I disassembled both systems and cleaned the casing, removing over a decade of crap and dust. The GBC had stickers covering it that had to be removed. I first painted it black but the paint didn’t take (was a new kind I was trying out) and had to strip it and start over, taking more time. The GBA was only lightly sprayed with white paint to cover some yellowing due to age.
After three coats of Duplicolor white on the GBC, the can ran out of paint and I had to call it a day. The purple from the original plastic does give it a warm hue but nothing that couldn’t be covered up with a splattering of orange acrylic paint.
Originally I only wanted the GBA to be black splattered but it was too close to the GBC during it’s painting and got orange on it. I went over it and gave it a more even orange and black painting. After the acrylic dried I gave both systems two coats of clear coat to keep the paint from rubbing off. I’ve only played the GBA a few times since it’s painting but I’m about 100% certain the buttons paint will eventually wear off. The GBC has custom buttons I ordered for my first Gameboy case mod, I ordered normal buttons but got sent GBC ones, no big deal since I knew the GBC was out in the garage. 🙂
The main reason for even opening the Game Boy Advance was to remove that horrible stock screen. I recall playing this thing under a lamp in the living room just to see what I was doing when I first got it, playing it outdoors was often necessary. NOT ANYMORE! The SP screen is super bright and all the colors display very very vividly – think Sega Genesis color saturation levels. The screen required some carving out of the interior plastic housing and two bits of solder all very easy things to do. I ordered the screen and adapter ribbon kit from Rose Colored Gaming which is about sold out of nearly everything else in their store right now. Playing my GBA in the dark in bed is worth the $50. It does lower the battery life to about 6 hours with cheap batteries, not a huge deal if you have rechargeable batteries in the house.