Many laptops can now be ordered with
different casing colors. From deep navy blue to hot pink, any of the
new colored laptops will really turn some eyes when you use your
laptop in the wild.
However, it's not necessary to purchase a
pre-painted laptop; if you're fairly competent with Do-It-Yourself
(DIY) culture--and can handle a screwdriver without scratching your
case--then you'll be able to paint your laptop casing. In fact,
everything you need can be found at your local hobby store.
What You'll Need
screwdriver (size depends on size
of laptop screws)
two cans of spray paint (one
primary color plus one secondary color, if desired)
one can of clear latex spray paint
(optional, if above cans are not latex)
thick construction paper
sandpaper (1000 grit)
safety mask for use while painting
cardstock, scissors, and design
for secondary color (if secondary color design is desired)
What to Do
Find a place the laptop can sit
for over a day. It must not get wet nor disturbed for the entire
time it is drying. It must be over 68 degrees, and be well
Remove the casing from the
electronics, making sure to keep track of which screw goes where,
and what order you removed each part. Under no circumstances should
you ever start a painting job on your laptop if you are unable to
remove the part you will be painting from the important part of your
laptop. Ignoring this step risks getting paint particles inside the
casing, which could devastate your computer. The only exception to
this is the screen, which will be very difficult to remove. If you
do not feel comfortable removing the screen, do not attempt it.
Use thick construction paper cut
to slightly larger than your screen dimensions to cover the screen.
Keep in place using painters tape.
Use tape on the ends of all wires
still connected to the casing. You must ensure that every part of
the computer that will be anywhere close to the spray paint will be
completely covered. The only parts that do not need to be covered
are the case itself and LEDs, which can easily have paint removed
afterward with a smooth knife. Clean completely, removing all grease
from your touch, as well as all dust.
Put on the mask, then spray the
primary color, holding the can ~14 inches from the surface. Cover
with a thin coat, then let dry for 6 hours. Repeat after it is dried
for a second coat of the primary color. Let dry 6 additional hours.
Repeat again and again for a total of four coats, leaving 6 hours
drying time between each. (If you have previous experience painting
plastics, you may be able to get away with two coats; the extra
coats are to ensure that you put enough paint on the case. Plastics
always look like they're covered with paint even when not enough
paint has yet been applied.) If any one coat is uneven, consider
sanding it down to level before applying the next coat.
If you want a secondary color
design on the laptop, place the cardstock template of the design on
the laptop in the appropriate place and tape it securely. (An easy
way to do this is create your design in Fireworks or Photoshop,
print on regular paper, tape the paper to cardstock, then cut them
out very carefully with very sharp scissors.) Mask off the rest of
the laptop to ensure you do not paint over your primary color job.
Spray with the secondary color and let dry for 6 hours. Repaint a
second coat and let dry for an additional 6 hours.
The feel of the laptop with it's
new paint job may not be ideal. Non-latex spray paint has a slightly
coarse feel to it that not everyone appreciates. If you dislike the
feel, go ahead and put on a coat of clear latex paint. This will not
always be needed; some spray paints leave a coarser finish than
others. Paint, then let dry 6 hours.
Put the laptop back together.
Follow the directions you wrote in the notebook when you first took
it apart. Be aware that laptops often have screws that look like
they are the same size, but aren't quite identical. You must put
each screw back in the same place it was originally removed from.
A note of caution: do NOT try this with
a MacBook. MacBooks, unlike PCs, are specifically built so as to make
it very difficult to open the casing without specialized equipment.
If you want a colored MacBook, consider looking into a specialized
MacBook painting service.
Another warning: following through with
this procedure will most likely void any and all warranty you have on
your laptop. I must highly recommend that you not attempt this for
the first time on an expensive new laptop. If you really want to
paint your new laptop, make sure you try a practice run on an old
laptop first. First hand experience will be invaluable in ensuring
that you do a good job on the second run.