How to protect and prevent your Laptop or PC Keyboard keys from Fading

If you read my article How to use Windows Shortcuts to be a more proficient Writer on Keyboard shortcuts that’ll help you to become a more proficient typist, you’ll realize how it is important to care for your keyboard. After all, it stops working or gets severely worn (usually due to very long snails, bad typing habits or food spills!), the Mouse alone can’t type.


Unless of course, you can locate the computers built-in Virtual Keyboard or your Laptop or PC happens to be a Touch-Screen device. To locate the On-Screen Keyboard, the instructions are as follows:

  1. Click the Start Button

  2. Click All Programs

  3. Select Accessories from the pop-out Menu

  4. Click Ease of Access

  5. Select the On-Screen Keyboard

But suppose the Keys on the keyboard are worn. Sure if you’ve got the cash to splash you can easily replace the keys by buying yourself a set online on Amazon or elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a solution on the cheap, then these handy low-cost tips will help:

If the keys have just begun to wear, use clear Cellophane Tape to coat and cover the keys on the Keyboard to prevent further wear and tear. For this first DIY (Do It Yourself) you’ll need:

  • Wide and Clear Cellophane Tape

  • Notepad

  • Flat very smooth and clean Metal Surface

  • Thumbtack with plastic top

  • Pen or pencil

  • Plain White paper

  • Razor Blade or Box-cutter

  • Cartridge paper

  • Pencil

  • Plastic Ruler

  • Metal Ruler

  • Tweezers

Simple instructions that are easy to follow to make you Keyboard live longer:

  1. Measure the keys and note the dimensions of the keys

  2. Use the Plastic Ruler and draw a square on the White Paper that’s 2mm smaller than the keyboard e.g. if the keys are 1cm x 1cm, make the square 8mm x 8mm

  3. Cut off strips of Cellophane Tape and place it on a clean clear Metallic surface

  4. Place the paper above the Cellophane Tape

  5. Holding the Paper in place, use the Thumbtack and perforate the paper so as to punch the pattern through onto the Cellophane plastic

  6. Use the Razor Blade and cut the Cellophane plastic in straight lines using the Metal Ruler as a guide

  7. Use the Tweezers (no hands touching the underside of the Tape!) and lift up the squares

  8. With the Plastic Squares held in the tweezers, place the Cellophane plastic Squares

  9. Repeat the above procedures, making as many squares as you need for the worn and faded keys

Cellophane has a habit after a while of use of peeling upwards, requiring frequent replacement. Thus an alternative option, which should appeal to female typists, is to use Nail Polish. So folks it’s yes another DIY for you!

You’ll need:

  • Clear Nail Polish

  • Patience like Job in the Bible or a woman at a Beauty Salon

  • Girlfriend (preferably yours not a nex’ man Girl!)

After you get over your qualms about people assessing your masculinity for having spied you buying Clear Nail Polish, this one is a no-brainer, albeit some guidance from your girlfriend (masculinity restored right there!!) is sure to help, as she’ll teach you how to apply the Nail Polish.

Finally, in closing, if your keyboard is faded to the point of being recognizable only as a keyboard and having no letters (Gamer’ll like this one!) other options exist, mostly from Amazon.

Keyboard Stencil: Disconnect the Dots

You can make or get yourself a Keyboard Stencil or overlay [4] from a company called DataCal. Basically this allows you to literally paint back the letters on your keys. Credit card required so you might want to experiment with making your own stencil….albeit not sure what to advise on the paint to use for the letters.

Keyboard Stickers: Pimp and Bedazzle You Keys

Another option is to do away with the traditional look and feel of your keyboard by customizing it with Keyboard Stickers, made mostly by a third-party company called 4Keyboard, many of which you can order online from Amazon.

Keyboard Skins: The Plastic Touch

If this sound familiar, that means you read  my ditty on protecting your Smartphone and Tablet using a Screen Protector as per my article How to make your own Cleaning Fluid and Cleaning Tips for your Smartphone or Tablet. Keyboard Skins are the same idea. You can order Keyboard Skins from Amazon as well, albeit you’ll have to try them out. Many exist with various level of tactile interface and can make typing a breeze. But it’s a matter of comfort and trial-and-error, so a visit to your local computer store may be in order.

Keyboard Replacement: RIP to Ebony and Ivory

If the keys are missing, you’re best to replace the entire keyboard, be it a Laptop or PC. YouTube and some serious Googling can help here. But be careful in pulling apart your Laptop, as missing screws and disconnected parts may be a little harder to replace.

That’s it! In hindsight, a day is coming when interacting with computers will be a lot more like Star Trek via Voice Commands or Natural Body Gestures as predicted in Siri and Kinect: Heralds of a coming world free of Remote Controls. Even Mind-Reading may be on the cards, as Interaxion’s Muse Mind Controller has demonstrated in Interaxon’s Muse Mind Controller and Tailly the Wearable Tail.

Until a standard replacement for the Keyboard is invented for Laptops and PC, this is one staple of Computing, even in the Tablet and smartphone world, whether virtual or real, Keyboard’ll survive and never fade away.

Here’s the link:


Keyboard Stickers

Keyboard Skins

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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