Systm #34: Painting Your Project, Notebook or PC: Rattlecan 101

Posted in Podcasts on November 16, 2008



Have we painted a notebook? Sure. PC Case? Absolutely. Various and sundry DIY projects? Yup. Ryan and Nik want some help painting laptops and PC cases... so we've got a collection of basic tricks to get the best quality when rattlecanning your project.

Ryan and Nik want some help painting laptops and PC cases... so we've got a collection of basic tricks to get the best quality when rattlecanning your project.

If you want to see the ultimate in custom painted electronics, we'd send you straight to

Smooth Creations, best known for their outrageous custom airbrushed PC cases and ColorWare PC, a company that paints eye popping colors onto everything from smartphones (BlackBerry's, iPhones, Sidekicks), to consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii), to PCs and HDTVs.

Nik... Ryan... we can't paint as good as either of those two companies.

We do know some solid basics for getting the best results from Canned Spray Paint, aka 'rattlecans.'

In this episode of Systm, we talk about:

  • what makes a good workspace for painting
  • basic safety when painting
  • why you probably shouldn't paint outdoors (Dandelion + wet paint = start over)
  • reading the directions on the can (!)
  • prepping your project (priming and sanding... 320 grit is smooth enough for spray paint!),
  • why a bucket full of hot water and a spray can handle are useful
  • good technique for using your spray can to its best advantage
  • and why we try to use paints and primers from the same brand and company. (Compatibility... nothing worse than painting for hours and finding out your paint won't set.)

Mostly we talk about taking your time... 'cause patience is critical when you're painting.

And that laughter you hear? It's David Randolf, mocking my International Safety Orange notebook lid!

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Tags: Hardware, Systm, Revision3, Painting, Modding