Chrome HTC HD2 Battery Cover Tutorial


Chrome HTC HD2 Battery Cover Tutorial

Chrome HTC HD2 Battery Cover Tutorial

Posted on May 26, 2010 by Paul White

In this tutorial I will take you step by step through the process required for polishing your HTC HD2 battery cover into a perfect chrome mirrored finish. 

Why Polish your HTC HD2 battery cover?

When the HD2 first came out it was only available in Europe and Asia.  As such if you lived in the USA and wanted one you paid a small fortune to have it imported, then try to get it working on one of the USA GSM service providers.  Then finally some executive at T-Mobile had the sense to get the HD2 on the T-Mobile network.  The HD2 is quickly becoming the IPhone for T-Mobile.  Very popular and limited availability.  So what is inevitable is eventually lots of people will have the HTC HD2.  As such any person who doesn't like to have the same phone as everyone else, is going to want to customize theirs to make it different.  Sure you can cook up different ROMs for the unit and modify the UI, but the outer appearance is what will really make it stand out.  The Battery cover on the HD2 is made of Metal, has a slight etched texture going the long ways, and then is painted to kind of match the rest of the phone ( which it does very poorly ).  So in this tutorial I decided I wanted to polish my battery cover to a chrome Mirrored finish.  When I use the word chrome I am talking about the look, and not actually chrome platting the battery cover. 

HTC HD2


Before we get started

In theory this would work with any battery cover that is made of metal, so even if your phone is not an HTC HD2, you should still be able to use this tutorial to do your phone ( as long as the part you are polishing is made of metal ).  Its also possible to do this with Plastic but you have to be very gentle, and the course grit sand paper most likely will not be needed.  Also it is easiest to do this with surfaces that are flat.  If you have some complex shape you want to polish I would not recommend doing this, unless you have a dremel tool and some polishing heads.  Even then its no easy task.

Step 1 to a Chrome HTC HD2 - Preparation

Before you can get started you will need the following.

Needed to Polish your Phone

1. Roll of paper towels, or old cotton T-Shirts that you don't plan on wearing after this.
2. Green Scour Pads ( optional )
3. Course Sand Paper ( 300 Grit is best )
4. Fine Sand Paper ( 1000 Grit wet / dry )
5. Blue Coral Metal Polish Creme


HTC HD2 Battery Cover


Step 2 to a Chrome HTC HD2 - Remove the Paint

First, DO NOT attempt to polish your battery cover while on the phone.  Remove your battery cover from the phone before starting.  Something you should know ahead of time is the paint on the battery cover does not come off easily.  I tried using the Green Scour Pad and after several minutes of scrubbing the progress was minimal.  So I stepped up to a 220 Grit Sand Paper to remove the Paint.  Since the battery cover has a natural texture that goes the long ways of the phone, its best to sand against this texture.  Cut your Sand Paper into 2" x 2" squares.  Hand Sand the surface until the Sand Paper has lost its integrity, then pick up a new piece and keep going.  Continue to do this until no more black paint can be seen on the battery cover. Do not worry so much about which direction you sand just as long as you are able to remove all of the paint.  You can use a courser grit of sand paper but you might have trouble removing these scratches later on.  For this reason I recommend using a 300 Grit to start off.


HTC HD2 Battery Cover
Battery Cover with Most of the Paint Removed


Step 3 to a Chrome HTC HD2 - Sand with Course Grit Sand Paper

Now that all the paint is removed,  Focus on the scratches the sand paper left on the surface.  You goal is to make these scratches even.  A good way to do this is to eliminate all the scratches that go in one direction.  In my case I sanded with the Course Grit Sand paper in the vertical direction until all the horizontal scratches were gone.  Make sure you do not leave any deep scratches before moving on to the next step.  Else these scratches will be visible after you finish the final step and will look very bad.  Also wet sanding tends to make it a little easier, so take your sanding activities to your kitchen sink.

HTC HD2 Battery Cover
Battery Cover with all Paint removed and sanding completed with Course Grit Sand Paper

Step 4 to a Chrome HTC HD2 - Sand with Fine Grit Sand Paper

Now pick up the 1000 Grit Sand paper and cut it into small 2" by 2" squares.  Once again our goal is to remove the scratches from the previous course grit sand paper. Sand in the opposite direction and keep sanding until you can no longer see the original scratches.  Its a good idea to pick up the battery cover and tilt it in the light to make sure you have completely removed the unwanted scratches.  This part may take some time,  just be patient. When you are finished the surface should have a reflective quality to it, but will still be a little hazy.
HTC HD2 Battery Cover
After polishing with 1000 grit sand paper.


Step 5 to a Chrome HTC HD2 - Polish with Metal Polish Creme

The metal polish creme will bring your battery cover to a near perfect mirrored finish.  After this step it will become very obvious if you sanded enough in the previous steps.  To use the polish take a few drops and buff it into the battery cover using a paper towel. 
HTC HD2 Battery Cover Chrome Polish
The paper towel will turn black as it removes a thin layer of metal from the surface. 
HTC HD2 Battery Cover Chrome Polish
When it turns black rotate your towel to a clean side and keep going.  Repeat over and over again until the surface is a perfect mirror.  Keep in mind the polish creme will only remove fine scratches,  If you find you still have deep scratches you will need to go back and do some more sanding. 

Clean up

After you are done, use some soap and water to clean off the battery cover, and wash your hands, so you don't immediately leave finger prints all over your new shiny battery cover. 


HTC HD2 Chrome Battery Cover


Finally admire your phone knowing your HTC HD2 is not like all the others.

HTC HD2 Chrome Battery Cover

HTC HD2 Chrome Battery Cover

HTC HD2 Chrome Battery Cover


HTC HD2 Chrome Battery Cover

HTC HD3 Chrome Battery Cover

As you might notice in the pictures some of the deep scratches are visible depending on the angle, I may go back later and try to sand these scratches out.  I hope everyone enjoyed this tutorial.

UPDATE 5/27/2010
A few visitors suggested that taking more gradual steps in the sanding would improve the end result, and they are correct. Unfortunately I only had the 220 grit and 1000 grit sand paper on hand, so that Is what I used. 
If you want absolute perfection you will need to use many different grits of sand paper, starting with a 300 or 400 grit, then using a 600, 800, 1000, 1200, and finally the Polishing creme.  Also an electric belt sander might save your fingertips from the abuse, as well as save you an entire day of hand sanding.  Still putting your own blood, tears, and sweat into a project like this has a certain level of satisfaction that is priceless.

Business Opportunity

I had some people offering to pay me to do this to their phone.  I appreciate your positive thoughts.  Unfortunately work keeps me a little too busy, to start my own production line of Battery Covers,  That and to do it right I would have to invest in a good belt sander, and polishing wheel so I could ramp up production.  After the initial investment in tools, and the labor costs I would have to sell these at a premium to make a return, and I not sure how many HTC HD2 owners would be willing to pay for something like this.  I feel that most people with Windows Phones tend to be a little more of the DO IT YOURSELF type.  They would refuse to pay $100 for a battery cover, but would waste an entire week trying to do it themselves.  So I figured a tutorial to help put people on the right track might be more beneficial to the community of HD2 Owners.

HD3 will be next

The HD3 will be my next phone, as long as it runs windows Mobile.  If it has metal parts similar to other Smart Phones I will also be polishing this one.  Next time I will make a video tutorial, and most likely use the right tools ( belt sander, polishing wheel ) to get the job done.

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Discussion

DIESEL | May 27, 2010 10:31 AM
loving it!!! can't wait to try it on mine as soon as i get it!!! many thanks!!!! 
Jayce | May 27, 2010 9:54 PM
Nice. Your HD2 will shine in front of people. :)
art | May 28, 2010 2:12 AM
here is mine i did today luckily i had some air tools. i had mine paint red pearl and green pearl and high polish works great too
terminal7 | May 28, 2010 3:52 AM
i want to go do this now..
but what if i screw it up ....hmmmm...
i have done this before on car mirror housings so what the hell,,
lets do it :)

Richard | May 28, 2010 10:26 PM
I'm tempted to do this now, great idea!

For anyone worried about messing it up or voiding their warranty, you can buy a spare battery cover for $16.99 and chrome that. Google shopping will point you right.
wmgeek | May 29, 2010 12:25 AM
Awesome tutorial. You made HD2 shine! :)
Chris | May 31, 2010 9:32 AM
Hi - Would it be possibe to use paint stripper to chemically remove the paint without the need for sanding, avoiding scratching the surface?
Lord | May 31, 2010 3:05 PM
Something one can try after doing this, is taking the custom work to the next level.  There are places you can get custom applique's (or design your own) and place them carefully on the battery cover.  To ensure protection for your applique, and keep scratches off the battery cover after your hard work, a Zagg InvisiSHIELD would do nicely.  Now that I think about this, I may buy a couple of spare covers and design a couple for myself.
Paul | May 31, 2010 8:23 PM
Chris,
A chemical based paint stripper might remove the paint, but the metal it self has a machined texture that would still need to be sanded off.  If you want to do it right start with a 400 Grit, and then setup to 1200 grit in intervals of 200.  Just be patient and it will turn out ok. 
brain | Jun 2, 2010 7:11 AM
Wow! It's so awesome :o Later this day I will buy some sand paper an polish creme. looking forward to seeing the result!
art | Jun 10, 2010 1:51 PM
I actually went over my cover again I used a 3inch polisher with 500/800/1000/3000 then a agressive foam paid with metal polish then a foam polishing pad with metal polish results were great I rushed through it but if I take my time i'm sure it can look perfect. its real smooth as is though. I have a spare battery cover now so i'm going to try something else on that one. I had the cover green pearl and red pearl and now chrome whats next . . any ideas?
Robin | Jul 9, 2010 6:19 AM
Like i posted on XDA, look how slick brushed-metal looks
paul | Jul 9, 2010 6:24 AM
Robin,
Very nice.
If anyone doesn't have the patience to polish it for a chrome finish, just sand it all in the same direction for a brushed metal look,  Much easier to do, than getting a perfect mirror.
xmRipper | Jul 10, 2010 8:06 PM
It looks totally crap.
s_from_hell69 | Aug 1, 2010 4:38 AM
Hi ya,

It is a great idea,but i waited until my exstended battery came to done the yob,i just finished and i got i few issue on it.
I used these staff:

1. Roll of paper towels, or old cotton T-Shirts.
2. Course Sand Paper 150 Grit on start to take the paint.
3. Course Sand Paper 300 Grit to take the 150 Grit 
 scratches.
4. Course Sand Paper 500 Grit to take the 300 Grit  scratches.
4. Fine Sand Paper 1000 Grit wet  with a bit of washing up liquid.
4. Fine Sand Paper 1500 Grit wet  with a bit of washing up liquid.
5. Metal Polish Creme to make sure everything is gonna be clean and shine.
6. A conforfable table,2 hours of "hand job" and alot of pacient.

 The only think that advice you all is when you scratch with the 150-300-500 Grit is  to keep always the same directions in order that when you pass later to the 1000 if you done a great job you wouldn't see any scratch (and if so is better to see them in the same directions).
In the end use the Fine Sand Paper 1000-1500 in a circle directions with water and washing up liquid cuted in small pieces.

Ooo the metal circle you see on my HD2 is for my car bracket... 

That's it guys enjoy your fantastic HTC HD2!



plywood | Jan 28, 2011 5:34 PM
My HD2 has scratches on battery cover despite wearing it in factory leather case - good patent for the future :)
Roger Miller | Sep 13, 2011 2:09 AM
I saw your post through a friend from xda developers.com and couldn't wait to do my cover. Took me 2hrs,finished in 3000 grit w/foam pad and disc on a mini grinder! Even @2800 rpm's starting lowest-highest,stepping it until 3000 grit you don't need any polishes or creams and it is long lasting. BUT...if you do use metal/aluminum polishes IT WILL bring out the highest results! Here's a few of mine. Thanks for your post!
android developers | Oct 4, 2011 12:48 AM
This is definitely a topic thats close to me ,so Im happy that you wrote about it. Im also happy that you did the subject some justice. Not only do you know a great deal about it, you know how to present in a way that people will want to read more
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