My solution for worn keyboard keys

Worn keyboard keys

Over six months ago I asked for advice on how to label the key on my keyboard where the letters had worn off. It has surprised me how many other people have the same problem with their keyboard. I thought I had just bought a cheap keyboard, but maybe cheap keyboards are becoming more common, or perhaps we are using our keyboards more often. After thinking about it for some time and reading the comments left on the earlier post I have now solved the problem and my newly labelled keyboard looks like this.

newly labelled keyboard

First I used adhesive stickers to label the keys about a month ago and in most cases they have worked with no problems, and have not moved across the keys or come off on to my fingers. However, over the last few days one corner of the E sticker has started curling slightly, therefore I have now coated each key with a layer of clear nail varnish.

If you are going to varnish your keys

  • make sure there is plenty of time for the varnish to dry
  • cover the whole of the top of the key and ensure you use enough varnish to get a smooth surface
  • if you touch type be aware that using varnish may reduce the feeling of the markers on the home keys
  • its likely the varnish will wear off in time like the original letters so be prepared to re-varnish the keys in future

Kate Davis (397 Posts)

Kate is a working mum of two children, with a desire to do a wide range of things from writing to video editing. I know to achieve all these interests I need to be as productive as possible. Facts about Kate: I get great pleasure using spreadsheets, I’m teaching myself Photoshop Elements, I learnt sign language to use with my children before they could speak, I’ve written a journal for over 25 years, I dream of publishing a novel and I've written this blog for over 7 years.

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  1. gS49
    Posted March 3, 2008 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    If you touchtype, you don’t need to read the keys.

  2. Posted March 6, 2008 at 6:39 am | Permalink


    That is correct and when I am typing large amounts of text I don’t have any problem with no labels. However I found I had a problem when I was typing unusual sequences of letters such as with captcha forms. I did not absolutely need to label my keys, but it has made typing easier.

  3. Posted August 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    You’re right Kate- it’s always useful to be able to see the letters on a keyboard even if you touch type. I don’t think this problem is avoidable unfortunately- I invested in a good quality keyboard and the letters still rubbed off. As it’s such a common issue it’s great to find a solution so thanks for posting this- it’s saved me the money I would have invested in a new keyboard.

  4. Joanne Grula
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    My son-in-law had a backlit keyboard and the letters were through-and-through (royal blue) on his keyboard. Oh my, was I jealous. I’m a transcriptionist and right now at least 3 keys are bare-naked on a keyboard that is only a month or so old. Drat. He ordered the keyboard on-line and, unfortunately, the one he had was wireless.

  5. Posted October 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Is there any solution you have in mind if the keys on the keyboard have popped out and dislocated and they just won’t stick back into place? Is it recommended to uses glue or tape? Nobody here is willing to repair it and the manufacturer of my laptop has gone out of business.

    • Posted November 29, 2011 at 5:19 am | Permalink

      I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestions because I assume you need to do a good job to ensure the keystroke is registered and the key feels like the rest of the keyboard when pressed. Have you done a web search, somewhere like ehow maybe have some information.

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