Introduction: How to Spray Paint Your PDA

Picture of How to Spray Paint Your PDA

I had a long summer holiday and i decided to spray paint my PDA. Got bored with the lame black housing, i wanted to spray it metallic red and leave the side lining, the back camera area, and the navigation button black. I like the Red n Black combination.You guys can use other colors if you want.

So what we need for this project are:
- A Small Philip Screwdriver
- A Small Hexagon Tip Screwdriver (I used Wera 118064 - Kraftform 2054 Micro Screwdriver Hexagon Tip SW 1.3 / 40)
- Case Opener Tool (You can find it at used a flathead screwdriver instead)
- Adhesive Tape
- Small Knife (Carving knife would be better)
- Spray Paint (Acryl Metallic that is suitable for plastic)
- Some old Newspaper
- Rubbing alcohol
- A suitable workplace (I put a cloth on my workplace so that the device won't get damaged)

Let's get it started!

Step 1: Open Sesame!!

Picture of Open Sesame!!

First of all remove the battery and your SIM card. Using the case opener tool, remove the plate for the camera. If you use the screwdriver, careful not to scratch the surface ( well, i don't mind if you do). Look for the tabs.

Once the plate is removed, unscrew the four screws using the Hexagon Tip Screwdriver. Again try to look for the tabs that hold the front plate with the back.

Step 2: Detach!!

Picture of Detach!!

Once the tabs are loose, careful not to pull the covers with force because there is still a wire attached to the motherboard from the small speaker inside the back cover. I let it be, but if you know how to detach it, be my guest.

Notice that there are 2 ribbon cables attached to the motherboard, coming out from both sides. Try to lift up the smaller cable. The big cable? I'll leave it if i were you. But if you are certain enough with what you are doing, please detach it.

There will be 2 screws (top left and below right) you need to unscrew using Philip Screwdriver. Unscrewed, you can flip the motherboard and now you can see the display.

At the navigation button, there are screws you need to unscrew.After that pull it out gently.

There's a vibrator next to the navigation button.Remove it too.

The display, use the case opener tool and pry it out. Start with the middle tabs. After that you can easily pull it out.

Step 3: Seal!!

Picture of Seal!!

Before we paint, seal the areas that you don't want them to be painted.

- The camera lens/ mirror/ speaker area
- The "2.0 Megapixels" area
- The "Windows Mobile" sticker (If you don't like it, paint on it then)
- The front speaker

These areas need to be sealed with adhesive tape. Using a small knife, try to cut out the unwanted tapes

Step 4: Spray!!

Picture of Spray!!

In this step, try to do it in an open space.

Spread the newspaper on the floor and put the parts on them as far as possible from each other.Before that, clean the surface of the parts to make sure they are clean, dry and not sticky. I skipped this step, but as suggested by one of our member from this site, use rubbing alcohol will clean the surface.If not, sand paper is just as good.(Credit to klubvibez)

Shake the spray paint can for about 3 minutes to make sure it is well mixed. Do a test spray on other newspaper. The distance should be around 25 - 30cm. Don't spray too near.

After ensuring that spray can is good to go, spray on the parts. Mind the distance (25 - 30 cm). Spray on top and the sides. After spraying the first layer, leave them dry for 10-15 mins.

Once they are dry, spray again for another layer and let it dry. Repeat the same step for third layer and so on until you are satisfied that the paint layers are even. Let them dry for half an hour.

While waiting for them to dry, you can brush away the dusts that are trapped inside your PDA. ;)

Step 5: Peel!!

Picture of Peel!!

After the parts are dry, peel off the adhesive tape.

Rub the surface of the painted covers with paper or tissue to remove excessive paint.

And again suggested by our member, clear-coating it will make the paint last longer and will make it look shinier.(Credit to klubvibez)

Step 6: Reattach!!

Picture of Reattach!!

Reattach the covers.

And lets hope that your PDA still works.

There you go.Your cool, shiny lookin PDA..Get ready to show off!!

Thanx Charlie White from Gizmodo for reviewing my project.

Gizmodo site


kaunder (author)2010-08-14

Here is my Nokia N73 painted front cover! =)

hellmaster993 (author)kaunder2012-02-21

cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! job nice color

rachruby (author)kaunder2011-11-17

that looks awesome! what colour was it before?

kaunder (author)rachruby2011-11-26

It was grey.

hellmaster993 (author)2012-02-21

very nice man write back on how to do a skateboard spraypaint

Briguy9 (author)2011-07-02

Sweet instructable, dude. I wanna try this with my Optimus, if I can figure out how to open it up. :P

elaycox (author)Briguy92011-07-30

I am probably going to try this with a Pantech Laser I just ordered. It is that slate blue I am sick to death of.

This is a pretty good tutorial.

rachruby (author)elaycox2011-11-17

this is a good tutorial but if you don't want to paint it or you're worried the paint finish won't be perfectly smooth you can buy replacement housing in loads of colours. you can buy them for most popular mobile/cell phones on ebay and amazon etc.

thats what i did, but with this there's more colours and if you do it well it can look great!

rachruby (author)Briguy92011-11-17

if anyone here doesn't know how to take their phone apart, there's loads of youtube vids for stuff like that. If you have a bb curve 8520 there's a good video for taking it apart here:

also shows you about changing the housing

NostalgicStone (author)2010-05-13

 This is a great tutorial!
I used the same method on a clients laptop a few months ago with great results!
I am about to turn this annoyingly pink Ipod I got at a pawn shop really cheap into something that I don't have to hide in my pocket constantly!

UrbanNinja (author)2009-11-01

Hey, looks like I'll be trying this on my cell soon and was wondering if anyone had found the best spray paint to use yet? I'm thinking about using the Krylon spray paint made especially for plastic... Thanks for the instructions!

Eoghan (author)2009-08-14

Excellent! This what I am always looking for thing. Thank yous very muchly! And good eveninks and also have also the nice days too also! Thank yous!!

Chicken2209 (author)2009-02-07

you went from black to red. What is wrong with you!!!

neo_shah (author)Chicken22092009-02-08

i just like the combination of black and red. that's all

Chicken2209 (author)neo_shah2009-02-08

its black with red trim, not red with black trim! but good job

kthekiss (author)2008-08-03

this would be cool with that auto paint that changes colors depending on the angle its looked at.

neo_shah (author)kthekiss2009-02-07

yea.pearlescent would be cool. i'd like to ry that on something one day

Notbob (author)2008-08-03

Just a reminder DO NOT use varathane, as most variants will melt plastic. Also it isn't very durable when it come to everyday use and sweaty palms, It also turns yellow with age.

patrickmasoko (author)2007-08-28

By the way, guys, I have tried to paint some part of my pda, but the result is not as smooth as the original paint, does it require some more finishing paint ( such as primer coat or something else ) ?? And any idea how to save the BRAND LOGO ?? ( I mean the " O2" the " Dopod " etc ) cuz it seems we you havent mentioned how to save other logos other than the Windows Mobile Logo..

neo_shah (author)patrickmasoko2007-09-12

yea...about dat i dun mind painting on it.but if u really want the O2 logo or Dopod logo to stay, i suggest u try to look for a white rub-on alphabet stencil that looks quite similar to the font on the original cover (not sure if that'll stick on to it).right after that just spray on the clear's only a suggestion.any other ideas guys?

Notbob (author)neo_shah2008-08-03

If you put on the rub on logo and its having trouble staying attached you could spray the entire thing with a clear coat (or two) then cover it with a with a durable plastic skin (Here is a site that we get ours: ).

You probably won't be able to save the originals (unless you get creative with tape and an exacto knife). But if you print of the logos from the internet, then cut out all of the letters, you could make a simple, one use stencil. That way, you could change the size and color of the logo if you wanted to.

Darkshot (author)2007-08-27

I JUST THOUGHT OF A AWSOME PRANK I COULD PULL ON MY BLIND FRIEND! I COULD DUCT TAPE HIS CANE THEN SPRAY PAINT THAT AND GIVE IT BACK TO HIM AHAHAHA (we play pranks on eachother all the time :D ) and then when he freaks i just pull off the tape :)

Awesome Possum (author)Darkshot2008-05-22

How would he tell that you had spray painted his can when he's blind?

Darkshot (author)Awesome Possum2008-06-07

well hes legally blind but he can still see some colors and shapes out of his left eye, but mostly its blurry to him

struckbyanarrow (author)2008-05-06

on step 5 at first i thought it said pee!!!!

zx1000b3 (author)2008-02-26

I painted my Visor Edge years ago, and most recently my ipaq hx4700. Pretty much exactly the way you've shown here. The big difference is the paints I've used. For the Visor, I used rustoleum hammerlite; for the ipaq I used automotive touch-up paint the first time and most recently a bake-on firearms finish (Duracoat). With both I also lightly sanded to give a good bond. The rustoleum visor was awesome, still looks good to this day. the ipaq has had to take more abuse, but looks good with the gun paint now. The car paint it had before looked awesome, sanded between coats and did a clearcoat, but after a month in and out of various pockets, pouches and cases looked like the finish on an old farm truck.

As for getting the paint un-sticky, pop it in the oven on warm. For plastic cases I'd try a heat gun so as not to get the cases melty.....

cry_wolf (author)2007-12-14

Very slick and clean, but do you think the paint would wear off or chip? Should i put on a clearcoat? Or sand the original pant and primer it?

neo_shah (author)cry_wolf2007-12-15

i would suggest that u spray on a clearcoat so that the paint won't wear off. But before that,sand paper it with a very fine (not rough) sand paper to make the painted layer smooth.

mannyfcx (author)2007-08-30

great job i have been trying to paint my pda for the longest even when using fuzion paint for plastic it seems to wear down after a couple of days of holding it then it gets sticky... i was wondering where you found this paint i went to pepboys or auto zone and they have something similar its by dupli color its touch up paint but i was not able to find anything that was acryl+metallic....i was wondering where i could find this kind of paint... thx or if that touch up paint at pepboys would work.? it dosent say anything about plastic tough and it was the closest thing i found to what you have...

Darkshot (author)2007-08-27

ok i saw this thing in the mini previews for the fourth time and just HAD to see it :) really cool dude i might try this with my gameboy micro :)

klubvibez (author)2007-08-17

Great job on the instructable! One comment if i may? Its best to clean all surfaces that are to be painted with rubbing alcohol thoroughly. this will remove all dust, fingerprints, oil or icky stuff that will cause the paint job to degrade in the long run. Also you could possibly sand it if you like. Then it will be smooth and shiny as opposed to porous. Clearcoat after? The world is your oyster. Now if there was only a way to chrome plate plastic.....that would be blingin.

neo_shah (author)klubvibez2007-08-17

hey thanx for the tip...i don't have any rubbing alcohol at that moment so....yeah... but i'll reedit the instructions according to your suggestion...thanx again

gamer (author)2007-08-16

what windows does it have? nice job. i think i will do this for mine -gamer

neo_shah (author)gamer2007-08-16

windows? you mean the OS? its windows mobile 5.0

gamer (author)neo_shah2007-08-17

ya, i meant the OS, but i saw the windows logo on it, so thats why i said windows.

dchall8 (author)2007-08-16

I agree. Nicely done Instructable. Now what do I do with the left over screws?

neo_shah (author)dchall82007-08-16

i dont think there will be any screws left.once you unscrew them, you will srew them back together after painting.i believe theres no screw left when i did this project.

AT (author)neo_shah2007-08-17

Nice project! But you have to have screws left over when you put it all back together. If you don't, something must have gone right.

theRIAA (author)2007-08-16

"Rub the surface of the painted covers with paper or tissue to remove excessive paint." -this is a must. If you don't, it will get all over your screen. you did a good job, I was expecting "ok gust get some blue tape and youre dads' spray paint, and tape yo fone up and spray it dawg. Look!! mine iz neon Oraange."

neo_shah (author)theRIAA2007-08-16

yea true.after i painted it, some glittering dusts were on my finger.after i rubbed it with paper, the surface became smoother and no more dust. orange?that'll look nice.hope you can post the pics when you're finish with that

joejoerowley (author)2007-08-16

Very Nice, I like it!

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