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[DIY] "Brushed Metal (-esque)" Battery Door

OP AardvarkAdventure

27th September 2011, 06:49 AM   |  #1  
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It seems like the #1 complaint about the Nexus S is the shiny plastic battery door- well I, like others, decided to do something about it. I started by seeking out a can of the now-ubiquitous, slightly infamous PlastiDip.

No luck.

Instead, I wound up with a similar product by 3M. On the downside, it sucked. The upside? It was not possible to "peel it off," which is often mentioned as a benefit [and the main shortcoming] of PlastiDip. Removing it required long soaks in acetone, and a lot of scrubbing & scraping. [I do want to note, however, that the 3M undercoating spray could probably work quite well for someone with the time to figure out when, after spraying, to roll the surface flat].

Anyway, here's what I ended up with / resorted to / etc. It looks fantastic!




Steps:

1. Wetsand like crazy with 60 grit paper. The shiny black layer is surprisingly resilient. Once you're through it in one spot, you'll see what you're trying to achieve in this step.
2. Wetsand like crazy with 150 grit paper. The goal here is to smooth out the inconsistencies left by the 60 grit paper. Note- you are not trying to eliminate all striations.
3. Wetsand in a linear fashion with 150 grit paper.
4. Sand normally in a linear fashion with 150 grit paper.
5. Rinse.
6. Dry.
7. Rub some chapstick on it like it's car wax. Buff it like its's car wax. Repeat like it's car wax. Or maybe use car wax(?).
8. Admire your handiwork.
9. Get angry with Google for these stupid Justin Beiber commercials.

That's it! Takes very little time.

Be reckless. You're getting a Nexus Prime soon anyway.

Higher resolution pics....I'm not a photographer!:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22487748/phone/IMG_9519.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22487748/phone/IMG_9520.JPG
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/22487748/phone/IMG_9521.JPG
Last edited by AardvarkAdventure; 29th September 2011 at 01:42 AM.
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27th September 2011, 06:58 AM   |  #2  
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Looks awesome man, when my cover gets really scratched I will do this.
27th September 2011, 07:17 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah239

Looks awesome man, when my cover gets really scratched I will do this.

Thanks for the positive feedback! The surface ends up feeling a lot like a soft-touch, rubberized finish, btw.

That reminds me- one huge "plus" of going with this method over PlastiDip is that any future scratches can be fixed by a simple swipe of 150 grit.

Now if I could just find a Google or Nexus stencil, I'd spray it on with the 3M stuff and be super happy.
Last edited by AardvarkAdventure; 27th September 2011 at 07:21 AM.
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27th September 2011, 07:40 AM   |  #4  
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Damn that looks amazing I think I'll buy a 2nd battery cover just to try it.

You should spray it with a matte clear coat.
Last edited by danboard; 27th September 2011 at 08:06 AM.
27th September 2011, 07:57 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danboard

Damn that looks amazing I think I'll buy a 2nd battery cover just to try it.

You should stray it with a matte clear coat.

Thanks! I was thinking about covering it with the Invisible Sheild Dry back protector, but I'm not sure it's worth the money considering any damage can be buffed out in about one minute

Ehhhh, who am I kidding? I'll probably do it.
27th September 2011, 02:16 PM   |  #6  
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Hi man it looks great!
I try to remove google and samsung logo by this thread http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4#post17905924
but I screatch the cover.
Maybe I can try your mod
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28th September 2011, 01:46 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stexyn

Hi man it looks great!
I try to remove google and samsung logo by this thread http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4#post17905924
but I screatch the cover.
Maybe I can try your mod

Go for it!

The result looks 100% OEM quality. And you'd have to try really, really hard to mess the process up...this battery door can withstand a TON of sanding.
28th September 2011, 09:55 AM   |  #8  
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Ok, I think I will try soon.
If I understand fine (my english is not perfect):
- use 60 grit paper (is the most coarse-grained right?)
- use 150 grit paper
- wash and dry
- use a kind of product I don't understand this

PS: do you have hq pictures?
29th September 2011, 12:56 AM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stexyn

Ok, I think I will try soon.
If I understand fine (my english is not perfect):
- use 60 grit paper (is the most coarse-grained right?)
- use 150 grit paper
- wash and dry
- use a kind of product I don't understand this

PS: do you have hq pictures?

Make sure you sand under warm, running water, adding soap occasionally and changing your sandpaper frequently. This will make the process a lot easier. Only sand with the surface dry at the very end, to put the final finish on the plastic.

If you can, sand in vertical motions the entire time. I became impatient and used the 60 grit in a circular motion to get through the layer of shiny black plastic. This didn't damage the finish product, but it meant I had to spent more time sanding out the curved lines I had left.

Chapstick is an extremely common product in the US; it's just a waxy substance meant for chapped lips. The type of wax you would use on a car would work just as well. To be honest, I don't think this step is even necessary, but it seemed like a good idea.

I will add more detailed pictures to the original post in a few minutes!
29th September 2011, 05:38 AM   |  #10  
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I just tried it on mine and it looks great! I had a spare battery cover that I wasn't using, so I said what the hell. I still need to do a bit more sanding to get it perfect though.

Thanks for the tutorial!
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Last edited by madeincanon; 29th September 2011 at 08:52 AM.

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