I have a Coolermaster Stacker case. It's the first one, with room for two power supplies and all that stuff. I've wanted to do some basic mods for a while, but never really knew exactly where/what to get.
First, I'm wanting to paint the case black, so I'm wondering what kind of paint is needed for aluminum. I'll probably polish some of the inner stuff. Black with polished accents look so well together.
I'm also wanting to do a custom window on the side and top. As much as I've looked, I can't find anywhere that sells thin plexiglass in custom sizes. Where can I get plexiglass? What gauge as well?
You should use a self etching primer first. One coat is enough. It is available anywhere automotive paint is. It has a catalyst so be sure to purchase it too. Next 2 coats of epoxy primer are needed. This is also a 2 part primer. Finally you can use any automotive paint to paint your case once you have went through those steps.
Be sure once you sand your case to prep for painting, you use a laquer thinner to remove any oils, grease etc. either left from manufacture, your hands or whatever, wipe it on and then wipe it off wet. Also you should use a tack cloth after that to insure all dust removed.
.. if you dont do this.. your paint job will look like crap
.. doing a good paint job on aluminum is alot different then steel.. remember, dont skip on the quality.
.. and if you dont like all that work... maybe a brushed aluminum silver might look better..
... also for light guage plexi, i only use lexan .. and i get it from my local home building centre (1/8" thick).. seeing how you're in the states.. and not canada.. try your local builiding centre or art supply store
i have know idea what prices would be to paint 1 case..
.. i buy everything in bulk..
.. just phone your local auto/boat paint shop
and ask them how much for:
1x 1/4quart of aluminum oxide primer WITH catalyst
1x 1/2quart of 2part epoxy primer
1x 1/2quart of black paint
1x 1/4quart of clear coat
1x 1/2quart of laquer thinner
and i recommend getting the old finish off first.. so you'll need some 120gt paper and some 400gt and 800gt emery paper too
as for any tips.. yeah.. use a spray gun for the smoothest finish..
... i suppose you could get it powder coated .. that'd be cool.. might be cheaper too... as long as you dont want metallic finish
.. if you did want a metallic finish.. a first coat of silver flake would make that black sparkle !!
.. now then
... if you do get all that old finish off, and you kinda like the bare aluminum colour.. just get some 1000gt paper or sanding pads and brush it all in ONE direction or in even swirls for the best brushed aluminum look.. then ETCH any designs you want in it.. (Tattoo galleries give good stencil designs) .. and varnish the whole thing to protect it from scratches.. you can get good aluminum varnish from auto shops aswell
the best way to pick out a case is to see it in persone.. aka .. like at a local shop.. you tend to pay less there anyways.. as buying from an e-tailer (new egg and such) you have to pay shipping..
.. my advice is go to 2 local shops and pick out a good mid sized tower with no sharp edges inside and isn't flimsy .. raidmax have always made a good cheap case with and withouts psu's ..
120mm fans front and back (better airflow and quieter than noisy 80mm's)
came with a cheapo 450w PSU.. (it's comparible to a alright 380watt)
it's not too flimsy, no sharp edges, tooless screws
windowed on the side (plexi is kinda fragile though)
with led lighted 80mm fan on side included
.. it cost me $35.95 canadian (plus tax) at a local shop .. ncix.com sells them for $45 plus tax and shipping
.. and there's plenty more good cheap cases where that came from .. like i said.. the best way to buy a cheap (temperary) case is in person.. open it up.. check for sharp edges, see how strong it is. and they might even give you a deal