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Clarification on Clear Coating

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have recently been looking into modding computer cases, starting with some simple painting. (I will save drilling holes and custom sleeving cables for a much later date.) I have been poking around this part of the forums for a while, reading several guides on painting computer cases, all of them quite informative.

I understand the importance of prepping, sanding, applying a primer, spraying the color coats on, and so forth. However, I have seen different routes that people take with clear coating, sanding, and polishing. Now comes some questions of my own. I have a bare Dell Dimension 3000 ready to be experimented on in the next few weeks, and even if it is my test unit, I would like to do a nice job on it.

If I am aiming for a plain flat finish...

I would spray on a plain clear coat (not glossy), and sand it down using a fine grit sandpaper. If I were to remove the scratches from the last sanded-down clear coat, I would have to use a rubbing compound to do so. Is it even necessary to sand down the clear coat, assuming I sanded down the color coat to an even finish? Would using the rubbing compound make the final result shiny or glossy?

If I wanted a beautiful glossy finish...

I have read some conflicting advice on combinations of paint finish to use. Do I use a glossy color and a glossy clear coat? Do I use flat paint and top it off with a glossy clear coat? Any advice from the experts would be appreciated.

Besides these two pressing questions, the only thing I have left to decide on is a non-clashing color scheme. smile.gif
post #2 of 4
First off: when applying clear coats the glossiness of the base paint has does not have as much of an effect on the sheen/gloss as the clear coat and treatment just before, during and after applying the clear coat.

If you lap the paint with high grit sandpaper you'll get a better sheen than using coarser sandpaper or not sanding at all.

Using a rubbing/polishing compound is often used after lapping the final clear coat to achieve a more lustrous sheen.

For a high gloss finish, the base color does not have to be a gloss paint and it's not a necessity to use a clear gloss as this can always be lapped/polished to a shine, but a clear gloss helps.

It's not uncommon to apply several coats of clearcoat and sand it down (with high grit) after every few coats; especially if you're aiming for a very glossy finish.
RAD GT
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K MSI P67A-GD65 eVga GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1066 4x4Gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x 500Gb SATA | 750Gb SATA | 1Tb SATA LG SATA DVD-RW DangerDen Water Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorMonitorPower
AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS SilverStone Strider ST850 
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RAD GT
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K MSI P67A-GD65 eVga GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1066 4x4Gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x 500Gb SATA | 750Gb SATA | 1Tb SATA LG SATA DVD-RW DangerDen Water Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorMonitorPower
AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS SilverStone Strider ST850 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reply! The input helped. It looks like I can skip over the selection of glossy paints at the hardware store and look for the other paints instead.
post #4 of 4
Yeah, the only time you need a gloss paint is if you are not going to apply a clear coat.
RAD GT
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K MSI P67A-GD65 eVga GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1066 4x4Gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x 500Gb SATA | 750Gb SATA | 1Tb SATA LG SATA DVD-RW DangerDen Water Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorMonitorPower
AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS SilverStone Strider ST850 
  hide details  
Reply
RAD GT
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5 2500K MSI P67A-GD65 eVga GeForce GTX 480 Hydro Copper G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1066 4x4Gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2x 500Gb SATA | 750Gb SATA | 1Tb SATA LG SATA DVD-RW DangerDen Water Windows 7 Ultimate X64 
MonitorMonitorPower
AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS AOC 2236VW 1920x1080 22" WS SilverStone Strider ST850 
  hide details  
Reply
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