HOW-TO: Custom Glossy GameCube Controller

VIDEO:

 

WRITTEN GUIDE:

Got an old Gamecube controller that needs some attention and love? Give it some new life with this spray paint job!

Supply list:

  • Auto-Air Automotive Airbrush Colors
  • Clear coat spray
  • Triwing screwdriver (useful for all Nintendo consoles and controllers)

Tools used:

  • Airbrush
  • Silhouette Cameo 3
  • Wet sandpaper (600, 1000, 1500, 2000 grit)

 

STEP 1: DISASSEMBLING

We’re starting with disassembling the controller. Firstly, there are six screws on the back that’s got to be removed. Then we can remove the circuit board, the rubber and all the buttons on the front piece. Finally, there are 4 screws keeping the bumper buttons in place.

 

STEP 2: SORTING OUT THE PIECES

As we can see, there are tons of tiny pieces here that we’ll have to keep track of.. And finally we’re left with just the front, the back and the bumper buttons.

 

STEP 3: SANDING

The surface of these types of plastic is often covered with some sort of thin protective coating; we gotta remove that because the paint will stick better to the surface. If we don’t, the paint won’t stick that well because there’s a layer blocking the paint from attaching to the plastic. Also, when sanding it we get rid of all tiny bumps and imperfections, and we’re left with a perfectly smooth surface that we can spray paint. We’ll use 600, 1000 and 1500 grit at this point. Finally, we can wipe the surface and make it ready for airbrushing.

STEP 4: BASE COLOUR

The controller is already white, but in order to avoid any unevenness, we spray it with a coating of white first. We’re gonna keep the bottom white, while it’s only going to be the grounding colour for the bumper buttons. We ground it with white because we want the blue colour we’ll cover it with to really pop, and be as clear as possible – the colour we put on top will look different if we have a different grounding colour. If we used for examble black as our base, the result would look entirely different.

 

STEP 5: PEARLIZED TURQUOISE

We’re using two different shades of blue to create a cool fading effect. First, we’ll make an even base on the front and the bumper buttons with this turquoise colour. After that, we’ll use a darker blue.

 

STEP 6: DARK BLUE

We’ll build on top of the turquoise with this dark blue. As it’s type is transparent, it is less opaque than the pearlized one. We’re adding blue only around the edges, so that the middle sections are kept turquoise.

 

STEP 7: ADDING GLITTER & SHINE

This aluminum base is actually meant to be, well, a base colour. But, when we add a bit extra reducer in it (that makes the paint thinner), we can make a really light and almost invisible coat with it. This will only add a bit of glitter to the surface. We’re gonna do this on all the pieces; the front, back and bumpers.

When the paint is dry we add a light layer of clear coat (we’re not done airbrushing just yet!).

 

STEP 8: SANDING, PART 2

When the thin clear coat is dry (maybe 24 hours or so) we’ll sand down all the largest surface areas on the pieces – trying to avoid the edges, as this is where we’re most likely to sand through the clear coat. Be careful not to go through this thin layer. We’re only using 2000 grit now.

 

STEP 9: ADDING THE NAME STENCIL

We’ll use a Silhouette Cameo 3 to create a stencil on some regular sticker paper. Then we add this stencil to the front, making sure it’s centered with a ruler and some guidelines. Before airbrushing aigain, we’ll cover the whole thing up with tape. When the paint is try, we can gently remove all the tape and the stencil.

 

STEP 10: HEAVY CLEAR COATING

Finally, we can add a heavy layer of clear coat. Usually I add 3-5 layers of heavy coating, and then let it dry for at least about a week. The paint usually takes even longer to really cure properly, and the more cured it is, the less prone it will be to damage. Patience is key!

 

STEP 11: ASSEMBLING

Finally, all we have to do is find all those tiny pieces and try to put it back together.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

And finally it’s done!

I was quite happy with how the blue colour turned out, with the fade and all. Would be cool to mod a Nintendo 64 controller next.

Thanks for watching/reading and remember to stay nerdy,
The Natural Nerds

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