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[Complete] 900 Matte Black Mod

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
The finished project:
Attachment 67358

Here is a link to the original 'planning' thread.

Apologies in advance for the poor quality of some of the pics, its a camera phone and I forgot to take off night-mode for some of them.

Everything I used for the project:


Here is the case as it was out of the box:
Attachment 67355

With the side off:
Attachment 67356

Disassembled and ready for priming:
Attachment 67359

To start with, I roughed up the surfaces with the coarsest of the scuff pads until there were tiny scratches all over (I took before and after pictures, but they didn't turn out so well). Following the sanding, I used the tack cloth to pick up all the fine dust.

I painted the back plate primarily as a 'test' surface which I would paint before the rest of the case to make sure I was doing it right (any mistakes would be mostly hidden).

As it happened, the spray gun handle that I picked up from Halfords didn't work out so well; it caused the can to leak and drip paint everywhere. Lucky I sprayed the back panel first, so the drips didn't matter and I removed the grip before I moved onto the other areas.
NOTE: Theres a chance I wasn't using the grip properly and it did do a good job of preventing finger strain while I was using it, so don't be entirely discouraged from buying it if you know what you're doing.
After the first coat:
Attachment 67360

I applied 2 coats of gray primer and waited 20 minutes between each coat. After the second coat:


After waiting 24 hours I used the scuff pads again to rough up the surface before applying the paint. Unfortunately, it was about 2 weeks before I could apply the first coat of paint:


Another week before the second:


At this point, the weather was getting even worse and I was pleased with the finish and covering of the paint, so I decided to leave it as it was.

I happened to find some black thumbscrews in Maplins (£4) which looked like pretty good replacements for the standard silver ones.


Unfortunately they did not have the correct threading to replace all of the thumbscrews, only the ones holding the PSU in place. Luckily, those were the only ones visible from the outside:


Overall, I'm really happy with the results; it may not be the best paint job in the world, but its an even, solid covering and a huge improvement over the original color. I probably should have applied a hard coat, but I've been a bit pressed for time.

Advice for anyone considering a similar project:
  • It seems pretty daunting at first, especially if you have no prior experience with painting, but it was simpler and more enjoyable than I expected.
  • I didn't use a hard coat and the paint is fine, though it does scratch slightly when pressure is exerted (such as with the PCI bracket clips) its still perfectly usable. Figure out how much it will be handled and decide if you need it. This is an example of what a PCI bracket clip does to it:
  • Getting the top section off the 900 was a challenge; you have to poke out 2 plastic clips at the front with something long and thin enough to reach them, I ended up using a kebab skewer, though a steel ruler would probably be more apt. Thanks for CyberDruid for the tip on this one.
  • Removing the fans from the drive-bay cages requires you to bend some metal clamps.
  • The scuff pads were really useful; there were 3 types that allowed me to rough up the surface before priming and between coats of paint.
  • Wear a mask! I got a pack of 3 from Homebase.
  • Wiring in an Antec 900 is horrible; the new revision made things easier, but you shouldn't completely ignore the possibility of cutting more holes yourself.
  • If possible, don't attempt a project like this in Wales; I had to wait weeks for the right weather conditions, and when I did get 'decent' conditions, the wind caught up and the case blew over. If this isn't possible, try doing it in the summer; the whole project took me over a month because I got home from uni after dark most days so had to wait for a window of good weather over the weekend.

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It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
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Razer Exactmat 
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It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactmat 
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post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just waiting for the parts:


The Maximus Formula is black and matches the inside of the case perfectly:


I used rubber fan mounts from this pack to minimise the noise. I can't really say if they work because I never heard the fan without them, but the whole PC is pretty quiet considering how many fans it has:


Although it is difficult to make out from this picture, the colours match up nicely; Razer Diamondback is blue, 900 fans are blue, I put a blue cold cathode in the case, the Saitek Eclipse II keyboard has blue back-lighting and the on/off switch of the monitor glows blue as well:


Before:


After:



View of the back:



Other notes on the build in general:
The Maximus Formula is the first Asus motherboard I have ever bought, so I don't know if this is a feature of all its boards, or only the ROG variety, but the back panel did not have sharp metal edges, but instead had a soft silvery foam covering that the motherboard rested snugly against. This may have been my favourite feature of the package as I usually dread that stage of the build and the inevitable finger shredding it entails.
It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactmat 
  hide details  
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It lives
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6750 @ 3.0Ghz Asus Maximus Formula XFX8800GT (640/1620/1900) Corsair Twin2X2048-8500C5D 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1TB System Drive, 500 GB + 750GB data drives. Samsung SH-S203D SATA Windows 7 32 Pro/Fedora 8 20" Samsung SM206BW 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II 720W Enermax Infiniti Antec NineHundred (painted) Razer Diamondback 
Mouse Pad
Razer Exactmat 
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post #3 of 4
looks great so far! i love flat black
Bravo
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Bravo
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post #4 of 4
Good job That is the same color I like to paint my case. Just waiting for the weather to warm up a little seens it going to take like a month to paint it. I was not lucky getting the case without the holes for wire management.
So when I get my new mobo. I have to make the holes then paint it.
Yin
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Yin
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Intel i7 4790k 4.7@1.265 Asus Sabertooth Z87 2 X GALAX GeForce GTX 980 HOF 4GB SLI 4x4gb G.Skill Trident X 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 850 500gigs Samsung 840  2 PNY SSD 240gig Switech H220x 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit/Windows 8.1/Windows10/... ASUS 24" Logitech G15 Consair HX750 
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