I’ve been meaning to write up the paint job I gave my laptop for a while now but just have never got a round to it.

The idea was to dress up the old girl and hopefully distract some people from how shamefully old it is (PIII 1ghz). Its a linux only laptop so the obvious choice was Tux. I was initially going to just whack a sticker or something on the lid, but how boring is that?? So out came the paints, the tape nd the stencil knife.

First step was to mask the whole thing up with a combination of newpaper and masking tape and clean it off with rubbing alcohol:

The masking around the fiddlier bits I did with a scalpel style knife, just whack on a big bit of tape then cut out the bits you don’t need.

Then came the spraying of the base coats:

From memory I did approximately 5 base coats in a satin black, never once did I stop thinking about what would happen if I didn’t mask off something like the screen correctly.

After the base coats went on it was time to make a stencil. There’s a million different Tux images around but This one seems to be the standard, simple one. I made a few small changes around the eyes and Tux’s left foot so that cutting would be slightly simpler.
I printed out the image onto plain paper at the correct size and then taped this sheet onto some clear contact. Again with the knife, I cut out the image on the paper and contact then carefully stuck the contact onto the laptop:

Sprayed it metallic blue:


The stencil tended to unstick a little bit as it reacted with the paint. This caused a little bit of underspray which, although it doesn’t look too bad (Kinda a halo effect), was really frustrating. I’m not sure how to fix this other than using better contact or water based paint (Which means no metallic).
After 3 coats using the stencil, I took it off and sprayed on about 5 clear coats. This is where I had some problems. The clear didn’t react too well with the base coat and although it stuck fine and looks ok, I was hoping for a more ‘glassy’ look.

Finally all the masking comes off and the job was done:

The whole thing was great fun and I recommend it to anyone feeling creative.