I have a WD Caviar and BenQ 1620 each in their own respective external Plumax cases, and one thing really bugged me: the tan color of the 1620 stuck out like a sore thumb. So what did I do? I painted it! Now everything looks very uniform and sleek.
I poured through other postings in the forum on how others painted their components, but decided to strike it out on my own. I'd like to share with you the process of how I did it. The overall process is very easy, and is probably applicable to any external CD/DVD drive with your standard fascia.
(I wish I had taken pics during the process, but it was done at a whim one Sunday afternoon when I was extremely bored.)
THINGS YOU'LL NEED:
- Rustoleum Specialty Plastic Primer
- Colored spray paint. I used a generic America's Finest Fast Dry All-Purpose spray paint in Aluminum (HD2815)
- masking tape
- small flat-head screwdriver
- newspaper (so you don't get paint everywhere)
(The first two items can be found at any Home Depot)
Remove fascia from the drive.
There are two pieces: the "frame" of the drive's face (I'll call this the "frameface") and the faceplate that is directly mounted on the tray that goes in and out (I'll call this the "trayface"). First, eject the CD tray so that is in the open position. Then shut off and unplug the drive so that the tray remains open. I opened up my Plumax case (it just snaps open... no screws to mess with) with the drive still attached. The trayface should slide off in an upwards motion. Use the flathead screwdriver to release the tabs that fix the trayface to the tray.
For the following step, I loosened the screws that hold the drive to the Plumax enclosure, for more maneuverability. For the 1620 there were a couple of tabs that held the frameface in place. The frameface easily comes off by again gently applying the screwdriver to any holding tabs.
Clean the pieces.
In retrospect, I could have sanded off the Benq brand-label and other random labels from the trayface. Instead, I attempted to scrub it off using a scouring pad, dish detergent, and warm water. It didn't really do anything, so I left it as is (yes, I'm pretty lazy ). I also cleaned and rinsed the frameface for good measure. Dry THOROUGHLY (I used a hand towel.)
Cover the LED light on the faceframe.
I took a strip of everyday white masking tape and applied this over the LED light. Then I used the edge of the flathead screwdriver to carve an outline into the tape over the LED. Gently peel away the rest of the masking tape while holding down (with the screwdriver head) the small cutaway section that covers the LED. I had to repeat this a couple of times as I had some manual dexterity problems
Now you're ready to paint.
As with anytime that you spray paint, make sure you're in a well-ventilated space. Also, it helps if you have good dry weather (less humidity) as this helps drying times. I did this in my garage (door open of course!)
Applying the Plastic Primer
Lay down newspaper. Place the frameface and trayface onto the newspaper. Shake the can of primer. From about 12" away (or more) lightly and evenly spray a coat of primer onto the pieces in an even sweeping motion. Do not apply a heavy coat. One light coat suffices. Make sure that you also get the edges of the frame/trayfaces as well. I let this sit for 1 hour with a fan lightly blowing in the garage. I didn't bother priming the "inside" part of the faceplates since they are not visible anyways...
In case you mess up...
I actually had to do the priming part twice. After the first drying period, I accidentally flipped one of the faces over and it stuck to the newspaper (oops). No worries. I was able to scrub off the primer with a scouring pad and warm water. Do this thoroughly and repeat the above process.
Applying the Colored Spray Paint
After the primer has completely dried, you're ready to spray paint. As with the primer, lightly apply the spray paint to the faces in a sweeping motion. Don't oversaturate with the spraypaint or else it will become runny and dry unevenly. Don't forget to spray the edges as well. I let it sit and dry for an hour. Repeat as necessary.
I found that one application of spray paint was enough for me. I could kind of make out the Benq labelling on the trayface through the first coat, but barely. I was pleased.
Putting it back together
First put the frameface on (with the tray door still in the open position). It should easily snap back into place. Then slide the trayface back onto the tray. This required a tad more effort and I needed the screwdriver to pry the tabs so that the face would completely snap into place. Close the tray. I used the same screwdriver to scrape off the piece of masking tape that still covered the LED light on the front of the frameface. If any spraypaint made its way onto the light, you can lightly scrape it off with the flathead.
Here is the result:
I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I reconnected everything and it
works as wonderfully as it did before, except now, everything is color-coordinated Have fun!