Classic keyboard re-lacquer ?



Has anyone tried to re-lacquer a classic keyboard ?, not the keys, the whole surround over the lettering etc. I presume a matt finish is required.

Any advice / comments ??



Yes, this 45 was laquered:

45 restoration

as well as a few of these.

Matte spray from a model makers shop, on the label marked 'safe for plastics and decals'. See the HP 55 and 35 for spray laqueur results in the following link:


Cheers, Geoff

Edited: 30 May 2011, 1:27 a.m.


Ahhh, thanks Geoff - good point. I take it from your comment that automotive type lacquer is not recommended - it will end in tears ?



ciao Geoff,

always exciting to read your articles,

can you give us any hint on the brand of the matte you are using ?

I'd like to finish mines as well, but I'm too afraid to ruin them,

it would be nice to know what you are using, may be it can be purchased on the internet.

Thanks again, take care Alberto


I was about to ask the same question Alberto, I noticed in Tamiya's website they have several ranges of spray paints, for instance the "TS" range has TS-13 "Clear", TS-79 "Semi Gloss" and TS-80 "Flat Clear". Presumably Flat Clear would be best ??



TS-80 "Flat Clear". These are used on plastic models and due not melt the decals. As such they are safe on the labels.

After cleaning some of my keyboard bezels with decomposed laqueur due to UV damage and age, I was left with a white bloom after allowing the bezel to dry.

The laqueur caused that to vanish. Also, when washing the keyboard be very gently. Use a soft paint brush with natural bristles and when drying, pat dry, do not rub or scrub as the silk screening, especially on the woodstocks as the silk screening may also dissappear.

I also masked the chrome outwards:

Before 65:

After 65:

p.s. I used a shaving brush (badger) with plain mild ivory soap bar which I frothed into a lather. This was used for cleaning the bezel. As I said, be careful and DO NOT USE A NAIL BRUSH. I used a stiffer natural bristle brush to clean out the corners and grooves.

Edited: 30 May 2011, 5:22 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Thank you very much Geoff,


Thank you very much Geoff !!

I had tried with several products, and the best results (however far from yours),

were obtained with a Saratoga cream or a cream for wood ("Pronto")from Johnson Wax,
both have some "carnauba" ingredient which works quite well.
I have just inquired the local resellers from Tamiya and I'll keep you posted on the results.

Take care and thank you very much ! Alberto

O.T. : I have seen a couple of your posts on the DWF forum,
and I have a couple of questions about restoring LCD/LED watches,

can I pm you on this ??


One more thing ...

On the classic, spice and other series I can understand that
keys have to be removed,

but when it comes to the Woodstock, the Voyager and the 7X family (71/75) is it really necessary to remove the keys ?

Thanks again, alberto


For an even non messy application one should remove the keys. Of course, woodstocks et. al. are problematical.

I personally would live with a bad keyboard as opposed to dissecting any of the riveted keyboards for the sake of appearance only.

Wait till a dead woodstock with good keyboard comes up and swap the PCA.

Otherwise you would have to mask each key and prevent the laqueur from leaking to the keyboard membrane and etc.

Must say, never attempted that! Only dealt with keyboards that come apart easily.

If you used a wax on some of the bezels you will have to remove it before laqueuring. And without scrubbing. Luke warm water with a mild soap solution. Also, some waxes come with volatiles such as toluene. These can lift the silk screening and melt the surface so be careful with wax. Also, do not wax the LED red plastic. Wax contracts when drying and can craze the surface of the plastic. Learnt this in the aviation world, I have seen wat waxed plexiglass windshield looks like. Took ours of polishing with cerium oxide to remove the crazing.

Cheers, Geoff


Either email me from HPmuseum or the DWF.

Cheers, Geoff


Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the confirmation re TS-80. I have been using a soft bristle tooth brush - my wife's (only joking !!) to clean up the keyboard, it's probably a little harsher than the shaving brush, but so far no problem.

Also, thanks for the pic showing how you mask it for spraying, I had imagined something like that, but I wasn't sure about the section which holds the magcard, i.e. whether to spray it or leave it alone.



Holy smokes, you are good. Very inspiring!



This is what the book is about!


Edited: 30 May 2011, 8:25 p.m.


ok Geoff, I have ordered some Tamiya flat clear spray paint. I guess the follow up question is : what do recommend for the silver trim ? Some kind of "chrome" paint ? and is auto paint a possibility here since there are no decals ?? I can't see a chrome paint in the Tamiya range.



That is the proverbial question John!

The original is a vacuum chrome plate and we can't do that here.

I use testors or tamiya silver/chrome paint. It comes in a bottle, or as a marker in some stores. I hand paint although you could mask again (time consuming and same result as hand paint if you are careful). It doesn't give the chrome shine.

Some people have proposed silver guilt using a sizing compound.

Painting is the easiest, although if you use the calc daily it will need a repeat. Just got an airbrush but haven't set it up yet. Don't know it it would be shinier then the paint technique.

Cheers, Geoff


Personally, I have tried at least five different types of pens,
none is shining as the original, but some are quite close.

I have been told that this is because the chrome component is toxic and therefore not included any more in the pens.

I'm thinking about thin self adhesive plastic which is available in a flavour of colors, including shining chrome.

If cutted in thin stripes it should be not too difficult to put it on the top trim, like that on the HP35.

Retouching the rounded corners is another story, and for that I'm happy with the pens.

I'll post a picture later tonight with all the kind I have tried.
take care Alberto


Dear All,

these are all the types of pens I have tried.

Some have rounded head, some have squared head.

All of them looks shine, but when applied the results may be very different.

I have obtained the best results with the Nettuno.

The only problem I have had, is that since I used a Saratoga cream to get a good aspect of the keyboard, this (and other creams) will dilute the silver painting.

Today is bank holiday in Italy, so no luck to get the Tamiya spray ....

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