Painting a TiBook - How to?

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Joined: May 9 2004
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I'm looking into painting my Titanium Powerbook G4 - 800... I was looking for some resources, "how to's", or any other information that might be able to assist me with this.

Specifically, I'm looking for more detailed info on the following:
- Taking apart the case
- Prepwork needed to be done before painting
- What type of Paint, How many Coats
- Masking/Designs- are they possible?
- Is there a great risk in this being unsuccessful (meaning, how big of chance is there that I ruin my powerbook?)

Any input or help would be much appreciated-

Thank-You Smile

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g3head's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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re: Painting

To take apart the case you probably want a service manual. There are a number of sites with them kicking around but if you can't find on just ask and someone may be able to send one to you. [google=apple service manual]Google: apple service manual[/google] (aside-I like the new google bbcode) Thge service manual won't cover the display but I'm sure someone else can tell you how to take it apart.

I've been fine without doing prep work on my systems, but my painted systems have all been macs with ABS plastic.

Paint varies, it depends on what you want to do. I think someone here did a TiBook with those colorshifting paint kits, that turned out well. In my systems I generally use rustoleum or model paints. For coats of paint, as many as you need. Following the instructions is the best way to put it. In general you'll may or may not want a primer coat and/or a clear coat in addition to whatever colors you choose.

Designs and masking are possible, but make sure you put down the design carefully. One of my systems has a grid pattern masked off but I ened up doing it twice because I didn't mask it well (that project)

The chances of screwing up depend entirely on you. If you can't pump your own gas then you don't need to be doing this, but if you know about computers (hardware), use the right tools, and take your time to do everything right then you'll be fine

Barry's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Use automotive paint. Krylon

Use automotive paint. Krylon is too soft. If ou leave the book sitting on something it will leave an impression. Also color shift paint is also directional, to get the best effect it has to be painted on in the same direction. If you can, don't paint the plastic ring frame. It takes too many bumps and rubs to keep paint for too long. You might give your local napa a try, tell them what you want to do. They might be able to point you to a good paint.

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Joined: May 9 2004
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The Display Module

Thank-you both for the suggestions. Tomorrow I will go to our local auto-store and see what they reccommend as far as paint and techniques. I've found a take-apart manual that pretty much explains everything, with the exception of the display housing, which, unfortunately, is the part that I'm most nervous about.

Does anybody have any manual or dirctions to separate the top and bottom 1/2 of the display module?

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Joined: May 9 2004
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One other question

One other question that I forgot to ask. Is it possible to paint the track pad or should I leave that un-touched? I'm unsure of how that works... and if paint will harm it or not.

Barry's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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Don't take the display apart,

Don't take the display apart, it doesn't like it and usually breaks. Just mask off the lcd real good and all will be fine. The display is also glued together as well as the screws you see.

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Joined: May 16 2004
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Take apart manual

Where did you find the take apart manual? I've found this one

http://www.pbfixit.com/Guide/

I'd like to repaint the bezel edge of mine but I've a feeling that the bezel isn't a seperate part and seems attached to the top. I imagine i'd just have to mask off a lotand stick masking inside the vents.I want to try and match it though rather than making something new at the moment.

I believe the bezel ring edge is made of some sort of carbon fibre resin (or so I've read) Would I need some specialist paint? Do ordinary car paints/primer/undercoats work on that stuff?

I know that TiPaint stuff is just awful.

dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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my new TiBook display infos page

Newly built and still a bit rough, but might be useful to some:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/macdan/tibook_display.html

Dan K

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Joined: May 16 2004
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i don't think you can

Looking at various hacks nobody paints over the trackpad. So I'd imagine it's something to be avoided.

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Joined: May 9 2004
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Take apart Manual

The one I found is slightly more detailed than the link you found. I ended up finding it through some hard-core google'ing, and its pretty nice. I've posted it to the following link.

I hope it helps

http://www.three21.net/pbg4_dvi.pdf

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Joined: May 16 2004
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Thanks Eric : )

Thanks Eric : )

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Joined: May 19 2004
Posts: 2
I am also very interested in

I am also very interested in painting my tiBook, but I have read that some people have problems painting them because it is made of titanium. Does it not take to the paint properly?
What about the wear on the wrist-rests? There is alot of direct contact from your hands, will this wear off the paint?
Can you put a clear coat or something on to prevent the paint from wearing off?

Thanks

dankephoto's picture
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TiBooks are painted, not bare Ti

All external surfaces are painted, so no need to worry about how well paint will stick to titanium. Just follow normal paint-over-other-paint rules and you'll be fine.

Oh, 'cept for the trackpad, power button and similar, don't paint over that stuff of course.

BTW, the case edge (the frame around the top edge of the bottom half) is made of ABS plastic, plated with a metallic coating and then painted. Those edges start to bubble and flake off when the plating under that paint begins to corrode.

Where you have those bubbled-up spots you have to sand or scrape down to the plastic, else the new paint will just bubble there too. Kinda like a rusty car, gotta get rid of the underlying rust if you want yer new paint job to last any time at all.

Dan K

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Joined: May 19 2004
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Great advice, thanks. Does a

Great advice, thanks.
Does anyone have any step by step recommendations for us?
Mostly something like...
1. Take the case apart
2. Sand with grit paper
etc.

That would be great.

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Joined: May 20 2004
Posts: 1
What About Bare Metal?

I've been searching for an example of a TiBook w/brushed metal. You'd probably have to add a coat of something to reduce fingerprints and smudges. Anybody seen this done? Personally, I'm sick of chipped paint.

BallyHoo

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Joined: Feb 18 2004
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Polish it!

You could even polish the bare metal if you wanted. Some automotive clear coat goes great for preventing any oxidization/rusting.

Shane

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Barry's picture
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Titanium doesn't really polis

Titanium doesn't really polish well. You can get the plastic ring frame off thugh, just gotta be really careful! If you can get the ring off take it to get powder coated. That would be pretty cool looking. Would also be pretty scratch resistant. Have to get all the plastic off though, they bake the coating on.

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Joined: Jun 4 2004
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Couldn't you just use a thin

Couldn't you just use a thin piece of plastic over the trackpad, like that filmy stuff they use for colored lights? When I first got my iBook (white) the trackpad was SO sensitive, I put paper fast-food napkins over it to use it.

ELV
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Joined: Jun 8 2004
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Dealing with Titanium

The best place to get info for painting Ti is a bike manufacturer. Alot of bike lines use Ti nowadays. About 30% paint the frame too. More than half polish the frame. You can polish Ti and make it look shiny or burnish it. It takes a little more work than say, Aluminum. You have to use the right buffing compound. Ti does not corode, so you don't have to clear coat it. It does get finger prints though. The best thing to use to combat that is to take a very light coating of WD-40, spray it on a rag, and wipe a fine layer over the Ti. Just enough to keep prints off the metal but not wet. We used to do that in bike shops for our floor models since they got handled so much. Of course you would want to use less on a computer.

Barry's picture
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ti will corrode, same as alum

ti will corrode, same as aluminum. You'll want to clear coat it. If you ever see a shiny ti bike it is probably chromed.

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