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Has anyone ever painted a rad?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey, In the near future I plan on doing some upgrades to my PC, and adding in either a H100 or H220 and im wondering if anyone has ever painted a rad before. If so, what kind of paint? any tips? I only want to paint the area around the fins, so I assume all i would need to do is tape off all the fins and then just spray the body?
Edited by ironhide138 - 3/13/13 at 12:50pm
    
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post #2 of 13
A res or a radiator?

Tons of people have spray painted their radiator.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbmayes2000 View Post

A res or a radiator?

Tons of people have spray painted their radiator.

Derp derp. Radiator, sorry tongue.gif And awesome, im thinking of making mine white.
    
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post #4 of 13
I painted my end caps and side case White on my radiator.

I used krylon gloss white paint from home depot. You can either sand it down lightly with scotch brite pads, or sand it down to bare metal with sand paper. Once you get the surface to how you want it, give the rad a good clean with water, whip it dry. Once completely dry it's ready for paint.
    
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post #5 of 13
Yea tons of people have painted their rad. I recommend you do research before doing anything. You'd want paint to stay on and not flake.
post #6 of 13
Bad prep and dirty surface will cause a paint to chip or flake
    
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post #7 of 13
I can't speak for those self-contained CPU coolers, but XSPC radiators have a sort of gritty, matte, dull finish on them that does a great job of acting as "primer" for a spray coat.
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post #8 of 13
I've painted my rads before, nothing really to it. For masking the fins, I just cut sheets of paper to fit, and then secure it to the fins with masking tap. I lightly sand the surface of the rad before painting, give it a nice even coat of primer, and then get to work.
Some of my results.


post #9 of 13
Clean it darn good...I'd run it through a dishwasher. Sand it a bit with very fine sand paper to rough it up a bit. Depending on the radiator it may be power coated.

Note: if you are careful you can paint the fins if you want. It won't make it stop working. Just know that a drip in there will be all but impossible to clean up...so spray lightly.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 3/13/13 at 1:21pm
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post #10 of 13
Yes, I've painted 5 of them. 3 blue, 1 orange, 1 white.

I just used good old spray paint from Home Depot "Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch". I basically just used blue painters tape (I used to use plain old masking tape, but found the blue tape was better) to cover all the radiator fins on both sides, so I am only painting the outter case. Make sure you either put the plastic plugs (or just jam in folded paper towel) into the fill ports. Since most radiators are black, I would put down a coat (or 2) of white primer (also from Rust-Oleum).

When painting or priming, start pressing the spray about 1 foot away from the radiator, then slowly sweep across the radiator and keep pressing the nozzle down until you are 1 foot away from the radiator. Also, only spray in a motion that is PARALLEL to the radiator, in a CONSTANT distance (like 12-18"). This will take more paint, but it will give you a more consistent and better looking coat.

Speaking of coats, plan on at least 2 each of primer and 2 of paint. Make sure you wait at least 1 hour between coats on the primer (the longer the better). And let the radiator dry for 16 hours between the last coat of primer and the first coat of paint. Do the same for the paint. Personally, I like to let the radiator "sit" for 48 hours (ie a weekend) after the last coat of paint is done before I start using it.

Now, you should try to get 2 "stands" to hold up your radiator. You can use old soup cans or such. Something that you can put the radiator on to raise it off the painting surface (ie table). You won't be able to paint both sides at the same time, so what I do is paint one face of the radiator and the sides, wait an hour, then flip it over and do the other side. This is where the soup cans come in handy.

Also, unless you have a thread tap, you might want to get some screws that you don't plan on using and thread them in to the holes on the radiator where the fans mount to it. That will keep paint out of them and it gives you a nice place to grab after an hour of paint drying so you can flip the radiator over and do the other side.

And now some pictures. This was before I learned to use the "soup cans" (actually I used disposable paper cups):








Here are some shots using the paper cups.



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