Anne Pro custom lighting with sanded keycap tops

What a set of manually-sandpapered keycaps look like with per-key RGB lighting

Gadgets How-To Tech

2 minutes

Sanding off the top of keyboard keycaps can result in a pretty beautiful diffused RGB glow. I got the idea from Taekeyboards. One thing to note before committing to this is that the process of sanding the top coats down is very time consuming. If I knew about these at the time, I would’ve just bought them.

Video #

Basic technique #

There’s not much to say about my technique; I just wrapped some sandpaper around my finger, and kind of brushed the keycap over it along the length of my finger. Having the curve of my finger fit the concave of the keycap top helped cover as much surface area with as even and consistent a pressure level as possible without special tools. So I’d spend a minute or two on one keycap at a time doing this, just enough to rub off the coating. Once I saw white, I’d switch directions, brushing the keycap around the circumference of my finger, focusing on clearing off the coating from the edges of the concave, because they tended to stick.

I used 80 grit, pretty coarse but it still took more than a minute per keycap. I planned on going over them again with a finer grit but got super lazy. At almost 2 minutes of sanding per keycap and 61 keycaps… My fingers were sore for a couple days!

Texture #

The caps have a rough texture too them similar to the feel of PBT keycaps now, which I much prefer. I also don’t have to worry about an oily shine accumulating on the keycaps tops, but I may have to apply a clear finish to prevent yellowing of the plastic. We’ll see.

Custom lighting #

The per-key RGB customization and on-the-fly switching of settings is an Anne Pro feature. The manufacturer, Obins, offers an app for download on their site which is used for setting the colors and changing key functions. It works quite well, but requires a smartphone (Android or iOS) to connect to the keyboard via Bluetooth to get started. There is a third-party Windows PC app to customize the colors as well, but it still requires a Bluetooth connection anyway.

The Anne Pro is available from the manufacturer’s own Taobao store, or I went through Taobao to get it, but plenty of people on r/AnnePro purchased through Banggood as well. There have been some reports of faulty boards though, so be prepared to test yours thoroughly so you can have it replaced ASAP in case it’s bad.