week and finally got to painting my case, choose white gloss.
(http://i.imgur.com/IUhDg5u.jpg)
Took the picture with my potato cam so the blemishes are harder to see. I wish I had the skills you do  :(

Thank you so much for the detailed guide.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:04:47
Cool geometric design!  The case paint came out very nicely.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: elton5354 on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:08:14
How many layers do you put on your plate? The paint makes the plate look kind of bulgy.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:34:01
The paint layer is extremely thin.  What you think of is bulgy is optical illusion, because the paint is semi-transparent, so you see the steel underneath.  In some cases it came out brushed-like from sanding, and in other areas (particularly the thin parts between the switch holes), the steel surface is sanded in more random directions a bit, as the black powder coating was difficult to get off those areas neatly.  It also felt like the surface was not perfectly smooth before it was powder coated--almost slightly porous.  I tried to make it look "brushed", but it was not an easy feat to do that neatly.  Anyway, the new paint coat is thinner than the old powder coat, and it's slick to touch.

Before the paint:

(http://i.imgur.com/h2Rwofm.jpg)

Anyway, this would work better with more thorough sanding along the same direction, or on clean metal that's not been painted / sanded before.  I don't have any fancy sanding tools though.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: elton5354 on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:41:20
Thanks for the explanation.  Would it be easier/better to sand it with a Dremel?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:48:02
Thanks for the explanation.  Would it be easier/better to sand it with a Dremel?

I think it would depend on what Dremel you're using.  The one I have takes pretty small sanding discs, you'd be all day going over the surface of a keyboard plate.

If you have one of those oscillating sanders (I think Dremel makes one...) with a sanding surface about the size of a business card, that might work well to sand the flat areas. 

FWIW, I sanded the steel plates I got from Beast's buy, by hand.  The sharp edges destroyed the sandpaper quickly, but I used a small block of wood to get a flat surface, and the end result looks pretty nice.  I'm torn between leaving them as glossy stainless steel, or painting them, all these pictures make me want to experiment with some custom colors.   :-\
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 01 August 2013, 08:58:56
Perhaps.  But when I tried to sand the whole plate horizontally with a sanding block, I was not getting enough of the powder coat off those thin areas between the switches.  It came off easily from the edge areas, but in the "middles" I had to go with small pieces of 200-grit sandpaper and sand longitudinally along the direction of those "bars".  It was a messy job, as it was ruining my brushed appearance, so I was trying to not sand too much, and after all was finished, I brushed everything from left-to-right again.  Nonetheless, despite a lot of sanding, I feel that some areas of the original surface still contain fine amounts of powdercoating, as the original surface was not 100% smooth, and perhaps sandblasted-like, so some powder coating was wedged in quite firmly between small particles of steel.  You can see those areas are darker (in part due to fine remnants of powder coating that was not visible to naked eye in most lighting, and in part because of the "grain" of the surface being more sandblasted-like).

I painted this plate as a test, because of the discussion of options in the Universal Plate thread.  Those plates are bare brushed steel to start with, so they won't have the issues I had with having to remove the powder coat first.  The end result might not be as nice as anodizing, but it's much cheaper :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 13 August 2013, 12:17:55
I decided to give some craft paints a try: like Tamiya and Testors.  They come in many fun colors, and I found a place that sold them for <$5 a can. 

The Tamiya I got is an acrylic lacquer in a pink pearl color (TS-59).  It goes on reasonably smoothly.  The Testors paints I got are oil enamels, and I would not recommend them at all.  The spray pressure is high and they go on too runny.  Not easy to control for thin coats if you want to layer thinly to avoid dark results.   "Turquoise Metallic" Testors was so bad that it bubbled and ran like crazy.  Completely uneven finish.  I don't know what happened to that can, other than it was normal temperature, and the other two cans (Testors "Bright Aqua Pearl"  and Tamiya "Light Red Pearl") went on fairly smoothly.  "Bright Aqua Pearl" was definitely not very bright but a rather dark greenish blue after a couple of coats (at the pressure the paint comes out of the can). 

Personal recommendation: avoid Testors paints.  I've read that Tamiya sprays more smoothly, and that seems to be the case in my sample painting yesterday.  And of course you get tiny amounts (only 3oz) per can.  So maybe 1 TKL cover.  Also note that Tamiya paint is acrylic, so you can't spray it over oil enamel.  But you can coat it with a clear oil enamel top coat.

(http://i.imgur.com/UGo6MVw.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Tue, 13 August 2013, 12:22:24
I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your tips and advice!  It was a lot of work, and I definitely know some aspects I'd do differently, but it was also very satisfying to mod a keyboard case to exactly the color/design I wanted.

[attachimg=1]
[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 13 August 2013, 12:28:38
I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your tips and advice!  It was a lot of work, and I definitely know some aspects I'd do differently, but it was also very satisfying to mod a keyboard case to exactly the color/design I wanted.

:thumb:  Just noticed you have non-standard caps too (Deck keyboard?)  Will look cool with the military set!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Tue, 13 August 2013, 12:56:41
I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your tips and advice!  It was a lot of work, and I definitely know some aspects I'd do differently, but it was also very satisfying to mod a keyboard case to exactly the color/design I wanted.

:thumb:  Just noticed you have non-standard caps too (Deck keyboard?)  Will look cool with the military set!

Yep, I got a Deck 105-key set from Berserkfan, figured I'd try them out on the CM "V" version.  I gotta say, I love typing on them, even with the all-one-profile layout.  Don't have the right modifer/space bar or macro caps, those are still the CM caps.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 12:49:43
Custom color mixing experiment:

Got a small "spray gun" set by Preval at HomeDepot (just an empty jar with replaceable aerosol can attachments at the top) intending to mix the perfect shade of pearl aqua, because I just haven't been able to find any existing shades that worked.  So this is sort of an intense light blue--cyan mixed with sparkly gold paint and with white pearl paint.  The intent was to give it more green, lighten it up, and end up with a pearly sheen finish:

(http://i.imgur.com/OfKhNGZ.jpg)

The photo doesn't really do it justice, as it's a lot more shimmery under sunlight.  Going to spray my spare Filco Camo cover with it today :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Wed, 14 August 2013, 12:54:49
Who here agrees that we should all pitch in to buy Photoelectric a nice airbruch kit? Could you imagine the work photoelectric could do for us?

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Airbrush-Multi-purpose-Professional-Airbrushing/dp/B006FQCBZK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376502833&sr=8-2&keywords=airbrush+kit
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Wed, 14 August 2013, 12:57:39
Who here agrees that we should all pitch in to buy Photoelectric a nice airbruch kit? Could you imagine the work photoelectric could do for us?

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Airbrush-Multi-purpose-Professional-Airbrushing/dp/B006FQCBZK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376502833&sr=8-2&keywords=airbrush+kit

I'm in.  Huge appreciation expressed for all of Photoelectric's tips and methods, in this thread and others.  Is an airbrush kit the most useful?  Perhaps a small-ish HVLP gun?

Either way I'd most happily chip in for some equipment!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 12:59:01
Thanks guys--I'm glad to share my experiences, as I think it's fun to make stuff, and if the results look good--even better!  I don't have a garage, so I can't really use fancy equipment requiring external power.  I have to just set up outside of my building.  Thank you for the sentiment though <3
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Wed, 14 August 2013, 13:06:42
Thanks guys--I'm glad to share my experiences, as I think it's fun to make stuff, and if the results look good--even better!  I don't have a garage, so I can't really use fancy equipment requiring external power.  I have to just set up outside of my building.  Thank you for the sentiment though <3

That's even more impressive, to know you paint these cases so beautifully, and no garage?!  How about we chip in and rent you a garage/storage space?  Selfishly speaking, of course, so you have a place to work over the winter... 

 :p  :p  :p
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 13:56:14
Ok, well, I'm not going to call the Preval system "crap", but I will say that I wasn't sure if I could actually finish my cover.  So the problem is that once you insert the aerosol sprayer can, you can't tilt the whole thing by more than 45 degrees from vertical.  Because there's an opening where the can connects to the jar below, and paint can splash out.  The aerosol needs that hole for intake air.  In my case, I tried to keep it as vertical as possible, but the paint was still splashing out from below like crazy.  My hands were all blue, and this is what the sprayer is like now:

(http://i.imgur.com/RYASHGT.jpg)

BUT it did spray very smoothly when the paint actually came out.  So I finished the cover with some effort.  I'll probably use another aerosol sprayer in the future for this, although... this is very messy business, and I can't say that I like it.  But it's the only way for me to mix a custom color at the moment.

Now on to the cover--I'm very happy with how it came out!!  It's drying at the moment, and I am considering adding an iridescent clear gloss over it.  The result is very much like slightly aqua sky blue with a gold and white pearl sheen, depending on angle.  Almost looks like anodized sky blue aluminum from some angles.  I'll have to take better photos outside when it's all finished.

(http://i.imgur.com/lEe1g8o.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/PQ8YEs4.jpg)

I was going to take a photo of my blue hands... but you don't need to see that :)  Suffice to say, I need to get a stronger cleaner than alcohol and nail polish remover :)

P.S.: For that cover so far: 
* Base: DupliColor Adhesion Promoter, Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Aqua (light aqua)
* Top:  multiple layers of my pearl aqua concoction
* Clear coat: undecided!  Probably DupliColor Effex.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Thimplum on Wed, 14 August 2013, 14:06:12
HCL :cool:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 15:18:03
Mini update: tried on the cover loosely.  The clear coat I'll use in a day or two is above.

(http://i.imgur.com/Hdt5H7o.jpg)

Also added gold + green flakes to the mix and will do another coat after sanding.  Then follow with clear.

(http://i.imgur.com/VE9ghHD.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Wed, 14 August 2013, 19:40:45
You make this look so good and so easy!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 19:42:56
Haha, it's because you don't see all the in-between parts.  I just take photos once I finish a stage and clean up.  My hand still have a lot of cyan on them.  If I'd known, I'd have worn gloves =/
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Wed, 14 August 2013, 19:48:27
Haha, it's because you don't see all the in-between parts.  I just take photos once I finish a stage and clean up.  My hand still have a lot of cyan on them.  If I'd known, I'd have worn gloves =/

Just tell people your a really big smurfs fan.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 14 August 2013, 19:57:44
Bad quality but

Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 15 August 2013, 15:09:19
Finished.  Didn't come out as smoothly as I had hoped, but I've definitely learned a lot about not adding larger flakes to a paint mix in the future! :)  After iridescent clear coat and a LOT of polishing, it did finally get very smooth and shiny.

(http://i.imgur.com/fOFmeiX.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/B1PvWt9.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/BZxd6HH.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/SyXLrHa.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/rDs5Hkd.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 20 August 2013, 14:08:16
I have received 6 QFR cases that have been previously painted with something nasty.  My guess is Krylon Fusion, which if true, confirms my strong dislike of that whole line.  Under the clear coat, the paint is soft and I can scrape it off with my nail.  It's kind of rubbery and is a nightmare to sand off, even with my normally very strong standby 3M 200-grit sandpaper.

Enter Easy-Off Oven Cleaner (Original).  It's not as harsh as some other paint strippers, as I'm trying to not damage the plastic of the covers.  Here's a comparison photo of 3 covers: the top cover is the originally painted one, the middle has been sanded for a good while with 200-grit sandpaper, and the third has been sprayed with Easy-Off twice and left to soak and then scrubbed with sandpaper.

(http://i.imgur.com/rmMfT2H.jpg)

Significantly less work with Easy-Off though still not as nice to remove as oil enamel.  And the worst is that I don't know if I can safely spray over any remnants of that paint, but I'll do a test soon.

I know there's also paint stripper for plastics, and I'll look into that as well, as I still have 4 covers to go :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Badwrench on Tue, 20 August 2013, 17:58:49
From the sound of it, I would guess that they were primed with something that didn't play nice with the color coat.  I have had a similar reaction when going between model and automotive paints. 

You are doing it right with the oven cleaner.  Unfortunately, the only good way to remove gummy paint is with good old elbow grease and heavy grit sandpaper. 
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 20 August 2013, 18:02:43
Yeah that could be.  It could be 2 things based on where I got these from--I don't have the answer.  1. acrylic paint (Montana Gold) or 2. Krylon Fusion.  I'm betting it's Krylon Fusion, because I've had a similar reaction in the past when I stupidly painted some plastic computer parts with it.  I didn't use a primer, and the paint went over bare ABS plastic.  The paint didn't quite dry fully, because when I put oil enamel over it a few weeks later and tried to sand it off a couple days later (you can put oil enamel over oil enamel and over acrylic) I found the same goopy sticky mess.  It's a big reason why I hate Krylon Fusion.  Another reason is that all the Krylon paints I've tried have been really uneven, streaky, smelled bad, and the results were subpar.

But anyway, without Easy-Off, the middle cover is what you get after a LOT of elbow grease and high quality 200-grit 3M sandpaper.  The bottom one is black thanks to Easy-Off.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 21 August 2013, 19:38:20
Learned that the paint is indeed Krylon!
-----
To continue my logo removal saga, here's a full-sized Filco Ninja cover with the logo removed, showing that it has 2 openings behind the logo that you can stick a tiny screwdriver into and push the logo out (the logo is again a metal badge, fixed to the case with glue)

(http://i.imgur.com/xD8Grtw.jpg)

And nowadays I put drawer liner into all keyboards I open :D  Filco ping?  What ping? :D

(http://i.imgur.com/CUGoanW.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:08:02
I thought some of you might find this interesting, so I'm posting some "before" photos :)  Namely of DupliColor MetalCast system (base coat + top coats).

The reason I find this paint so curious is that the semi-transparent top coats that add color to the base coat (silver or just bare primed metal) look like complete crap while they dry and before polishing.  They look milky, messy, and scary :)  So I'll leave you with a "before" photo of purple with some layers of blue for an ultraviolet effect:

(http://i.imgur.com/wETusvc.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/0jXQ54G.jpg)

Pretty, isn't it? ;)  I don't think you can even tell that there's metallic silver underneath.

"After" photos to follow in a day or two :D
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:15:52
Throw some gold flake in there and you might have JDPurple!  :eek:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:17:49
Show Image
I thought some of you might find this interesting, so I'm posting some "before" photos :)  Namely of DupliColor MetalCast system (base coat + top coats).

The reason I find this paint so curious is that the semi-transparent top coats that add color to the base coat (silver or just bare primed metal) look like complete crap while they dry and before polishing.  They look milky, messy, and scary :)  So I'll leave you with a "before" photo of purple with some layers of blue for an ultraviolet effect:

(http://i.imgur.com/wETusvc.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/wETusvc.jpg)


(http://i.imgur.com/0jXQ54G.jpg) (http://i.imgur.com/0jXQ54G.jpg)

Pretty, isn't it? ;)  I don't think you can even tell that there's metallic silver underneath.

"After" photos to follow in a day or two :D

must show jdcarpe!!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:20:22
No gold flake was requested :)  But I can see the resemblance now.  It will be more transparent after drying and polishing though.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:25:52
photo are you sure you don't want to become the resident geekhack painter?? :eek:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:30:51
I can do a case with a good interval in between, but I'm currently doing a LOT, which I just can't handle regularly.  It's not just the painting, but the prep that is time consuming.  I like plastic cases that have no coating on them--they are easy: sand to smooth, clean, paint.  Covers like the QFR ones have coating on them that takes time to remove.  Also I prefer to paint outside so I don't breathe in the paint fumes too much, so basically until it gets into high 50s outside.  If I had a garage, things would be easier.

And finally I'm always paranoid about doing stuff for others because I can't guarantee perfect results (and I have a certain OCD about things being as perfect as possible).  There are factors like dust and quality of rattle cans which are very frustrating to me.  I have to improvise a lot.  If I had a fancy spray gun and a clean workspace, I'd be more willing to do custom requests.  For now, it's an occasional deal.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Techno Trousers on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:40:46
Somebody get that man a workshop and some good equipment, stat!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:46:40
Somebody get that man a workshop and some good equipment, stat!

We just need someone to make Photoelectric a collapsible, wind proof workshop and then the rest of us could pitch in to get her a spray gun. Does anybody close to photoelectric have wood working tools and some white sheets?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 22 August 2013, 12:48:29
It's just not worth it, sadly. I live in a city, and have to spray outside my apartment building.  Work / storage spaces are not cheap around here.  It's just how it is.  Perhaps in the future if I move to a different place eventually.  I love cities, but they do have some limitations :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Sent on Thu, 22 August 2013, 14:05:10
That purple sure looks tasty. Definitely going to have to type on this board for a day or two before giving it to my friend. Lol.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 23 August 2013, 14:06:06
Welp, my "after" photo plan fell through, because when I started sanding the cover lightly late in the evening, I realized it was looking rather dark in dim lighting and contacted the person who sent me the keyboard with some potato shots to ask if they wanted a lighter color instead.  They said yes, so I've redone the cover in a lighter PlastiKote burgundy metal flake acrylic lacquer (first time using an acrylic lacquer on a cover!)

Here's a potato shot of what it was beginning to look like (and this was in bright kitchen light):

(http://i.imgur.com/krIC4E4.jpg)

And since I promised photos, here's a glamor shot of the repainted cover drying (and it doesn't smell like roses!)

(http://i.imgur.com/SeAez5j.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/U4jX90M.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 23 August 2013, 22:15:26
Posting this for reference to those who are planning to participate in the CM QFR Cover Customization contest.  There is a difference between the coating on the silver cover and the coating on the black cover from the CM store.  The silver coating is thicker and sands more easily to a smooth transition between the underlying plastic and the coating.  I believe you don't need to remove all of the silver coating, just enough from the edges and large surfaces:

This is what a silver QFR cover looks like after being wet-sanded with 200-grit rough sandpaper to remove much of the rubbery silver coating, followed by fine 1000-grit sandpaper to smooth out the resulting grooves:

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/2mIhA1S.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/NUt29CQ.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/4zK4zhk.jpg)


The black cover, on the other hand, is a different story.  The coating on it is very thin and filmy, and once you sand off some, you basically have to keep going, as it frays and peels at the edges, and you can't sand it smooth.  Only off.

(http://i.imgur.com/wr43Ux4.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/gbeNWNI.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Defying on Fri, 23 August 2013, 22:32:56
Well, I got my new QFR case a few days ago and I went ahead and painted it today. Came out rather nicely  :thumb:

Few little flaws, but other wise I'm very happy with it.

(http://i.imgur.com/BWm7B2Fh.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/heAIIDPh.jpg)

The back. Oops.
(http://i.imgur.com/cL9F5soh.jpg)

And there's a little spec of dust too.
(http://i.imgur.com/5wKmzpAh.jpg)

Otherwise, it's very nice! Just need to give it one more layer of clear coat tomorrow and wait for it to dry up.

I assume the scrape on the back isn't easily repairable. Oh well. I might order another QFR case while the promo is going still.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: germy on Fri, 23 August 2013, 23:10:41
Very nice colour Defying! May I ask what paint you used?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 23 August 2013, 23:23:32
I like that color :)

Which paint did you use?  The paint can be repaired on the back: just sand it gently (~600-grit quality sandpaper followed by 1000-grit to smooth out) to even out as much as possible and do another series of thin layers over that area and any other areas that you sand. 

Make sure to wet the surface really well with water and gently glide the sandpaper in a circular motion over the uneven part, sanding it.  Clean that area with water periodically so you can see your progress, and continue sanding until it looks and feels smooth.

Depending on the paint you've used, you need to wait at least 1-2 days--sometimes a lot longer--to add any more paint on top, or you will risk melting the paint underneath and causing bubbling / lifting.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Defying on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:01:52
Very nice colour Defying! May I ask what paint you used?

I like that color :)

Which paint did you use?  The paint can be repaired on the back: just sand it gently (~600-grit quality sandpaper followed by 1000-grit to smooth out) to even out as much as possible and do another series of thin layers over that area and any other areas that you sand. 

Make sure to wet the surface really well with water and gently glide the sandpaper in a circular motion over the uneven part, sanding it.  Clean that area with water periodically so you can see your progress, and continue sanding until it looks and feels smooth.

Depending on the paint you've used, you need to wait at least 1-2 days--sometimes a lot longer--to add any more paint on top, or you will risk melting the paint underneath and causing bubbling / lifting.

This is the paint I used:
(http://i.imgur.com/9gCMgBp.jpg)

And thank you for the advice, Photo! I'll try that tomorrow (depending on if this paint is okay or not).  :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:03:13
That's good paint!  Wait a couple of days after you painted and then you can re-spray :)  Just sand as I mentioned beforehand and make sure to clean the keyboard really well.  Don't use rubbing alcohol on the paint, it will melt it / make it tacky.  You can just clean it with light detergent and water if you got it oily with dirty hands or what not.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Defying on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:08:23
That's good paint!  Wait a couple of days after you painted and then you can re-spray :)  Just sand as I mentioned beforehand and make sure to clean the keyboard really well.  Don't use rubbing alcohol on the paint, it will melt it / make it tacky.  You can just clean it with light detergent and water if you got it oily with dirty hands or what not.

Awesome. I wonder if I could do the same for that little spec of dust.. it's really noticeable and it's bothering me. :P
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:14:00
That's good paint!  Wait a couple of days after you painted and then you can re-spray :)  Just sand as I mentioned beforehand and make sure to clean the keyboard really well.  Don't use rubbing alcohol on the paint, it will melt it / make it tacky.  You can just clean it with light detergent and water if you got it oily with dirty hands or what not.

Awesome. I wonder if I could do the same for that little spec of dust.. it's really noticeable and it's bothering me. :P

If you haven't clear-coated it, yes you can.  Just when you put paint over the sanded areas, don't do focused spraying into one spot, or you'll end up with too much paint, which will run and sag.  Go from a distance, at least 8-10" in a light sweeping motion.  Better to do a few light layers until it looks even.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Defying on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:45:16
That's good paint!  Wait a couple of days after you painted and then you can re-spray :)  Just sand as I mentioned beforehand and make sure to clean the keyboard really well.  Don't use rubbing alcohol on the paint, it will melt it / make it tacky.  You can just clean it with light detergent and water if you got it oily with dirty hands or what not.

Awesome. I wonder if I could do the same for that little spec of dust.. it's really noticeable and it's bothering me. :P

If you haven't clear-coated it, yes you can.  Just when you put paint over the sanded areas, don't do focused spraying into one spot, or you'll end up with too much paint, which will run and sag.  Go from a distance, at least 8-10" in a light sweeping motion.  Better to do a few light layers until it looks even.

Ah.. I've already clear coated it. I think it landed on top of the clear coat as it was drying because it wasn't there before I used it. :(

Oh! And thank you for the Rustoleum suggestion!  :))
I went ahead and (tried) spray painting the bottom case for my QFR with Krylon (~month old, was basically full).. Ended up basically ruining the entire bottom (unless I sand the paint off, or use some of that Easy-Off stuff).


(http://i.imgur.com/tmLRPHx.jpg)


Close up:

(http://i.imgur.com/YlzgVPu.jpg)


A horrible macro with my kit lens:
(http://i.imgur.com/AqmfSdU.jpg)

This was the color scheme I was going for:
(http://i.imgur.com/fAFaPgY.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/dQaiKHl.jpg)


Will be adding some white thick PBT's soon.

Err.. my spoilers aren't working. Sorry for crapping your thread with tons of pictures.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 24 August 2013, 00:48:03
If you've clear-coated, it's definitely more tricky.  You can mask off a larger area around the uneven part on the back using blue painter's tape.  Sand then spray green over the area in light layers.  Wait until it dries, take off the tape, sand to smoothness where the painter's tape meets the painted area (something very smooth like 2000-grit, wet-sanding).  Then Clear coat in a day or two.
---
Yeah, Krylon's Fusion is very tricky paint, tough to remove, and just generally meh.  I don't like it.  The best way to remove it is still harsh sandpaper, like 200-grit, but it's tough to sand through it.  You can try spraying the original (yellow can) Easy-Off on and waiting 10-15 min, then scrubbing with a harsh sponge under running water.  You may need to spray a couple times.  Then sand.  If you do use Easy-Off, DON'T breathe at all while you spray.  The fumes are extremely irritating and will make you cough like crazy :)  And wear rubber gloves!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Sat, 24 August 2013, 01:58:31
@Defying

Have you come up with a name for you keyboard yet?

Great paint work btw....I've got one I'm going to attempt to paint probably tomorrow (later today :eek:)

Since I have 6 extra QFR cases I might as well start practicing. :p
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Findecanor on Sat, 24 August 2013, 09:48:30
The black cover, on the other hand, is a different story.  The coating on it is very thin and filmy, and once you sand off some, you basically have to keep going, as it frays and peels at the edges, and you can't sand it smooth.  Only off.
Has anyone tried White Spirit / Turpentine on the black QFR's coating?

I have had other types of products where White Spirit makes a coating peel off easily, but does not damage the ABS plastic underneath.
Be sure to use a degreaser afterwards, to remove the oily "spirit", otherwise paint won't stick. Denatured alcohol should work.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Defying on Sat, 24 August 2013, 10:33:40
@Defying

Have you come up with a name for you keyboard yet?

Great paint work btw....I've got one I'm going to attempt to paint probably tomorrow (later today :eek:)

Since I have 6 extra QFR cases I might as well start practicing. :p

Hmm.. not exactly.

Maybe something like "Key Lime Pie"?  :))
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Sat, 24 August 2013, 14:15:58
@Defying

Have you come up with a name for you keyboard yet?

Great paint work btw....I've got one I'm going to attempt to paint probably tomorrow (later today :eek:)

Since I have 6 extra QFR cases I might as well start practicing. :p

Hmm.. not exactly.

Maybe something like "Key Lime Pie"?  :))

I know most guys name their belongings after a woman's name but I was thinking Kermit ;).
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 26 August 2013, 13:01:22
I mentioned earlier that I painted a Filco in a purple color and then decided to redo it in a magenta metallic color from a different brand... and here are some glamor shots.  I sent it on its way today and miss it already, as it felt/sounded great and turned out beautifully :)

(http://i.imgur.com/N2JvjVX.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/NEW6ljO.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/nB4X0Er.jpg)

This is polished PlastiKote Metal Flake acrylic lacquer in "Burgundy".  I love it, as it looks different depending on lighting conditions and angle: from a warm faded magenta to bluish lavender to purple.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Mon, 26 August 2013, 14:30:28
Mmmmmmm....purple!!! Berry nice!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 28 August 2013, 22:11:25
To those who may remember my custom-mixing adventure here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=44191.msg997259#msg997259), I finally got around to properly polishing that cover, and here's the result in dim light of my office area.

I just have to show it off because I love that color.  It really changes dramatically depending on lighting: more of a light cyan-turquoise or more of a deeper teal-turquoise.  These are with poor lighting in my bedroom (normal typing conditions :) )

(http://i.imgur.com/oTV8f9C.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/k3aIEqC.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/A5SSZwC.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/V7vY4Sd.jpg)

Updated:
(http://i.imgur.com/9vBrrjW.jpg)(http://i.imgur.com/RIiaNdQ.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/6OftHVz.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: microsoft windows on Thu, 29 August 2013, 11:40:03
NICE PAINT JOB THERE
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 29 August 2013, 12:15:36
NICE PAINT JOB THERE

I appreciate your comment even thought I did not pick any beige colors!!!
 :p
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Thimplum on Thu, 29 August 2013, 12:19:12
NICE PAINT JOB THERE

I appreciate your comment even thought I did not pick any beige colors!!!
 :p

epic fail
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Binge on Thu, 29 August 2013, 15:47:31
****ing photo, I want to be your neighbor.

(http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4c2c8ba07f8b9aff3cff0600-480/mr-rogers-neighbor-hello-welcome.jpg)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 29 August 2013, 15:51:50
That would be cool--I'm a huge fan of your weird but awesome creations :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Sun, 01 September 2013, 22:41:10
I've had a busy weekend and decided to post my attempt at some painting. Enjoy the [attach=3] pics!!!!

Satin White QFR case (for a coworker)
[attach=1]

Painted SP DS tall spherical keycaps (also for a coworker)
[attach=2]
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 01 September 2013, 22:42:47
I've had a busy weekend and decided to post my attempt at some painting. Enjoy the (Attachment Link) pics!!!!

Satin White QFR case (for a coworker)
(Attachment Link)

Painted SP DS tall spherical keycaps (also for a coworker)
(Attachment Link)

 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Wed, 04 September 2013, 01:48:12
If I want to make my QFS glossy white I know I would sand the case first. Then spray what brand and type of spray (metallic, acrylic, plastic), and then what do I do afterward to get it all perfect. Are there any keyboard painting guides on this forum?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Wed, 04 September 2013, 02:30:43
Here is a link to a good thread that has some notes. If you read through this one you will find a lot of good tips from Photoelectric.

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=47959.0
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Wed, 04 September 2013, 03:06:16
Here is a link to a good thread that has some notes. If you read through this one you will find a lot of good tips from Photoelectric.

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=47959.0

Thanks alot! One of my main questions isnt answered though. Its about doing a glossy paint. What kind of coats and polish would i use + what paints good to use for glossy looks.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 04 September 2013, 08:21:43
Thanks alot! One of my main questions isnt answered though. Its about doing a glossy paint. What kind of coats and polish would i use + what paints good to use for glossy looks.

I've linked a thread on the second page here, specifically about doing a high-gloss finish:
http://www.overclock.net/t/382840/guide-painting-patterns-with-spraypaint

It's a great guide.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Wed, 04 September 2013, 19:15:41
Thanks alot! One of my main questions isnt answered though. Its about doing a glossy paint. What kind of coats and polish would i use + what paints good to use for glossy looks.

I've linked a thread on the second page here, specifically about doing a high-gloss finish:
http://www.overclock.net/t/382840/guide-painting-patterns-with-spraypaint

It's a great guide.

Thank you so much. Just one question. If i want to paint my case for example blue, and I want to add a little logo or name on it that is a different color, how would this work out?

Also, which clear coating do you recommend if I want to make it glossy?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 04 September 2013, 19:24:25
You can make a stencil for your logo.  Draw it on paper as an outline, cover the paper with painter's tape on the underside in smooth layers, then cut out the logo, leaving a hole in the shape of your logo.  Then you can tape this stencil to the surface you want your logo to appear on, and make sure that the stencil is flush with the surface.  Spray over the stencil in gradual thin layers.  Allow it all to dry, then remove the stencil.

You can apply a clear coat in 24 hours or so.  You can try Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Clear Gloss or Automotive Gloss.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Wed, 04 September 2013, 20:16:44
You can make a stencil for your logo.  Draw it on paper as an outline, cover the paper with painter's tape on the underside in smooth layers, then cut out the logo, leaving a hole in the shape of your logo.  Then you can tape this stencil to the surface you want your logo to appear on, and make sure that the stencil is flush with the surface.  Spray over the stencil in gradual thin layers.  Allow it all to dry, then remove the stencil.

You can apply a clear coat in 24 hours or so.  You can try Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Clear Gloss or Automotive Gloss.


The white is clear right? So if my paint (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000YQMA0I/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER) is blue lets say, i wouldnt need to get a blue bottle, the white would still work right? Also, do i need to use primer?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 04 September 2013, 20:20:44
Personally, I'd advise you to not use Krylon Fusion due to so-so results I've had with it and some questionable interaction with other paints you might layer over it.

If you have access to Home Depot stores, look at their Rust Oleum Painter's Touch X2 line.  It's the easiest paint to use (good coverage, fast drying) and already comes with a premixed primer in it to stick to plastic and many other surfaces.  You can get a clear (transparent) coat there as well from the same line.  They cost ~$4 after tax--very cheap.

Also white is not clear.  Clear = transparent = no color.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Wed, 04 September 2013, 20:30:26
Personally, I'd advise you to not use Krylon Fusion due to so-so results I've had with it and some questionable interaction with other paints you might layer over it.

If you have access to Home Depot stores, look at their Rust Oleum Painter's Touch X2 line.  It's the easiest paint to use (good coverage, fast drying) and already comes with a premixed primer in it to stick to plastic and many other surfaces.  You can get a clear (transparent) coat there as well from the same line.  They cost ~$4 after tax--very cheap.

Also white is not clear.  Clear = transparent = no color.

Same line meaning?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 04 September 2013, 20:44:41
Painter's Touch line.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: pagosElite on Thu, 05 September 2013, 00:59:24
Painter's Touch line.

Oh ok thanks! How much do you estimate it would all cost in total (without the case).
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 05 September 2013, 01:43:03
Photoelectric, You should really write down your knowledge. It's terrible trying to do things and not knowing how to do it and learning by mistakes. it takes time and money!

6 months ago I painted a keyboard (A music keyboard) and it was terrible to sand it. It had a super thick soft paint that made any sand paper garbage in a second. I tried every solvent that was recommended in the store, without success. It was out of my curiosity to try if Easy Off would take it off, and it did!
Even when I painted something and dripped, I did not sand, but removed the paint completely with Easy Off. So, all that knowledge you have should not be wasted!
I know you can fill a wiki talking about textures and types of materials to paint (and differences to paint different cases).

Congrats!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Thu, 05 September 2013, 09:00:28
If you want to add a label or logo, you might be able to find something pre-made at a crafts supply store.  I found some letter sets at Michael's that worked perfectly to add a "V" logo to the keyboard I painted.

One tip; after removing the stencil/letter/stick-on, you may have some ridges of paint along the edges.  I wet-sanded over the logo with some 2000 grit sandpaper, then three coats of clear, to get the effect I wanted.

[attachimg=1]

You can make a stencil for your logo.  Draw it on paper as an outline, cover the paper with painter's tape on the underside in smooth layers, then cut out the logo, leaving a hole in the shape of your logo.  Then you can tape this stencil to the surface you want your logo to appear on, and make sure that the stencil is flush with the surface.  Spray over the stencil in gradual thin layers.  Allow it all to dry, then remove the stencil.

You can apply a clear coat in 24 hours or so.  You can try Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch Clear Gloss or Automotive Gloss.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 05 September 2013, 09:40:00
Photoelectric, You should really write down your knowledge. It's terrible trying to do things and not knowing how to do it and learning by mistakes. it takes time and money!

6 months ago I painted a keyboard (A music keyboard) and it was terrible to sand it. It had a super thick soft paint that made any sand paper garbage in a second. I tried every solvent that was recommended in the store, without success. It was out of my curiosity to try if Easy Off would take it off, and it did!
Even when I painted something and dripped, I did not sand, but removed the paint completely with Easy Off. So, all that knowledge you have should not be wasted!
I know you can fill a wiki talking about textures and types of materials to paint (and differences to paint different cases).

Congrats!  :thumb:

Yeah, Easy-Off is great for botched paint jobs that result in uncured soft paint under the top layer, like Ive seen Krylon's Fusion sometimes get.  I was able to sand the clear coat with 200-grit sandpaper and some of the paint underneath, then follow with a couple applications of Easy-Off and more sanding.  Too much work!  I prefer sanding acrylic or oil enamel--it sands normally in my limited experience, without the paint caking up or rolling off and gunking up sandpaper.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 10 September 2013, 10:03:22
The black cover, on the other hand, is a different story.  The coating on it is very thin and filmy, and once you sand off some, you basically have to keep going, as it frays and peels at the edges, and you can't sand it smooth.  Only off.

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/wr43Ux4.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/gbeNWNI.jpg)


This. This. This.

I've been sanding one of my two black QFR cases with 400-grit sandpaper, and I can say that yeah, it takes a while. Basically, I think I've got it all off, then wash off the dust, dry it, and then find more to remove. It's taken me maybe two hours over the course of 3 days to get very nearly done. Maybe a coarser grit would be better.

But thanks, Photo, for the heads up.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Badwrench on Tue, 10 September 2013, 16:27:20
The black cover, on the other hand, is a different story.  The coating on it is very thin and filmy, and once you sand off some, you basically have to keep going, as it frays and peels at the edges, and you can't sand it smooth.  Only off.

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/wr43Ux4.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/gbeNWNI.jpg)


This. This. This.

I've been sanding one of my two black QFR cases with 400-grit sandpaper, and I can say that yeah, it takes a while. Basically, I think I've got it all off, then wash off the dust, dry it, and then find more to remove. It's taken me maybe two hours over the course of 3 days to get very nearly done. Maybe a coarser grit would be better.

But thanks, Photo, for the heads up.

I found a great way to remove the coating on the black ones - steel wool.  I used 00 and it came off in about 30 mins. The key was to work from the corners. I still had to use some 400 for the tight corners, but the rest just came right off. 
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 10 September 2013, 17:42:44
I found a great way to remove the coating on the black ones - steel wool.  I used 00 and it came off in about 30 mins. The key was to work from the corners. I still had to use some 400 for the tight corners, but the rest just came right off.

Ah... very interesting! I gotta give that a try. Another question -- does the coating go into the sidewalls, or is it just the top surface?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 10 September 2013, 18:28:06
Good idea about steel wool.

Yes, the coating is all over :(
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: JoanneLee on Wed, 11 September 2013, 18:02:22
Well, I got my new QFR case a few days ago and I went ahead and painted it today. Came out rather nicely  :thumb:

Few little flaws, but other wise I'm very happy with it.

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/BWm7B2Fh.jpg)

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/heAIIDPh.jpg)



Looking good!
I painted my QFR a few months ago using the same brand of paint, but with a different Key-Lime

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7332/9728520348_3a79e524c5_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98431455@N03/9728520348/)

It looks a little yellow in the picture, but irl, it is kind of an inbetween of your pic and mine.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Wed, 11 September 2013, 23:50:31
Another busy week. Had a coworker buy a keyboard and for practice (and the price of paint) I did this for him.

Top case with hand painted rim around the orange strip.
[attach=1]

Bottom case...had to take off the rubber feet and painted the legs white (should have blown it off before taking picture).
[attach=2]

Spacebar with custom painted Celtic Knot design. Layered this with lacquer in hopes it will last longer.
[attach=3]

I also painted some of his keycaps as well. They turned out alright and I tried layering them in a lacquer spray as well. Going to let them sit for a week and then we'll see how long they last. I will get a picture with all the keycaps in place once everything has time to settle.

One more thing I realized....I miss my Nikon a L :eek: T!!!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 12 September 2013, 02:08:36
Nice work  :thumb:
Thank you both for sharing!!!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Thu, 12 September 2013, 23:11:35
Alright so here is everything all put on the board. All in all I'm not to happy with the results but seeing as I was painting for practically free I had to step away or else I would have taken a month on it. End result has convinced me that I need to invest in an Airbrush kit.

[attach=1][attach=2][attach=3][attach=4][attach=5]
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: rowdy on Fri, 13 September 2013, 00:16:04
Well, I got my new QFR case a few days ago and I went ahead and painted it today. Came out rather nicely  :thumb:

Few little flaws, but other wise I'm very happy with it.

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/BWm7B2Fh.jpg)

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/heAIIDPh.jpg)



Looking good!
I painted my QFR a few months ago using the same brand of paint, but with a different Key-Lime

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7332/9728520348_3a79e524c5_b.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/98431455@N03/9728520348/)

It looks a little yellow in the picture, but irl, it is kind of an inbetween of your pic and mine.


You need a Toxic set for that!

Looks good :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Jokrik on Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:14:08
Case painted to Aluminium :)
(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Frame2_zps0e99a136.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Frame2_zps0e99a136.jpg.html)

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Money2_zpsa89e7f51.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Money2_zpsa89e7f51.jpg.html)

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Money3_zps6312f411.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Money3_zps6312f411.jpg.html)

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Night1_zps951b8e10.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Night1_zps951b8e10.jpg.html)

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Night2_zpsc67fd11a.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Night2_zpsc67fd11a.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Sifo on Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:14:49
^ DAMN that looks good.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:19:23
Nice job jokrik....keep it up!

I've been painting a lot of keycaps recently....feel free to toss me some ideas.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:21:54
Show Image
Show Image
Show Image
Show Image
Case painted to Aluminium :)
(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Frame2_zps0e99a136.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Frame2_zps0e99a136.jpg.html)


(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Money2_zpsa89e7f51.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Money2_zpsa89e7f51.jpg.html)


(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Money3_zps6312f411.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Money3_zps6312f411.jpg.html)


(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Night1_zps951b8e10.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Night1_zps951b8e10.jpg.html)


(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Night2_zpsc67fd11a.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Night2_zpsc67fd11a.jpg.html)


Cool! That came out very well.  I like what you've done with the logo area.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Jokrik on Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:37:18
Thx guys!
Really happy with the result myself :)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Sat, 21 September 2013, 20:39:54
Very nice, Jokrik!  That aluminium paint really looks like metal! 
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Jokrik on Sun, 22 September 2013, 04:13:14
Very nice, Jokrik!  That aluminium paint really looks like metal!
Thx to you!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 01 October 2013, 19:10:02
I'm painting someone's CM Quickfire TK cover, and there's a part about preparing the cover that I thought others might find useful.

Namely the rectangular plastic inserts that go over indicator LEDs

(http://archive.benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/input_devices/SGK-4020/Quickfire_TK_Side.jpg)

It was not immediately obvious how to remove them.  There's a semi-transparent black plastic piece under the cover that's inserted onto 4 short plastic "rods".  The ends of the rods are melted in, so what you need to do is to use a small drill bit to gently drill off the tops of the melted areas like this:

(http://i.imgur.com/ww4N7zd.jpg)

After that, the plastic insert comes out easily

(http://i.imgur.com/4zvlsyF.jpg)

Other than that, the cover has that signature rubber coating.  It's very thin and can be wet-sanded off (with some effort) with 400-grit sandpaper.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Tarzan on Sat, 05 October 2013, 22:04:07
Had a kind of poor experience recently with some Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint+Primer.  Painted two keyboard plates, sanded off the old paint from each, then primed with metal-etching primer.  When I applied the Rustoleum 2X, I had several areas that crazed when it dried, and also got a lot of spatter (maybe that was the +primer factor?).

It was odd because I was spraying the other plate with Rustoleum Camo (flat, no primer), and had no issues with that paint at all.  Both over the same primer, both at the same time, so should be controlling for temperature/humidity. 

I ended up flatting the paint with 600-grit, then 2000 for a smooth surface.  Four coats of matte clear, and it looks quite "vintage," sort of an antique Bakelite or lacquer finish.   This plate is for one of the Televideo keyboards, so some irregularities will match the plate to the case nicely.  Just wanted to flag this issue in case anyone else runs into the same problem.

[attach=1]
[attach=2]
[attach=3]
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 05 October 2013, 22:16:14
Hrm, I've not used that metal-etching primer.  But I do wonder if something reacted poorly between the metal primer and the primer in the 2X paint.  Seems unlikely.  I'd recommend a veil of DupliColor Adhesion Promoter instead as it goes on very thinly and is transparent.  I used it on a sanded steel Filco plate under DupliColor's MetalCast paint, and the finish was very hard.  I tried scratching it with my nail after a week, and it didn't get dented or scratched at all.

Sometimes surface preparation or environmental factors are to blame (as well as not waiting proper amounts of time to add extra coats).  I've had some parts that I did not clean well enough--as it turned out--where paint would just melt off over time.  All of a sudden I could see a greasy spot, rub it with my finger, and the paint would ball up as I'd roll my finger over it, and I could move it off.  Clearly did not adhere and cure properly.  Another thing I've had happen is base paint wrinkling and lifting when putting a clear coat on.  I still haven't figured out what exactly happened in those times, but I am guessing it was due to base paint not sufficiently curing, even when I waited for a couple of days.  Now I prefer to put a clear coat on right after base coat, whenever possible, to avoid that rare scenario.  Although again, it may have been due to me cleaning the painted surface with soap and water and not following up with some harsher de-greaser before clear.  And finally high humidity is very bad for aerosol spray cans.  Paint doesn't dry well and comes out all cloudy and milky colored.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Sat, 05 October 2013, 22:42:39
I've used the Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint on my keycaps for a while now and I haven't had a problem. I'm not as familiar with paint and paint properties as others but as long as I speckle the paint instead of lay it on quick and thick it always comes out even and consistent.

Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:25:35
Updated with painting guidelines in the first post.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:32:09
Updated with painting guidelines in the first post.

Reading it now -- thanks for this Photo. And congrats on your Maker gear/star!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:33:59
Updated with painting guidelines in the first post.

Reading it now -- thanks for this Photo. And congrats on your Maker gear/star!

Thanks!  Let me know if anything doesn't look right or needs to be rewritten / be more comprehensible.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:56:20
Updated with painting guidelines in the first post.

Reading it now -- thanks for this Photo. And congrats on your Maker gear/star!

Thanks!  Let me know if anything doesn't look right or needs to be rewritten / be more comprehensible.

Any chance you would ever consider making a keyboard with a dry erase coating? Just because you could?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:57:54
It sounds like YOU should make a cover like that!  Then tell us all about it.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:59:08
It sounds like YOU should make a cover like that!  Then tell us all about it.

First I have to flock a case.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:01:39
Yes, you did say you would--there's no backing out of that one  :cool:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:06:24
Yes, you did say you would--there's no backing out of that one  :cool:

I know, I know! It's either that or I have to help demik build the dog car from Dumb and Dumber.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:09:06
Yes, you did say you would--there's no backing out of that one  :cool:

I know, I know! It's either that or I have to help demik build the dog car from Dumb and Dumber.

Why not do both!!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Krogenar on Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:10:55

(Attachment Link)

Why not do both!!

Thanks a lot Ray.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: zemp on Sun, 13 October 2013, 01:53:33
Any tips on painting chrome?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Sun, 13 October 2013, 01:57:12
Any tips on painting chrome?


Yes....don't!

In all seriousness....just make sure you speckle it right or else it won't settle right.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 13 October 2013, 08:35:34
Any tips on painting chrome?

All of those super-reflective metallic paints will accentuate the surface texture they are painted on.  So if you're looking for a mirror-like finish, you need a very smooth surface to start with, and even then, I don't think you can achieve a truly chrome-like surface with spray paint out of a rattle can over plastic.  It might still look interesting, and to each their own.  I've never used chrome-like paint myself for the fear of it looking poorly, based on some photos I've seen, but someone here painted their cover silver chrome and then coated it with a clear coat.  It made it look sort of like satin aluminum, if I recall correctly--a nice effect.  I know Rust-Oleum makes gold, silver, and copper-chrome-finish paints.

(http://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Rust-Oleum-1937830-rw-204764-313677.jpg)(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/ea/ea3ebeef-ab8b-476c-ba20-fe22698ba507_300.jpg)

and I'm sure there are other brands.  I think Krylon makes them too.

P.S.: If you're looking for actual painting tips, just follow directions on your can.  Shouldn't be much different.  Clear coat will probably change the appearance of your paint, so I'd make some samples first.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Badwrench on Sun, 13 October 2013, 10:49:12
Any tips on painting chrome?

All of those super-reflective metallic paints will accentuate the surface texture they are painted on.  So if you're looking for a mirror-like finish, you need a very smooth surface to start with, and even then, I don't think you can achieve a truly chrome-like surface with spray paint out of a rattle can over plastic.  It might still look interesting, and to each their own.  I've never used chrome-like paint myself for the fear of it looking poorly, based on some photos I've seen, but someone here painted their cover silver chrome and then coated it with a clear coat.  It made it look sort of like satin aluminum, if I recall correctly--a nice effect.  I know Rust-Oleum makes gold, silver, and copper-chrome-finish paints.

Show Image
(http://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Rust-Oleum-1937830-rw-204764-313677.jpg)
Show Image
(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/ea/ea3ebeef-ab8b-476c-ba20-fe22698ba507_300.jpg)


and I'm sure there are other brands.  I think Krylon makes them too.

P.S.: If you're looking for actual painting tips, just follow directions on your can.  Shouldn't be much different.  Clear coat will probably change the appearance of your paint, so I'd make some samples first.

Yeah, I used duplicolor chrome on a qfr cover.  As stated, the prep must be perfect as the faux-chrome is very thin and amplifies every little flaw.  Also, the multiple thin coats are important to get a good uniform finish.  I had my top prepped to 2000 grit.  Also as stated, it was much shinier before the clear coat, but having used this before, I know how un-durable it it without a clear - think das shiny, but every fingerprint is permanent. 

[attach=1]
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Mon, 14 October 2013, 09:54:30
What are my fellow GeekHacker's thoughts on me painting my incoming HHKB? Not just the case either....the keycaps too?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 14 October 2013, 09:56:04
What are my fellow GeekHacker's thoughts on me painting my incoming HHKB? Not just the case either....the keycaps too?

You are a brave brave man? :D
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: SpAmRaY on Mon, 14 October 2013, 09:57:26
What are my fellow GeekHacker's thoughts on me painting my incoming HHKB? Not just the case either....the keycaps too?

whoa wait a minute ......if your going to paint them I'll swap you my black on gray printed caps for your black on white printed :p
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: do_Og@n on Mon, 14 October 2013, 10:04:44
What are my fellow GeekHacker's thoughts on me painting my incoming HHKB? Not just the case either....the keycaps too?

You are a brave brave man? :D

I like to think so from time to time.  :rolleyes:

What are my fellow GeekHacker's thoughts on me painting my incoming HHKB? Not just the case either....the keycaps too?

whoa wait a minute ......if your going to paint them I'll swap you my black on gray printed caps for your black on white printed :p

You have a deal. I don't have it yet but I'll ship them to you once they arrive. Pm me for details.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Jokrik on Wed, 23 October 2013, 08:25:53
Need advice
what color for the case you guys think would suit this keycap combination?

was thinking matte black for the upper part and yellow for the bottom part

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Numpad_zpsf4d97c81.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Numpad_zpsf4d97c81.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 23 October 2013, 10:44:32
Need advice
what color for the case you guys think would suit this keycap combination?

was thinking matte black for the upper part and yellow for the bottom part

(http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh495/jokrik89/Mech%20Keyboard/Numpad_zpsf4d97c81.jpg) (http://s1248.photobucket.com/user/jokrik89/media/Mech%20Keyboard/Numpad_zpsf4d97c81.jpg.html)

If you use yellow, you'll have to match it pretty closely, or you'll end up seeing the difference between it and the yellow keycap plastic.  I'd do matte black and then paint some thin lines in yellow.  Like racing stripes. 

Alternatively, it could also look cool in silver or gold metallic paint (shimmery, not chrome-like)
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: alrgeez on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:08:37
just would like to say thank you for making this thread. a lot of valuable information. i started painting my case today using Rustoleum aged copper. built up plenty of light coats until i got even coverage all around. i noticed a few dust specks, as i am painting outdoors. do you usually wetsand inbetween coats, or before you apply your clear?
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:33:00
Aged Copper takes a really long time to dry--I'd give it 5-6 days before you clear coat it.  I've noticed that 3 colors from the Universal line are all slow to cure, and you can dent them even after 2-3 days.  If you clear coat such slow drying paint too fast, you risk the bottom layers not fully curing in some places, because clear coats normally dry quickly and are quite hard.  Which is why I recommend waiting for that particular paint.

Don't wet-sand between coats--just after you've finished all the color coats or color + clear.  You don't really need to sand it unless you want as smooth a surface as possible, but remember that by sanding flake / metallic paint like that, you'll be changing its appearance a bit.  It will look more silver where you sanded, as more of the paint will be removed and metal flakes will remain.  At least that's been my experience.  I would let that particular paint cure well for 5+ days and then do 2-3 layers of clear gloss.  Then couple days later you can wet-sand (2000-grit) + polish that.

Regarding dust / fibers... yeah, those are terribly annoying, and that's the price we pay for not using proper painting booths.  Not much you can do other than let the paint dry and try to rub them off with a bit of paper towel.  You don't want to touch the surface with your fingers much, as that will introduce oils and dirt, and you'll be clear-coating it.  You can scuff the surface lightly with wet 2000-grit sandpaper, rinse off REALLY well, buff with a soft paper towel or microfiber towels, use something to blow all the dust away from the surface (like a can of compressed air), then clear-coat.

Oh and wash your hands with soap and dry them very well before handing prepped and painted pieces.


Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: alrgeez on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:43:02
appreciate the info. didn't realize the 5-6 cure time for this paint. i'll just put it in my shed and leave it for a week before i clear it. thanks again
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:45:30
It's not on the can... they claim it dries MUCH faster than I've found to be the case.  Like Painter's Touch and Stops Rust lines dry dramatically faster.  I don't hesitate clear-coating those right away.  Universal paint however is a different story.  It's beautiful, but definitely fickle and can be difficult to work with.

P.S.: when you paint, I recommend using something elevated to hold your part.  Either suspend it on a string, if you can, or put it on a tall box.  This reduces the chance of dust landing onto your painted surface.  Spraying on the ground is the worst, as you can stir up a lot of dust when you spray.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: alrgeez on Tue, 05 November 2013, 13:09:07
just wanted to thank you again for this thread. here are a few shots of how mine came out.

(http://i5.minus.com/ib1BJFZ3ShB8EE.jpg)

(http://i4.minus.com/ibn9eMDeTXmUEf.jpg)

its only been rubbed out with rubbing compound so far. i still need to polish and wax.

i'm extremely happy with how this case came out, so i'll be painting my other 2 keyboards as well.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Tue, 05 November 2013, 13:24:06
It's beautiful!  Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: C5Allroad on Fri, 15 November 2013, 16:27:10
Why not plastidip? Works wonders on cars and can be peeled off whenever you want.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 15 November 2013, 16:40:31
You're welcome to pay with Plasti-Dip--nothing wrong with experimenting.  I know some people have used it on their keyboards.  To peel it off in the future, I believe you need to layer it pretty thickly, however. 
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: mashby on Fri, 15 November 2013, 16:45:26
just wanted to thank you again for this thread. here are a few shots of how mine came out.

Show Image
(http://i5.minus.com/ib1BJFZ3ShB8EE.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i4.minus.com/ibn9eMDeTXmUEf.jpg)


its only been rubbed out with rubbing compound so far. i still need to polish and wax.

i'm extremely happy with how this case came out, so i'll be painting my other 2 keyboards as well.

W O W !

That is a beautiful case. Nice work alrgeez.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: kaltar on Thu, 21 November 2013, 23:48:02
It's beautiful!  Thanks for sharing!

Sweet!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: jinxedx84 on Thu, 21 November 2013, 23:52:55
just wanted to thank you again for this thread. here are a few shots of how mine came out.

Show Image
(http://i5.minus.com/ib1BJFZ3ShB8EE.jpg)


Show Image
(http://i4.minus.com/ibn9eMDeTXmUEf.jpg)


its only been rubbed out with rubbing compound so far. i still need to polish and wax.

i'm extremely happy with how this case came out, so i'll be painting my other 2 keyboards as well.

Looks pretty good,  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: MsYutai on Fri, 22 November 2013, 11:59:15
Aged Copper takes a really long time to dry--I'd give it 5-6 days before you clear coat it.  I've noticed that 3 colors from the Universal line are all slow to cure, and you can dent them even after 2-3 days.  If you clear coat such slow drying paint too fast, you risk the bottom layers not fully curing in some places, because clear coats normally dry quickly and are quite hard.  Which is why I recommend waiting for that particular paint.

Don't wet-sand between coats--just after you've finished all the color coats or color + clear.  You don't really need to sand it unless you want as smooth a surface as possible, but remember that by sanding flake / metallic paint like that, you'll be changing its appearance a bit.  It will look more silver where you sanded, as more of the paint will be removed and metal flakes will remain.  At least that's been my experience.  I would let that particular paint cure well for 5+ days and then do 2-3 layers of clear gloss.  Then couple days later you can wet-sand (2000-grit) + polish that.

Regarding dust / fibers... yeah, those are terribly annoying, and that's the price we pay for not using proper painting booths.  Not much you can do other than let the paint dry and try to rub them off with a bit of paper towel.  You don't want to touch the surface with your fingers much, as that will introduce oils and dirt, and you'll be clear-coating it.  You can scuff the surface lightly with wet 2000-grit sandpaper, rinse off REALLY well, buff with a soft paper towel or microfiber towels, use something to blow all the dust away from the surface (like a can of compressed air), then clear-coat.

Oh and wash your hands with soap and dry them very well before handing prepped and painted pieces.

Hey Photo, appreciate all the help with case painting.

I'm wondering what does 1000+ grit sandpaper even look like? When I went to Lowe's they thought that was something for polishing rocks! At this point I'm just picturing a microfiber cloth. XD

I did end up picking up some sponge sandpaper that seemed pretty soft, could that be a high grit? Thanks!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 22 November 2013, 12:05:40
Check in automotive supply stores--they sell 1000 and 2000-grit sandpaper.  It looks like normal sandpaper, just finer grit.  1000 is still a little scratchy to feel.  2000-grit feels silky--deceptively so, as you can get quite a bit of paint/polish off with it when wet sanding if you overdo it.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Dreamre on Fri, 22 November 2013, 16:15:21
And 3000 grit just feels so soft. Ironic now that's supposed to sand off paint.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Fri, 22 November 2013, 16:19:56
I think 3000-grit is overkill for this.  You won't make it any better by using that--if you can even find it for sale in a store.  Polishing / cutting compounds will do as well after 2000-grit.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: eddydo on Wed, 01 January 2014, 08:03:25
Hi, I'm new to all of this painting stuff and kinda new to mechanical keyboards as well.   :)

I will be getting a Ikbc f104 White and i wanna paint it.

But what colour combination to paint?
*keycaps are white as well
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: do_Og@n on Wed, 01 January 2014, 13:24:05
Hi, I'm new to all of this painting stuff and kinda new to mechanical keyboards as well.   :)

I will be getting a Ikbc f104 White and i wanna paint it.

But what colour combination to paint?
*keycaps are white as well

PURPLE!!!! But seriously....I would suggest taking a good photo of your keyboard when you get it and play around in Photoshop (or Paint.net since it's free). That way you can get a better idea of what colors you are looking for without having to waste money on paint you won't use.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: cherpalla on Thu, 02 January 2014, 16:00:48
I literally love everything in this thread.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: mformaverick on Sun, 12 January 2014, 07:55:20
hey, just wondering, I easily disassembled my filco, and looks easy to paint all except for the logo, is there a way to do this?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 12 January 2014, 10:19:45
hey, just wondering, I easily disassembled my filco, and looks easy to paint all except for the logo, is there a way to do this?

Yes, please see the links in the first post.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Pacifist on Sun, 23 February 2014, 21:19:59
Time to start reading :p

Hate the ugly crap on my 11800 so I'm going to give it a blue coat
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 23 February 2014, 21:20:48
Time to start reading :p

Hate the ugly crap on my 11800 so I'm going to give it a blue coat

Good luck with your project!
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: mapple on Thu, 13 March 2014, 08:18:21
hey your job ...... well looking good;)

do you have any tips to put out covers? cause last time i did try i was able to unscrew without any problems but when i did try to take upper cover i broke 3 of 5 plastics which should "lock" in lower one.......
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 13 March 2014, 17:32:03
hey your job ...... well looking good;)

do you have any tips to put out covers? cause last time i did try i was able to unscrew without any problems but when i did try to take upper cover i broke 3 of 5 plastics which should "lock" in lower one.......

Yes, there are a few plastic tabs on the top cover to pop out of the bottom try before you can lift the cover off.  Some people use old credit cards to insert gently between the top and bottom along the front or back of the case and slide them along gently until the tabs open up.  It's the same with Filcos.  Here's a video someone made on how to open one of those cases:

Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: mashby on Mon, 30 June 2014, 17:40:14
With the GH60 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41464.0) plates now complete and the GB coming to a close (hopefully), I'm toying with the idea of painting some, or all of the plates. They are made from stainless steel, non-coated and I was wondering what tips you might have on how to go about painting them?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Mon, 30 June 2014, 18:51:21
With the GH60 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41464.0) plates now complete and the GB coming to a close (hopefully), I'm toying with the idea of painting some, or all of the plates. They are made from stainless steel, non-coated and I was wondering what tips you might have on how to go about painting them?

Why paint stainless steel?

Stainless resists primers like other materials such as aluminum and other odd metals.

I bet Melvang has the best advice.

Otherwise, clean very well, and use Rustoleum. Many very light coats, and follow the directions to the letter.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: mashby on Wed, 02 July 2014, 11:37:08
With the GH60 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41464.0) plates now complete and the GB coming to a close (hopefully), I'm toying with the idea of painting some, or all of the plates. They are made from stainless steel, non-coated and I was wondering what tips you might have on how to go about painting them?

Why paint stainless steel?

Stainless resists primers like other materials such as aluminum and other odd metals.

I bet Melvang has the best advice.

Otherwise, clean very well, and use Rustoleum. Many very light coats, and follow the directions to the letter.

Thanks fohat.digs.

It's something that I've been debating about, because I do like the look of steel, but I have KBT Pure with WYSE key cap set (https://www.flickr.com/photos/compactkey/10563071693/in/set-72157636701950813) that I want to add a plate to and I think a dark blue color would offset nice since the plate would be flush with the case.

The case is the low-profile Vortex aluminum case that came with the Pure LE in 2012. You can see an example of what I'm talking about here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57618.msg1383190#msg1383190). In those pictures, he has an anodized silver IMSTO universal 60%.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 02 July 2014, 13:08:36
For metal, I've used Duplicolor's Adhesion Promoter (link to post) (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=44191.msg979482;topicseen#msg979482), after reading about painting bare metal.  It goes on clear in a fine mist, and you can use translucent paint on your plate afterwards (or regular paint)--it's the primer recommended for their MetalCast line, but you can use it with other oil paints just as well (including by RustOleum).  I've painted a sanded Filco plate (steel) with Duplicolor's translucent red color and that primer underneath, and the result was very hard and scratch proof.  That primer is my general favorite to use in general now, because it goes on thinly, evenly, and is basically invisible.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: exitfire401 on Wed, 02 July 2014, 13:16:29
With the GH60 (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=41464.0) plates now complete and the GB coming to a close (hopefully), I'm toying with the idea of painting some, or all of the plates. They are made from stainless steel, non-coated and I was wondering what tips you might have on how to go about painting them?

Why paint stainless steel?

Stainless resists primers like other materials such as aluminum and other odd metals.

I bet Melvang has the best advice.

Otherwise, clean very well, and use Rustoleum. Many very light coats, and follow the directions to the letter.

Thanks fohat.digs.

It's something that I've been debating about, because I do like the look of steel, but I have KBT Pure with WYSE key cap set (https://www.flickr.com/photos/compactkey/10563071693/in/set-72157636701950813) that I want to add a plate to and I think a dark blue color would offset nice since the plate would be flush with the case.

The case is the low-profile Vortex aluminum case that came with the Pure LE in 2012. You can see an example of what I'm talking about here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=57618.msg1383190#msg1383190). In those pictures, he has an anodized silver IMSTO universal 60%.

I was actually about to come in here with the same question. I'm getting my fiance a qfr since I won a case for one, and I'm wanting to paint the plate purple since I also picked up the bro set for her. This is gonna be a fun project =D
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: mashby on Wed, 02 July 2014, 15:11:27
For metal, I've used Duplicolor's Adhesion Promoter (link to post) (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=44191.msg979482;topicseen#msg979482), after reading about painting bare metal.  It goes on clear in a fine mist, and you can use translucent paint on your plate afterwards (or regular paint)--it's the primer recommended for their MetalCast line, but you can use it with other oil paints just as well (including by RustOleum).  I've painted a sanded Filco plate (steel) with Duplicolor's translucent red color and that primer underneath, and the result was very hard and scratch proof.  That primer is my general favorite to use in general now, because it goes on thinly, evenly, and is basically invisible.

@photoelectric -- Thank you. As always, you are a fountain of information.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 02 July 2014, 15:31:01
Just keep in mind that painted surfaces will need more care when cleaning them.  I.e. don't use swabs dipped in alcohol, for example.  Anything that could be a paint thinner.  I used gentle surface / glass cleaners for my painted surfaces, followed by buffing with a flannel cloth or similar.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: NumberTwoinQQ on Mon, 07 July 2014, 14:02:19
hello!

i recently got a filco tkl which is currently stock and was planning on painting it a glossy white using rustoleum ultra cover 2x gloss spray.  as this will be my first time, i want to be very thorough with the process.  ive read through your keyboard painting tips and have made a rough plan on what im going to do, so please correct me if im missing a step, one of them is needlessly redundant, or one of them are incorrect.



sand with 200 grit, then 800, then 100 to smooth out the case

lightly spray dupli-color adhesion promoter with 2 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 5 minutes between last coat of adhesion promoter and first color coat

lightly spray rustoleum ultra cover 2x gloss spray with 5 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 2 days for paint to cure

use clear coat rustoleum ultra cover 2x clear spray 3 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait a day for paint to dry

sand with 2000 grit paper lightly with water



questions about the process:

do i need water when i sand for the first step?

in one of your posts, you said that my paint has a primer already, so i dont need an adhesion promoter; however, as i want this to last a long time, will the adhesion promoter help the longevity of my paint or will it be redundant? 

also, the reason i plan to use this one is because i saw in your past posts that you use it on mostly everything; however, there is a rustoleum ultra cover 2x primer spray from the ultra cover 2x line which comes in white (http://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/painters-touch-ultra-cover-2x/primer).  should i use that or stick with the dupli-color, if i use it at all?

are my intervals between coats good?

since the paint will add thickness to the case and potentially cause the case not to fit, do i have to cover the insides with painters tape?  if not do i paint the insides as evenly/well as the outside?



thanks in advance



Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 07 July 2014, 14:23:47
hello!

i recently got a filco tkl which is currently stock and was planning on painting it a glossy white using rustoleum ultra cover 2x gloss spray.  as this will be my first time, i want to be very thorough with the process.  ive read through your keyboard painting tips and have made a rough plan on what im going to do, so please correct me if im missing a step, one of them is needlessly redundant, or one of them are incorrect.



sand with 200 grit, then 800, then 100 to smooth out the case

lightly spray dupli-color adhesion promoter with 2 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 5 minutes between last coat of adhesion promoter and first color coat

lightly spray rustoleum ultra cover 2x gloss spray with 5 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 2 days for paint to cure

use clear coat rustoleum ultra cover 2x clear spray 3 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait a day for paint to dry

sand with 2000 grit paper lightly with water



questions about the process:

do i need water when i sand for the first step?

in one of your posts, you said that my paint has a primer already, so i dont need an adhesion promoter; however, as i want this to last a long time, will the adhesion promoter help the longevity of my paint or will it be redundant? 

also, the reason i plan to use this one is because i saw in your past posts that you use it on mostly everything; however, there is a rustoleum ultra cover 2x primer spray from the ultra cover 2x line which comes in white (http://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/painters-touch-ultra-cover-2x/primer).  should i use that or stick with the dupli-color, if i use it at all?

are my intervals between coats good?

since the paint will add thickness to the case and potentially cause the case not to fit, do i have to cover the insides with painters tape?  if not do i paint the insides as evenly/well as the outside?



thanks in advance

I would modify that process as follows:

wet-sand with 800 or 1000 grit.  You just need to scuff that Filco cover a bit--200-grit was just for removing the rubber coating on QFR covers.  Rinse and dry very thoroughly.  Wipe with a microfiber cloth or anything that can remove as much dust and lint as possible.

lightly spray dupli-color adhesion promoter with 1 light coat. 

You need to use the base paint within 5 minutes of spraying the adhesion promoter, as per instructions--I usually only wait a minute or two--it dries extremely quickly.

lightly spray rustoleum ultra cover 2x gloss spray with 3-4 light coats 5+ minutes apart--longer if it's a gloss variety (those have more thinner in them and tend to be more runny/dry slower).  I'd actually recommend a satin finish instead for much better curing and following with gloss clear afterwards, if gloss is what you want.  In high humidity, you will need to wait a good while, maybe even 10 minutes.  Best not to paint in high humidity, as paint can turn pretty dull and not cure properly.

wait 2 days for paint to cure

use clear coat rustoleum ultra cover 2x clear spray 2-3 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait a day or two for paint to dry

sand with 2000 grit paper lightly with water--this is only if you also get a rubbing compound, because even 2000-grit sandpaper will leave your painted surface dull.  A rubbing compound is a micro-polisher--it will further "sand" the dulled surface to glossy smoothness.  You can just use large cotton balls with a rubbing compound and then a polish if desired.  Be careful--it may seem like that wet 2000-grit sandpaper is not doing much, but you can definitely sand through the clear coat in places that are easier to sand.

--
Regarding primers: I really don't know how each particular paint is going to last vs. alternatives.  There are significant variations in composition and ingredient proportions between different paint types, and I've had some paint decide to melt off after a couple weeks (one specific metallic paint type and one metallic acrylic paint) and the rest have been holding up very well.  One of my computer cases painted with "Aqua" satin Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2x was painted over 2 years ago and still looks like new.  I used Rust-Oleum's plastic primer on the plastic parts, but I'm not sure it was really necessary--and I'm not a big fan of the Plastic Primer--mine goes on kind of flaky, giving some texture.  I like the Duplicolor Adhesion Promoter for going on in a fine mist and drying very smoothly.

The main issue for a painted plastic case is going to be 1. denting it with random objects hitting it over time and 2. cleaning properly periodically (with something like a soft flannel cloth and no alcohol) and not rubbing it with fingers too much.  That's where clear coat seems good--if you have a decent layer, you can later re-sand it lightly and recoat in clear (though I haven't had to do that yet).
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: NumberTwoinQQ on Mon, 07 July 2014, 15:47:27
thanks for the informative reply!  it was very helpful

i have changed the steps you modified below to a potential final plan:

sand with wet 1000 grit to smooth out the case, then rinse, dry, and wipe down

lightly spray dupli-color adhesion promoter with 1 light coat

wait 1-2 minute

lightly spray rustoleum ultra cover 2x satin spray with 4 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 2 days for paint to cure

use clear coat rustoleum ultra cover 2x clear spray 3 light coats 5 minutes apart

wait 1 or 2 day for paint to dry

sand with 2000 grit paper lightly with water

use rubbing compound w/ large cotton balls


one question, what type of rubbing compound should i use? and how should i apply it, ie in numerous coats, just once
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 07 July 2014, 18:18:39
You can read about different ones on-line--there are many different brands making and selling them, such as 3M, and also they come in multiple "polishing strength".  There are some fairly tough cutting compounds and those that are just gentle polish.  The one I use are pictured here:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=44191.msg965353#msg965353

Just squeeze a small amount onto a cotton ball and rub the painted surface in firm circular motion.  You'll see when dull spots will begin to shine.  I then use a polish and also have carnauba wax by the same brand.  I would not wax until at least a week after painting, since there will still be curing and evaporation happening for quite some time.

By the way, the price for all this can really add up.  On the plus side, bottles of that size would last you a long long time for small painting jobs.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: NumberTwoinQQ on Mon, 07 July 2014, 18:40:39
ok. thanks, how does the paint look after just the clear coat and no polishing? can i be finished then?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 07 July 2014, 22:48:48
If you use clear gloss, it looks like orange peel when letting light glance along the surface.  If looking straight on, it will generally be okay.  If you use clear matte, it will look a bit rough and satin-y, not really shiny.  A bit like tiny acrylic beads have been misted onto the surface (if putting a matte clear coat over medium to dark colors, you'll get that effect).  But if you do well polishing a clear coat, it will look like shiny plastic made in the color you've chosen or, if metallic, like shiny reflective metallic surface.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: greath on Mon, 16 February 2015, 13:18:10
Photoelectric,

Do you have experience using hammered spray paint?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: 3K on Sat, 18 July 2015, 06:02:08
Today I tried to paint my Duckys case...

I started with sanding it, primer, then sprayed some Creme White, followed by Red Metallic. Appearantly I should have practiced more, since I got some nasty blots when spraying.
After sanding it again (too much, of course) I used the red again, and it came out like this.

More
(http://abload.de/img/1x9u93.jpg)

More
(http://abload.de/img/2knuz4.jpg)

More
(http://abload.de/img/3nzud8.jpg)

(with flash on, the case isn't that glossy IRL, and the LED are barely visible here)

 I guess I'm okay with this!
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 08 April 2018, 07:13:30
Good stuff!!

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/GQP20a7.jpg)


Clear, goes on in a smooth fine mist.  Using that on everything now, under paint.  Here is a Filco plate--normally powder-coated matte black--sanded down to bare steel, coated with the Adhesion Promoter, and followed with DupliColor Metal Cast in Red

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/77xnUQx.jpg)


It's been a few days after spraying, and the finish is very hard.

Not sure if anyone is still watching this thread but I find it very useful info in prep for a Filco rebuild that I'm working on.

Many thanks for the tips. I'm prepping an old, semi-rusty Filco and I've stripping down the metal plate as you can see here:
(https://i.imgur.com/8xtKSlY.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/6YeLWl3.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/A1FUYFk.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/u0cwao8.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/7T1J3dD.jpg)

Couple of questions please as I'm new to this:
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Sun, 08 April 2018, 09:08:33

Do you have experience using hammered spray paint?


Personally, I  *LOVE*  Rustoleum's hammered metallic finishes.

As far as the current question, I am not familiar with your particular plate, but if the plastic tabs can be removed and replaced after painting you will get an infinitely better result. I have broken a number (5%-10%) of various hold-down tabs, so I might do it with trepidation if I didn't have spares, but you should consider it.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 08 April 2018, 09:13:09
Quote
As far as the current question, I am not familiar with your particular plate, but if the plastic tabs can be removed and replaced after painting you will get an infinitely better result. I have broken a number (5%-10%) of various hold-down tabs, so I might do it with trepidation if I didn't have spares, but you should consider it.

Thanks. They are costar stabs. I removed them now with pliers.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 08 April 2018, 09:19:12
Good stuff!!

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/GQP20a7.jpg)


Clear, goes on in a smooth fine mist.  Using that on everything now, under paint.  Here is a Filco plate--normally powder-coated matte black--sanded down to bare steel, coated with the Adhesion Promoter, and followed with DupliColor Metal Cast in Red

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/77xnUQx.jpg)


It's been a few days after spraying, and the finish is very hard.

Not sure if anyone is still watching this thread but I find it very useful info in prep for a Filco rebuild that I'm working on.

Many thanks for the tips. I'm prepping an old, semi-rusty Filco and I've stripping down the metal plate as you can see here:
Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/8xtKSlY.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/6YeLWl3.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/A1FUYFk.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/u0cwao8.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/7T1J3dD.jpg)


Couple of questions please as I'm new to this:
  • Shown in the first photo: is it possible to remove the clips (not sure what the technical term is) on the metal place that hold the stabilizers? I would like to be able to sand the entire metal frame so can they be removed? If so, what tools do I need and how they they be removed? Is it possible to buy clip replacements?
  • Should I continue sanding until it's completely clean of paint and rust or is this good enough to apply the primer / adhesion coat?
  • Finally I see that you're using adhesion instead of primer on the frame. Is surface primer and the "multi-purpose" top coat a good choice to paint the frame?

Good luck with the project—looks like a fun one!

Those are Costar stabilizer clips you’re talking about?  You should be able to remove them by gently squeezing both pointy ends toward each other and pulling one end out of the plate at the same time.  The plastic should be flexible.
Title: Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 08 April 2018, 09:57:34
Quote
Those are Costar stabilizer clips youíre talking about?  You should be able to remove them by gently squeezing both pointy ends toward each other and pulling one end out of the plate at the same time.  The plastic should be flexible.

Yes thanks I got it now.

How much more sanding do you think I should do? Until it's completely bare metal?
Also do you think the primer and top coat selections are okay?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Sun, 08 April 2018, 10:31:01
We have different products in the US, but those should be fine.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 08 April 2018, 11:30:08
Looking more healthy now. I think I'm ready to paint  :)

(https://i.imgur.com/hKMuDII.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/m68FUoW.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/i1nvger.jpg)
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Sun, 08 April 2018, 11:34:53
Always follow paint directions to the letter, and never try to skimp on drying times.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 08 April 2018, 20:36:36
Looking more healthy now. I think I'm ready to paint  :)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/hKMuDII.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/m68FUoW.jpg)

Show Image
(https://i.imgur.com/i1nvger.jpg)


Looks good.  Not sure if those dark dots are pitting in the metal (uneven texture) or just old paint remnants.  If the former, they will remain noticeable as uneven texture after you paint, so Iíd sand more to smooth out.  If the latterónot a big deal, youíre ready to paint and can ignore the remaining black powdercoating.

Sorry I did not answer your earlier questions.  Your specific cans are different from what Iíve used but seem like a fine combination.  As the reply before mine recommends: do follow instructions.  Donít overspray!  Itís better to do two light even coats than one very wet and runny coat.  Allow each layer to dry well before going over it.  Make sure to paint at around room temperature or warmer and in low humidity conditions.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Mon, 09 April 2018, 12:46:59
Thank you. The pitting that you mention is rust indeed however I don't think it's worth continuing to sand any further given that it's cosmetic. I'd be a little wary of creating a slight dent in that area which may affect switch height a fraction.

On a side note, is it okay to spray paint in my living room haha? I have a balcony but I think I would have greater control on the environment if it's indoors :)
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 09 April 2018, 13:15:02
Thank you. The pitting that you mention is rust indeed however I don't think it's worth continuing to sand any further given that it's cosmetic. I'd be a little wary of creating a slight dent in that area which may affect switch height a fraction.

On a side note, is it okay to spray paint in my living room haha? I have a balcony but I think I would have greater control on the environment if it's indoors :)

Beyond inhaling unhealthy fumes, you're going to have a cloud of tiny paint particles landing on everything in a radius of 2-3 feet around where you're spraying.  You don't want to spray too closely to the surface to reduce this overspray, as then you will lose the ability to do an even coat.  I would recommend getting a cardboard box, putting your parts on it, and going somewhere outside where it won't be a big deal to have some paint landing in the vicinity of your box.  Also wear clothes and shoes you won't mind getting covered in some tiny paint particles (can easily ruin shiny leather shoes).
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 13 May 2018, 05:13:11
Finished with respraying the metal frame. Used the bath as a makeshift working area  :)

Happy with the result considering the original condition:
(https://i.imgur.com/9f0xWy1.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/B63VRqR.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/wLtg5Uz.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/JwPjNRJ.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/vUtQXAd.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/bD1Cgmr.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/yRFXDmq.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/KfNOS3u.jpg)

Used 3 light coats of primer and 2 light coats of top on both sides.
Next to carefully prep the plastic cases.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 13 May 2018, 12:18:03
Great work!  I love your thorough cover-up of the walls with plastic.  The plate came out well--the texture probably helps hide surface imperfections.  Be sure to allow the paint to dry for at least a couple of days on the plate before handling it much.  The paint is dry to touch relatively soon, but it takes a few days or longer to completely harden to its toughest.  Can still accidentally make an indent with a fingernail or wrinkle the paint if not being too careful while all the layers of the paint are drying.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 13 May 2018, 12:28:45
Thanks for your advice on this thread - it's really helped me. You can see some pitting but I think it's fine as you'll never see it anyway. I wanted to paint it so the rust doesn't spread to preserve the keeb for the future :)

I'm doing the plastic prep now. It looks from page 3 of this thread that you took the paint off almost completely so I'm going for that. I'm not sure where it starts / finishes on the Filco. It's already well scuffed up and greyish looking but I don't know if there's anything under that or not.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 13 May 2018, 12:40:11
Technically there's stuff that can fill in the pitting prior to painting, but it's mostly nasty, such as Bondo (sandable and super hard when it dries, but the fumes are horrible. It works really well with sticking to anything).

Is your Filco black to begin with?  You really don't need to do much to a stock Filco cover if it's black, just maybe sand it a bit to even out the texture.  If you like the original texture and don't mind that it will be amplified after spraypainting, sanding is not necessary.  If it's one of the painted or printed types like Camo, I would also go over the outer surface with fine grit sandpaper to roughen up the surface a little for better primer adhesion.  Wipe the surface with a big cotton ball soaked in alcohol prior to painting to remove any finger oils.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 13 May 2018, 14:52:32
Yeah it's a black Filco. I've already taken it down quite a lot but not as much as your previous jobs. I don't want it to get too thick. I would have guessed that the finish would be better if I take a lot of the paint off?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 13 May 2018, 16:49:17
Yeah it's a black Filco. I've already taken it down quite a lot but not as much as your previous jobs. I don't want it to get too thick. I would have guessed that the finish would be better if I take a lot of the paint off?

There's no paint on the black Filco, as far as I know--just textured plastic.  Other colors might be painted or printed.  That's why I said there's no need to sand it, unless you just want to smooth the texture.  It was CoolerMaster QFR tops that you saw sanded in earlier posts--those have "soft touch" rubberized coating on the old gunmetal silver covers, for example.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Mon, 14 May 2018, 14:11:07
Are you sure? I would be surprised if it didn't have some kind of clear sealant at least.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Mon, 14 May 2018, 15:12:09
Are you sure? I would be surprised if it didn't have some kind of clear sealant at least.

I'm pretty sure, yeah.  Just textured plastic if it's black to begin with. I mean I haven't looked at the newest Filcos, but the ones I have had a few years ago that were black did not require any sanding.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Wed, 16 May 2018, 02:52:47
Do you have any advice on sanding the shall parts? For example the inside on the caps lock mum lock led holes and underneath the filco logo
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Wed, 16 May 2018, 07:46:53
You can fold sandpaper around an edge of a credit card or tip of a sharp stick, or roll it into a narrow cone shape.
Fortunately tiny spaces are less important.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Wed, 16 May 2018, 10:47:02
Do you have any advice on sanding the shall parts? For example the inside on the caps lock mum lock led holes and underneath the filco logo

Definitely advise against sanding inside the Filco logo if you want to preserve the neat shape of the opening (just don't overspray the paint into it, and the original logo should still fit back into the opening).  I still think your sanding of the black top is futile.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Thu, 17 May 2018, 03:17:40
Okay thank you. I will give it a light sanding so that the primer bonds properly to the plastic and leave it at that.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Tue, 22 May 2018, 04:23:36
Finished case prep. Used 180-2000. Removed the feet by pushing hard on one side and lifting up.

Should have a good surface for the primer to bond with now:
(https://i.imgur.com/QGJJ5a5.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/C8YRuZN.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/ZfbqfHy.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/2GpK3NA.jpg)

I'm not intending to paint the inside of the rubber grip holders.

On a side note, does anyone know where I could find replacement Filco rubber grips that stick to the underside of the case? I kept the old ones but I'm not sure how easily they are going to stick.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Thu, 24 May 2018, 14:05:02
I've applied the primer using thin coats which is going well. Even though I sanded the case with 2000 smooth, the primer texture is quite rough. Wondering if I should sand it with 2000 before applying the top coats?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Thu, 24 May 2018, 17:15:10

the primer texture is quite rough.


Not sure what "quite rough" means but primer is intended as a undercoat that the top coat adheres to, therefore, it shouldn't be glossy smooth anyway.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Thu, 24 May 2018, 19:41:00
I've applied the primer using thin coats which is going well. Even though I sanded the case with 2000 smooth, the primer texture is quite rough. Wondering if I should sand it with 2000 before applying the top coats?

You shouldn't sand the primer--you can sand the paint after you're done painting, after a few well dried top coats.  Textured finish is inevitable with canned spray paint.  This is another reason I like the Duplicolor Adhesion Promoter as primer--it goes on in a super fine mist and doesn't really add much visible texture.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sat, 26 May 2018, 11:11:16
Thank you. Between the primer and the top coat. How long should I wait?

Also between the top coat and final sanding, how long should I wait?
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sat, 26 May 2018, 17:40:43
Strongly depends on the paint itself and your painting conditions.  In my experience gloss paints have more thinner in them or else formulated in such a way as to stay runnier for longer.  They take longer to dry vs. matte paints.  Also if you paint in warm or humid conditions, it takes longer too.  I would say that between the primer and top coat, you can just wait an hour or two (follow instructions on the can).  With the primer I mentioned that I like, I only wait about 10 minutes, as it goes on super fine and dries really fast.  As for waiting between paint coats, as long as you're doing them in very fine even layers, you can just wait about 10-15 minutes before doing the next coat, for something like 3-4 fine coats.  I would wait a full day for the top clear coat.  I would wait 2 days to begin sanding and polishing--test on a small, less conspicuous area.  If you intend to do a lot of surface smoothing from orange peel texture to glass smoothness, definitely do 2-3 layers of clear coat so that you don't sand through it when doing the final fine-grit wet sanding.

Once I used a white pearl paint over white base paint, and the pearl layers were still soft to fingernail dent test 3 days after painting.  Thankfully the surface hardened properly after a full week of curing.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: fohat.digs on Sat, 26 May 2018, 19:59:53

How long should I wait?

how long should I wait?


EXACTLY  AS LONG AS THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY, OR LONGER.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 27 May 2018, 04:35:22

How long should I wait?

how long should I wait?


EXACTLY  AS LONG AS THE INSTRUCTIONS SAY, OR LONGER.

It just says when the next coat can be applied, not when you can sand etc  :)


Quote
Strongly depends on the paint itself and your painting conditions.  In my experience gloss paints have more thinner in them or else formulated in such a way as to stay runnier for longer.  They take longer to dry vs. matte paints.  Also if you paint in warm or humid conditions, it takes longer too.  I would say that between the primer and top coat, you can just wait an hour or two (follow instructions on the can).  With the primer I mentioned that I like, I only wait about 10 minutes, as it goes on super fine and dries really fast.  As for waiting between paint coats, as long as you're doing them in very fine even layers, you can just wait about 10-15 minutes before doing the next coat, for something like 3-4 fine coats.  I would wait a full day for the top clear coat.  I would wait 2 days to begin sanding and polishing--test on a small, less conspicuous area.  If you intend to do a lot of surface smoothing from orange peel texture to glass smoothness, definitely do 2-3 layers of clear coat so that you don't sand through it when doing the final fine-grit wet sanding.

Once I used a white pearl paint over white base paint, and the pearl layers were still soft to fingernail dent test 3 days after painting.  Thankfully the surface hardened properly after a full week of curing.

Thank you. In this case, I think I'm ready to apply the top coats. It's been around 2 days. After this, I'll leave the top coats dry for one week before considering sanding for safety's sake.
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: delatroy on Sun, 22 July 2018, 08:45:48
Well I finally finished!  :)

before:
(https://i.imgur.com/OEHRD4R.png)
after:
(https://i.imgur.com/6jYBHeJ.jpg)

Full album and build log
https://imgur.com/a/shUlWbp

 Thanks everyone for the tips!  :)
Title: Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
Post by: Photoelectric on Sun, 22 July 2018, 11:35:51
Quite a transformation--thanks for sharing!  I always love the refurbishment stories of well-loved items getting a second chance.  Those old switches looked super bad.  Hopefully the PCB didn't suffer much from all that surrounding corrosion.

I like the new industrial color look  :thumb:  Take care with cleaning the case to avoid using any harsh chemicals.