Retrobriting Beige Cases

forter4

24 Jun 2020, 18:33

I managed to get my hands on an M0110J keyboard, and I believe it's not yellowed at all (aside from the spacebar), but actually just the beige color Apple used before switching to Platinum

I prefer the Platinum color, and was wondering if it's even possible to retrobrite a beige case that hasn't yellowed. From what I read, retrobriting isn't really "restoring" the original color so much as it's merely bleaching them; so I figured that effect would work on a beige case. But I may not be considering all the factors

I'm not concerned with swirl marks or splotchiness as I think I've gotten my retrobrite technique down where it's basically idiot proof haha. I've successfully retrobrited about 4 Platinum Apple M0110a cases to it's glorious original color (and protected them with a UV protectant spray so hopefully that will prevent it from yellowing again) (note: btw, I highly recommend that particular UV spray. It's a bit expensive, but the spray comes out so evenly, it's amazing)

Second question: What do you think about actually spray painting cases to try and match the original matte off-white color of most vintage cases from the 80s? I figured by painting it, 1) it saves you so much more time, 2) it won't yellow again, and 3) it won't make the plastic brittle
Last edited by forter4 on 24 Jun 2020, 20:09, edited 1 time in total.

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ddrfraser1

24 Jun 2020, 19:10

I guess I'm worse than an idiot because I've splotched up both of my retrobright attempts :lol:

I've spray painted a few cases before. It an look great if you do it properly. The drawbacks are that it's not a durable, ie, it's susceptible to dings and scratches. You can spray a layer or two of clear coat which helps with that but it gives it an undesired sheen. Ultimately, it you can make it look good, I think it's worth it.

I'll share two of my spray jobs.

Not as durable as I didn't clear coat it but it looks better. Note the ding in the lower left on the front of the case

F122 after.jpg
F122 after.jpg (3.8 MiB) Viewed 276 times
I wanted to do for a brilliant white on this one. More durable with the clear coat but note the slight sheen.

IMG_E2657.JPG
IMG_E2657.JPG (3.46 MiB) Viewed 276 times

forter4

24 Jun 2020, 19:21

ddrfraser1 wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 19:10
I guess I'm worse than an idiot because I've splotched up both of my retrobright attempts :lol:

I've spray painted a few cases before. It an look great if you do it properly. The drawbacks are that it's not a durable, ie, it's susceptible to dings and scratches. You can spray a layer or two of clear coat which helps with that but it gives it an undesired sheen. Ultimately, it you can make it look good, I think it's worth it.

I'll share two of my spray jobs.

Not as durable as I didn't clear coat it but it looks better. Note the ding in the lower left on the front of the case


I wanted to do for a brilliant white on this one. More durable with the clear coat but note the slight sheen.
(removed pics from quote so I don't unnecessarily lengthen this thread lol)
Wow, that looks great! Edit: How did you dye your keycaps black? That looks soooo good with the white case

In terms of the clear coat leaving a sheen: I use matte clear coat and spray on 3-4 coats of very thin layers, and I typically get no sheen =)

For my "idiot proof" method...I just use 3% or 12% (if you want it to go faster) Hydrogen Peroxide and completely submerge the case. I then use my immersion cooker to heat the water to about 55 degrees C and let it run for a few hours.

A couple of benefits here:
  • Doesn't leave any blotching AT ALL since completely submerging it in the peroxide guarantees complete surface coverage that you may not get using the bag method
  • You don't have to worry about UV light not hitting certain areas and staying yellow, because it's the heat of the peroxide itself that's doing the brightening so it gets into every nook and cranny
Some drawbacks:
  • You will need a pretty big container with high sides
  • You will also need A LOT of peroxide...which actually isn't cheap if you want a solution that's 12% or higher
  • Also, not necessarily a drawback, but it can be...just be sure to set a timer in one hour increments, because it's very easy to set it and literally forget it lol...and then you end up with overly whitened parts
edit: It will look somewhat splotchy when you first take it out, but that goes away once everything is dried.

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ddrfraser1

24 Jun 2020, 20:57

forter4 wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 19:21
ddrfraser1 wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 19:10
I guess I'm worse than an idiot because I've splotched up both of my retrobright attempts :lol:

I've spray painted a few cases before. It an look great if you do it properly. The drawbacks are that it's not a durable, ie, it's susceptible to dings and scratches. You can spray a layer or two of clear coat which helps with that but it gives it an undesired sheen. Ultimately, it you can make it look good, I think it's worth it.

I'll share two of my spray jobs.

Not as durable as I didn't clear coat it but it looks better. Note the ding in the lower left on the front of the case


I wanted to do for a brilliant white on this one. More durable with the clear coat but note the slight sheen.
(removed pics from quote so I don't unnecessarily lengthen this thread lol)
Wow, that looks great! Edit: How did you dye your keycaps black? That looks soooo good with the white case

In terms of the clear coat leaving a sheen: I use matte clear coat and spray on 3-4 coats of very thin layers, and I typically get no sheen =)

For my "idiot proof" method...I just use 3% or 12% (if you want it to go faster) Hydrogen Peroxide and completely submerge the case. I then use my immersion cooker to heat the water to about 55 degrees C and let it run for a few hours.

A couple of benefits here:
  • Doesn't leave any blotching AT ALL since completely submerging it in the peroxide guarantees complete surface coverage that you may not get using the bag method
  • You don't have to worry about UV light not hitting certain areas and staying yellow, because it's the heat of the peroxide itself that's doing the brightening so it gets into every nook and cranny
Some drawbacks:
  • You will need a pretty big container with high sides
  • You will also need A LOT of peroxide...which actually isn't cheap if you want a solution that's 12% or higher
  • Also, not necessarily a drawback, but it can be...just be sure to set a timer in one hour increments, because it's very easy to set it and literally forget it lol...and then you end up with overly whitened parts
edit: It will look somewhat splotchy when you first take it out, but that goes away once everything is dried.
Yes, I learned of this method recently but I haven't tried it. So you just use the HP and warm water?

I ordered the caps off unicomp.

forter4

24 Jun 2020, 21:09

ddrfraser1 wrote:
24 Jun 2020, 20:57

Yes, I learned of this method recently but I haven't tried it. So you just use the HP and warm water?

I ordered the caps off unicomp.
Ohh naw...it's the HP that's actually getting warmed up by the immersion cooker

And that actually reminds me of another drawback: Make sure you don't have anything metal in there that isn't stainless steel or protected, because it will rust (Immersion Blenders are metal, but shouldn't rust; in fact, the warm-hot HP actually thoroughly cleaned mine haha).

I learned this the hard way, but the good news is that the rust that does form won't contaminate whatever you're trying to retrobrite

ntv242

27 Jun 2020, 21:13

Just pop in to say thanks forter4 for the UV protectant spray information, was not aware of that and that is the first thing i will be looking for tmr ha ha, don't want my retro effort to go to waste. Otherwise I have nothing to contribute and good luck mate

forter4

28 Jun 2020, 00:17

ntv242 wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 21:13
Just pop in to say thanks forter4 for the UV protectant spray information, was not aware of that and that is the first thing i will be looking for tmr ha ha, don't want my retro effort to go to waste. Otherwise I have nothing to contribute and good luck mate
No problem! Good luck with your projects. Even though it's a bit expensive, I definitely recommend that particular brand I linked because 1) Like I said, the spray comes out very evenly, and 2) more importantly, it has a matte finish, so you don't make your case shiny (unless you want that sort of thing, but there's plenty of standard UV clear coat that are shiny)

Also, to anyone that comes across this thread, I'm still wondering if anyone out there has retrobrited a beige Apple case and keycaps =)...To clarify, the case has not yellowed, the original color is just beige

forter4

28 Jun 2020, 00:19

forter4 wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 00:17
ntv242 wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 21:13
Just pop in to say thanks forter4 for the UV protectant spray information, was not aware of that and that is the first thing i will be looking for tmr ha ha, don't want my retro effort to go to waste. Otherwise I have nothing to contribute and good luck mate
No problem! Good luck with your projects. Even though it's a bit expensive, I definitely recommend that particular brand I linked because 1) Like I said, the spray comes out very evenly, and 2) it has a matte finish, so you don't make your case shiny (unless you want that sort of thing, but there's plenty of standard UV clear coat that are shiny)

Also, to anyone that comes across this thread, I'm still wondering if anyone out there has retrobrited a beige Apple case and keycaps =)...To clarify, the case has not yellowed, the original color is just beige

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