Spray-painting the Atari XE line of 8-bits

I recently bought an Atari 800XE. Having had an 800XL as a kid, when re-buying all of the systems I once had, that was the first I rebought. I love it, and it’s definitely my favourite 8-bit of all time, even pipping the C64. Then an opportunity arose to get 2x 65XEs for a steal. I figured I’d sell one, and keep one as a ‘backup’ machine. Then the bug got hold of me, and I bought a 130XE, an XEGS and most recently, an 800. I still need to get a 400, 600XL and a 1200XL to complete the set, but they will come in time!

The 800XE had seen better days. It was functionally fine (aside from the faulty GTIA, a problem in many of the 800XEs), and most of the keys were mercifully un-yellowed. A dunk in some Oxy powder and they looked pretty good. The case, however, was very yellow. I’ve had a bad experience with retrobrighting in the past, with terrible blooming and a patchy finish. Taking a lead from someone over on the AtariAge forums, I decided to spray-paint it after seeing the great job he did on his. Unfortunately, the paint he used has been discontinued, so I had to take a stab at something else. The paint I used was Rust-Oleum Satin in Stone Grey, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result!

There are some before and after pics of the 800XE below, and I’ve taken a couple against my 130XE that has never been touched, so is a good comparison.

17th February 2019:
I finally got around to putting the sealant coat on it! Again, original 130XE for comparison.


6 thoughts on “Spray-painting the Atari XE line of 8-bits

  1. I’ve just checked their web site. Satin Stone Gray 249855 is in production. But living in Italy it’s hard to check out the RAL code (if any) or the existance of the paint can. I’ve already sent an e-mail to have some information about it… Hope for the best.


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