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Keyboard DYE customization guide!!!

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 
Thanks to Manyak for turning me on to using RIT dye to customize keys! After reading up on the webs about the process...I figured I would share my findings and my first attempt

Using dye to color your individual keys and board work much better than paint, because the dye gets infused with the plastic, and won't ever wear off.
As far as I can tell, the most widely used and most effective dye for this process is RIT dye, which you can find at your local drugstore (Rite Aid) or department store (Wal-Mart).

The Rit dye comes in several colors, and is available as a powder or a liquid.


I chose royal blue, cocoa brown, and scarlet for my next few projects. So lets give it a shot ...first with some Scarlet!

I try to use a highly concentrated batch of dye/water. I'd say what I used was 6 parts water to 1 part liquid dye... I am sure this is overkill, but I wanted results
There are different types of plastics used by different keyboard manufacturers. Some are harder to dye than others. The melting points are different, so you have to be careful!
For reference, melting point of ABS is 105°C, PBT is 221°C.

Make sure you clean the keys with soap and water..and then a light wipe with rubbing alcohol before attempting to dye...we want EVEN colors!

Salt seems to be good for setting the colors in stone. I have also read that adding vinegar to your dye solution can raise the acidity of the dye, allowing it to penetrate the plastic easier. All things worth trying out! I will be experimenting over the coming weeks and will let you all know what I find to be the most effective at getting the job done.

Here is the dye I picked up:


And for the first attempt, we will be dying the enters, esc, arrows, and w-a-s-d of a logitech multimedia keyboard that happens to have a Brazillian layout :0


My original plan was to use a strainer to suspend the keys in the solution for easy access to them in case they got too hot. I abandoned this after the first dip...my keys didn't melt


I added a couple of tablespoons of salt and made sure to bring my solution to a boil, which I hear is good to "activate" the dye.



Once I had reached a rolling boil, I removed the pan from the hat and dropped the keys in...stirring constantly at first so they did not hit the hot metal bottom and melt.
These keys seemed to be of the difficult sort. After their first 15 minute soak, I ended up with salmon-pink keys. Being the determined individual I am...I rinsed the keys while returning the solution to a boil again to repeat the process. After three 15 minute baths....here are the results!




So i think I am getting the hang of it Stay tuned for later this week when my Cherry G84-4100 Mechanical Mini arrives...I will be doing a full-mod on it!



UPDATED shots of original mod board with brown added


G84 Dye PICS:
http://www.overclock.net/computer-pe...ml#post6891706



Other OCN'ers DYE job LOGS!
Jrice00
http://www.overclock.net/computer-pe...board-dye.html

theCanadian
http://www.overclock.net/computer-pe...ml#post6842468

StretchNuts
http://www.overclock.net/computer-pe...ml#post6955448
Edited by VCheeZ - 8/17/09 at 9:29pm
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post #2 of 189
This kicks!

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post #3 of 189
i want to do this lol
post #4 of 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by catmmm View Post
i want to do this lol
what be ye awaiting for then ma lady?

Edit:

I did my own.

I rubberized the frame with undercoating and did the keys with a dark green. I didn't think to dye the key's until after I rubberized the frame or I would have dyed the frame as well to make the color match.

Edit: I have since colored in the beige part with green Sharpie. Much better




Edited by theCanadian - 8/5/09 at 11:19am
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post #5 of 189
Thread Starter 
So lets see your dye-jobs!
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post #6 of 189
Dang, that looks pretty awesome.

Too bad I have a jet black keyboard.
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post #7 of 189
Nice DIY mod. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the cherry.
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post #8 of 189
I...

Will this work on a keyboard with Black keys?
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post #9 of 189
This is made of win. You sir deserve a cookie.
    
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post #10 of 189
That looks so awesome! Sadly I have a G15, but this makes me want to dig out the 10+ PS2 keyboards we all have laying around and color 'em!
    
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