How To Paint Your Xbox One Controller

BluStorm3D | August 01 2014

So a few weeks back the hubby and I were talking about wanting new controllers for our Xbox Ones. Only problem was we wanted colored controllers. Seriously how long will it be before Microsoft makes colored controllers for the One? So I thought why couldn't I make one myself? How hard can it really be? So I had the basic idea in my head but decided to watch a you tube video on the best way to take apart a controller for the One. And off to the store I went. Not counting the controller this project is easily under $20 And once you have the supplies, wanting to do more than one controller would only cost if you want a different color. I choose a blue color for my controller and the hubby choose a green. I bought everything but the controller at my local hardware store.

Stuff you will need

  • Controller - I bought a new controller because I didn't want to paint over my day one controller but it can be new or used.
  • Paint - Really you can use any paint you want. But I recommend spray paint made for plastic I used the Krylon brand Fusion spray paint. I got the Gloss finish but again get what ever finish you like. If you don't use paint made for plastic, then you will need a primer made for plastic then you can use any paint you want. The reason I don't recommend this route is the amount of layers you can put on total is 4-5 before you are going to cause issues with the buttons. Nothing a little sand paper can't fix if you do run into this issue.
  • Torx bit size 8 security - It has to be the security kind. The difference is the security bit has a hole in the center.
  • Butterknife - Needed to help pry the controller apart with out gouging it.
  • Sandpaper & Green 3m Kitchen Scrubby - I used 220 grit sandpaper and a regular kitchen scrubby I think next time I would use a 600 grit sandpaper eliminating the scrubby pad.
  • Rubbing Alcohol or Water - For cleaning the dust off the faceplate after sanding.
  • Finishing Coat - I used a Gloss but any finishing coat could be used as long as its clear. I again bought the kind made for Plastic.

The Process

Taking the Controller apart. The easiest way is pressing down the trigger and prying off the side pieces. Sounds easy but this was the hardest part. I felt like I was going to break the controller and was trying not to gouge the plastic. Once you have the trigger pressed try and pry part of the side piece off I used a butter knife to help pop it off it took awhile because I was trying to be careful. You will need to work both edges of each side piece to get it loose. Going back and forth till it will finally pop off. Repeat on the other side. I seriously thought I would never get it off without breaking it.


Once you get the sides off you will have to take out 5 torx screws, again this is a size 8 security bit. One in each upper corner and one on each lower corner and one in the middle under the battery cover and under the sticker. Once you have all the screws out the faceplate should just lift off. I set the side pieces and the controller aside and put a rag over it so it wouldn't get any dust inside.



Ok now we are ready to prep for the paint. I used a 220 grit sandpaper gently on the entire surface then went back over it with a green 3m kitchen scrubby to smooth out some of the deeper scratches. Next time I think I will try a finer sandpaper like 600 grit to skip the scrubby stage. The idea here is to rough up the surface to make it easier for the paint to stick to the plastic. You don't want too deep of scratches that the paint can't cover and you don't want to go over it too lightly. You need to cover all the areas edges included. Once you have it roughed up you need to get the dust off by either using rubbing alcohol and a rag or rinsing it under water either way make sure it is completely dry before painting.

We are now ready to paint. You need a fairly dust free, not too windy area. I did it in the backyard on a box then brought it inside to dry. I read the instructions on the can for ideal temp, spraying distance, dry times, and recommending shake time. For me it was a sunny day about 82 degrees, I sprayed in the shade, shook the can up for 1-2 mins, sprayed the faceplate about 8-10 inches away, never stopping when spraying you ideally you want to spray it in stokes reducing your chances for runs. I did 3 coats of paint letting it dry about 10 minutes between coats. I then put on two coats of gloss using the same parameters as the paint. Took the box inside and let it dry in the garage for about an hour. Then carefully only touching the bottom moved the faceplate to my workbench in the basement letting it dry for 4 days.




The drying and reassembling your controller. They recommend a dry time of 4-7 days. At 4 days it was dry to touch but if pressed hard like with a fingernail could be marked. I assembled it and charged it another day before using. Putting the controller back together was a breeze just put the faceplate back on put your five screws in, test your buttons to make sure they don't stick and put the side pieces back on. At 5 coats total my X button suck a little bit for a couple days but was fine after that. If they had stuck more I would have taken it back off and used a little sand paper in the holes.


So the over all process was not too difficult I am very pleased with how it turned out. I think the color matched the cap on the can perfectly. I would recommend this as a project to anyone who is tired of their plain black controller. The Fusion paint comes in a wide variety of colors. So everyone in the house can have a different color.


jessageek Fri 01 Aug
The blue is calling to me. I might have to try this! smile
MrsNinjaMaster Sun 03 Aug
Looking good!
Captain Awwsum
Captain Awwsum Tue 05 Aug

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