Monday, October 18, 2010

My mini keyboard modding - CoolerMaster Alloy Keyboard

"Refurbishing it or giving it a new color will refresh you view towards it and love it again like before"

Here i go again, something to do with a little free time.But first let me introduce you to my trusty keyboard my friend said it sucks based on their personal point of view, I never got offended anyway, lol.
*Click to enlarge*

This is the CoolerMaster Alloy Keyboard, I liked the old CM stuffs compare to current CM stuffs because nowadays its more like looks instead of substance or content. Anyway, this keyboard has been my trusty mate of input for a few years since its release, 5~6 years ago ? I think so.
Today, being abit free than usual I took around 2 hours to do some fancy stuffs on it. Lets see what i've done, what you see above is the original non-modded brushed alloy surface.

*Click to enlarge*
First it was puke green, not sure what green should I call this. This green paint was first used on the old Microsoft 98 P/S2 Keyboard, the last time I used this paint was.....yeah, pretty much nearly as old as the Alloy keyboard, 5 to 6 years maybe ? lol.

*Click to enlarge*

Next was the metalic blue, man I love this the most ! look at the color ! Sparkling blue !

*Click to enlarge*
Here's another angle shot.

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A close shot of the painted material.

Now, lets talk about how I do it, we need some of the below stuffs :
  1. 400 grit sandpaper
  2. 800 grit sandpaper
  3. 1500 grit sandpaper
  4. 2000 grit sandpaper
  5. Some remaining spray paints (my bro's metalic blue and what* what* green was used on this mod)
  6. Clear spray (very important)
  7. good weather (I will explain why)
  8. some ice cold water (same as 6th item reason)
  9. hair dryer (same as 6th item reason)
The sanding on the alloy was done quickly and lightly, instead of heavy sanding compared to the CM Stacker I did previously. The alloy material actually is more easier to get over-sanded, simply put it if i sand it too much it'll lose its shape, lol. From 800 grit to 2k grit and some water.

First, sand the thing from 400 grit and till 800 grit ONLY. I did this just to make it rough enough for the first layer of paint to stick on it. The finer sanding will be done later.

Now the first layer I used was the clear spray instead of the normal colored primer paints, due to the brushed material of the alloy, those color will stuck in bad in case I want to remove it. (in case I changed my mind or got bored with the color, lol)

After the first layer of clear spray, I left it there to dry up under then sun, weather wasn't really good today due to some hazy weather. So I got my girlfriend's hairdryer ready, thanks to her btw.

Once dried, again I went to sand it lightly with 1500 grit and 2000 sandpaper. The surface isn't smooth enough due to instant two layers of paint. Once sanding done fine sanding, the final part was done with a light layer of clear spray. After the fine sanding, the paint will look abit scratched, don't worry unless you sanded it too deep and might need to redo the 2nd layer of color paint. Nothing serious though.


Now, I have said above I will explain why the need of the good weather. Due to the hazy weather here in Malaysia recently without known actual reasons (weather guy said this is largely due to some open burnings), to make sure the paint dry fast enough I used the hair dryer to heat it up and then cool it down with cold water. This might not be the best method to prolong the paint's condition, without the sunny light it wont work good.

Once heated, cool it down with water and wipe it dry with tissue or some lint free cloth. I did this everytime a layer of paint is done. Actually, other than cool water I did try placing it in the freezer, lol. Works the same but overkill and you don't want your freezer smell like aerosol especially the foods.


I bet most of us have some old computer parts or anything non related to computer, being worn out, being old, being....outdated ? Refurbishing it or giving it a new color will refresh you view towards it and love it again like before. Say like you have an old speaker you loved alot or some table so old you find it useful but worn out with old colors, put on your thinking or creativity hat and make some skillful or n00b moves, who knows ? you made something unique out of it. And hey ! practice makes perfect aint it ?
Now you know how it works, I can gladly help more if you have any questions you can email me.

Btw, if you really wonder how many times did I painted the keyboard ? once each, ONCE each, lol. Because I own three of these keyboards. Painted two, one left in vanilla form - unmodded.

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