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.


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