I've noticed that alot of Painting tips have been given in the 932/922 club. Everyone has something to say as there is a neverending amount of ways to paint your HAF I was kind of tempted to "Post Modern" mine and splash different colored paint. Well as you will see I didn't go that route.
Now as Rocky J. Squirrel says, on to the show.
First thing first. You will need supplies.
Skimp on them if you want, but these are the recommended supplies you will need.
- 1/3 of a sheet of (200 grit/< $1) Emery cloth. You won't come close to using much of it. But it's handy to have on hand should you need something scratched up later on in your modding lifestyle.
- 1 roll(or more) of Scotch brand Masking tape. Some people like the blue but beige works fine if you don't want to pay the increased price. I think they are the same myself but you can get a 2 pack of beige for < $2.
- 1 can of Rust-oleum Universal Advanced Formula paint. They have LOTS of different colors so go with whatever color strikes your fancy. I used their Satin Black formula as it matches the exterior of the HAF. I think mine was < $10 at our Home Depot.
- And one newspaper. This is for blocking off the things you want safe from spray. Some people use way too much masking in my opinion. Using masking on a surface you don't want paint on is only good if it isn't directly in the line of the blast. So on the outside only masking is fine. Paper is better. It wicks the paint keeping it off the surface you are trying to protect. Tape only keeps paint out to the edge and it can seep under the edges so you need ALOT of it to do the job. Why do that when for $.75 cents you can get your protection AND have comics and crosswords later on?
Okay now that you have your supplies you will want to take EVERYTHING that you do not want paint on off your HAF. I mean EVERYTHING. The only thing that should remain is the 5.25/HDD rack. That's it.
To get the plastic slot clips out you thumb the retaining pin down then swivel it out and pull straight up. The fan screws on the outside of the case are an off standard size so you can remove those with a torx driver that fits in the slot. Don't worry if it rotates slightly. It shouldn't damage them if you are firm with it. Don't torque them just steady even pressure. Pull out your PSU tray and your PSU/h2o block off plate as well and make sure to keep your screws and bits handy and together.
Oky but what about the thumb clip, you ask. Well that's simple if you notice the bump at the back of each one you can push them forward and lift up on the back and slide back over that bump. Viola! They go back in the same way. But let the paint cure or you'll have spots that are gray on your 5.25 bay.
*WARNING* There are important parts you do NOT want to lose for those clips. If you lose the springs You have to buy a whole NEW clip from CM. All so you can have those springs. Best thing to do is secure the whole kit and kaboodle in a zip-loc bag.
The 230mm fans rotate 45o degrees to come out the front of the case and the top. I think that you can get the top without twisting but it's been 2 months since I painted mine. I never mess with it right now so it's not that fresh in the mind. In any case you want to rotate the front one 45o degrees and slide it out. Depending on which case you have and what your needs are you may not even have to put it back. You have 4 fans the side can do the intake work(especially in entry level systems) and the top and the rear 140mm fan can draw out. It still gets decent temps w/o the front. Also it cuts down on the dust buildup on the front, should you not have filters. I run this type of setup for the time being and rotated my LED(red system) fan to the top after I got it back together. *My system temps*
Okay now first thing you'll want to do is activate the Emery cloth. To do this you can do the entire piece or you can tear off about a 2 inch strip across. So you SHOULD have a strip roughly 2 x 3.5 across. Find a straight edge like a countertop and with the grit facing up run the cloth diagonally across the ledge(your mom will kick your butt if you did it grit down) a few times change position of your hands and run it oppositely the other way. This breaks up some of the grit so it's easier to manage and so it doesn't hold all the dust and cause you to need more pieces. This stuff IS re-usable if you heed my instruction.
Okay not that it's activated you'll want to SCUFF the powder coating on the interior(sorry 922 guys you got bare metal) not sand it all down to the bare metal. Everywhere there is going to be paint. If you know you are not painting, say the edge around the grill where you will be using tape to block the grill, do NOT scuff it. The tape has to adhere to it and if you do scuff it paint will more than likely get under it and cause a wonderful "crappy" inspired look.
Also be careful with your scuffing. Let the cloth do the work. If you can see scratches in the coating and not metal you are doing fine. I scuff in circular pattern and move around as I do it. In any case as you may notice we're not taking the coating off. There is no need. Besides I've heard many times that the powder coat is a royal bugger to take down to the metal consistently enough. You will(should) use this coating as your primer.
Everything inside your 932 is scuffable if you want paint on it. I didn't do my PSU tray or my 3.5 adapter but I wasn't worried about the tray and the adapter I don't use. Use your discretion. What do YOU want to do. If you want to paint them scuff them if not you know how you will proceed. I'm considering on painting my tray Red to match my MoBo and scheme. I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.
Okay shouldn't take you very long to scuff the whole thing. Now you should take a tack cloth(WHAT! TACK CLOTH! YOU DIN'T MENTION NO STINKING TACK CLOTH!)... oh wait I didn't get one, and a can of blowoff(everyone has that right?) take your case outside and blow it off.
No need to get paint dust inside. Now take it back inside and draw a luke warm bowl of water with a couple drops of say Dawn or some other brand dish soap in it. Not too sudsy though. You don't need to make it so clean that you can eat off it. Just clean enough to remove the oils from your hands or anyone else that may have touched it along the way, including the factory.
Okay now you'll run a lightly damp cloth(wring it out good between passes) over the scuffed surfaces to get the oils off and any left over PC dust that may have been missed. Afterwards you'll want to only touch the case on the top and any edge that is black. Inside is big no no or you have to do this process again where you touched it. Let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Less is okay but I recommend 15 to 20. I err on the side of 20.
Now take your tape and block out the spots that you didn't scuff. Fold over the very FIRST end of tape and let it hang just slightly out from the shape. (This is your removal device. It will assist you to remove the blocking while the paint is still somewhat wet) No paper yet. You should have a box or a triangle around the area you don't want painted. Next take a section of newsprint and fold it to fit that box a little underlap is fine. If it takes more than one piece that's fine too. You should have plenty. Okay next take masking and half on the paper and half on the blocked out masking frame that you set up. You'll see from this link how the door looks after you've peeled the blocking. I used the natural framing for my tape placement.
You can either use standoffs to block the Tray holes and replace them with fresh ones. Or you can tape them once in place. I taped mine since I didn't have enough extras. I filled ALL of the mounting holes for future upgrade downgrade situations. If you tape go around with a couple passes and pinch the top. I'll explain how to remove them later.
Okay, next you will just tape the exterior where the black PC is at. I taped the door jambs all the way around the back to the front of the case. Both top and bottom.
You shouldn't need to block the entire exterior if you aren't goin buck wild with the paint. You just want to keep it off any spot that you may inadvertently spray. Which is the jamb edging.
I sprayed everything inside my 932. Including the back of the MoBo tray and both doors. I also sprayed the back of the case. So if you are good with sticker removal I'd remove the ones on the back if not a piece of masking lightly applied will work.
Me I got the yellow "No trash" sticker off but the barcode(the most important of the two) wasn't willing to come up w/o tearing so I blocked that one and cut the masking to the same size after application with a box knife. You can use a scissor blade to do the same thing. Just be careful please.
Okay now you should have everything blocked off that you don't want painted. Now how do I paint it? Well when you removed the top and slid the wires out CAREFULLY you should have noticed what appears to be a handle. it is in fact what that is.
Take your case outside by that handle and if you have a spot that you can use for painting set it there. If not you can set something up. I used grocery bags and set up on the balcony of the apartment. It's old paint that's flaking away I doubt they'll complain about any overspray. But some of us are not that fortunate.
I'll be following up shortly with what I hope to be the final, part II.