How-to: Apply a Matte Finish to your Fascinate's Battery Cover

mlpjunior

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So, if you are like me, you hate an overabundance of cheap-feeling, glossy plastic on your devices. But, you unfortunately had to compromise on this principle when the Fascinate was released, didn't you? After all, it offers a great form factor, a beautiful screen, and (now that DL30 is here) a great user experience.

After searching high and low for a replacement backplate without the gloss and realizing that there shockingly wasn't one, I decided I would do it myself.

Note: If you aren't at least somewhat crafty, this may be frustrating. If you botch it, it's not a big deal, as replacement stock battery covers can be had fairly cheaply on Amazon.

What you'll need:
-Rustoleum truck bed coating (available at Home Depot for ~$10)
-Fine grit sandpaper (optional)
-Alcohol-based cleaning solution (Lysol wipes work well)
-Tape to cover the speaker grille (I don't recommend using scotch tape. You need something thicker. If you have leftover scraps of screen protector material, that works best)
-Scissors
-A knife, paperclip, or other object with a very sharp, fine point
-A large piece of cardboard, to act as a backstop for the spray. You can also use plastic, if available.
-Paper towels
-Fine grade metal file (optional)




1. Remove the backplate from your Fascinate, and clean it thoroughly with the solution, wiping any streaks away with a soft cloth. If available, use sandpaper to lightly scuff the plate. This will improve the coating's adhesion to the plastic, thereby prolonging the life of the application

2. Use the scissors to cut your piece of tape into a rectangle approximately 6mm x 4mm. The exact necessary size will depend on the adhesive properties of tape you're using.

3. Use the tape to cover the speaker grille, on the glossy side of the battery cover.

4. Place the battery cover on your backstop material and spray according to the directions on the can. Note: Over-spraying can affect the way your battery cover fits back onto the device. Before spraying, note the location of the mic opening on the bottom of the battery cover.

5. Once you have coated the plate, watch to see how the paint settles. Use the camera/LED opening to move the device a couple of times as it dries. This will keep the plate from adhering to the cardboard/plastic backstop. It will also help make sure that you don't end up with undesirable excess coating on the edges.

6. 60 minutes after application (depending on ambient temp/humidity), the back plate should be ready to attach to the phone. With the underside of the battery cover facing you, use the knife/paperclip to carefully punch out the tape you applied to the speaker grille. The coating should still be maleable enough to do so. Then, make sure that the mic opening is not blocked. Use the paperclip, if necessary. Note that it will take about 24 hours for the coating to harden fully, so take extra care not to drop your device.

7. If you have trouble getting the battery cover to snap back into place, use a fine-grade file to remove excess coating. I did not have this issue, and if you follow step 5 properly, you shouldn't either.


If you choose to undertake this process, post pics please!
 

enzie5454

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Wow that sounds like a lot of work! Ghost armor has a matte finish screen type protector for the backs of phones. Just another option.
 

mlpjunior

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Yeah, it definitely takes longer than applying a skin. But the results are are great. I love this phone now that I did this project and flashed DL30. Too bad I am selling it for the Thunderbolt.

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gunnermike53

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sand paper will work too. ;)

lol.

you should post this on the fascinate accessories side. it might get more views from people looking for that kinda thing that way. but excelent job on the post though. very nicely done.
 

mlpjunior

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sand paper will work too. ;)

lol.

you should post this on the fascinate accessories side. it might get more views from people looking for that kinda thing that way. but excelent job on the post though. very nicely done.

Good idea... I will do that when I have access to my desktop. If a moderator reads this, would you mind moving it for me?

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Sta11i0n

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You should use a red scotch pad or fine grit (250+) sandpaper to scuff the surface of the cover. If you spray a smooth surface, the coating won't have any "bite" and will peel within a short amount of time. Also, acetone would be a much better cleaning solution as it does not leave a film like alcohol and lacquer based cleaners do. I've done DIY coatings on multiple trucks and these steps are standard procedure.

I like the idea though.
 

gunnermike53

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You should use a red scotch pad or fine grit (250+) sandpaper to scuff the surface of the cover. If you spray a smooth surface, the coating won't have any "bite" and will peel within a short amount of time. Also, acetone would be a much better cleaning solution as it does not leave a film like alcohol and lacquer based cleaners do. I've done DIY coatings on multiple trucks and these steps are standard procedure.

I like the idea though.

what about hydrocloric acid? would that work better?
 

flushd

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Tape to cover the speaker grille (I don't recommend using scotch tape. You need something thicker. If you have leftover scraps of screen protector material, that works best)

I'm not sure what the point of the tape over the speaker grille is. It's not like you have the cover on the phone when you're doing this. Why would you tape the speaker grille but not the microphone?
 

mlpjunior

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The spray coating is thick and will clog the speaker grille (thereby muffling the speaker) if you don't cover it. I suppose you could coat the whole plate and then cut the slits for the speaker grille later, albeit with an increased risk of causing flaking/chipping.

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mlpjunior

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You should use a red scotch pad or fine grit (250+) sandpaper to scuff the surface of the cover. If you spray a smooth surface, the coating won't have any "bite" and will peel within a short amount of time. Also, acetone would be a much better cleaning solution as it does not leave a film like alcohol and lacquer based cleaners do. I've done DIY coatings on multiple trucks and these steps are standard procedure.

I like the idea though.

Scuffing with fine sandpaper is a good idea. I will update the how-to.

Thanks!

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Chris Kerrigan

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A few people I know have done something similar with other phones and have had pretty decent success with it. My only concern would be screwing it up somehow...I have that kind of luck :p
 

mlpjunior

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It's worth the risk, IMO. You can get a replacement OEM battery plate for <$10 on Amazon.

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