OK I promised more details and here they are, this was heaps of fun, relatively easy and mess free and after using it for more than 2 months now, the colours are still perfect!
You can watch the whole process in the clip below or read on:
The wheels started spinning, I had all these amazing alcohol ink markers (Copic Markers) I knew they worked on non-porous surfaces, did I dare?????? After mulling over the wisdom of my plan and the logistics for about an hour, I figured my keyboard was out of warranty, if it didn't work no one would know but me, so why not!
I gathered my supplies:
- Keyboard with white keys,
- Crystal Clear gloss varnish spray (I used Micador brand but Krylon will work),
- assorted Copic markers,
- Copic blending solution (Various ink refill and Blender marker),
- print outs of lifesize photo of keyboard x 2 (from www.apple.com) and
- a Ranger Mini Mister.
Now please note, doing this yourself may void the warranty on your keyboard and you may damage your keyboard. I take no responsibility for any damage that may occur!
I sat down and gave some thought to how to make this look as good as I could, I decided a trial of the colours was needed, both to get the gradation of colours correct and to make sure they all 'worked' together.
Once all the keys were coloured, the keyboard looked like this - there were visible lines on the keys from applying the Copic markers.
Next I poured a little of the Copic Blending Fluid into the Mini Mister (you only need a very small amount) and from a distance of about 30cm away I spritzed a very small amount of fluid onto the coloured keys. This step needs to be performed slowly and carefully as you DO NOT want to get any liquid under the keys. I spritzed a little of the Blender fluid and then waited for it to dry (about 5 minutes) - both to check the pattern it created and to make sure I didn't get too much on the keys at once. If you apply too much fluid then not only will the dappled pattern vanish, but you could ruin your keyboard. So slow and steady here.
Once dry the keys should look like this. If any are too dark, or not patterned enough - just spray a little more blending fluid onto them (once they have completely dried). I protected the surrounding keys by placing a sheet of scrap paper over them while spraying this second coat of blending fluid.
Before going onto the next step - check that the colour is not obscuring any of the symbols on the keys. If it is, you can add a little more blending fluid to lighten the colour - or as I have done, use a combination of black and white permanent markers to reapply the symbols over the top of the colour.
I cleaned the edges of each key using a ratty old Copic Colourless Blender pen - I went around each edge to remove any stray bits of colour - this gave a much neater result.
Then I used one of my life size printed copies and I carefully cut out each key from the image.
This created a very neat template to protect the metal parts of the keyboard during the next step.
As the final step, I placed the protective template over my keyboard so only the surface of each key was exposed. I then went outside (as my room is not well ventilated) and carefully sprayed the surface of the keyboard (following the instructions on the product packaging) with a coat of Crystal Clear varnish. I sprayed a fine mist over the keys in one direction and waited for it to dry (around 5 minutes), I then sprayed at a 90 degree angle to the first spray and let that dry. I then sprayed one final time on a diagonal to the first spray and then left the keyboard to dry completely in a nice breezy area. 30 minutes later I was able to use my snazzy newly coloured keyboard.
Since colouring this I've been rather unkind to my poor keyboard, it's had Starburst Sprays accidentally sprayed over it, painty fingers used on it and apparently I somehow managed to splatter it with black gesso (no idea how that happened). Luckily all these have been simply removed with a damp cloth or baby wipe and the keyboard is still looking as good as the day I coloured it - no signs of wear so far, no colour missing and no colour transfer. I couldn't be happier.
Please note, doing this yourself may void the warranty on your keyboard and you may damage your keyboard. I take no responsibility for any damage that may occur!
But..... seriously worth it if you decide to try this for yourself.