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Old 04-07-2009, 02:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Painting a case? and a fan question...

I just got my coolermaster HAF, and would like to paint the inside black before I start messing around with parts... I haven't done much painting before... except on some car stuff, anything I should know before hand? It seems to me like it would be very hard to keep overspray off the mesh grill in the front and rear (masking it off would be hard I would think..)... and this case is a shade of flat black that would be hard to match.. any tips? what paint to use, etc... I would naturally go for high temp auto paint... but that requires sanding.. so i'm wondering if there isnt a better choice?

Also, this case gives you the option to trade the 230mm side and top fan for 120mm's (4 on side, 2 on top), I tried looking on google, but couldn't find anyone who had done it and compared temps... wondering if the decrease in temps would justify the cost and noise?
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

First off i would stick with the fans it has.. That case has good airflow as is!!
As for the paint job you will have to rough up the suface if you want your paint to stay on there long..Also use a very light coat cause if you over spray it will look like ****!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

First off to do a good job completely dissemble the case. You won't have to worry about over spray that way. I find that a flat black looks best inside. Use a self etching primer before hand and get your pant from an auto parts store.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

self etching eh? will do... was planning on sticking with the grunge/retro/dark look the outside has and doing a combo of flat and semi-gloss... intended to make it look messy, but actually meant to do a good job... appreciate the tip.. do i need to sand the bare metal?
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

Some paints will say you don't have to but its been my experience that the best quality paint jobs against chipping need a good scuffing up with either sand paper or a sand blaster, even with self etching primers. Apply the self etching primer for the bare metal parts, you can pick these up at your local autobody repair store and even some hardware stores will have it as well. I get my etching from NAPA paint stores, its a higher quality automotive self etching and flat black form Dupont. Here they are, the two on the left:



They are a bit more expensive than most self etchers and flat back but they are very durable compared to most I've used and hold up well to bumps and bangs.

That's about it for flat black, its probably the easiest and most forgiving of paints to use on a case, once you get into the glosses every little imperfection will show. As mentioned, many light coats instead of a thick ones. A tack cloth is also good to pick up, clean the case down of any lint etc... just prior to painting.

Also, as mentioned, disassemble as much of the case as possible, you should be able to really take it apart. Depending on the case i'll sometimes even drill out the rivets to disassemble even further.

You should be able to break it down to just the primary casing, like so:



That will yield the best results so that every little crook and crany is covered....also minimizes the taping.

Ok, final tip, read the instructions and safety label on the cans, some of these paints are pretty nasty so made sure if you need an organics respirator you get one....an N95 dust mask will not protect you.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

so maybe lightly sand the parts I can reach (seems like it'd be hard to get every nook and cranny inside the case) with some 800 grit... tack cloth it down... painters tape the stuff I dont want to get spray on.. and do several light coats of primer, dry for ~24 hours... then repeat with actual paint? i'm only painting the inside... the outside will remain as is.. for now..
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

jfenwick thats a really good idea using poly to make your own makeshift paint booth.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

Thought about painting the outside of the case while I was at it.. to be different.. the HAF has a sort of militaristic look to it (to me atleast) - so I photoshopped up a couple ideas.. what do you guys think? I'm wondering if it will work though, because some of the exterior is plastic.. and paint tends to look different on different surfaces...


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Old 04-08-2009, 01:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

you could sand the plastic bits and I actually prefer the first case
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Painting a case? and a fan question...

I prefer it as well.. I think it'd look pretty cool when running.. kinda like a military weapon.. or atleast thats what I was going for... I read online tutorials which said to wetsand the case... (water+dawn+sandpaper)... so would you wetsand everything? or just the parts that are already painted... or just the plastic? or everything but the plastic? man I wish I had done more painting in my past life.. lol

For the scheme... I was going to do an olive drab green base coat... and then layer the camo on top.. wondering if you would do one color, let it dry, next color, let it dry... or just go to town with brown/black/green at the same time and let it dry?
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