Finally had the time to paint my CM Storm Quickfire Rapid top case. I had this all planned out when I ordered new keycaps from TaoBao but didn’t really had the time when the caps arrived. My QFR is already 4 years old and the top case and keys have seen much better days but the Cherry MX switches all still work fine though. My previous posts will show the condition of the top case if you guys would like to see.
Before I begin with the steps I took to paint my case, I would like to note that I am not preaching this as the only and perfect method. You are free to check other methods from other websites or youtube. With my experience with painting cars (no I do not paint it but I get to talk and work with some car painters) I tried to follow some methods used in car painting.
Another thing before I start with the steps. Please make sure to check on how to open up your mechanical keyboard since every keyboard is different. This will also void the warranty for your keyboard if it is still inside warranty. So only do this when you are sure you want to give up the warranty for your board.
If you want the specific steps go jump near the end of the post.
So here is my weapon of choice.
- 400 grit sandpaper
- 600 grit sandpaper
- 1000 grit sandpaper
- Plastic paint primer
- Color paint
- Top coat
So for this job I went with a base color instead of a plastic primer. Normally I would go with a plastic primer but it was hard to find one in my area, so I went ahead and got a flat white paint. The description says its a paint+primer which means this does not need any primer before application + I can use this as a base coat before I apply the main color that I want. I chose Samurai as my color paint and top coat because it was cheap and that is the only brand in my area that has the blue shade that I was looking for and it was also the only brand that had clear matte top coat.
When painting anything one of the things you will learn is that paint is only as good as your preparation. Do not hurry up things and do not cut corners if you don’t have to.
Here are samples of how it looks like after coats
Here are the steps I performed for this job
Note Please make sure to put masking tap on the inside part of the case making sure to cover up the tabs and the side. If not it will be hard for you to fit the top cover back to the base since the side will accumulate paint.
- Dismantle the top cover
- Wet sanded the top cover using 400 grit sandpaper. Careful not too put too much pressure. You want to make sure that the plastic does not get deformed.
- Finished off sanding using 600 grit sandpaper again wet sand
- Let is dry for 30 mins
- Applied base coat/primer. I did this by applying thin coats making sure everything gets painted in every pass. I did 3 layers with 10-15 mins interval for each pass (the time really depends on the paint you are using). Let it dry
- Wet sanded the cover using 1000 grit sandpaper to smoothen the texture and make sure there are no uneven paint
- Let it dry for 30 mins
- Applied the color paint. I did 4 layers with 15-20 mins interval for each pass (my paint can says it should be 30 mins interval). Make sure each pass covers everything including the corners. Let it dry.
- Again I wet sanded with 1000 grit sandpaper after the 2nd coat and then proceeded with the 3rd and 4th coats.
- Applied top coat clear matt. I did 4 layers with 20-30 mins interval (this time I followed instructions from the paint can). I did thin to medium layers with fast strokes because I wanted to achieve a textured matt finish.
- After the 4th layer of top coat. I let it dry for 2 days without touching it.
Again this is my method and I hope it works for you. I posted photos of the results and if they are satisfactory for you then you can follow the steps that I did.
To see the photos of the worklog, please see album below