My phone's too smooth!
December 30, 2010 4:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I rough up my mobile phone?

I just got a Samsung Zeal, and I like almost everything about it - the size and shape are pretty much perfect, and it does what I need it to do. It has one significant problem, though - it's way too slippery. It's black plastic, and it's unbelievably slick to the touch.

I don't want to get a case or a skin for it, because as I said I love the size of it, but I want to make the case a bit less slippery. Would a light buffing with sandpaper do the trick? If so, what grit? I'm mostly thinking of roughing it around the edges and on the back, not on the face, but I have no idea how to do this and still have a phone that works. Any ideas would be most appreciated.
posted by pdb to Technology (13 answers total)
They might have a more refined solution than sandpaper!
posted by jacobean at 4:23 PM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Souffle pen by Sakura leaves a raised line when the ink dries and it takes a long time to wear off. You could do a functional and cool pattern.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:24 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I guarantee that will void your warranty. Look for Innocases, they fit so snugly that you barely know they're there.
posted by Raichle at 4:34 PM on December 30, 2010

You could cut a self-adhesive laminating sheet to size and stick that on the back. That would at least be removable, maybe with some goo cleaner (careful with that too, though, as some cleaners aren't safe for plastic), should you ever need to send your phone in for repairs. Don't do any damage to the phone itself. You'll void your warranty and any resale value.
posted by katillathehun at 4:47 PM on December 30, 2010

You could just put some stickers on it.
posted by delmoi at 5:09 PM on December 30, 2010

If you do use sandpaper I'd recommend 150 grit.. 100 will be too rough and will scratch it, and 180-220 might just buff it.. You should take the sandpaper to a piece of wood or something for a few strokes just to take the initial bite out of it.
posted by Glendale at 5:21 PM on December 30, 2010

This is what sugru was made for. It's a really cool moldable silicone in neat colors.
posted by limeonaire at 5:29 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Rubber band?
posted by AngerBoy at 8:34 PM on December 30, 2010

Try adhesive non-skid strips, cut to size?
posted by ctmf at 8:59 PM on December 30, 2010

Three or four layers of screen protectors. Fill your pocket with kosher salt + phone. Walk around a few days.

Non-satirically; get a stretch rubber case for it. You're in Portland... ask around Chinatown (snort - but maybe it has changed after 15 years) stores about flip-phone rubber case or search ebay with your phone's model number. There are skins/cases that are very different (and likely far superior) to skins/cases that you're familiar with. Keep an open mind.

If you're handy; get yourself a tube of Shoo Goo and line your phone.
posted by porpoise at 9:26 PM on December 30, 2010

Seconding egrips. I used these with my old Treo for this exact reason and it was perfect.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:04 PM on December 30, 2010

FWIW, Lifehacker suggests Plasti Dip.
posted by doctorpiorno at 4:17 AM on December 31, 2010

nthing the Egrips recommendation by Jacobean above. I bought a sheet of the small dots - great, long wearing, clean up easy and allow you to fine-tune the whole thing by adding/removing dots so the device sticks where you want to hold/sit it and slides where you want it to. They also make sheets so you can cut out a whole-back cover like their model-specific sets.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:51 PM on December 31, 2010

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