Durability of painted cases

User avatar
mbodrov

22 Jun 2014, 10:43

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This is the bottom side of my Cherry 1800. You can see the plastic is slightly yellowed, everywhere except where the upper layer is constantly worn away through contact with the table (the line where the rubber feet used to be, before they fell off).

And my table isn't covered with sandpaper; it's your typical plastic-laminated wood.

So it's evident that the case undergoes pretty significant wear even in normal everyday use. Even if the feet are there and the case itself doesn't touch the table, you touch it with your hands, you bump it into things, etc. This made me ponder the following question.

People have posted many reports where they custom painted their keyboards in all sorts of beautiful colors. But what about durability, if the keyboard is intended for daily use, not as a display piece? Does the paint hold? Anybody who can share actual experience?
Last edited by mbodrov on 22 Jun 2014, 11:46, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
matt3o
-[°_°]-

22 Jun 2014, 11:12

short answer is "no" (it doesn't hold). Long answer is "depends" :)

If you are really good at it, the paint can be very durable (but won't last forever). Start with a long sanding session, then give it thin layer of primer, do not paint it directly. Start painting in very (very) thin layers, the first layer should be barely visible. Wait for the paint to cure and add more layers until you reach the desired result. Wait at least 3-4 days before actually use your keyboard! Even if the paint seems dry to the touch, it is really not.

You may add a finishing clear coat, but I find that it makes more damage than it protects the paint. So better avoid it (IMHO) and eventually re-paint a thin layer after a year or so.

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pyrelink

22 Jun 2014, 18:11

I have been painting things for a long time now (not professionally though) and everything Matt3o said is right. Painting is ALL in the prepwork. I made a fully fledged painting guide about 6 months ago, for everyone over at Reddit, who thinks a good paint job is painting 3 coats of plasti-dip over an unsanded keyboard. It really isn't the best guide. Its kind of rambling and they aren't very good pictures but maybe you might find some limited use in it:

http://imgur.com/a/S97VM

Oh and I am typing on said painted keyboard, as we type and it is still good as new. The paint is ever so slightly worn, on the surface plastic right in front of the spacebar. Mainly because that is where my thumb(s) will often come to rest. It is the spot with most contact.

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mbodrov

22 Jun 2014, 18:35

pyrelink wrote: Oh and I am typing on said painted keyboard, as we type and it is still good as new. The paint is ever so slightly worn
Encouraging; but can you elaborate that it's after how much time of how intensive use?

User avatar
pyrelink

22 Jun 2014, 18:53

mbodrov wrote:
pyrelink wrote: Oh and I am typing on said painted keyboard, as we type and it is still good as new. The paint is ever so slightly worn
Encouraging; but can you elaborate that it's after how much time of how intensive use?
6 months my daily driver! Believe it or not, I have never actually photographed this keyboard, so I will go take some beauty shots, for free Reddit karma, and to show you that proper painting pays off! :mrgreen:

User avatar
pyrelink

22 Jun 2014, 19:16

Meh, Its quite dusty, poor weather outside today (cloudy), and I haven't cleaned it in a while. Here is the best I could do. As you can see the paint still looks great (it really sparkles in direct sunlight) but the small spot under my thumb area, probaby wasn't sanded to perfection (as it is such a small area), and my thumb is in contact with it a lot, so sometime I might buy some more of the same paint and retouch some areas.

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One more image of the dusty and sparklieness in the album here: http://imgur.com/a/JPgxE

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