Restoring white Jupiter 8 buttons that have gone yellow

The main reason why I had opened up the side mod controller section was to get to the button in that area that had yellowed. My idea was to try and take it to a 3-D printing place to get them to replicate it in white instead of the nasty rotten tooth yellow color that it had become. I had done several searches online and new buttons for a Jupiter 8 like this have never been re-manufactured and were not listed anywhere for sale second hand, even on eBay. But the button is identical to the Jupiter 6 button at least.

In actual fact, the patch buttons that were originally white had yellowed substantially as well and looked the same ugly yellow. I considered re-painting them white with some spray but from experience the spray paint fairly quickly wears away and it looks like a dogs breakfast.

Then I saw this video on YouTube, showing how to turn yellowed plastic into white with hair peroxide:

It looked like sheer magic. How was this possible ! But I decided to give it a go. If it truely changed the PLASTIC then it could not wear off and could be the perfect solution. I couldn’t get The same product here that they used in the clip, but I found something similar with the same hydrogen Peroxide strength of 40.

So I pulled off the white patch buttons. Be careful or they split underneath (pull from the LED end up and out and across down gently on a 45 degree angle and they just pop off), loaded them into sealed bags in small groups and used a straw like an eyedropper to squirt some peroxide into each bag. Gave them a good rub inside each bag and set them in the sunlight like this:

I left them for 2 days out there as it was not too hot (18deg c days) and partly cloudy so they did not get a whole lot of direct sunlight. I also kept one button inside so I could compare and the difference was just crazy! Amazing !

I want to seal the button now so that it doesn’t fade again the same way so I pinched some of my wife’s expensive special doll spray that she uses to seal her poly cast doll faces once they have been repainted. It doesn’t add any shine to the surface which is important. Expensive tho but again … quality:

Next I tried the same thing on that mod controller button and it came up the same

way… incredible ! No need for 3D printing now!!

Before and After!!:

Next was a nervous test on a COLOURED button. Would it bring it back to the original vibrant color or would it fade the button like a type of bleach to a pale color? This was a big test and if it worked out badly it meant I would need to buy a new button which I really didn’t want to do but I had to try!

After 2 days doing the same process with a yellow button key this is what happened:

It certainly became a lighter yellow. And probably closer to the original color. But I’m not sure if it’s better. It kinda looks bland and lacking vibrancy. I may have left it out for too long. So I have ordered a new set of brand new yellow ones. They weren’t cheap. But we shall see what it looks like up against these two when it’s a brand new key and then I’ll decide if the investment in a full set of buttons will be worth it.

I thought I would try it on one more color… orange. And it turned out better than expected this time … a little more subtle, but a definite brightness improvement and revitalization of the color:

I left the orange for Only 24 hours … 5pm until 5pm outside, as opposed to over 48 hours for the yellow. I think the yellow was out for too long… and started to fade the color, not just revitalize it. So I bit my fingernails and took the plunge with trying a single “light blue” button cap. This color was never remade and was never on the Roland TR808 so it’s by far the rarest. But mine had faded to an almost dark green. I had to try. It was a big risk but it paid off !! 24 hours later and I was astounded ! Yay! The blue was back! It’s hard to believe, but yesterday these were both looking the same color !

Note: some people have had less success with the light blue buttons and they have turned out to have lighter colored swirls on them and an inconsistent color if the cream is not an even coat across the face. Therefore I must say that doing the light blue buttons is not recommended. Be warned!

In summary, this process works for other colors, not just white, but get the amount of cream just right across the button face and don’t overdo the length of time in the sun! The sun is also different in UV and intensity around the world and you may get varying results. I take no responsibility for a different outcome!


One thought on “Restoring white Jupiter 8 buttons that have gone yellow

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