Painting Ampie Case
READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE ATTEMPTING:
Although I don't have a camera to take pictures, I can explain this easy enough without one. I have searched through the forum for painting cases, however, I didn't find any article so I figured I would post something about it. I recently purchased the Ampie (VoomPC) case from the mp3store and despised the color. As many have stated, blue does not look good in a car the majority of the time. So I decided to paint my case black. So, here is the basics for painting the case (How I personally did it, you could go about it differently).
First take apart the ampie case with a screw driver. Separate all pieces from the main part of the case. (Just the one solid metal piece)
Things you need:
1) Sandpaper (I used 220 grit, and 600 grit Ultra Fine Wed/Dry Sandpaper. I have also heard that it is good to use 1200 grit as opposed to 600 grit, but that is your choice.)
4) Clear Coat
5) Garbage bags (To lay down when painting)
6) Shop towels/cutips/ Rubbing alcohol (To get all the sand dust off between coats)
7) Some kind of mask covering mouth/nose and glasses of some sort (For the paranoid, I didn't use either of these. I simply put my mouth/nose tucked in my shirt to not breath in the paint dust from sanding. As for my eyes I did get some paint dust in them so watch out.)
8) Time (Don't rush this project, you force a deadline and you get forced results, which are usually subpar.)
First thing to look at is the brand you decide to use, I have read that primer, paint, and clear coat should all be the same brand for best results. I have not personally tested the validity of this argument, however, I'm trying to supply you with the best knowledge I can. Also, since I went with black so I did not paint the plastic piece on the case, however, if you decide to do this you can use Krylon Fusion(works for plastics) or some sort of dye. I used krylon for my project because I read that it was a very good product to use and I could pay the extra couple of bucks.
1) To start this off you need to either go outside or put a trash bag open inside your place and begin sanding the case down with the 220 grit sandpaper. When sanding, do not use a swirling motion. Go north to south, east to west. Straight lines, not circular. I personally sanded some parts down to the bare metal while others I did not sand so much. From the reading, I gathered it is not necessary to sand it down to the bare metal, it is overkill. However, if you want to that is your choice. Be warned that sanding this down to the metal takes an ungodly amount of time. Also, there are tons of ripples in the case. By ripples I guess it's the extruded aluminum? I'm assuming that is the name for it. This takes great patience when sanding as it is difficult to get sandpaper in there and do it properly. It can be done, but this takes lots of time also to do it right. So, finished sanding?
2) Use the rubbing alcohol and shop towels to get all the paint dust of the flat portions of the case. Use the cutips to get the paint dust out from in between the ripples. Getting the paint dust off of the case is a must, as you want everything to stick properly. Let the rubbing alcohol evaporate off the case if there is any left until it's completely dry.
3) Primer - This is going to be needed to be done outside or in a well ventalated area (Assumed). Lay down trash bags below the case to ensure that you don't get paint on the surface that you are painting on. Make sure the area does have a lot of dust or debris in the air in general. I first put primer on outside near a flowerbed, in my case this was a bad idea as little bits of dust and dirt got on my case during drying. I had to sand all of this off and it was a pain. So be careful where you choose to do this. Shake the primer can for 2 minutes throughly (as advised on the can). Another tip is you can put the can in warm water (not hot) for 5 minutes or so to thin out the paint. I did this in 2 sections. Primered the tops/sides of case then flipped it and primered the bottom. Remember, if you do this in thin coats you are less likely to have runs so it's better to do 5 thin coats than 1 thick coat. Okay, so keep the can 10-14 inches or so away from the case while spraying and start by spraying a little to the left or right of the case and then go accross it stopping after you pass the case. So basically go 3-4 inches over the case on each side. The dry time to with krylon is 12 minutes (Wait the recommended hour on the can before touching it). Flip the case and do the underside and sides (Wait another hour). The sides that have the ripples i had a hard time spraying from a side angle, so i tipped the case and propped it up on it's side to do the two sides with the ripples. Painting the ripples from the side angle doesn't do a good job getting the primer to hold in there.
4) Sanding again, but this time use the 600 grit ultra fine sandpaper and do not put a lot of force into sanding. You don't even have to sand it for very long, just smooth the primer out. This is just to prep for the next coat of primer or painting, this is not to take the primer off the case. Be gentle with it as you will sand primer completely off by accident. Again use the rubbing alcohol, shop towels, and cutips to get the dust off the case.
5) Repeat this process as much as you want. I ended up doing 4 thin coats of primer before I ended up with the desired results. The case looks very smooth.
6) All of these steps should be continued over and over again but instead of using primer, use paint, and then the clear coat. Be sure to sand lighly in between and continue to get the dust off between coats, though only use the 600 grit sandpaper from now on. How many coats of paint and layers of clear coat is completely up to the individual. I use 3 or so thin coats of paint and maybe 4 clear coats. This gives the case a pretty nice shiny look to it.
There is an additional piece on the case that is blue and the same can be applied to it. Simply sand it down the same and apply the primer, paint, and clear coat the same.
If anyone has any questions or comments I can try to help out the best I can.
That is the only thing I am lacking. I do not have any pics on the ampie progress nor the case afterwards, but truly the only thing you need to worry about is sanding it enough, that is why I went overkill in certain areas and in other just did the best I could manage. I can try my best to ask a friend at my college if I can borrow their camera. I will see what I can do, however, this will only give you a finished product look. But if that is what you are interested in seeing, I will try to get a way to put it up.