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!

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Step 1: 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!!

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!!

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!!

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!!

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!!

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

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    42 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 6

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

    3 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    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.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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

     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!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    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!!


    11 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    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..

    1 reply

    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    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?