How to repair a remote control with Electric Paint
Electric Paint can fix circuit board breaks and repair remote control
We often get asked if Electric Paint can be used to fix key fobs or repair remote controls that have stopped working. We are happy to say it works great, so don’t throw yours out yet! We’ve taken apart a lot of remotes and they were all made in a similar way to the one used in the pictures below. We cannot guarantee that all remotes are made in this way or made with similar materials so if yours is different take a look at the instruction below, there may be similarities you can apply to your remote fix.
Electric Paint can repair the rubber buttons of a broken TV remote. The buttons of common remote controls often have a black conductive disk on the back, these disks make contact with the PCB and this is what changes the channel on the TV. Over time these rubber buttons can wear away and then the respective button doesn’t work and you can’t change the channel, but with a little bit of Electric Paint you can fix it so you can get back to smooth channel changing whilst watching TV.
Electric Paint works like any other water-based paint, except it conducts electricity.
Rob Charlton got his keyboard back up and running with a tube of Electric Paint
Creating slick graphics for your interactive projects is easy. Follow the tutorial below for some tips on how to do this using a stencil.
To begin you will need:
1x Electric Paint 10ml
1x remote control
1x mini screwdriver to remove internal screws
1x toothbrush (optional)
1x bottle of rubbing alcohol, e.g. IPA (optional)
Check out the video
Watch the video for a sneak peek of this project.
Open the remote
Before opening your remote, write down which buttons are broken and ensure to take out any batteries. Your remote might have some small screws that are holding the remote together. With the screwdriver, carefully remove the screws. Now take apart your remote. Be careful not to use too much force, as it’s easy to break off thin plastic pieces.
Quite often TV remotes consist of a plastic shell, a PCB, the green board shown on the left, and a piece of rubber with the buttons. Sometimes the button can be taken out individually. If this is the case with your remote, note down where each button belongs. Ideally, take pictures of your process so you know which part goes where.
Clean the remote
In many cases, your remote may not be working because too much dirt has built up inside between the PCB and the rubber buttons. If you have an old toothbrush to hand and a bit of rubbing alcohol, carefully clean the PCB and the rubber of the remote to remove any dirt or grease, this may be enough to fix your remote. If you feel like it, you can just reassemble the remote and give it a test! Otherwise, you can move on to the next step.
Apply the Electric Paint
Identify which buttons were the broken ones and after you’ve given it a good clean as in the previous step, go ahead and squeeze a tiny amount of Electric Paint on the back of the button. It’s important to aim for a smooth even layer; the picture below shows different kinds of paint applied. Number 2 has too much paint applied, number 3 has too little paint. Number 1 achieves the best results. Try to get similar results; you might want to use a small brush to even it out once applied.
Once you have applied the Electric Paint on all the broken buttons, leave the paint to dry. Ideally, leave it to dry in a warm place for about an hour to fully ensure that all the Paint has dried (it might not take a whole hour but to be on the safe side it’s best to leave it a good long time).
When the paint has dried, you can reassemble the remote. Fit all the parts together and insert the batteries. Your remote should be fully working again!
Let us know how you get on or if you have any questions email them over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are having issues with it, disassemble the remote and look closely again. Are there cracks or breaks in your repair? Are there broken
sections that you did not see the first time around? Have you left enough time for the paint to dry, or did the paint get smudged inside the remote? If this is the case, clean up the paint from the buttons with water and start again. If the paint does not stick to the rubber and it flakes off then you need to ensure that you have given the rubber a good a good clean to remove all the grease as outlined in Step 2. Otherwise, the paint will not stick.