Radiator Painting

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by Terminatus, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Terminatus

    Terminatus New Member

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    Hi all, not sure if this should go in the Modding section or here, but I will chuck it here and hope for the best.

    I want to paint my old RS240s (2 of them) with some sort of shiny silver effect (just the outer casing, not the fins) and was wondering if i need to do or use anything in particular to strip the paint and/or repaint it considering its all copper inside and I don't want to reduce the thermal conductivity.

    I mount my rads externally and want to do it while I am in the process of moving my loop into a new case (P180 mini).

    I can't find any guides or any posts on the forums with anything usefull about this. Hopefully that doesn't mean it doesn't get done! I am probably searching for the wrong things though, so if someone could point me in the right direction for the info, that too would be appreciated!

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!
     
  2. mojododo

    mojododo Member

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    i would give it a light sand on the original paint, then mask up the fins and bits your not painting and give it a good paint.
    might not be the totally correct way but someone will surely correct me.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Terminatus

    Terminatus New Member

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    I will give that a go, I will get some automotive paint with high heat resistance just to be sure.

    Cheers mate.
     
  4. robbo2

    robbo2 Member

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    See if you can find some sort of engine enamel to paint it with. Might be a bit over the top though. Defiantly give it a light sand though.
     
  5. silverbullet

    silverbullet Member

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    You can use any decent automotive type paint, does not need to be engine paint since pc rads do not get hot like car ones do, it is also ok to blow a very light coat over the fins if you need it coloured also, the paint will only sit on the edge of the fins anyway not in between which is why it does not affect the rads cooling performance when you just blow over a light coat.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Terminatus

    Terminatus New Member

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    Cheers for the reccomendations guys.

    I am not fussed about the color of the fins, in my current build they are dust colored, but I would like the copper to show through for the end result.

    I will head up to my local supercheap and see what they have in the way of auto paint, hopefully they will have a nice silver and I can attempt to get a mirror finish on it!
     
  7. PHAT_pudding

    PHAT_pudding Member

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    if your after a mirror finish, theres a bit or work involved.
    you have to sand the existing paint back to the brass/copper. then use an etching primer (suitable for aluminium, copper, brass etc). you'll have to do at least 2 coats with very light sanding in between. after priming, use an automotive silvery enamel. and USE LIGHT COATS! don't spray heavily in one spot, use nice sweeping motions with the start of the spray to one side of the workpiece. you'll need 2 or 3 coats, again with light sanding, but don't sand the last coat. instead, you'll want to use a cutting compound which is like sanding, but so fine that it leaves a mirror finish. this part will take as long as it needs until its shiny enough to your liking.

    to finish it all off:
    theres a clear coat 2 pack in a spray can that you can get, i'll try to dig up the link.
    2 pack clear coat

    this will protect the mirror finish, and dries hard like proper auto body paint. again, you'll need to use the cutting compound and shine this to a desirable amount.

    if you do this, you'll have the worlds most awesome looking radiator. and don't worry about getting high temp paint, you won't need it for a computer radiator that will only be reaching temps of around 60 degrees max. thats the recommended drying temperature for most paints!

    edit: wrong link, try this instead!
    The proper link

    just make sure you spray this with excellent ventilation and a carbon filter face mask, or preferably a full external air supply ventilation mask. the other paints should be ok for just a normal particulates mask and good ventilation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  8. OP
    OP
    Terminatus

    Terminatus New Member

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    Cheers PHAT, thats more than I could have hoped for! I will probably start this project next week and wanted to be prepared.

    Externally I am mixing bright silver parts and fittings, clear tubing (clear / UV blue coolant) and the gun metal grey of the stock P180 mini, I am hoping it will end up looking as good as it does in my head lol.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Terminatus

    Terminatus New Member

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    I need to get the paint off the fins to make this work properly it seems.

    Is there anything i can dump the rad into that wont screw the copper but will screw the paint?

    Would Paint thinners work?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  10. PHAT_pudding

    PHAT_pudding Member

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    paint thinners won't kill the copper :)

    unsure if it'll remove the paint. i think only water based paints will be removed with paint thinners once its dried. usually you'd remove dried epoxy paint via mechanical means (sanding, blasting etc) which you can't do on the fins.

    give it a go. at least you won't screw up the copper. i suggest you soak it in the thinners over night (or as long as possible) then spray it down with water from the hose. just be careful you don't bend those fins! that will cause a much greater loss in efficiency than paint! haha
     

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