The Keypress Graphics Painting Process


Overview & Equipment

The Keypress Graphics painting studio.

My studio is fitted with a magnifying LED lamp which delivers daylight spectrum light across a wide area. Good lighting is very important to reduce eye-strain and allows fine details to be painted with greater accuracy.

Winsor Newton Series 7 brushes are used exclusively, along with Vallejo Model Color and Model Air hobby acrylic paints, varnishes and mediums. I also use a wet palette which helps keeps paint dry over multi-day painting sessions. A hair dryer is used to speed the drying process between coats of paint.

A Typical Painting Process

Painting an artisan keycap generally consists of the following steps.

  1. The keycap is thoroughly cleaned and primer is applied to the entire surface, which is allowed to set for 24 hours.
  2. The keycap is base coated with multiple layers of paint, and allowed to fully dry between each layer.
  3. Tens or hundreds of thin layers of paint are then applied to create the various effects, details and color blends.
  4. After painting is completed, the paint is given 24 hours to fully cure.
  5. The keycap is given 5-6 coats of gloss varnish, and allowed fully dry between each coat. Two final layers of matte varnish are then applied.