A few days ago I learned of this method of applying paint in a swirl pattern which is called hydro dip. I immediately began thinking of trying it out on an nintendo 64 console & the next few steps will show what I did.
Step 1: Prepare the Console for the Dip.
First I dug out an old nintendo 64 console. As you see it's not too exciting with it's stock dull colors. I disassembled each component & removed the motherboard putting it to the side for the time being.
Step 2: Mask Off the Parts & Clean Thoroughly.
After masking off all the parts I did not want paint on I filled my sink with hot water & dishwashing liquid & put all the parts to be dipped in letting them soak. I then scrubbed all the pieces with a dishrag & washed them off. I dried them best I could with a cloth & sit them outside in the sun to dry.Once they dried I used paper towels & rubbing alcohol & q-tips to clean all the parts.
Step 3: Fill the Dipping Tub & Ready the Paint.
As the parts were drying I went ahead & filled a large tote with water. As it was filling I decided what colors I was going to use & got those ready & shaken up. As you can see I used various brands of spray paint.
Step 4: Dipping & Painting the Parts.
I sprayed the paint in the water starting in the center & would spray for maybe 15 seconds before switching to the next color. With each color I'd spray the same spot which pushed the color before out in the water in a sort of ring which is what leads to the swirl pattern being possible. I then spray more areas of paint around the spot I started closer to the edge of the tub the same way I did the center. Once I felt I had enough paint on the water I then used a paint stick to drag through the paint in a circular motion to get a design I liked on top the water. I had the console halves screwed together so as the pattern would go around the entire shell so it would match up. This is why it requires such a large tub. There is quite a lot of surface area so you have to imagine the paint on the water wrapping around the entire shell as you dip it. I wore latex gloves & held the console by the inner part where the av multi out port is normally located & held the shell at a angle as I slowly dipped it into the water. I twisted it a bit as I lowered it to make the colors go a desired direction around the console shell. Once it was completely submerged I slowly swished it around a little & used the paint stick to move the remaining colors on top the water out of the way so I'd have a clean path to pull the shell back out without having to worry about picked up anymore paint. I let the pieces dry in the sun for several hours over a 2 day period. During that time I painted the smaller parts red & let those dry several hours in the sun as well.
Step 5: Masking Off & Painting Controller Ports. Wiring in Led Lights.
During the drying process I masked off the motherboard so I could paint the controller ports. I wanted to be sure not to get paint on the pin connectors inside the ports so I simply cut plastic q-tip tubes to a length where I could slide them over the pins & leave enough sticking out to prevent any spray paint from getting to them. At this time I decided to add 2 red led lights under the upper vent to make it glow red. I used controller port 3 and 4 to power each led by 1st soldering a 100 ohm resistor to the left pin which is the 3.6 volt pin & soldering a ground wire to the right pin. I then soldered the positive leg of the led (the longer leg) to the end of the 100 ohm resistor & the ground wire to the negative leg. I repeated this for the other led & tested to make sure it worked before hot gluing them in place & making sure the shell would fit over all the wires & led's.
Step 6: Reassemble & Enjoy.
The cool thing I like about the swirl is you really never know how it's going to look but you can be sure it will be unique & unlike any other paint job before.I'm pleased with how mine turned out overall especially since it was my 1st attempt at this fascinating painting process. I suggest checking out youtube videos as I did to see the different methods people use to do this. I chose the simplest method because I already had all the stuff I needed without having to go out and buy anything. What I think the most important factors are is the temperature outside (it was around 65 degrees here), the water temperature (water I used was more toward the cool side I'd guess), & using the right amount of paint & do so quickly because the paint tries to film up on top the water if it sits too long. If you are thinking of doing this by all means give it a try. Have fun & good luck.