After modding desktop cases since the mid 90's I have been wanting to do an serious Cosmetic Mod to a notebook for some time now.
I decided to apply paint, install a backlit logo and add suede to my Averatec.

It is a AV3270-EH1 and has the following specs: 12.1" LCD, AMD Sempron 2800, 512MB DDR(upgraded to 1GB), VIA/S3G Unichrome IGP, 60 GB-5400 RPM, DVD +/- Burner, Windows XP Home Edition. In 2005 I paid $829 at Sams Club after rebate. This has been a great little notebook.

There an Excellent review of the notebook on notebookreview.com.




Now, lets get on with making this



look like this


            First we need to get a few things together.

A nice precision screwdriver (not that $.99 POS from Wal-Mart)
Krylon Fusion paint and clearcoat
A suede Schticker
Small, thin sheet of Plexiglas
Painter's tape
Newspaper/masking material
Dremel - cutting bits and depth guide
A hobby knife
Super glue
Printed transparency with the image you want on the lid
Cleaner - alcohol
A tech manual, assembly guide, or any info on your specific notebook
A digital Camera
Access to another computer
A quarter


Open up your new Lapschticks and trim it to fit on the palm rests or wherever you want it placed. I custom ordered enough to cover the lid and the palm rests. On the palm rests you will need to cut holes for the speakers and any lights. I experimented and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I could cover my mouse buttons and they still worked great.

After fitting the Lapschticker, pull it off and stick on the fridge like they suggest for cleaning.



You will need to take two groups of pictures. One set is for reassembly purposes. There are a lot of parts and pictures of the disassembly will help you get things back together if you can't quite recall how they were. These will also be used for showing off your achievement or writing a how-to. This brings up to the second computer. Should you have problems you will need it to view your pictures or search for help.

The second group of pictures is going to record your system information, serial numbers and product key codes. You could write these down but I find pictures don't get lost as easily.


Now we start the disassembly. If you have a tech manual you are lucky. If you are flying blind then you will want to take twice as many pictures. All notebooks are different so I will take a generic approach.


If you see a screw then take it out. Place it in a bin or on the bench and take a picture. Order matters but the order will take care of itself during disassembly. Do what appears to be the next easiest thing to take off. When you reassemble you will just go in reverse order.

Understand that you are dealing with a delicate piece of electronics. If something is not coming apart easily then double and triple check for more screws. If you don't find any then look again and then apply a slight amount of force. If it does not come apart then look again because you are missing something. Note that there are parts that snap together (most screen faceplates) in addition to having screws. You will also need to be aware that adhesives are used on some things.




One piece at a time.

One picture at a time.


You will probably come across some tiny little screws. Be careful not to lose them.

Now you can grab that quarter. It will work great as an indicator of scale for your tiny screw pictures.

There is a full resolution picture of these guys cropped down to just the screws. Click the image to see the tiny tiny screws sitting on a quarter.


One piece at a time.

One picture at a time.

Keep plugging away
and now we have a
nice little pile of parts.





Now is the time to photograph all of the little stickers and codes on your computer. After you have taken pics of everything then you can remove the stickers and clean all the parts to be painted.


Now might be a good time for a little break.


Check those batteries in your Dremel and lets continue.


I like to use a Dremel for this kind of work. I urge you to get one if you don't have one, but I suggest you practice on something besides an $800 notebook. The most important thing and the most common mistake is not to hurry. Take your time. Take a break and then go take your time some more.

Now we need to decide on the size and shape of the logo. Once you have decided you will need to cut the hole and a small ledge for the window. Cut the hole first. It should be a little larger than the area you want to be backlit. You will decrease the backlit area with paint. Now take the depth guide for the Dremel and set it to the thickness of the Plexiglas. Use the Dremel to rout a small ledge for the Plexiglas.


Now that the lid is cut you will need to cut the Plexiglas to fit the hole.
Use a grinding drum on the Dremel to get an exact fit.
After the hole looks good and the Plexiglas fits it perfectly
clean the lid with alcohol and let dry.

Once things are clean and dry, super glue the Plexiglas into the lid.

After the super glue sets, it's time to mask everything off for painting. Mask off any interior parts as well as any parts still attached to the shell. I left the hinges and screen frame in the lid so I had o mask the hinges. Don't forget to mask the window. You will want to mask slightly smaller than the hole to give you room to attach the transparency inside. Double check that you have all the parts to be painted.



one coat

Use a light dusting motion and remember more         

two coat
light coats are better than a couple heavy ones.          three coat
Read the cans for full instructions.
Apply clear to help protect your new paint.


Let everything set.

Cut the logo out of the transparancy to fit the hole in the lid. Tape the logo in the lid. Don't forget to turn it around so it is not backwards when viewed from the outside of the lid. I got the logo by making a custom jpg and having it printed out at Kinkos. You will want the background to be black for this method.


Now it's time to put all this


together with all this

Now just do the opposite of taking it apart. Easy, right?
Don't forget to look at those pictures if you need to and don't force anything.
It should go together just as easily as it came apart.
Take your time and you will be OK.


Now you can smile.





I suggest hitting the
power button
before you celebrate too much.

Did it work?? Good. Now smile and do a little dance.

Apply the Lapschticker to the laptop.






Stand Back, Smile.



Here is a little video of the logo turning on (14MB).



Good Luck and Happy Modding!!!!