Forum Updated! 

Main Menu


Started by TJ_Kat, May 05, 2005, 12:51:33 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


What kind of paint would be good for painting consoles and controllers?

I have a few cans of spray paint laying around, but I don't quite trust them to not wind up all over my hands instead of the controller after a few hours of play. I want something that will set to the plastic and stay set to the plastic.


Cheap spray cans are NOT the go..
heres why..


That is not the fault of the spray can. That is unsanded, un primed, and dusted.
This of course doesnt just apply to cases but all surfaces. I must tell you depending on what you want it to look like you dont have to sand to bare metal, but you do have to sand.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


no, this is the paints fault. you can see the paint has been pushed to the edges of the gaps, mostly on the spacebar.. like the oils on my hand have unset it and let it be smudged around.

if i were to be bothered taking pics elsewhere on the keyboard, you would be able to tell what i mean.. above the backspace, = and - keys.. who'd have known i rest the fingers of my right hand there.. i didnt realize till there was a big dirty smudgy hole in the paint there.. there are places where the paint is worn part way through.. not down to the plastic.. overall it looks quite awful after less than a year of use. maybe a good thing that i never finished painting


Wow. While those paint articles are very informative, I think they go a bit beyond the scope of what i want to do...

I was hoping to avoid the use of a primer because if too many layers of paint go on, things aren't going to fit together right. I was also hoping to avoid the clear coat (because that's just another layer) but it's probably going to be a necessity to protect everything.

And I'm curious why you say sanding is necessary? I mean, If you just want a "natural" finish, don't you just have to make sure you start with a clean surface?

I'm not so concerned about the consoles, they're mostly going to be sitting around, so I can probably skip steps. But the controllers... I think I'm going to have to pay a bit closer attention to them...

Anyway, this has already been very helpful. Let the helpfulness continue  :D  


Actually you can skip both the primer and the clear coat depending on what color your changing too. Sanding the surface allows the paint to bond to the plastic better, otherwise your going to have a keyboard where the paint smudges all over. You also want to let your paint "cure" for a day before putting it into use, little longer for heavy use since it is a controller.

Just get some fine sand paper so you dont make a ton of scratches, dip it in a bowl of water, this keeps the dust from getting into the sand paper, and a small bit of a lube between the sand and the plastic. Rub away! Spray on one very thin coat, dont worry about the base color showing through, let it sit for like at least 6 hours. This is the hardest part, being patient. Sand that baby, then spray again. Sanding it again makes it possible for the paint to bond to the surface, but it will also give you a thin, solid coat.

Stay away from "anodized paint", or any metallic paint. These have the hardest time bonding to plastic, but of course with the proper patience it would work.

Also, if you have a beige or white colored controller, I have heard great results from spray cans of vinyl die. These are meant for interiors for cars and will actually dye the plastic your desired color, this obviously will not work for black controllers.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


Actually, wandering through Canuck Tire today I took a peek at the paints, and it occured to me, wouldn't some kind of high endurance exterior paint work? Some of that stuff claims it will last for all eternity, and weather through rain, snow, hail, and nuclear attacks. No, I don't mean stains for woods, but more the stuff you'd paint your plastic and metal deck furniture with. The stuff does come in prolonged contact with your hands and butt, it sits outside all year round, and I don't think I've ever used a primer, or even cleaned the surfaces I'm working on when I've used it (it's not like it was GOOD deck furniture).

It also occured to me, that if I find a good primer made to specifically adhere to plastics (and I did see a few today), my choice for topcoats should open up as once the primer's there, i shouldn't have to worry as much about the topcoat sticking to my hands rather than the controller.

Anyway, looking through the paints, I have developped a new issue: colors. My choices were limited to say the least. There was nothing even close to the shades I wanted. Where's a good place to go poking around for a good color selection (besides paint stores)?


Have a look into vinyl dye, instead of paint.
Kind of sinks in to the plastic so you don't have a buildup on the outside.
(People who have used it say the plastic still keeps its original texture, ie surface dents don't get filled like they would by paint.)

Saw some info on another forum, think it might have been


Yeah, and even if you do a great job with the paint and it stays on, its not going to feel great on your hands. Go with vinyl die.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


Okay, having skimmed through that forum a bit, it sounds like vinyl dye would only make my color selection worse. It also sounded like the selection for plastics paints was pretty limited too. I'm very picky about my colors, so these are probably not options.

The most encouraging notion was to get a good plastics primer, and then I can use any paint I want on it. Top it off with a good clearcoat and I should get the durability I need for a controller.

One of my controllers may still get the vinyl dye treatment, but mostly because I just want to change a couple parts to white. I'd be curious what effect it would have on translucent plastics (ie: VMU).