How to spray a graphics card

When painting a graphics card the steps are mostly universal, the card I’ve used is the Palit GTX 960, a more modest graphics card but the instructions will still apply.

To start with we’re going to remove all of the screws on the bottom of the card as you can see I’m part way through removing them in the picture below.

Make sure there are no screws left in the PCB of the card and slowly pull the plastic shroud of the card away from the PCB this should reveal any cables connected to the PCB from any fans on the card. Remove these from the PCB end and now you can have them sat separately.Remember that if your graphics card has a back plate then you will need to remove this before removing the PCB from the casing, the back plate is usually screwed onto the back of the PCB and should be removable when you have taken all of the screws out of the card, some back plates are attached via magnets so they will just pull of but be careful to make sure that this is the case before trying to pull it off the PCB. Be cautious on where to store the PCB as it’s no longer needed until everything is done, an anti static bag is always recommended for any PC component. Just remember to be careful as the GPU die will have thermal paste on, if you are able to replace this then wipe it off and replace at the end, if not then we want to be extra careful that none comes off the die. Now to remove any electronics from the plastic shroud of the card such as fans or LED’s.

You should be left with just the plastic shroud at this point, if that is the case then any decals you would like to keep should either be removed with the intent to re use at the end or my method was to use masking tape, this was used to cover up the red strip on the top of my GPU casing. Masking tape is a better choice than most and it is the tape most commonly used with paint because it sticks well but it’s very easy to remove when needed to remove. It will stop any paint leaking under it and ruining any decals or branding you’d like to keep.

Once everything is taped up or removed then it’s time to spray over the graphics card plastic shroud and the plastic shroud only. Disclaimer: Spraying electronics directly can and will damage them either short term or long term do not do this. Also remember to buy a paint that is suitable for the casing that you are painting as some spray paints can melt through plastics or warp them at a minimum. If you buy a spray paint made for plastics then you should be all good, however if you buy an all purpose spray paint then make sure plastic is in the list of purposes.

First a fine layer of spray paint to cover the whole top, the insides not that important as you can’t see this when it is put back together, waiting patiently for the first layer to set is vital and i would advise reading the directions on the can to know how long to wait as different brands or types of paint have different setting times.

After the first layer has set another slightly thicker layer of spray paint should now be evenly applied, again waiting for this to set.

Once this has dried I would advise a third layer be sprayed on finely again as the second layer should have covered most. This layer is just to get to those places it may have not gone on evenly. If you find that that spray paint you used hasn’t got as good coverage it’s recommended to repeat these three stages until happy with the results. 

Now waiting for the paint to completely dry is a must before putting it back together or anywhere near a computer, again a specified amount of time to wait for the paint to dry should be on the can. When this is done and everything is dry. It’s time to remove all of the tape or if you removed the decal it’s time to glue this all back on if you are gluing the decal back on make sure you use a glue suitable for both the paint, the plastic and the decal material weather that is vinyl, plastic badges or just paper stickers. This should be done as lightly as possible not to damage any of the paint or even the plastic underneath.

The only thing I removed from the plastic shroud itself was a single black fan however it is at this time you want to put everything back in the shroud such as any lights or fans or just anything that didn’t get painted. Once that is done the heat sink can go back onto the GPU die, this is when those of you replacing the thermal paste want to do so! Now time to plug those fans/LED’s into the graphics card, line the card up with the casing and screw everything back together and let’s have a look how it turned out.

It’s Looking great Just needs a Custom GPU backplate!

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