Introduction: The Golden Key

Picture of The Golden Key

I'll be honest, keyboards are boring. And most of us are at our desks 8 hours a day with these drab accessories. Gold, however, is not boring, and is exactly what our keyboards need. With just a little spray paint, your keyboard can have more carrots than a salad. 

Step 1: Sand the Key

Picture of Sand the Key

Carefully pop off your $4 key. Sand thoroughly with 180 grit sandpaper.

Step 2: Primer and Paint

Picture of Primer and Paint

Grab your trusty spray paint cans. Spray a round of primer, sand, and then spray a round of gold. Give it a bit of time to dry.

Hint: to make sure you thoroughly cover your key with gold paint, try propping it on top of a small dowel.   

Step 3: Make Your Mark

Picture of Make Your Mark

Once your key is dry, pop it back into your keyboard and draw on the 4 and $ sign. 

Step 4: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

And you're done! Mo money mo problems? Maker, please...

Special thanks to mikeasaurus and PenfoldPlant for their help!


Hiyadudez (author)2011-10-29

I already knew about this stuff but you inspired me. I am quite a serious PC gamer and I spray painted my WASD keys and my Shift and CTRL key, just to make sure I didnt make a crucial mistake when in battle :D


Thrasym (author)Hiyadudez2012-06-14

Looking away from your screen and delaying commands while your eyes try to locate the right keys is a good way to die in PC battles.

Having to feel around isn't much better, but it leads to not having to look or grope around in the dark. So, if you still look at the keyboard, I'd suggest you glue dots or wire pieces to your keys for recognition (and don't allow yourself to look ever again). Use hot glue or water soluble glue or poster tack (something that you can remove later).

But anyway (back on topic), having just stumbled upon this instructable, I'm looking at my keyboard trying to come up with something clever...I'm not clever...o'well, gonna copy this and the spacebar idea too. Great ideas.

munchdog (author)Thrasym2016-10-23

Yeah, I was forever hitting the 'tilde' key instead of the '1' key in battles, so I used a stick on round cabinet door bumper on the offending key. Now I can locate my fingers without looking down. For all other uses, paint would be a nice aesthetic...

Hiyadudez (author)Thrasym2012-06-26

I now have a Razer Lycosa keyboard which all of the keys light up and I also have a Razer Naga mouse which has numbers 1-12 on the side, which also light up.

After a couple hours of gaming you get used to where the numbers on the mouse are and it becomes super easy.

Hiyadudez (author)Thrasym2012-06-26

I now have a Razer Lycosa keyboard which all of the keys light up and I also have a Razer Naga mouse which has numbers 1-12 on the side, which also light up.

After a couple hours of gaming you get used to where the numbers on the mouse are and it becomes super easy.

YouNeverKnowItUntil (author)2016-08-03

Is it sticky

40wolvesadancing (author)2013-10-10

fairly pimp. I must say.. next step.. gold front for the keyboard..

lllshreelll (author)2012-10-05

I always wanted to try this on my cellphone.

lllshreelll (author)lllshreelll2012-10-05

Hey that's a dell keyboard!

monsterlego (author)2012-01-15


kylekosan23 (author)2011-10-15

y does it have to 4

iambrad (author)kylekosan232011-10-15

It's not the "4", it's the "$"

gold and money go hand in hand

sadook (author)2011-07-22

nice idea...... ,but button "Enter" is better than number 4 is'nt it !!
thank u for your fun project .

SwishMaxx (author)sadook2011-08-04

the reason for it is the $ part.

Blegueni (author)SwishMaxx2011-09-17

In the french key disposition (, it would have double meanings : $ and £ signs are on the same key !!
I will do one when i will get the time ...

sourabh882008 (author)2011-08-10

i didn't like the drawing idea. else is good. :)

nevermore0069 (author)2011-07-21

I'm not trying to be rude, but you appear to have missed the step in which you shoot a round of clear to seal the gold paint. Being an aluminum based paint, that key will turn black-ish really quickly from the oils on your fingers and the moisture in the air.

SwishMaxx (author)nevermore00692011-08-04

he's using gold spray paint.. do you think he cares?

kazmataz (author)SwishMaxx2011-08-05


And I didn't choose to cover the key with clear, but that would certainly seal in the paint. I don't use my $4 key all that much, so it didn't seem necessary.

bd5 (author)nevermore00692011-07-21

... What this guy said ... The clear will also protect the blank ink from wearing out.

mikecraghead (author)2011-08-03

Ctrl, Alt & Delete would be good contenders...
but depending on your OS you might still run into the wear & tear issue (per Ludwig Von Mech Jul 21, 2011. 5:12 PM)

:) (author)2011-07-28

I love both your projects! HAHA more!!!
I bet you would love gold leaf. I have wanted to use it for a million years, I don't think it's that expensive. And how it's made is crazy too.
At my art store they have other metals in leaf form also.

I think you've inspired me do to my first instructable...........

jgilbert4 (author)2011-07-25

i got the best idea ever and if i do do it (lol doodoo) ill post pics but pretty much im gunna make it like a h4x0r k3yb04rd and the icing on the cake instead of having F9-F12 im gunna change it to 1-3-3-7

abnor (author)2011-07-24

This makes me want to draw all over my keyboard in my own handwriting xD

Xeronotts (author)2011-07-23

subliminal message "Cash 4 Gold

PerfectionLost (author)2011-07-22

How does the rustoleum hold up to wear? Also, is it toxic?

Grokking (author)2011-07-21

You had me until you said I had to draw the "4" and "$", if I could write that neatly I would have never started to use my keyboard.

videogamemaster (author)Grokking2011-07-21

Heh, no kidding. Mine would end up looking like I wrote the characters up, then through the key at the wall a couple times '-.-

Do they still make lettraset? I'd consider that...

Lettraset? Whats that? :/


Grokking (author)dannystaple2011-07-21

Your showing you age, I haven't seen that for about 20 years.

Ludwig Von Mech (author)2011-07-21

If you paint all the keys, you run into several problems. One of them is wear and tear. The "4" key is not used too terribly much, and when it is hit, you will hit it with the pad of your finger. When I paint my boards, I always run into the "a" key and the space bar picking up my fingernails and getting rather worn.

zack247 (author)Ludwig Von Mech2011-07-22

i got my laptop used, but for me its w, e, r, t, y, h, n and spacebar.

Phade (author)2011-07-20

I'm guessing you got the idea from here?

scotth61 (author)Phade2011-07-21

and I'm guessing that several people can have the same ideas without having copied another persons ideas.

Foaly7 (author)scotth612011-07-21

There should be a like button for this comment. And i'm sure someone else has thought of this :P

Grokking (author)2011-07-21

Perhaps a $ sign with a slash through it, so when you hit the $ sign it would be telling the real truth, this is how much I don't have.

vincent7520 (author)2011-07-21

Fun project ! …
But I wouldn't do it in the office : your boss may well steal the keyboard from you !
After all he / she's the boss !!!…

Krayzi99 (author)2011-07-21

voted for you

TheDodgyLodger (author)2011-07-21

I've always wanted to give my keyboard a complete GRILL!

Weldeon (author)2011-07-21

I voted for this, I love it :D

splazem (author)2011-07-21

Nice job!

mdeblasi1 (author)2011-07-21

Oddly, it almost looks more real because it's matte.

porcupinemamma (author)2011-07-21

What vishalapar said! :0)

jessandstavro (author)2011-07-20

I voted for you! Fun project. :)

didgitalpunk (author)2011-07-20

this is really fun!
good instructables:)

ac1D (author)2011-07-19

The problem is, like you said:
"And most of us are at our desks 8 hours a day"
I wonder, using this keys 8 hours a day, how long will the paint last?
If it last long enough, I would paint my entire keyboard Hehe:)

LeumasYrrep (author)ac1D2011-07-20

Try using Krylon paint that is specially formulated for use with plastics.

bricabracwizard (author)ac1D2011-07-19

It will if you put a nice thick layer of polyurethane on top

About This Instructable




Bio: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and ... More »
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