Author Topic: Keyboard Case Painting Tips  (Read 189190 times)

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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #200 on: Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:21:54 »
Case painted to Aluminium :)
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Cool! That came out very well.  I like what you've done with the logo area.
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Offline Jokrik

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #201 on: Fri, 20 September 2013, 22:37:18 »
Thx guys!
Really happy with the result myself :)
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Offline Tarzan

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #202 on: Sat, 21 September 2013, 20:39:54 »
Very nice, Jokrik!  That aluminium paint really looks like metal! 

Offline Jokrik

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #203 on: Sun, 22 September 2013, 04:13:14 »
Very nice, Jokrik!  That aluminium paint really looks like metal!
Thx to you!
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #204 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



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:



After that, the plastic insert comes out easily



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.
« Last Edit: Tue, 01 October 2013, 19:33:10 by Photoelectric »
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Offline Tarzan

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #205 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.

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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #206 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.
« Last Edit: Sat, 05 October 2013, 22:18:49 by Photoelectric »
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Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #207 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.

« Last Edit: Sat, 05 October 2013, 22:46:13 by do_Og@n »

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #208 on: Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:25:35 »
Updated with painting guidelines in the first post.
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Offline Krogenar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #209 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!
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Quote from: Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #210 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.
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Offline Krogenar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #211 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?
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Quote from: Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #212 on: Tue, 08 October 2013, 13:57:54 »
It sounds like YOU should make a cover like that!  Then tell us all about it.
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Offline Krogenar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #213 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.
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Quote from: Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #214 on: Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:01:39 »
Yes, you did say you would--there's no backing out of that one  :cool:
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Offline Krogenar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #215 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.
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Quote from: Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #216 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!!

Offline Krogenar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #217 on: Tue, 08 October 2013, 14:10:55 »
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Quote from: Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Offline zemp

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #218 on: Sun, 13 October 2013, 01:53:33 »
Any tips on painting chrome?

Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #219 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.

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #220 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.



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.
« Last Edit: Sun, 13 October 2013, 08:40:45 by Photoelectric »
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Offline Badwrench

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #221 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
Show Image


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. 

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wut. i'd buy a ****ty IBM board for that green V2

Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #222 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?

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #223 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
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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #224 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

Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #225 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.

Offline Jokrik

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #226 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

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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #227 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

Show Image


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)
« Last Edit: Wed, 23 October 2013, 10:46:16 by Photoelectric »
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Offline alrgeez

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #228 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?
i<3myKB

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #229 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.


« Last Edit: Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:35:21 by Photoelectric »
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Offline alrgeez

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #230 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
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #231 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.
« Last Edit: Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:49:35 by Photoelectric »
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Offline alrgeez

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #232 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.





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.
i<3myKB

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #233 on: Tue, 05 November 2013, 13:24:06 »
It's beautiful!  Thanks for sharing!
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Offline C5Allroad

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #234 on: Fri, 15 November 2013, 16:27:10 »
Why not plastidip? Works wonders on cars and can be peeled off whenever you want.

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #235 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. 
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Offline mashby

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #236 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


Show Image


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.

Offline kaltar

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #237 on: Thu, 21 November 2013, 23:48:02 »
It's beautiful!  Thanks for sharing!

Sweet!

Offline jinxedx84

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #238 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


Show Image


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:
-filco TLK MX Blue & IMSTO thick blank blue keycaps
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Offline MsYutai

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #239 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!
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Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #240 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.
- Keyboards: LZ-GH (Jailhouse Blues)M65-a, MIRA SE, E8-V1, MOON TKL, CA66
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Offline Dreamre

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #241 on: Fri, 22 November 2013, 16:15:21 »
And 3000 grit just feels so soft. Ironic now that's supposed to sand off paint.

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Painted my Keyboard :D
« Reply #242 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.
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Offline eddydo

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #243 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

Offline do_Og@n

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #244 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.

Offline cherpalla

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #245 on: Thu, 02 January 2014, 16:00:48 »
I literally love everything in this thread.

Offline mformaverick

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #246 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?

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #247 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.
- Keyboards: LZ-GH (Jailhouse Blues)M65-a, MIRA SE, E8-V1, MOON TKL, CA66
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Offline Pacifist

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #248 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

Offline Photoelectric

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Re: Keyboard Case Painting Tips
« Reply #249 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!
- Keyboards: LZ-GH (Jailhouse Blues)M65-a, MIRA SE, E8-V1, MOON TKL, CA66
- Keyboard Case Painting Tips -
- Join Mechanical Keyboards photography group on Flickr -