How to mod your laptop

Have you ever wanted to liven up your laptop's looks? Here's how to spruce up your portable PC with stickers, paint, fabric, and more.

Paint Your Laptop Like a Pro

194178-img_5411_original

On the other hand, if you want something more hands-on, try doing your own customized laptop paint job. However, you're going to need to disassemble your laptop so that you're left with just the parts of the system you want to paint--no electronics attached.

This is harder for some systems than others; if you're lucky, you'll be able to find a repair guide or series of maintenance steps on your manufacturer's Website that will allow you to deconstruct every bit of your laptop without too much of a headache.

194178-img_5416_original

If you just start unscrewing bits and pieces left and right, at least keep a running record of exactly in what order you unscrewed which parts (and the place of each of those screws) to help ensure a disaster-free rebuilding later. Also, if you have a digital camera handy, take pictures--it helps.

194178-img_5418_original

Once you're left with just the shell, give it a thorough sanding to prep the surface for priming. Don't bust out the belt sander--a gentle rubbing with 400-grit sandpaper should do the trick, although you can go all the way down to 220-grit if you need a bit of extra oomph.

You're aiming to create a rough surface for the primer to adhere to, but it's up to your judgment (based on the finish of your laptop's cover) as to when you're ready to proceed to the next step.

194178-img_5422_original

Be sure to tape off any areas you don't want to paint over (like, say, the ports, or your Windows product key sticker) with painter's tape before you begin. Then grab your best can of plastic primer and gently apply a coat to the sanded parts of your laptop cover.

Let the case dry before you inspect your handiwork to see if you covered all possible areas. Repeat this process three to six times, depending on your skill level and primer coverage; then let the laptop case dry out for a day or so.

194178-img_5421_original

Now you're ready to begin applying the actual spray paint (typically an automotive spray paint). Make sure that you're delivering only a very light, even spray per coat.

You'll achieve better results through a steady application of multiple coats versus a one-shot, blast-all-the-paint-I-can approach.

Once that's done (and is dry), apply a final series of one to three coatings of gloss finish. You can even grab some super-fine 1600-grit sandpaper to really smooth out your laptop's new finish, if you so desire.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags notebooksmodding

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Murphy

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?