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Modding a boring old HP


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I was talking with my friend, and we decided that we'd mod this HP case that I have, as opposed to buying a new one for this backup pc I'm working on. So this is the case:

 

10082013.jpg

 

We want to paint the whole thing a glossy black. Now, my question is, for the metal on the sides and top of the case. Do we want to sand, then prime, then paint, then clearcoat? Or should we forget the sanding or priming, or both? And for the front plastic part, do we need to sand that for the paint to stick? What would be the best way of getting paint to stick on that thing? Finally on the back of the case, where the card slots are and the I/O panel is, etc, how should we get the paint to stick to that? Or would it just be fine to paint as is? It is the same as most other metal on the back of cases.

 

We're planning on using spray paint due to our limited budget, but my friend is a decent painter. So take spray paint into account when you answer all of the above questions.

 

Lastly, for that overhang above the card reader, we want to put probably four LED lights in there, so it'll give the front a nice glow near the ports. Where is a good place online to get single LED lights (or in a chain I guess), and how should we go about getting these hooked up to the PSU?

 

Thanks in advance for your answers and help. Oh, and if anybody has any suggestions as to anything else that would make this mod look cool, please, do tell.

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aight first thing....sand it down with about 300 grit. you just want to start seeing the silver metal beneath the paint. after all that, get a spray can of primer from the auto store. Put on 2 thin coats, just make sure that you can't see much silver from under the paint, and make sure that the first coat is dry before you put the next one on.

 

next, put a couple coats of the actual base coat on. get about 3 spray cans (you'll need it if you want to do the entire case) of the color you want. spray very, VERY light coats. don't try to cover the entire surface on the first coat. it takes about 3 before it starts taking form..

 

after the 3rd coat or so, grab some 600grit sandpaper and sand the dry paint down lightly. this is to get out all the imperfections, such as hair, dust, scratches, etc. put 2 last coats on after that. always make sure the surface is clean before you spray.

 

after you've got that (don't sand after those last coats) get a can of clear-coat. take about 3-4 medium thickness coats of clearcoat, and then you're about 90% done.

 

wait for the whole thing to dry (about 2 days). then you can put your box back together, or if you want it to look nice, wait for the paintjob to cure for about a week, and you can take a high-quality wax, and just wax it. then lemme tell you, you'll have a definent eye-opening case.

 

and if you want to take it even a step further, get a polish called "Curator's Choice" at http://www.englishcustompolishing.com and use that as well.

 

 

for the plastic, sand it and follow the same steps as above. probably won't need to do all the extra sanding steps, just an initial sanding and a few coats should be fine.

 

 

LEDS - radioshack if you're only buying a few. i know you can get like a pack of 100 on ebay for 20 bucks or so. these are most likely going to be 3.0-3.5v, so you'll need a resistor for each to go from a 5v (red wire on molex) to the correct voltage the LED requires. as far as which resistor...i'm no electrician, so i really don't know. sorry i can't help you there. you can also buy "orbs" and things along those lines that are basically molex LEDs, but the units themselves may be a little too big.

Edited by airman

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Wow, thanks. That's a lot of help. We will try to follow that the best we can.

 

Also, what is the best way to do a design on the case with spray paint? For example, if I wanted to do an nVidia logo on the side over the black or something, how should I go about actually getting the design on there?

 

When we actually start this soon I'll post some pics of the mod process.

Edited by Crow47

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You'd probably do wll with a stencil setup or or even a vinyl decal. Check our local decal shops and see what they can make you, it'll look clean and crisp.

 

 

either that, or you can make a stencil out of something like heavy cardstock. print out a design on regular paper, transfer it to the cardstock, and then cut it out with an x-acto blade. that's how i did my ATi logo and my clemson paw on some of my old machines.

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Here is a link to a place that I buy my LEDs from.

http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/category/340/LEDs.html

Hope this helps. There are many sites on the web that have instructions on how to paint a PC case and how to add extra LEDs to the mix. Keep us informed on how your doing and photos are really nice. Thanks for sharing with us and Happy Modding to ya.

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