As part of refurbishing some Amiga 1000s I’d picked up, I wanted to clean up the cases which had yellowed over the years. I’d tried retr0bright on the cases and whilst this worked in a few instances, in others I either got a bleached effect or I just couldn’t get all of the staining off. Plus some parts of the cases were scratched, which retr0brite doesn’t help with anyway.
I’d been looking for something to respray the plastic with. Conventional plastic spray paint seemed to be too messy and too thick – you needed special primer and then a plastic top coat. Cases I’d seen sprayed had lost their texture and looked obviously resprayed. I found some Vinyl spray paint which purported to do exactly what I wanted – change the colour of plastics without needing a primer and because the coats were very thin it didn’t affect the texture. However, when I tried some of these paints I just didn’t get a particularly good result – I found even with very thin coats that the paint never seemed to really dry properly and would just get wiped off with IPA or other cleaners.
I kept searching and eventually stumbled onto Kolorbond. This was paint specifically designed for plastics – specifically uPVC window frames – but also including ABS which is what the Amiga cases were made of. I contacted the manufacturer and asked if they would colour-match against a piece of the Amiga case (the memory slot cover). They said they would, and supplied me with a 1L tin of Matt-finish Kolorbond, along with WindowPrep which is used to clean the plastic before spraying.
I stripped the Amiga cases down then started to spray them, first with dust coat of Kolorbond and then two “proper” coats which was enough to cover all the discolouration and the light sanding marks from where I’d cleaned up the scratches with wet & dry. These are the pictures I took along the way.
RAM Cover and Front Panel before (notice the original colour behind the RAM cover)
Top cover and rear panel before (again, notice the colour staining – very bad on the rear panel)
One coat applied, getting better
and the completed parts
I have to admin to being a little apprehensive about spraying these A1000 cases and possibly ruining them, but actually I’m really pleased with the results. The only problem I had is that there was some “Commodore” text on the front panel which I had to spray over, but I think I prefer the look without this anyway. The colour match is almost perfect and the original texture of the plastic has been kept. The paint doesn’t chip or peel off and also doesn’t wipe away with IPA. They just look like new again.
Now on to building them back up into working machines again.