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How to Repaint a Keyboard

by Gissimee Doe

Keyboards tend to become grimy and discoloured over time, especially with regular use. Frequent cleaning causes the print on the keys to fade. You can repaint your keyboard to breathe new life into it and make it look fresh again. You can also use a paint job to make the keyboard match your décor and personality or use it as an expressive outlet for your creativity. You can choose to just paint the basic structure of the keyboard, or also paint the keys. You will need to paint the letters back onto the keys, or be a really good typist with an excellent memory.

Step 1

Take a clear, close-up image of the keyboard with the digital camera. You will need to remove and replace the keys, so you need to know where they are positioned on the keyboard. If you don’t have a digital camera, use the pencil to write down the position or layout of the keys on paper, or commit the layout to memory.

Step 2

Unplug the keyboard from the computer and from any electronic devices.

Step 3

Remove the keys from the keyboard by carefully pulling them out with the key grabber tool or by inserting the flat end of a screwdriver under an edge of each key and applying upward pressure until it pops out. The larger keys, such as the spacebar, have a wire reinforcement, so you will have to take special care to remove them properly.

Step 4

Unscrew the covering from the keyboard, if it is screwed down. The screws are usually located at the back of the keyboard. You may need a Philips screwdriver or a star-shaped screwdriver, depending on the types of screws used in your keyboard.

Step 5

Wipe the covering and base of the keyboard with a damp rag. You will need a clean, grease-free base for the paint to adhere properly.

Step 6

Wash the keys with soap and warm water, then dry them with the towel.

Step 7

Cover any areas of the keyboard that you don’t want to paint, such as lettering, buttons or LED lights, using the tape cut to exactly fit the area.

Step 8

Rub the print off the keys using the sandpaper. You only need to do this if you will be painting the keys.

Step 9

Spray the keyboard and its constituent parts with two or three light layers of spray paint. Let each layer dry completely between paint jobs. The keys, if you are painting them, need several layers of paint, as they will be subjected to heavy use. Allow all the painted parts to dry completely, which may take several hours.

Step 10

Paint the numbers and letters back on to the keys, using a fine brush, or write them on with a paint pen or indelible marker.

Snap the keys back on to the keyboard. Use the picture or layout you made to ensure you put all the keys back in the correct slots.

Items you will need

  • Digital camera
  • Plastic or metallic spray paint
  • Screwdriver
  • Key grabber
  • Brush
  • Indelible marker
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Masking or transparent tape
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Rag
  • Towel

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