dr martens discount code off Keyboard Letters
This might seem kind of obvious, but I’ll share my experiences just the same.
Over the years I’ve had several “cheapie” (yet still highly reliable) keyboards that the key legends on keycaps under my left hand started showing very noticeable wear in less than a year of use. The legends on these keycaps were the “painted” on type.
I stopped the wear dead in its tracks on all the affected keycaps by simply covering the ASDEC letters with an approx 7mm X 7mm square of CLEAR ‘cellophane’ tape (aka “Scotch”(TM) tape). It’s also absolutely essential that the tape be no closer than about 0.5mm from any edge of the keytop, and of course the keycap must be clean of any contaminants before applying the tape. I cut the squares of tape using a virgin X acto blade and applied the tape to the keycaps using tweezers to make sure no oils were transfered from my hands onto the tape, and to reduce the chance of trapping bubbles under the tape. I then ‘buffed’ the tape into the keycap. Using scissors doesn’t create that bevel thus the tape would be more likely to ‘fray’ around the edges over time and would more easily detach from the keycap.)
One keyboard I’ve been using frequently for over 5 years has zero additional wear on those keycaps, and I haven’t yet had to replace the tape on any keycaps on that keyboard (once I discovered to leave that >= 0.5mm gap between the edges of the tape and the keycaps, and to not use a ‘bargain’ brand of tape).
It may also be possible to use clear nail polish or a spray on clear coating product to protect the legends. acetone) used in some polishes may slightly “melt” the keycaps and/or the legends when first applied (I don’t know if nail polish still contains such solvents or not, but if they do I’d bet keycaps made from cheaper plastics can be affected by it). I’d also bet that using nail polish will likely require re applying it every now and then. If one has a problem with any tape fix, perhaps a coating of clear nail polish or spray on coating over the tape would help ensure the edges of the tape couldn’t come up or the tape shift over time due to adhesive failure in some conditions.
Instead of tape or nail polish, I’ve also successfully used Krylon clear spray coating on some electronic assemblies (keycaps have to be removed from any switches first). Several light layers sprayed on over the lettering worked better than one thick coating. Warning! Spray on coatings also often contain solvents, so one should pre test and great care should be used while applying the coating to ensure it won’t ‘melt’ any plastics or the lettering. A can of spray on coating is also more expensive than a small bottle of cheap nail polish, but if carefully applied,
the spray on coating results can be far superior. The dry transfer kits are usually available at office supply and hobby stores, they aren’t that expensive, and they come in different sizes and many colors (note: that might be of particular interest to gamers who might want to customize certain keys with letters that stand out from the surrounding keys.) However, some ‘peel off’ lettersets use a relatively thick vinyl material which can be much too thick for this use. You would be able to feel the letters on the keys, and it may not be acceptable to you. But ‘rub on’ dry transfer letters are extremely thin, being more like an ink/coating than a thick vinyl film you apply on the keycap.
After applying the new letters on a keycap, I’d try protecting them with either the ‘Scotch'(TM) tape, clear nail polish, or a spray on clear coating as I described above. All warnings still apply.
I haven’t tried that on actual computer keyboard keys, but I’ve had excellent success doing this on various regular ‘on/off’ electronic switch keycaps, project cases, etc.