How do I paint/dye an Indigo iBook Clamshell ruby?

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Joined: Jul 12 2012
Posts: 1

Hi! I've always loved the look of the Ruby iMac G3, so I was going to paint/dye my iBook the same color, and I couldn't find any way how. Is there any way I can do that?

Also, would this work:


iBook Clamshell G3 Indigo
Broken G4 iBook
1 GHz G4 PowerBook 15"

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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 833
Re: How do I paint/dye an Indigo iBook Clamshell ruby?

I've dyed clothes (tie dye) and helped someone use fabric dyes to dye hard plastic before.

If I were going to do your project, I'd follow these steps:

0) Find a way to remove, or greatly reduce the original coloring, perhaps the peroxide "restoration" methods that have been discussed here and elsewhere previously might work.

1) You need to do a sample of the same type of plastic of the same thickness as the case, to see if it will work. I think it's poly carbonate, which should be readily obtainable from any solids plastic supplier. One store I know sells scraps by the pound cheaply.

2) Go to the Dharma Trading Company website and look through their selection of Reactive Dyes. They have the largest range of premixed dye colors around. Find the one you want.

3) Wearing rubber gloves (to keep your finger oils away from the plastic) use an old toothbrush and some liquid dishwashing soaped up water to clean any residues off the plastic. When plastic objects are made in injection molds, like the case of the computer, the mold is sprayed with silicon mold release that leaves a slight residue on the parts, and must be removed for you to dye it successfully. You must use the brush on all surfaces to clean it evenly. Dry it with a clean cotton cloth.

4) Do this in a well ventilated area. Using distilled water, heat some water (cooler than boiling) in a container that you WILL NOT USE FOR FOOD IN THE FUTURE, add the dye, stir until disolved, add the plastic and testing to make sure that it isn't softening the plastic, get the heat as high as you dare. This is another part of the testing, to see how high you can get the dye bath temperature.

5) If all goes well you will have successfully dyed the sample. Now you can use the same process for your case.

If you do this be sure to take before, during, and after pictures and share them here on the AppleFritter site!

Good luck.

Mutant Pie

eeun's picture
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Re: How do I paint/dye an Indigo iBook Clamshell ruby?

You won't be able to change indigo-tinted plastic to ruby red. At best you'd end up with some variation of purple.
The only way to dye them red would require removing all the existing indigo pigment from the plastic, and there's no way to do that.

An opaque paint would work, though. There's a number if Instructables on painting laptops. To get a really good finish does take a lot of time and effort.


"Give a man a fire, he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life."
(Terry Pratchett)

cwsmith's picture
Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Re: How do I paint/dye an Indigo iBook Clamshell ruby?

I'd be good with a purple iBook. Cool Mac


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