Replacing Worn Off Keyboard Letters

As long as the keyboard still works, you can find a way to mark those keys again. This guide is about replacing worn off keyboard letters.
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3 found this helpful
May 21, 2013 Flag

Black keyboard: Silver Sharpies. It's not as neat as the stickers, but cheap. Silver Sharpies are great for writing on black surfaces (putting kids names on stuff, etc.)

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0 found this helpful
March 27, 2011 Flag

Does anyone have a suggestion for replacing the letters on the keyboard? The most used ones which in my case are a, s, d, e, r, and t are almost completely gone.

By glo from Rockford, IL

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March 27, 20110 found this helpful

If your keyboard is part of a desktop you can do one of two things: replace it or replace the worn keys. Keys on a keyboard come off fairly easy with the exception of the space bar. If you can find a similar keyboard at a yard sale or maybe check with a place that repairs computers to see if they have similar keys than it can be a cheap fix.

Another option is to buy a small tip permanent marker and write the letter back on the keys. You could paint them as well. But to keep them from wearing off again you should treat the keys with a spray on clear coat. To do this you will need to remove the keys. Take a small screw driver and pry the key from the side. Take note of where each key goes so you can get them back in place without incident. Once you have the keys off write or paint the letters on them. Set them in a circular pattern on a piece of cardboard and spray them from one side to the other with the clear coat paint. Let them dry and push them back on the keyboard.

If you do not feel comfortable with the clear coat paint or pulling the keys there is another way. Write or paint the letters on the keys while they are on the keyboard. Give them time to dry and then brush over them with clear nail polish. It may smear or it may make the letters blurry. But you should still be able to make them out for typing. This said you may consider treating the top of the other keys so they wear down slower.

Good luck.

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March 27, 20110 found this helpful

I had the same issue! DELL sucks!

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

If you've had the computer less than one year, call Dell. Tell them what the problem is and have them give you a new one. Even if it is not under warranty call the company.

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March 28, 20110 found this helpful

You can buy replacement alphanumeric stickers for your keyboard, but consider the cost and shipping. It might be your better option to buy a new keyboard.

I owned a Smith Corona typewriter, and other computer keyboard brands and they all started to wear off on keys mostly used, so I don't think it has to do with Dell only.

Here's the link where you can order:

http://www.thek  let/Detail?no=36

Related Content(article continues below)
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March 29, 20110 found this helpful

If the letters are slightly indented, just paint over the indentations with white correction fluid. Sure, it will wear off. But, it is a quick, easy, and cheap fix. When it wears off, just give them another coat.

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Anonymous Flag
March 29, 20110 found this helpful

Use white nail polish (like the type used for French Manicures) and a fine tip artists toothbrush to repaint the lettering. It wouldn't hurt to brush a little clear coat over it once lettering has dried for some extra protection. ;-)

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

What about some small peel and stick letters? Then when they wear down, you can peel them off and put on new ones or just put new ones on top of the old stickers. I wouldn't try paint.

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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

Well, this problem is NOT just a Dell problem! I bought my first PC in 2/2004. It was an eMachine! The keyboard was tan & I never had a problem with the keys wearing off! I bought a Microsoft keyboard approximately 2.5 yrs ago. The letters started wearing off, so, I later bought a Logitech.....same problem.

Last year I bought an HP desktop & the keyboard started to wear off. I did get hold of them & they sent me a new one......it started wearing off, too! Then In Dec. 2010, I bought an HP laptop & it did the same thing! I was told to send it in & HP replaced the keyboard last week!

Now I am wondering how long before this one starts wearing off! So, it's not just a Dell problem! They are making everything cheaper, now, & we are made to pay for it! That being said, HP has great customer service! when I got my laptop back last week, I called & told them nothing was done about the battery that lost it's charge in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I am to receive a new one later today!

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Anonymous Flag
May 15, 20161 found this helpful

paint keyboard with clear varnish

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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

That's what happens when these profit seeking companies use cheap parts from CHINA !

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March 20, 2012 Flag

I was just wondering if anyone has the same problem as I do. Some of the letters on my keyboard have been rubbed off. I have tired to mark some of them with Wite Out and they just rubbed back off. It is mostly the keys on the right hand side of the keyboard that have been rubbed off.
Any help with my problem would be appreciated as I have to look at my keyboard from time to time. Thanks so much.

By Mary from Mendenhall, MS

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March 20, 20120 found this helpful

I have this problem too, but mine is mainly on the left side. I think it is my fingernails. I would have to cut my nails a couple times a week in order to keep them short enough not to bother the letters on the keyboard. I would like to find a keyboard where the letters are slightly indented. I would think that would eliminate the problem.

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

There really isn't much you can do. It's just from constant use of the keyboard. You can try putting little stickers with the certain letter on the keys that are completely rubbed off.

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March 21, 20120 found this helpful

I also have the same problem. I live with it until I can't live with it any more then I go buy a new key board. Usually they cost 10 bucks.

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Anonymous Flag
April 21, 20160 found this helpful

I bought a white paint pen and clear nail polish. I wrote the letter back on the key -- odd but visible -- that lasted longer than without the coat of clear polish

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1 found this helpful
March 27, 2011 Flag

The letters on my brand new Dell keyboard are wearing off. Anyone have an idea of how to stop this? I tried clear nail polish.

Linda J from NY

Answers:

Letters Wearing Off My Keyboard

Contact Dell computers and have them replace your keyboard because the letters should not be wearing off. (10/04/2008)

By MCW

Letters Wearing Off My Keyboard

I tried they said they are not responsible for the letters wearing off. (10/04/2008)

By daiquiri

Letters Wearing Off My Keyboard

I had the same problem and I emailed Dell and they mailed me a new keyboard right away at no cost. They didn't ask when I bought my computer and I didn't have to return my old keyboard. I was very happy! (10/04/2008)

By DorothyNYC

Letters Wearing Off My Keyboard

This happens to a lot of coated plastics over time, and to most keyboards if you use them enough. Seems like it happened a little quick to yours though. Is it possible you are accidentally putting some sort of chemical on the keys? A cleaning agent, or even a hand lotion that might be wearing them down faster than normal? (10/04/2008)

By MetroPony

Letters Wearing Off My Keyboard

I'm not using any chemicals at all. I have a Logitech and a Microsoft keyboard that are a lot older and the letters are fine. It's just the Dell, maybe it's because it's a black keyboard.
I ordered the computer on July 8, 2008 and received it about 10 days later.
I'll give them another call and see if they'll send me another keyboard. Is there anything that will prevent the letters from coming off the new one? (10/05/2008)

By daiquiri

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

If you got it after July of this year then that is way too soon for the letters to be wearing off. I would call, email, and write to Dell. Be polite, but firm and also keep track of who and when you talk to someone. If the person that you talk to says no then ask to speak to their supervisor. I would also contact some consumer groups as mentioned below.

If that route fails there are apparently decals you can buy to put on the keyboard as well as clear cover that go over the whole keyboard.

http://hooleon.com/

http://www.classykeyboards.com/d_catalog/alpha-replacement-overlays.htm

You could print out a cheat sheet of where the keys are on the keyboard to help you in the meantime.

http://www.koniaris.com/dvorak/kbqwerty.gif

Of course no eating at the computer, no hand lotion and toweling off your hands occasionally might help prevent faster wear. Also you might change your passwords (which you should do anyway) so the same keys aren't being used as the ones that wore off first.

I still think that that is much too soon for them to have worn off in the first place.

Good luck to you. (10/05/2008)

By Kaelle

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

I own a Dell laptop purchased brand new in 2003 and not one letter or partial letter has started to wear off. I use it every day. There is seriously something wrong with the letters coming off your keyboard after only a few months.
The decal/paint Dell used has to be defective. Call them, aren't you still under warranty? Even if you're not, don't take no for an answer.
Good luck and keep us posted!
(10/05/2008)

By Dollmaker

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

Paint on a couple of coats of polyurethane to get you through the short run. However, definitely contact Dell and they should replace it for free if you are persistent. Good luck. (10/06/2008)

By Tahlula

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

I bought a el-cheapo keyboard from the local discount store (Rose's). I paid $5 for a keyboard and a wrist pad to go under my mousepad. I intended on just using it until I could get something better, but a year later and it's still working great and all the letters are still legible. Sometimes the quality is not in the name! Don't remember what "brand" it is, but they still carry the same set, only I think it's $6 now. (10/06/2008)

By bailegirl

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

I don't have a Dell keyboard. But when my letters wore off, I used white nail polish to paint the letters on the keys. I figured that eventually that would wear off too. But, to my surprise it never did. And the letters I made are bigger and easier to read. (10/07/2008)

By Erika

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

White nail polish and polyurethane, think I have both. Jacks has a wireless keyboard and mouse for $19.95. Better deal than $19.95 for letters to paste on. I will call Dell again. (10/07/2008)

By daiquiri

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

I took your excellent advice and called Dell again. This customer service rep agreed the keyboard was defective and sent me a new one. What I learned from this experience:

If you get a bad answer from a customer service rep, call back and try another. (02/14/2009)

By daiquiri

Letters Wearing Off My Brand New Dell Keyboard

A solution I found for worn off keys is to put replacement stickers on the keyboard. I found some at:

http://www.smartkeyboardsolutions.com/alpha-replacement-labels.htm

The stickers are good quality with a non-glare matte finish. I especially liked the free shipping.

I've seen some of the cheap sticker sets that are printed on thin vinyl that won't last very long. As they say, you get what you pay for.

It's so much easier to put the stickers on than having to return or replace the keyboard. (11/10/2010)

By Jack2010

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