Picture of Create A Sweet Looking Xbox Controller Paint Job
I will demonstrate how to create a feathered paint job. This is where one color becomes another color, I used red black and silver on an Xbox controller.

Materials Needed:
Paint - I used Krylon plastic bonding paint in red black and silver.
(I would advise looking up "vinyl dye" in google as an alternative to paint for plastics)
Masking Tape - 3M blue painters tape
Sandpaper - I prefer 220 grit
Paint Thinner - Optional
Spackle or Carpenters Putty - These work well to cover up logos and dents or scratches
(vinyl dye will not work well over spackle/putty, but spray paint will)
Clear Coat

Since I am making this after an attempt to create a tribal design (which didn't turn out all that great) I will show pictures from both of these, I took no pictures from the second one so I will attempt to recreate some steps for your understanding. Feel free to tell me how to improve it.

Step 1: Painting Prep

Picture of Painting Prep
Before anything happens you must first take apart the controller, if this concept scares you, turn back now. I found that the people at Llamma.com have detailed instructions for both the disassembly and assembly for the wired and wireless controllers.

Once the controllers are disassembled, we will need to sand down the gloss on some of the surfaces of the controller. Since the Xbox controller has few of these this is a simple step. The parts that I had to sand down were: the RT and LT, RB and RT, D-Pad, Start and Select buttons, and parts of the battery. The sanding on these parts should be minimal and just enough to take off the shine of these pieces. Before you start painting read the instructions on the spray paint as some of the different types of paint suggest steps for better paint application. My paint suggested I rub it down with some paint thinner to get rid of loose particles and debris. Don't forget to shake the spray paint for 2 or 3 minutes.
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Dr.Paj (author) 4 years ago
Ok, I have done some research pertaining to painting plastic. I have concluded that the best option for painting your controller, or any other plastic, is something called "vinyl dye". I have updated the instructible with some information about this. If you are planning on painting a gaming console controller, or any other plastic material, I would advise you to take a look at vinyl dye before committing to painting whatever it is you were going to paint.
prince link2 years ago
I know this is way late but you can also use acetone (paint thinner) to remove small scratches. It takes away small layers of the plastic. I found this out when I was trying to clean a controller someone had given me. I just put the acetone on a paper towel and wiped over the areas that were dirty and some of the small scratches and dings came right out!
elephanturd3 years ago
Can somebody give me a link on amazon to where to buy clear coat? Preferably the one that you used on this controller. I just do not want the controller to run/smear after i do all this work. Thanks!
wanderson14 years ago
"Some of you may notice that the D-pad and other parts of the gun look different than the body"

Lol, so now we're painting guns instead of 360 controllers?
Dr.Paj (author)  wanderson14 years ago
I don't know what you are talking about... *glances left and right nervously*
dmadru4 years ago
I Made It! Duke Nukem Style.
PureBreed6 years ago
today i decided to try my own paint job on my controller, and learned how to open the controller with a plain star. i just took the smallest drill bit i could find, and broke the pin in the screw off. dont try to drill it down, u may strip the screw. instead put the end of the drill bit down beside the pin so its 'hooked' to it. barely pull the trigger on the drill and the pin flys off. but be careful, i almost got hit in the eye by one.
Hahaha as I was reading your post I was thinking to myself I wonder if one of them almost hit him in the eye like I did! Nasty little sucker that pops out of there huh?! You did exactly what I did to the screw and you even almost got yourself in the eye too. Good times! Safety glasses people! Wish I would have worn mine. lol
Dr.Paj (author)  PureBreed6 years ago
You can also use a small screwdriver to get between the pin and the corners like this picture I made in MS paint shows. The green line is the screwdriver, the black dot is the security tab.
 I just took a really small drill and VERY SLOWLY snapped out the middle. Its really cheap soft metal, BUT BE CAREFUL I ALMOST TOOK MY EYE OUT when one of them snapped off! Happy modding! :)
my bad here it is
love yours but heres mine
Algag5 years ago
you spelled llamma wrong the website is spelled with two m's
Dr.Paj (author)  Algag5 years ago
Thanks for the help, it has gone unnoticed for over 2 years, but it is now fixed.
iBurn7 years ago
Hey, kinda off topic here, but on the llama.com site for the lighting mod on the dome, does anybody know what size LED's they used? I would appreciate any help, thanks.
 If you're talking about the LEDs used in the XBOX button dome, they're 0603 SMD LEDs. Here's a photo of their size. The SMD LEDs come without the prongs though.
I belive 3mm or 5mm I would go with 3mm though
Dr.Paj (author)  iBurn7 years ago
You can buy the LEDs on the site, they are quite small and easily lost so if you are going to get them, get an extra or two.
Gage9875 years ago
your d pad and triggers have inspired me.

paint the whole controller black and do the splatter on the d pad and triggers and do a left to right splatter with barely any on the right like a gradient
Dr.Paj (author)  Gage9875 years ago
Or it would look like you bashed someones face in with your controller...
Very nice, very clean paint job. 5 stars! I like the blood spatter on the D-pad.
R 4 N D 0 M5 years ago
Nice, the d pad and triggers look best.
Good job on the third layer with the clear cote.
Dr.Paj (author)  R 4 N D 0 M5 years ago
Thanks, I guess people either like their look or hate it (see below post).
The D-pad could be better, but other than that it looks pretty awesome. I am about to send my xbox in (boooo) but while it's gone I am gonna paint my controller so at least there won't be down time from being able to play since i only have one... haha.
Dr.Paj (author)  MooseSourberry5 years ago
I tried to make the D-pad look like a little blood splatter (along with the triggers).
I know what you tried to do, but it could be better. :] That's all I'm saying.
wolfman5466 years ago
have to admit very nice looking controller i like the triggers alot nice job man
Dr.Paj (author)  wolfman5466 years ago
Thank you for the compliment.
hey man, what kind of clear coat should i use? like what brand and what is it called?
Dr.Paj (author)  Onemanarmy6666 years ago
My clear eventually started to rub off with the combination of sweat, heat, and rubbing. I would advise that you try to find a protective covering (maybe a clear adhesive cover or a clear sleeve) for your controller that is see-through. Right now I can't find the clear I used on it, but I would advise you use something that is indoor/outdoor or outdoor because I would expect it to be more rugged and last longer.
zwild1 Dr.Paj6 years ago
try an automotive clear coat. and keep practicing with your shaker cans! it just takes a little bit of work to make it look pro.
Dr.Paj (author)  zwild16 years ago
The only problem with that is the price, and the fact that a poor foundation will cause it to flake off eventually. If you want to get the expense of automotive clear, you will probably need to put down a few layers of paint primer before the colors are added.
zwild1 Dr.Paj6 years ago
you bet! why not prime it?
Dr.Paj (author)  zwild16 years ago
I used a spray paint that didn't need any primer on plastic.
zwild1 Dr.Paj6 years ago
good deal! but if it started to rub off, it might not be the best choice. you're right about an outdoor paint though. keep up the mods!
ac1D zwild16 years ago
Hello. Sorry to "include" myself to your conversation. I painted, two months ago, two of my controller. What I did is use 3 coat of outdoor plastic paint, then FIVE coat of clear(for car, about 15$/can, a can can do 10 coat on a car so on a remote.. well, allot!) I did not sand down the clear part of the controller, and everything look fine. I use these controller at least 2-4 hours per day, and the paint/clear never went away!
crd226 years ago
First off, I like the paint design, it's unique. Second, the word you were looking for is "gradient". A gradient is when one color becomes another color. Feather is when an image's edges become partially transparent.
Dr.Paj (author)  crd226 years ago
Thanks for the terminology lesson.
dude this looks so sweet. Awesome controller.
Titananimal6 years ago
Why do you have to do so much... I would just take the controller and get some warhammer 40k paint and dab it on..
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