The new way to "paint" your iBook!

26 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Jan 24 2005
Posts: 6

Hey, I dunno if this is the right place to post this, but oh well.

So, anyways, I got my new iBook and I never was a huge fan of all the white plastic. so I looked into some option as far as painting the plastic, and I looked into the iSuits, but I didn't want to spend that much. I read that the latest I books are no longer painted from the inside on clear plastic, so that left me with the option of painting the exterior of the machine.
I didn't want to do that. Why? Paint chips, paint has funky textures, wouldn't come out all shiny unless I had it professionally painted, and paint pools and drips when wet. Now, don't get me wrong, I've seen some sweet iBooks with exterior paint, but it just wasn't my thing.

So, drawing from a little trick I learned from my hobby of RC trucks, I decided to dye my computer.

WARNING!!!!!!
These are just instructions, I am not responsible for you voiding your Apple warranty, Ruining your computer, Melting your iBook lid (highly unlikely), Burning yourself, ruining your mom's kichen utensils, Starting any fires, anything, i'm just providing instructions. So do this at your own risk!

... but it sure does look cool.

What you'll need:
1- Pack of RIT fabric dye ($1.75 @ Meijer)
1- Large cake-type pan (I used a 11"-17" disposable Lasagana Pan $2.00 @ Meijer)
1- Stove Top
1- Your iBook
1- Water
1- WELL VENTED KICHEN OR WHERE EVER YOU ARE DOING THIS
1- bent spoon so that the handle is at a 90 degree angle to the spoon part...

Steps:
1. Remove the white lid from your iBook screen, there are all sorts of instructions on the net for this. Leave your iBook in a place where it wont get damaged.
2. Remove the little Apple logo from the back of the screen, just use a knive or screwdriver, but be careful not to break the plastic.
3. Clean off your iBook lid with water, make sure there's no fingerprints/dirt on it.
4. Put your pan onto the stove top and position it over two of the burners, and turn them on high and bring the water to a boil. make sure there's enough water to completely cover the iBook lid.
5. Once at a boil add the all the dye and stir it in, don't worry, it'll look really dark.
6. Once all the dye is mixed in, take your iBook lid and carefully set it in.
7. Make sure the water is boiling, this is key, the plastic needs to get hot enough to soak up the dye!
8. Every few minutes take your spoon (this is your precise tool) and pull up the lid (i hook the lid through the hole where the apple logo was.
9. When the lid is dyed like you want it take it out, be careful not to drip, cause the dye will color anything it touches.
10. Wash off your iBook lid, lightly scrubbing with some paper towel, and let it fully dry!
11. Put the Apple logo back in.
12. Carefully put the lid back on the screen.
13. Step back and admire your cool iBook lid.

I'll load up some pics in a little bit, when i have access to my external hard drive.

Enjoy!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
|_______|---|_______|

Sounds kinda involved, but i'll hold off judgment untill i see pics of the finished project.

__________________

<> AppleFritter Chat: #AppleFritter on irc.freenode.net <> Click here to join!

Offline
Joined: Jan 24 2005
Posts: 6
sorry it took so long to get these pics up

http://www.bradandtim.com/dyebook.html Here are some pictures of my iBook (the dyeBook). Please, tell me what you think.

tmtomh's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 568
Looks Great!

Really nice. I was afraid the dye would be uneven in an unattractive way. But it's uneven in a very nice way - the swirling effect is quite pleasing to the eye IMHO.

Couple of questions:

(1) Is it totally permanent? Won't rub off on hands, clothing, etc?
(2) Is there any warping or distortion of the plastic cover from the boiling?

Matt

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
very cool

"twinfactor" wrote:

Hey, I dunno if this is the right place to post this, but oh well.

Are you kidding!?!?, this is a very cool technique, and the perfect place to share! I'm glad you did! It opens up some very interesting possibilities for those of us previously unaware of it.

Hmmmm, I'm thinking . . . thinking . . . about dyeing keyboard keys, white iBook keys . . . hmmmmmmmmmmm Cool Mac

dan k

__________________

|| web page gone - curse you Comcast! | Applish goodies servers offline, sorry! |
» email macdan at comcast.net

Offline
Joined: Jan 24 2005
Posts: 6
The dye as far as i have seen

The dye as far as i have seen will not rub off. My iBook has been dyed this way for about a week and has been touched by dozens of people since then. None of them have left with discolored hands.

No, the plastic did not warp at all. I guess Apple uses some pretty durable stuff.

If you're worried about warpage or how a specific color will look, I recommend testing it out on the small removable piece on the power supply (the one that's a folding plug) Just pull it off, and boil that, that way you can prove to yourself that the dye/boiling wont hurt the plastic.

-Tim

coius's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
Kickin'!!

I would do that with my iBook, except that if it goes in to apple again, they will replace it. I don't know how they would react if I say i did that. (Prob. won't take it.) Wink

__________________

See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 615
i was wrong

That lloks freakin amazing, i love it! If i had an i-book, i would so do that, except i'd probably do it in a jade green kinda color.

__________________

<> AppleFritter Chat: #AppleFritter on irc.freenode.net <> Click here to join!

Offline
Joined: May 12 2004
Posts: 17
Awesome. Just awesome

That has to be by far the coolest idea I have ever seen. I wonder if it would work for other things, such as keyboard keys for PCs that you can take them off of...

__________________

mmm... Apples...

Offline
Joined: Jan 24 2005
Posts: 159
that is really cool. i wish i

that is really cool. i wish i had an ibook to do that to. are you going to do the bottom side and maybe the sides?

__________________

wether it seems it or not, we're all dreaming.

Barry's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 177
Can't do the sides.

The sides are actually aluminum. Which I think is freakin funny. The plastic laptop has a metal frame, but the ti has a plastic frame. What were they thinking?? Bottom really needs dyed as well.

__________________

...Sometimes, the more you read, the less you understand...

Offline
Joined: Jan 24 2005
Posts: 6
Yeah, i think i'm going to do the bottom

I was planning on dying the bottom as well, but unfortunately I need my laptop daily for school... So, I guess that'll have to wait till the summer.

I'm looking for a cheap keyboard so I can try dying the keys, but I haven't gotten a hold of one yet.

Let me know if any of you guys successfully do any spinoffs of this!

-Tim

Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 566
Re: Can't do the sides.

Barry wrote:

The sides are actually aluminum. Which I think is freakin funny. The plastic laptop has a metal frame, but the ti has a plastic frame. What were they thinking?? Bottom really needs dyed as well.

No they aren't, it's sliver plastic! Tongue

TOM

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Re: Can't do the sides.

Actually, on my white 700 (16 vram) the palmrest is white plastic painted silver, while a 500 palmrest I have is a very light grey under the paint. Soooo . . .

I tried various solvents* on the 500 palmrest, but anything promising did a number on the plastic itself (tested in a hidden area of course), while anything harmless to the plastic did nothing to remove the paint.

. . . need . . . more . . . solvents . . .

dan k

*xylene, acrylic laquer thinner, goo-gone, mineral spirits, denatured alcohol

__________________

|| web page gone - curse you Comcast! | Applish goodies servers offline, sorry! |
» email macdan at comcast.net

Barry's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 177
Okay maby it's the newer ones

Okay maby it's the newer ones. The frame sitting on my desk at work is metal.

__________________

...Sometimes, the more you read, the less you understand...

Dr. Webster's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
Re: Can't do the sides.

dankephoto wrote:

. . . need . . . more . . . solvents . . .

What happened to good old sandpaper?

__________________

Applefritter Admin

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
Re: Can't do the sides.

"barry" wrote:

Okay maby it's the newer ones. The frame sitting on my desk at work is metal.

iBooks' frame is magnesium, palmrest is plastic. TiBooks have a magnesium frame as well, their palmrests are Ti + plastic edging.

dan k

__________________

|| web page gone - curse you Comcast! | Applish goodies servers offline, sorry! |
» email macdan at comcast.net

Offline
Joined: Mar 11 2005
Posts: 10
Removing paint? Brake fluid!

try automobile brake fluid. Seriously! This is commonly used by model railroaders to remove factory paint from freight car shells before applying custom paint job.

Let 'er soak for half an hour, scrub any stubborn spots with an old toothbrush. Afterwards wash thoroughly with soap and water. (Dish washing soap.)

__________________

marty dot swartz at gmail dot com

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
re: Removing paint? Brake fluid!

Laughing out loud Now that is genius! I've only ever before cursed at brake fluid's nasty paint removal qualities, who'd a thunk to use it as a paint remover!

There's an awful lot of useful wisdom over in the modeling world. First the dyeing o' the plastics, then this.

Laughing out loud

dan k

__________________

|| web page gone - curse you Comcast! | Applish goodies servers offline, sorry! |
» email macdan at comcast.net

Offline
Joined: Mar 10 2005
Posts: 35
Grey plastic?

I know from dyeing grey fibers, that you tend to get richer if darker shades with the colors you use. I'm thinking of making a clear case for my duo, but maybe I can change the little plastic trim peices by this dye process. Thanks! Of course I'll have to by an as is powerbook from REPC but still 5 bucks to make sure I can dye my keyboard keays an the trim is fair enough.

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 851
I like it!

I like it!

__________________

Dr. Bob
Applefritter Admin

eeun's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Brake fluid

That's a great mod, and I bet there are a lot of people who will benefit from your write-up and photos!

About the brake fluid - I may have come across some complaints that it will damage some types of plastic.

Problem is, I can't remember if it mentioned brake cleaner or brake fluid, but thought I'd better mention it just in case.
You might want to test it first in a small area if you're considering trying it.

I've used oven cleaner for removing old paint before, and it seems to be fairly safe for plastics. It's another thing the model-building community uses for removing finishes from old models.

I did some searching on RIT dye and plastics, and came across several lacrosse sites that recommend it as a durable dye for lacrosse sticks. It can be masked with hot glue for some impressive effects. And if it'll work for something that gets that kind of punishment...
Ahh...link here:
http://www.e-lacrosse.com/stech9.html

BTW, one of the lacrosse sites I read through said the same thing a lot of us have found: Krylon Fusion chips like nobody's business.

__________________

"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)

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 851
As a side note, only do this

As a side note, only do this if you can completely submerge the plastic in the pan. If part of the plastic sitcks out, it'll melt.

As another side note, does anybody know where I can get another 14" ibook display lid?

__________________

Dr. Bob
Applefritter Admin

-Wallstreet-'s picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 26 2003
Posts: 148
As another side note, what ha

As another side note, what happened to the picture?

__________________

Worker bees can leave
Even drones can fly away
The queen is their slave

Offline
Joined: Sep 30 2007
Posts: 3
Picture?

Just wondering if we could get a working picture of this thing. I really want to do this, but I've seen a few other ones that looked kinda uneven and swirly. Do they always come out like that, or can you get it a smooth, consistent color?

pmjett's picture
Offline
Joined: Sep 5 2005
Posts: 181
zombie thread!

I just checked to see if the original poster's website even existed (which it doesn't) and to see if archive.org had a copy. The pages exist at archive.org, but all the pictures are broken. So no dice for this project. Unless of course, the orginal poster is still active on AF (which I'll wager they aren't)

I'd check around for google pics of dyed plastics. The computer modder's do this stuff alot to make drives and stuff go from ugly beige to whatever. Maybe look at http://www.bit-tech.net. I know I've seen info about computer plastics dying there.

mike

__________________

128K, 512K, Mac Plus, Classic, SE/30, Indigo iMac, B&W, Sawtooth, iBook G4, Mini. Numerous SGI and Sun boxen.

Offline
Joined: Sep 30 2007
Posts: 3
vinyl dye?

Curious if anyone has tried vinyl dye (the kind you can get at an auto parts store) on an ibook. I've read that it works well on regular beige parts, but those are made of pvc (vinyl) and aren't glossy. I think I'll probably just stick with some nice light green Rit fabric dye.

The plastic really doesn't melt if it's sitting right on the bottom of the pan?