How To Customize Your PC Case & Achieve Professional Results

THG's Exclusive Interview With Steve Horch, Continued

THG - If I am considering painting my system using spray paint, what are the important things that I need to know?

SH - If you want to achieve the best results, first... be prepared to take your time and do the proper preparation work. The amount of time that you take prepping the case should be about four times what it will take you to paint the case. In order to achieve the best results, you will need to completely disassemble the case. This is where a lot of folks go wrong, by trying to paint the case while it is assembled. From my own mistakes, I've learned that it is impossible to cover all of the case without taking it apart. Next, the case needs to be cleaned properly with a wax and grease remover or equivalent cleaner to remove the contaminants found on most cases prior to priming the case for painting. To remove the texture that is found on many cases, I suggest sanding the case using 320 grit sand paper. Once the case is clean and sanded, the next important step is to use primer and prime the case prior to painting. Priming the case allows the paint to properly adhere. This is important, because if the paint does not stick properly, it will peel or crack, and delaminating of the paint will occur.

When attempting to paint your computer case yourself using aerosol paint, these are the most important tips that will allow you to achieve the best results.

  • Prep to finish - pre clean thoroughly for grease and wax, and abrade (sand) the surface of the case.
  • Choose a well-ventilated area with no wind for your painting area - make sure that paint over spray doesn't go where it is not supposed to go, and cover everything but the PC with a drop cloth.
  • Prime the case using spray can primer - follow the instructions on the can.
  • Follow the manufacturer's painting recommendations on the label to achieve the best results.
  • Always allow the proper amount of drying time between coats.
  • Apply the paint in thin coats (Several thin coats with proper drying time are always better than one or two heavy coats!)
  • Take your time during the spraying process and keep your hand moving.
  • Don't be afraid to be artistic, as time and sand paper can fix most mistakes that you can make. Some of the best ideas that I have come up with were attempts to be artistic. You never know what you might discover!

With this case, I experimented with using green in a more saturated color and combining it with the marbleizer behind it, to try and achieve a look that was different from other cases that I had painted. The Flame design continues to be the most requested item to be painted on cases. Using the marbleizer finish, it is possible to achieve some pretty wild effects that can allow your artistic side to run free.