geekhack Projects > Making Stuff Together!

Keyboard painting and dyeing

(1/2) > >>

Hello All,

     I just found a random keyboard for a couple bucks and I've decided to dye and paint some of my keyboards starting with this cheap one. I would appreciate any tips and tricks any of you might have on what type or brand of paint to use and what type of dye or brand to use.

     I also need some inside tips on how to dye (temperature, water type, keycap cleaning methods, etc.) and how to paint (cleaning methods, how many coats, etc).

I await your advice.

Lethal Squirrel:
I successfully died my model M caps once. I just mixed some RIT dye in a pan with a ton of saltwater and let them simmer until they looked good. I'd be careful about the temp. I'm not sure what model M keycaps are made of, but I'm sure some plastics can melt really easily.

Now painting on the other hand... Don't do it! spray paint will become sticky and gross over time. I've spray painted so much stuff hoping it would not be sticky, but I regret it every time. I read the instructions perfectly and buy the best plastics paint I can find, but the stuff in the can never works. However, if you have real auto paint and a paint gun, you can get some awesome results. I have a custom painted gameboy pocket and it's beautiful! maybe I'll upload a pic of it or something. :D

Lethal Squirrel:
Here's a video of my gameboy. A guy on youtube will do this for you on a keyboard case if you send him a message. he charges around $40-$100
depending on the paint color. He is amazing at painting as you can tell!


dab a drop of acetone on the plastic in question. if it melts a spot before it evaporates, you probably have a piece of ABS and SHOULD NOT heat it to dyeing temperatures, because those are also softening/melting temperatures. it can be done if you are very very very careful but you will need to ruin several pieces in experiments with your own individual gear before you know the exact threshold temperature.

why bother?

if the plastic survives the acetone test, it is PBT and can be dyed with RIT with excellent results, depending on the color.

in another thread, I requested comments on good/bad colors. for me, scarlet, sunshine orange, black, and bright yellow worked great, while dark green and cocoa brown did not.

I have had good luck painting cases with "Dupli-color" $8 per can at NAPA, good for about 3 cases, but I would not trust it on the keys themselves.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version