Guide To Spray Painting Your GameCube Controller
Everyone, don't let Nintendo force you into color-communism. Customize and taste the RAINBOW!
- This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or so once you have the tools. This is, pretty much, really easy to do and straight forward. Once you are good, it could takes 20 minutes to open, sand, and paint a controller. Then you just let it set somewhere to dry. You pretty much have to wait a day for them to dry correctly before use. I would highly recommend you just use a different controller for a week. How long it takes before you can use your controller again depends a lot on how good you painted it, the paint you used, etc. Just try to wait for more then a day.
1. It ONLY shows how to spray paint a GameCube controller.
2. It DOES NOT show how to deal with Wavebirds.
3. It DOES NOT show how to mod controller’s functionality.
4. It DOES NOT guide you in how to solder, cut out, or replace parts.
What You Will Need
1. Tri-Wing Screwdriver
For opening the controller, someone suggested a flat-head with some pressure. I, personally, would use a "Tri-Wing Screwdriver" because it's a specific fit to the screw. You can find one on eBay or Playasia for about $6.00 including shipping and handling. It also opens other Nintendo products, so it's not a complete waste. I just used it for my controller and I’m 100% satisfied with it.
Just find the finest grit that you can. Something that will take the paint off your controller. When going to buy sandpaper you might want to take your controller with you and ask someone what kind of sandpaper they have that will take the paint off of it.
Primer comes in a spray can just like spray paint. This goes on right before the spray paint. Primer is an adhesion to help the paint stick and not run.
4. Spray-paint color of choice for plastics or regular spray paint
I believe someone said that spray paint will make your controller stickier. I don't agree. It usually depends on how many layers of paint and clear coat you apply. The rough-ness or smoth-ness depends on that.
5. Clear Coat
This goes on after the paint. It is coating for the paint. It keeps your controller smooth and protected.
1. Open controller with your Tri-Wing Screwdriver and remove innards carefully. Remember how the put it back together. Don't worry. Putting the controller back together is very simple and straight forward.
2. Wash the shell. Make sure to get all the grime and dirt from the sides.
3. Dry it. (Towel, blow-dryer, air-dry, whatever works).
4. Sand down the entire surface lightly with 600 grit sandpaper. (You could also use the highest grit you can find) When you start to sand the bare controller, (with very fine sandpaper, 600 grit should work), the plastic will turn opaque. Slightly white and that should be enough. Nothing too serious.
5. Apply Primer. 1 or 2 good coats chould be enough. You don't have to sand the primer. The nature of the primer itself should allow enough adhesion to the color paint. Let the primer dry according the can's instructions.
6. Apply spray-paint color of choice. 3-4 coats should be enough. When painting the controller, you'll find that it's difficult to get the area between the 2 pods that house the C-stick and D-pad. Don't be tempted to spray those areas without keeping constant motion of the can. Just try an up-down motion, then some diagonal motions. You'll get it.
7. Let the paint dry according the can's instructions.
8. Start applying your clear coat the same way you did with your color. 4 coats should be enough. The more coats you apply, the smoother it will turn out.
9. Fight off your temptation and let the sucker completely dry. About one whole day of drying should be enough.
10. Reassemble. Enjoy.
Some Quick Spray painting Tips
1. Start and stop spraying away from the controller. The initial sprays tend to shoot out large droplets. Something that you don't want. You want a nice, even spray so everything is nice and smooth.
2. Practice your pressure and motion on newspaper to get the hang of things.
3. Keep a constant speed and motion when you spray the controller.
4. Do NOT be tempted to go back and forth with one spray. Some people can do this, but it is suggested that you do everything in small spurts of single passes.
5. Make sure you have good lighting so that you can see where you haven't covered with color yet.
6. Do NOT reassemble until 24 hours after your final layer of clear coat. RESIST all temptation.
Other Important Info To Know When Painting
1. I recommend a face-mask, in case you breathe in paint particles, lots of newspaper, and a pair of steady hands.
2. All the supplies should not cost you that much. Personally, I think the cost and the effort was all worth it, because, in the end, my controller is very noticeable in a crowd of original colors.
3. There are dyes available that bond to the plastic. This can be good since you won't have to worry about chipping, applying primer, or sanding your controller. Painting this controller is essentially like painting a computer case/mouse and there are several guides out there. You can skim those so that you are more confident going into this.
4. There is a brand called "Krylon" which is the most expensive and probably the best paint out there. I don't think you need to dish out the extra cash, though, since you will be covering everything will clear coat.
Button Painting And Plug Painting
Along with coloring my controller, I painted my buttons too. I painted the A, B, and Z buttons white, and left X, Y, R, L buttons grey. It came out oh so nice. BUT, my arch nemesis, friction, eventually reared his ugly head and the original plastic is showing through the sides of my A and B buttons because of the intense rubbing against the shell. Oh well, I can go back and paint it. If you choose to do it as did and paint your buttons, I suggest 2 LIGHT coats of primer, 2 coats of color, 3 LIGHT coats of clear coat. I say light because you don't want the primer+color+clear getting so thick that it no longer slides in the hole easily.
Also, if you've gone this far, might as well do the controller plug too! Use masking tape to cover the silver part, use masking tape to cover the cord as close as you can to the plug. Then put the controller with the remaining unexposed cord into a plastic grocery bag for protection. Follow the same steps to color the plug.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How long do you dry your controller? Does the paint tell you or does the controller surface require more or less time to dry?
A: The spray-paint can should give you specific instructions for drying. They suggest applying additional layers either within the hour or after 24 hours. I don't understand why the times are so different, but maybe it has to do with how the paint cures (dries). The Nintendo controller plastic isn't anything special, so you can treat it just like any other plastic. Actually, to be honest, I started applying 1-2 hours after each coat because I couldn't stand to wait. My paint job doesn't have a scratch on it till this day.
- Q: My paint job was ruined when I applied clear coat. “Wrinkles” started appearing as soon as I started applying clear coat. Why did this happen and how can I avoid this from happening again?
A: This usually happens due to the lack of distance between the cleat coat can and the controller when spraying. You need to apply clear coat in distance recommended in the can. If you clear coat too close to the controller, your paint job will be saturated in clear coat, which causes the wrinkles to appear.
Last edited by Shök; 07-13-2011 at 12:18 AM.