control panel overlay material advice

Thread Starter


Joined Jul 23, 2014
Hi. My project has an electronic control panel with various rca panel mount jacks, IEC AC power mount jack, fuse holder, and some Micro-B panel mount jacks. The chassis is metal and will have a plastic overlay for labeling these parts. Does anyone know if 1mm thick black polystyrene would be ok? I don't really see any existing overlays using this polystyrene material. Are polystyrene properties safe for electronic panels?

This is the exact stuff I bought :

Evergreen 9115 Black PolyStyrene

Thanks for the help.


Joined Aug 21, 2008
Polystyrene should be fine.

Polystyrene is a very popular material for electronics. Many capacitors use polystyrene as the dielectric material.


Joined Sep 30, 2009
Depending on how professional you want it to look. Another option would be having a engraved panel made at a "trophy or sign shop" They use a two layer material and cut the lettering so the lower layer shows the lettering. Another thing I've done is paint the panel surface(spray paint) then use 'rub on letters' then give a coat of clear spray paint over it to seal in the lettering. The letters are available in many different heights and at most hobby shops.


Joined Jul 18, 2013
I get mine from a local engraver made from Lamacoid material, it can also be reverse engraved if you wish this allows different colours for legends etc as the colours are sprayed on from the reverse.
This is not a very good example as it also has labeled buttons where they can also be panel engraved in colours, but the idea is there.



Joined Aug 27, 2013
Nice panel, Max! Clean and organized.

For one-offs or hobby use I used to us "Letraset" rub-on (off?) lettering. Now I use a drafting program to produce my originals and print it onto self-adhesive labels made by (there are many other sellers of similar products). If necessary I will cover the print with a thin clear Lexan sheet for protection. E


Joined Dec 19, 2007
I've used various graphics (free & CADs) with overhead transparency film through a laser printer. Make circles or squares where you will need to make cutouts for alignment. Spray the panel with 3M 77 adhesive, carefully apply the graphic, gently rub on, and use an Exacto to cut the holes.