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The upper list of functions are kaput on my hp42S. I have a bright idea of painting the top row and applying some stick on letters. Should I use a protective coating on top of the paint? ALso, I have searched the net and cannot find any stick on letters. I think 6pt. Helevita(sp) should work fine....but I cannot find this. Anyone know where? Or does anyone have any advice on what to do? thanks

What do you mean by the "upper list"? "kaput"? Do the keys not work at all, or is it the shifted functions (sigma +, y**x, etc.)? (The latter would be real weird . . . ) If the keys don't work, why apply letters? (What purpose would the letters serve anyway?) I'm curious -- I'm sure you have your reasons . . .

On my 42s-in-a-17B-wrapper, I painted the keyboard with flat black enamel, then used 600 grit sandpaper to re-expose the keytops I wanted to see. I haven't seen the paint wear through yet, after years of (albeit occasional) use.

It seems to me there have been press-apply lettering kits with which one rubs the desired letter image with a hard, smooth implement, and the letter is transferred to the surface underneath. Someone will know where to look for such. Maybe office supply stores? You might try hobby shops -- I know such lettering is (or used to be) used for model airplanes, though the choice of fonts there will be limited!

sorry, i meant the functions and the paint in that area is really bad...i would like to paint over that like you said, but cannot sand off paint to show the functions cause they themselves are gone.....thats why i wanted to know how to put the function names back there.....

thx for any advice?

I think what you're looking for is "dry transfer lettering". A Google search with those terms turns up a number of hits -- among them: this.

What I remember of these is that they're sorta' printed backwards on thick translucent plastic or wax-paper-like paper. You position the letter or symbol you want over the spot you want it, then rub firmly. The letter or symbol is transferred from the backing paper to the surface -- hopefully where you want it to be.

Presumably, you'd then want to cover it with a matte "fixative" (clear spray) -- probably from an art supply store. (You'd want to mask off the rest of the calculator -- especially the display!)

Buuuuuuuutttt . . . I've not done any of this on a calculator, so don't take MY word on it -- maybe someone with some real experience will chime in.