Custom Painted PS3 Controllers




My first instructable; on how to custom paint your PS3 controllers. Thanks for checking it out.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

First, you're gonna want to gather all the materials you need... PS3 controller, small philipshead(+) screwdriver, small flathead (-) screwdriver, toothbrush, utility knife, painter's tape, ziplock bag, latex gloves, any colors of spray paint you want

Step 2: Removing the Internals

First you'll want to use a small philipshead (+) screwdriver to separate the two halves of the shell. Once you take the back piece off, under the lithium ion battery there is another small screw that holds the motherboard in place. Take that screw out and put it somewhere safe. If you have a dualshock 3 controller, the vibration motors have little tabs that's hold them into place in the handles. Squeeze those and carefully pull the rest of the motherboard out. Don't mind the L and R buttons. They'll probably fall off, but that's okay. Once you remove that, take out the rest of the buttons and pieces such as the D-Pad and start and select buttons. Keep them in a safe place so you don't lose them. Also make sure to remove the clear LED plastic piece. You can get it out with a small screwdriver.

Step 3: Painting

Now comes the fun part. Make sure your controller is free of any dirt, dust, grime, or any other foreign material so that doesn't get covered with paint. Use a wetted down toothbrush and scrub each controller shell half inside and out. Even though you don't need to paint the inside, it's still a good idea to clean it. Once the shells are dry, lay out a bunch of newspaper and place each half on it. Shake your can of spray paint for however long it says to, and apply a few thin coats to the controller after each layer dries. If you are doing some sort of design, such as stripes, first paint a few layers of the color(s) you want the stripes to be. When those are fully dried, put the two pieces back together without the internals or screws. It should still hold into place. Cut thin strips of painter's tape and wrap them around the controller any way you want. When you get a design you like, get a utility knife and cut the tape where each half of the shell pieces meet. The grooves should easily guide you. Then take your controller apart again with the tape still on and paint true two halves the main color you want. When they're fully dried, remove the tape. I made a distressed silver splotch look on my controller. I just sprayed in little spurts with silver paint till I liked

Step 4: Reassembling

Reassemble your controller. It's pretty easy and self explanatory as to where every button goes. The only difficult part, which is barely difficult at all. It getting the L1 and R1 buttons in and working properly. I found it easy if you get a flat head screwdriver and whenever you have the motherboard and everything in, using the screwdriver while holding the L1/R1 button in place, push the rubber sensor into place. Then hook the L2 and R2 buttons back into place making sure the small springs are positioned correct and work. Then clip the vibration motors in, screw the motherboard back into place, put the back shell piece back on, and screw the entire controller together. You possibly might need to reset the controller to sync it up with your PS 3. One of mine, I needed to, another one, I didn't.

Step 5: Custom Parts, Shells, Etc.

Now you're finished! There are many possibilities and combinations to make, but there see even more when it comes to custom parts, such as different colored buttons and shells. You can get them on many sites. I use Amazon and eBay but there are many other sites and stores that make and sell parts. I bought a set of clear buttons and analog sticks for my Dead Space inspired controller pictured here. You can also expand your creativity and try new things, such as using an afterglow controller...



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Frozen Treats Challenge

      Frozen Treats Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest

    7 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 5

    Thanks man! I made it! But i ran into some problem but i fixed it. So thanks man!

    Here is the final product. I know it's not great but it's my first time!

    Again. Thanks man!

    Photo on 5-19-15 at 3.33 PM.jpg
    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    That looks sweet! I might actually make one like that myself! What paint did you use?


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi ! How do you paint the controller to make him have like shiny sprinkle (I dont know how it called ) Just like your pictures below.

    & thank you very much !

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    It's a special type of spray paint. The green one was something my dad had leftover when he painted the bed cap for his truck. The bronze one was a rustoleum metallics with a grain like texture to it. Really neat effects