Introduction: Paint Your Mobile Phone: Updated

Picture of Paint Your Mobile Phone: Updated

So this is my Instructable of painting your mobile phone!

In my case, it's a Nokia 3310. The reason why I chose to paint this particular phone is because of the changeable covers. (And it is my phone. And it has Snake II on it.) If you screw up, you can buy a new cover and your phone is as good as new. That's not so easy as with a normal phone, is it?

If you got your paint, make sure it's made for plastic, and the right kind of plastic! Probably, if you're painting a phone it's a hard plastic like PC (Poly-Carbonate). Most acrylic paints are good for that type of plastic. I used spray paint for models from Tamiya.

I also recommend to use a plastic primer!

Update: I have made another cover, now with some extra awesomeness: a Thinkpad badge I bought on eBay =)

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

What you'll need for this is a:

- Mobile phone
- Spray paint with a nice color
- Plastic primer
- Sheet or 2 of sanding paper, at least 1 sheet has to be 400 grain or more
- Roll of tape
- Precision cutting knife

Step 2: Taking Off the Case

Picture of Taking Off the Case

By pushing that thingy in with your left thumb, and pushing with your right thumb the cover you'll take it off.

With your left you hold the Nokia and with your right you pull the cover off from the bottom.

Step 3: Time to Seal the Window..

Picture of Time to Seal the Window..

Now it's time to seal the parts you don't want to paint. Obviously that's at least the window, otherwise you can't see through it!

Step 4: ..and Other Parts Too

Picture of ..and Other Parts Too

Now the window is done, I'm going to tape that white part to keep the original color.

Step 5: Take a Break

Picture of Take a Break

don't have a KitKat, but something like relaxing tea, it's sometimes nerve-wrecking all that precise cutting and not wanting to screw it up just because you were to lazy to buy a precision knife. (That's a hint, I'll show you why at the end.)

And throw the tape leftovers away.

Step 6: Sanding Down

Picture of Sanding Down

Now we can go sand it! This makes the primer and thus the paint stick better to the plastic.
First rough it up with some 280 grain sandpaper, then prep it with 400 grain or that steel stuff.
Make it really smooth, because with my job it was to rough and now you can see the scratches through the paint. Doesn't matter to me, but probably does to you.

Step 7: Applying Primer Coat

Picture of Applying Primer Coat

Just spray one thin coat of primer, that should be enough.

Step 8: Spraying the Beautiful Color(s).

Picture of Spraying the Beautiful Color(s).

Now that all is done, we'll paint the color we want it! Everything is possible, pink, blue, black, gold etc etc.

One important thing: make the layers thin, otherwise you'll get a dripping effect (ugly!), or some big spots, and more chance on finger prints in the not-dry paint you thought already was dry. Like I did with the first job.

You can use different colors of paint, which will give very nice effects! Like painting it metallic gray, letting it dry and then apply a thin not covering coat of black. One of my favorit combinations.

Step 9: Taking of the Tape

Picture of Taking of the Tape

Let's get rid of that ugly tape, and see what the results are!

Plus sticking the stickers on.

Step 10: Putting It Back Together

Picture of Putting It Back Together

And now we put back the phone together and look with aw to the lovely result!

So, let me know what you think about it, what can be improved and show me your results!


inspecle (author)2016-01-10

Thank you :)

thetofulady (author)2011-10-14

how do you make the scratches from sanding look less apparent after spray paining the housing? i am really interested in spray painting my phone but i worry about the scratches from the sanding paper.

and-reas (author)thetofulady2011-10-14

A layer of paint more usually works wonders, it kind of fills in the scratches. Also make sure you have really fine sandpaper.

bibajk (author)2011-04-29

very good!

f1dd13r (author)2011-03-17

I like the metallic look you have got.
I painted mine a few years back.
I used acrylics and a paint brush, then a few coats of acrylic paint-on varnish.
It did wear off a little where it got rubbed but the main flattest parts of the cover are still okay. I put owls on mine after I painted it dark green as we (me and the kids) were all into harry potter back then.

nqnguyen2 (author)2011-01-14

Does the paint wear off to reveal the primer with such thin coating of paint?

and-reas (author)nqnguyen22011-01-15

It really depends on the paint, if you have a soft plastic with vinyl dye, it shouldn't, but if you have a hard plastic with something like acrylic paint, I would recommend adding spray varnish (I experienced that the hard way)

babieCherish (author)2009-08-30

dis is cool but if you can just change the covers around, why not just get a knew cover? you can also get custom-made ones that have ur name on it or what eva....

- Cherish...

p.s these are cool instructions =D
p.p.s i had to say that cause of the be nice policy lol and my comment would get posted =D
lol laters...

I don't think your comment would have been removed - you weren't being absolutely negative.

Either way, while you can purchase custom-made covers, this instructable just offers another option, where you are the customizer. This is particularly attractive to artists. I imagine having knowledge of how to do this could allow a person to sell custom-made covers for other people.

dadawawa (author)2009-10-16

just my opinion to buy a scratch remover to polish the plastic :P.. before applying plastic primer

and-reas (author)dadawawa2009-10-16

I should yes :P But where can I find that? And I think sanding it softer would also help.

lilpepsikraker (author)2009-08-18

I bought a Nokia 2610. Best phone I've ever owned. Seriously. It's built like a tank.

and-reas (author)lilpepsikraker2009-08-18

Indeed, the old Nokia's are real beasts

masterochicken (author)and-reas2009-08-19

Oh definitely. I have an Envy 2 now and I'm afraid just to drop it. I used to have a Nokia 6010 that I just chucked all over the place. I think it got thrown 50 yards down a football field once. didn't damage it at all. Battery won't take a charge anymore though.

and-reas (author)masterochicken2009-08-20

Wow! That's about 40 or 45 meters? That's a long distance..

masterochicken (author)and-reas2009-08-21

Yeah. It was pretty awesome.

dimntd (author)2009-08-20

The spray paint for plastic would also work.

and-reas (author)dimntd2009-08-20

Yup, it's made for it. Probably it's an acrylic paint

omnibot (author)2009-08-18

Nice. I do this to but I learned early to cover the window from the inside as well.

and-reas (author)omnibot2009-08-18

You made that mistake one time to many? :p

omnibot (author)and-reas2009-08-20

I'm ashamed to say i made it twice XD

gnasty gnork (author)2009-08-19

i should do this to my Nokia 5310 LOL

The Landon (author)2009-08-18

Does anyone know how to dissasemble a Nokia 1200 b?

and-reas (author)The Landon2009-08-18 you can download the service manual, on page 11 and further it's explained

and7barton (author)2009-08-17

You may be interested to know that a lot, if not all, or mobiles are actually PAINTED in manufacture ! - The plastic is not self-coloured, but simply sprayed. The same goes for a lot of plastic products. This is why, after a while, the colour wears off.

and-reas (author)and7barton2009-08-17

That's interesting.. but when I scratch the plastic real deep, it should show another color if it's painted, right? Normally that's not the case with the products I use. Or do you mean that they use vinyl dye?

NE-Phil (author)and-reas2009-08-18

Real nice instructable! Thanks. I have a Casio G'zOne Boulder from Verizon in bright orange. It gets knocked around a lot and there are a number of chips along the edges where the paint is knocked off. Underneath, I noticed it's actually red, not orange. The orange must have been been painted on.

and7barton (author)and-reas2009-08-17

I'm talking mainly about the common silver finish - This rubs off after quite a short time, revealing white plastic. You are right - if the colour goes right through the plastic then it's self-coloured. There's a lot of products that have that silver finish. It may be that they can't make self-coloured silver plastic. The silliest thing I ever saw was a facia panel on a Hoover washing machine -The printed logo and instructions were printed on the panel in watersoluble paint ! - If you rubbed a damp cloth on it to clean it, the writing disappeared !

and-reas (author)and7barton2009-08-17

Oh that one.. I know that stuff, my alarm clock is made of it, very ugly if it gets worn out.

The Mariner (author)and7barton2009-08-17

It is difficult to colour plastic a nice even, bright, silver. It looks more like grey Lots of other colours can be compounded (ie coloured when the raw material granules are made, or 'masterbatched' using a colouring agent added to natural coloured granules just prior to moulding. Really shiny 'silver' looking parts (like auto headlight reflectors) usually get chromed or vacuum metalised after moulding, which is a coating that can wear off in time.

sctirvn687 (author)2009-08-18

Great job. Just curious, what country are you from? That phone has been outdated here in the US for a while. I had a similar Nokia that I really liked, but was forced to change phones because it became "obsolete"

and-reas (author)sctirvn6872009-08-18

Thanks! I'm from the Netherlands. We ( actually my parents) bought it late 2001, since then we never really have used it due to some bad contacts (which are mistaken for a battery with a 1-day life) until now. Here, the Nokia 3310 is also kinda obsolete, but we don't have to pay with it or something.

ANTQNUT (author)2009-08-17

WOW nice color choice to i luv orange

codongolev (author)2009-08-17

when I was in middle school, it was popular for girls to use nail polish to paint their calculator covers with nail polish. I'm sure it would work on a phone.

JannickBolten (author)2009-08-17

Nicee ;-)

and-reas (author)JannickBolten2009-08-17

Thank you :)

canida (author)2009-08-17

Nice job!

and-reas (author)canida2009-08-17


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