How to Paint XBox Controllers Properly

Written by brenton shields
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How to Paint XBox Controllers Properly
Painting an Xbox or Xbox 360 controller properly takes a bit of ingenuity. (spray image by Dragana Petrovic from

Giving your Xbox or Xbox 360 controller a slick new paint job can easily enhance its aesthetic and personal value. Whether you're just tired of the same old black or white controllers or you want to paint it in the scheme of your favourite game or sports team, painting an Xbox or Xbox 360 controller is a relatively simple procedure provided you take the time to do it properly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Plastic-bonding spray paint, any colour(s)
  • Sand paper, 220 grit
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Cup
  • Newspaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Clear coat

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  1. 1

    Lay out a newspaper over a well lit table or desk to provide a workspace; the newspaper will help keep any inevitable overspray off of your furniture and prevent a mess.

  2. 2

    Disassemble the controller by unscrewing the screws in the back—there should be six total on each type of controller which can be removed either with a star-shaped screwdriver or flathead screwdriver—and remove the plastic casing, which is the part you will paint. Place all of the buttons and triggers in a small cup for safe keeping, set the internal circuitry off to the side.

  3. 3

    Sand down the controller casing using the sandpaper to remove any dirt or particles that will get in between the paint and the plastic. Try to remove as much of the controller's gloss as possible but don't sand too much; just enough to take away the sheen.

  4. 4

    Cover up any areas on the controller you do not want to paint with masking tape; this includes sensitive areas such as the battery case and any empty button sockets. If you're planning on created an elegant design or using multiple colours on your controller, then block off the parts you do not want to paint at the moment—for example, if you want one half to be green and the other half to be blue, completely block off one half with the tape.

  5. 5

    Shake the can of spray paint vigorously for at least 60 seconds then apply a very light coat to the controller. The coat should be even with no bubbles, it should also be just thick enough to cover the controller; if it's too thick it will glob up and not dry properly. If you're planning on colouring it multi-toned, apply lighter colours first and allow it at least three days to dry before applying the second colour.

  6. 6

    Apply a light coat of clear coat after at least three to four days of drying. Once you do, allow another few days for the clear coat to dry before reassembling the controller.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice makes perfect; if you mess up the first time, you can remove the botched paint with commercial paint thinner and sanding.
  • Patience is the key; do not apply too thick of a layer, as lighter, more even coats will allow you to see the progress of the paint job much easier.

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