Painting a Laptop




About: One day I shall own a Delorean.

I decided that the laptop I had been given looked a little plain, but it did have a nice flat surface so i thought I would paint it.

what you will need:

various colored paints, I used acrylic paints but you could use spray paint

Compressor and airbrush, if you're using acrylic paints

Clear Lacquer , the stuff you use on cars is fine

Hair Dryer

Bulldog clip

Hobby Knife

Spray mount

Small Paint brush

Masking tape

Paper and pencil

Transparency sheet for OHPs

OHP pens

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Step 1: Get Your Design Together

you need to think about what you want to put on it, I wanted to stencil the grim reaper, I copied a picture i saw on the net on to a sheet of plain paper.

next i put a transparency over the top and traced round the outside of the design using the OHP pen, use the bulldog clip to hold the transparency in place while your tracing the original design.

then using a hobby knife i cut round the traced areas carefully and pulled out the bits I don't want.

I already I have an idea for the background which will be done freehand

Step 2: Prep the Laptop and Start the Background

now you need to prep your laptop to be painted.

mask around the laptop and any parts you don't want painted such as lights

once that's done, wipe over the laptop to make sure it's a clean surface without grease or finger prints, I used a screen wipe but you could use a wipe from a fast food place.

you will need somewhere to spray I use a cardboard box with one end cut off which works really well.

to start the background mix up the main color you want to use, mine is plain white, I mixed up normal acrylic with a little water to make it almost the consistency of milk then put it in the airbrush.

I sprayed just inside the edge as I wanted to create a faded effect to the black.

then i used the hair dryer to dry the paint before i start the next layer

I then added a little yellow to the original mix of white paint, then sprayed that on the white making it deliberately patchy, the color was only slight almost magnolia.

hair dryer again before doing the next layer

I then added more yellow and again sprayed it deliberately patchy.

hair dryer again to dry the background.

and that's my basic background done.

Step 3: Background Detail

Now I add the background details, I've been watching a ton of Dexter so I wanted a kind of blood cast off theme so I mixed up some red with a little brown to create the blood color, added a little water to make it the consistency of blood, so thicker than before.

at this point you might want to practice on a piece of paper

using a small brush i flicked paint over the laptop to create cast off patterns, using different amounts of paint on the brush created different effects so it's worth practicing first,

then I painted a thick layer on to my hand making sure it was a little patchy then placed my hand a couple of times on to the laptop

then used the hair dryer to dry the blood effect

Step 4: Adding the Stencil

now it's time for the stencil, take a piece of paper and fold it alternate ways this will make sure the stencil can be picked up once it's been coated with spray mount.

at this stage make sure you cover everything with newspaper, spray mount is really sticky.

put your stencil on the folded paper then spray it with a light coat of spray mount

place it carefully on the laptop making sure that all the detailed bits stick

stick paper round the edges so you don't spray bits you don't want to

i used black car paint for this bit mainly due to laziness on my part, I sprayed a decent coat at about 20cm distance.

I wanted a few minutes for the paint to be touch dry then carefully removed the stencil

Step 5: Preserving the Design

Now we have the design and the paint is dry on the stencil design it's time to protect it with a lot of coats of Lacquer without it the design will just scratch off.

using a clear Lacquer, i used car Lacquer, spray a light coat at a distance of about 20cm

use the hair dryer to dry the Lacquer, this will Bake it on there just like they do when they spray cars professionally

now all you have to do is repeat these 2 steps about 10 times, and I'm not kidding here, the more the better you want a nice thick coat as this will be the only protection of the design.

once you done the last coat you need to leave it for at least 24 hours to make sure the Lacquer is properly cured.

and thats it, all done, remove the masking tape and its ready to use.

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    14 Discussions


    3 years ago

    oh ok, it's just that I've seen a lot of people paint their laptops and they usually sand it first, so I was just curious. Thanks :)


    3 years ago

    wouldn't you have to sand the laptop first in order for the paint to adhere better?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    you could do, that's called keying in ;-) , but I didn't do that and it seemed fine.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    no problem, I just hope to inspire some people to create something more fun out of what is mostly seen as a tool, plus i love to show off ;-)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Looks great! If I had a laptop I would certainly try it as I agree that they usually look plain.

    sweet....will put me companies logo on my old acer. aye its old but its wifi card has more range than my macbook pro

    thanks, appreciate the compliment, It i spent a week or 2 thinking about the design before i even picked up the airbrush.

    I got the whole project done in one day, other than the 24 hours to cure the lacquer.

    I'm thinking about painting the rest of it but im not sure how i want to do it, i would prefer not to take it appart as laptops are fiddly to put back together again afterwards.