Paint an iPod Mini

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olikicksmacs's picture
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Paint an iPod Mini

I have a 1st gen iPod mini that i got about 18 months ago and i have used it every day since i got it. replaced the battery etc. like you do with ipods, and its got, well... wrecked! its covered in scratches and dings. so i looked on ebay and grabbed myself a "normal wear and tear" case with the top and bottom plastic bits as new, which is good, as mine had been attacked with a screwdriver on more than a few occasions. now the case is pink, im a guy, so it doesnt look too good. i want to paint it black, click wheel as well. can anybody recommend any paint for the mini? if all goes wrong i can always go back to my original case, or buy another, it only cost me £5. thanks

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i don't know about painting i

i don't know about painting it black, but i think that it would be really cool to strip all of the paint off of it, and polish it to a mirror shine. i believe that the cas is aluminum so it will polish really well.

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Have it painted for 49.99

Here is a story on the company that paints ipods for a pretty reasonable price, Here is the link to the below listed story:

http://www.g4tv.com/screensavers/features/46435/Review_ColorWare.html

Colored iPods, iBooks, and PowerBooks

ColorWare's website says the company's purpose is "to create and transform our products beyond what the original manufacturers intended." It likes to do things a little differently, and it shows.

ColorWare gets high marks for its attention to detail.

On the iBook, the inside area located under the battery is painted, a detail that is far too often overlooked. It's a nice detail you don't see all the time.
Take a look at the PowerBook's side ports, and you'll notice that none of the screws have been painted over. And the air holes remain unblocked. Take a look at a picture on the right.
The iPod is painted without taking it apart. This means the warranty is not affected. Considering how clean the job is, I thought the iPod was taken apart and painted. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. The paint quality is the kind most people would be happy to have on their car.

I did find a few problem areas on the iBook. I found a few small dust nibs, small enough that I could not even get them to show in a picture. They're not noticeable when looking right at it from a foot away. The PowerBook had no problems. The iPod was equally beautifully done.

Long-term iPod update (Feb. 5, 2004)

I've been using the ColorWare-painted iPod for a few months. At first I was really careful with it, but soon I was tossing it into my backpack, letting it bounce around with all my other junk. I thought the iPod would get really scratched up, but boy was I wrong. The paint has been super-durable. The metal back plate is more scratched than the painted surface. The painted half looks almost as good as new. I think the clear coat that goes over the screen is more durable then the surface of the screen.

Warranties

If you purchase your iBook or PowerBook from ColorWare they give you a full two-year warranty.

If you send in your iBook or PowerBook the company gives you a full 30-day warranty, and 1-year for labor. If anything does go wrong after 30 days you pay for parts only.

The iPod is not opened so its warranty is not affected.

Color of money

Fee for iPod painting: $49.99.

Fee for iBooks and PowerBook: $399.

You get a choice of 27 colors. If those colors just are not what you had in mind, add an additional $99 and they will match any color you like, just send them a sample.

In my view it's well worth the price. What a lot of people don't understand is you get what you pay for with these guys. Painting is a very labor-intensive thing to do properly.

Bottom line

I am picky about quality of work and I'm willing to pay for it. ColorWare gets the Yoshi seal of approval.

More ColorWare photos

olikicksmacs's picture
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I would LOVE to use the color

I would LOVE to use the colorware service, but i live in the uk. any more suggestions?

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dye to try

There's always the RIT Dye method.

BDub's picture
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Will that work on metal? It

Will that work on metal? It worked great for my iBook's keyboard (faded a bit with use), but on the Mini?

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dye? ain't the mini aluminium?

RIT dye method is fer plastics. Al can be anodized other colors, but I've not done it and don't really know how easily or cheaply it can be done at home. You could always strip the part and have someone else do the actual anodizing.

Al anodizing google search

dan k

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well...

actually i gues this is a pointless post, as youve already said you live in the UK and cant ship to colorware... (or can you?) I just thought i would chime in and let you all know that my girlfriend got a 1st gen iPod mini at a local Pawn shop not too long ago for an unbelievable price, but its battery was almost toast (came with all the accesories though) so we replaced that battery, and as it was nicked up and had some guys name on the back of it we sent it off to ColorwarePC for a fresh new finish. Two weeks later the most beautiful iPod I've ever seem came back to the house, in the color they call "Lilac" Amazing finish, looked bettter than a brand new iPod, they painted the click wheel as well and it looks and functions wonderfully. Now its over a year later and the finish still looks as good as when it was shipped back. You may want to give them a call and see if they will do international. Just speaking from first hand experience, the people at ColorwarePC do an EXCELLENT job. As far as painting it yourself goes... ive seen quite a few forums where people have polished them so they look chrome like, or painted them themselves. Although, the home made paint jobs ive seen look pretty bad.

/Bill
My $.02 cents

EDIT: i went to Colorwares site, and they WILL do international. However, shippig is Fedex Priority and from US to UK is $70.00 american, plus the $64.99 american it would cost for a solid color paint job. Eh... i see it is a bit more than £5...... But, still doable Smile

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home anodizing... well...

dankephoto's google search will probably turn up the link to focuser.com- a dude that home anodizes lots of stuff (I reckon he started with focuser tubes for telescopes). He's got enough info there to get going. Anyway, home anodizing from what I've seen is not an impossible chore, and definately a cool skill, but a little messy and involves some not so nice chemicals. I'm planning to try it out sometime- still got to get enough sulfuric acid to do the job.

at the least you'll need:
*12v power supply (6 amp battery charger would do for a ipod)
*small cooler that you'll never use again for food
*heavy aluminum wire
*gallon plus of sulfuric acid (battery acid from autoparts store)
*special anodizing dyes (google that, or start at focuser.com)
*stainless pot you'll never use for food, big enough for the ipod (say a gallon pot)

I for one would love to see some pictures of anybody's home anodized ipods!

good luck-
mike

edit:
i'm involved with some anodizing at work for a project- and I'm going to contract the work out (no time to get all the stuff for diy anodizing). The electroplater/anodizer charges like $80 for a minimum order. $80 would probably do several ipods, so if a group of folks got together (and to save the most amount of money, agreed on one color) the cost per individual would be halfway reasonable. I'd voluteer to collect a batch and take it to my anodizer, if anyone was interested.

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Re: Will that work on metal? It

BDub wrote:
Will that work on metal?

Oops. Saw the '1st Gen iPod', missed the 'mini' part. (Ducks out the back, quietly).

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RIT dye might work

but you'll have to strip and re-anodize anyhow.

I just checked a couple of more anodizing pages and apparently folks have had some success with RIT-type dyes on freshly anodized, but still-unsealed Al.

Anyhow, here's a nice page on the general subject of anodizing Al. Seems doable to me, if one were interested in putting in the time and trouble.

dan k

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