Lenovo ThinkPads traditionally have a rubberised finish on the outer casing of the screen. My T500 is pushing 5 years old now, and the corners are warn away to the plastic beneath, so I have started looking into rapairing or replacing the rubberised finish on the laptop. After doing some googling I found people reccomending plasti-dip, which is a spray on finish that appears rubberised but can be peeled off as a thin film of plastic. Plasti-dip is available in the UK, but quite expensive and I’m not sure how well a “peelable” finish would work on a laptop.
Plasti-dip is intended for use on cars, which got me thinking about things like truck bed liner so I took a trip to Halfords (for those not in the UK, Halfords is a big chain of car and bike stores generally thought of as expensive but quick-and-easy). I ended up picking up black underseal and on a recommendation from a friend underseal for cars.
Lenovo ThinkPads rubberised finish is a matt black and quite resistant – the texture generates friction – while appearing quite smooth. I pulled out a scrap laptop from the collection that hasn’t made it to the computer graveyard yet and sprayed it in half; one side underseal the other bedliner.
The bedliner was much harder to get an even coat on, and even after several hours it wasn’t completely dry. It has a much coarser texture to it, making it a little unpleasant to handle the laptop but it does feel far more substantial in terms of the amount of protection it provides and the strenght of it.
The underseal came out a dark grey, not black, but was far easier to coat consistently. It’s actually a pretty close match to the Lenovo ThinkPad rubberised texture – so much so I had to get my ThinkPad out and put them side to side in order to spot the difference.
I’m now wondering about doing something with both paints using a stencil – but probably not something for my precious T500. For it, I’m looking at either using a light abrasive like oven cleaner to take off all of the rubberised finish, taping off the display lights, hinges and logo before respraying the whole thing in underseal or trying to touch up the areas that are affected.