First round of painting

posted Mar 30, 2013, 10:44 PM by Andrew Stock
Hello!

Painting... takes a long time! At least the way I'm doing it (which is very obsessive compulsive...) 

Anyway, I thought I should update on my progress since it's been a while, even if I'm not done yet. I've been doing quite a bit these past few weekends, but due to the nature of the painting process I'm developing, work is rather slow and has to be spread out over several days. Fortunately, I had lots of other little side projects that I could fit in between coats of paint and such. 

As mentioned previously, I was working on taking the paint off of my XSPC radiators... my first few attempts proved to be far too much effort for what should seemingly be pretty simple. After checking with some paint experts at the local hardware store, they recommended this stuff to me:



It is the weirdest material ever... kinda thick and goopy, like slime almost. According to the can, you lay it on thick and just wait... let the remover do all the work, then just come back later and lightly scrape it off:



The painting people were right, though... this stuff is magic!



The remover and scraper got most if it... and I took care of the rest with some regular old thinner and an old toothbrush:



Voila! 






So pretty... almost a shame I'm just going to paint them black again! 

Back in the painting booth, I set up the two case walls, the bottom plate, and the PSU plate for their first coats of paint.



Using some tips I've seen around here and there, I soaked the paint in hot water... it's supposed to help the paint apply more evenly. My tests agree.



As mentioned, I used a pretty lengthy process for painting. I'll post my process from beginning to end after everything is through and it comes out well, but I am essentially laying down a north/south coat, waiting 15 minutes, then an east/west coat, waiting 15 minutes, another north/south, 15 minutes, and a final east/west, followed by drying for at least 24 hours. Once dried, I took the pieces out of the booth, wet sanded them down with P1500 sandpaper, let them dry, tacked them clean, and repeated the whole process one more time. Yea... it took a while. 

Here's a sneak peek of the first coat drying in the booth:



Between coats of these four pieces, I continued to work on other small things. One thing that bothered me was how the front of the case came out after priming. I was hoping the primer layers would do a better job of hiding the front ports and the old area where the Lian-Li badge was... but it didn't. So, I went about sanding the face down with my mouse sander to get rid of the layers of primer:



Next, I filled the area with a coat of JB Weld (which has been working decidedly better than any of the other materials like Steelstick and Bondo) and let it dry for 24 hours:



The next day, I sanded it smooth with my mouse sander again:



Much more flat. Should be nice and smooth this time!

The following weekend (after letting the four parts dry in the booth for an entire week... not so much out of necessity, more because I just don't have time during the week to mod...) I laid out the four pieces from the previous weekend and prepared to give them the wet sanding with P1500 I mentioned above:



You can see the slight irregularities with overspray and such that make some areas look shinier or whiter than surrounding areas:








All in all, not bad for a first coat though. I went through and sanded all of it (maybe about 5-10 strokes over every surface... just enough to get rid of some of the 'noise' in the paint), then hung it up to dry off for an hour:



The paint is looking smoother already:



That's all for now... I still have to lay down my second coat of paint on these pieces, re-primer the front of the case as well as the radiators, and I haven't even gotten started on painting the internals for the case yet! Man... so much painting!

See you next time!

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