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Going to paint my antec 300, any painting guides out there?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Planning to paint the interior of my case black and the exterior a two-tone color of black and white. I however need to find a general painting guide. I did read one on here but it required, if I recall, 8 different grits of sand paper, and the whole process just seemed a bit overkill...

So back to my question... are there any case painting guides lying out there on the web? I did a google search and unfortunately couldn't find anything that great, just other people asking for help too.
post #2 of 11
1. What type of paint do you want to use? And what equipment do you have?

2. What is your skill level with painting?

3. How nice of a result do you need?

4. What kind of space do you have for painting and how clean is it?

5. What is your budget for supplies and/or equipment for painting?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
1. I have no idea, spray paint I guess.

2. None, but I am very good with DIY stuff.

3. Professional looking but not interested in mirror finishes etc.

4. Big garage, very clean.

5. I can stretch things but I would like to save as much money as possible.
post #4 of 11
I would recommend disassembling the case. Drill out the rivets and separate all the panels and other parts. This will make painting them far easier.

For a basic, decent finish I'd do at least these steps:

1. Wet sand existing paint with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Take it easy on panel edges as you don't want to sand through to bare metal. Take your time.

2. Rinse the parts well, then wipe down with Isopropyl Alcohol and a microfiber cloth or any other rag/cloth that won't leave fluff. Hang up with wire hooks.

3. Paint the white first. Build up a couple good even coats, not heavy enough to run. I recommend trying on a scrap of metal or some other smooth object first to get the hang of the paint's spray pattern and coverage.

4. Leave the paint alone for a couple days to allow it to take masking without peeling up.

5. Mask over everything you want to keep white. And I mean EVERYTHING. Blue tape for the edges, burnish down the tape edges with a fingernail to make sure the edges are well sealed. Masking off larger areas between the tape, use newspaper or plastic bags and blue tape.

6. Paint your black. First coat can be a little uneven. Go for a light coat especially along all your masking edges. Let it dry for a short time to "flash" all the solvents off, then shoot a heavier coat.

7. I usually remove the masking as soon as possible, while the paint is still tacky. This allows for a clean removal, and for the edges to settle down a little before it fully dries. Take your time.

8. Clearcoat if you like.

For reassembling the case, take your time, work slowly so you don't damage any of the paint. Reattach the panels together with pop rivets. You can use normal hardware store ones, or get colored ones from MNPCTech or elsewhere. You can use blue tape on edges of parts as you are reassembling to keep parts for banging together.

Budget: About $25 for decent paints (I use Krylon) and a roll or two of blue tape. I'd also recommend hanging up a cheap drop cloth in a C shape to use as a painting area, mostly to keep debris from being blown into your fresh paint. Always paint with good ventilation.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much! So the only grit sand paper I really need is 400 grit? I just wasn't sure how many grits of sand paper i needed and when to use em. So when i sand the existing paint, I shouldn't stand it all off? Do I need primer?
post #6 of 11
All you're doing with the 400 grit wet/dry primer is busting the sheen on the surface to make something for the new paint to stick to. No need for primer unless you sand through to the metal. Primer is used to get the paint to stick to metals, plastics, and to hide the difference between the types of surfaces. You can also use a heavier building primer to bury flaws in the surface underneath, but not needed in your case.

If you've never wet sanded before, it's pretty simple. You'll want to do it by hand. Get a bowl of water and go sit outside where you don't care about dripping sanding residue everywhere. Wet the surface you're sanding, dip your paper in the bowl often to pick up some more water. The water will keep the paper from clogging, and will carry away a lot of the removed material. Use light pressure, and run in small circular motions with the paper. You can check your progress by wiping off the surface. You should see dead flat areas where you've sanded the paint. If there are any shiny spots keep sanding. Take it slow and easy and do the edges last. You are not removing much paint, just flattening it out.

The 400 grit paper will leave a surface smooth enough that you won't feel any imperfections. With water on it, it will feel slippery and smooth as glass.

If you get any "orange peel" texture going in your paint and you want to smooth it out before you clearcoat, wet sand again with 800 after it cures up.

Be patient. I've spent hours on single parts before. A completely flat panel would take me 30-45 minutes. Something with more complications, like embossed panels or other details, would take a lot more time.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
So how much do I sand, and will I need primer for the interior since it is bare metal stock. Do I have to sand the paint job afterwards?
post #8 of 11
You only want to sand enough to make the entire surface of the existing paint no longer glossy. You are not trying to remove material, rather just flattening the surface slightly.

You should use primer for the interior, definitely. I would recommend taping off the exterior and shooting the primer on the interior first, before wet sanding the exterior. Consider primer to be part of the sanding and prepping process. Give the primer a short wet sand as well to keep it smooth for the new paint.

After your color coats, you do not need to wet sand. This is optional, and depends on the look you are going for. If after your white and black coats it looks perfectly fine to you, go ahead and stop there. If you would like it more glossy, shoot clear. If you're going to shoot clear, I'd recommend a very light 800 grit wet sanding which will smooth down the color coat even more and make the final clearcoat super wet glossy. If that's not the look you're going for, skip the extra effort.

Some useful links:
Youtube- How to wet sand primer
Youtube- How to wet sand color coat
Youtube- How to spray paint
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your great help! If I paint my case i'll let you know of my results.
post #10 of 11
MyBadOmen had a great writeup this morning on his build log on TBCS. Follows everything I've said, but with some more details and with pictures. Enjoy.
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