yer basic badass black


  • One computer case, any color, but beige is the most needy
  • One can (large) flat black spray paint (for those of you in the U.S., Krylon Flat Black Enamel is good)
  • One plastic paint can 'gun handle' adapter. $2.49 at Home Depot. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I managed to paint an entire case and all its components without getting a single drop of paint on me or (get this) on the rim of the spraycan. Truly, a gift from God.
  • Patience

First remove all components from the case. Then remove all plastic from the metal chassis. Usually this means removing the sides (or top if one-piece) and then removing the plastic faceplate. Then remove all buttons, switches, LEDs, etc. from the faceplate itself.

Lay all components out on some nice disposable newspaper. I used the Wall Street Journal. I recommend giving the components a bit of sandpaper if they are smooth; if they have the slightly dimpled or rough finish common, they're OK. Definitely wipe them down with denatured alcoholor the like to remove grease, swudge, etc.

Using the gun adapter, (really) give each piece a coat of paint. Allow to dry. Repeat 4 times.

Wait 4 hours, then reassamble. Voilà! I've found this finish to resist nails, oils, alcohol, fingerprints, dropped screwdrivers and ferret licking (don't ask). For best results, you can add any of the following touches:

Be creative! Help your computer stand out in a drab, beige world...or, of course, buy a Mac. But I'm not getting into that.

Advanced technique

Try this. Remove all keycaps from your favorite keyboard. Disassemble the case. Spraypaint the case and keycaps black (or whatever, but black is nicest for this one, IMHO) and reassemble. It may help to mark the underside of the key caps as you remove them. :-) Then use a gold or silver paint pen and draw likely-looking but cool and meaningless symbols on the keys. Think of the display screens the Empire used in the Star Wars movies, or go crazy.

Note: You should be a touch-typist for this to work.

Allow to dry. Woohoo! anyone that comes over should produce at least a doubletake. Besides, it'll make it less likely your siblings/roommates/ferrets/whoever will use the machine while you're gone.