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Author Topic: I'd like a nice finish...  (Read 1311 times)
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Moira HFG
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« on: July 12, 2014, 12:57:38 PM »

Hi All,

I'd appreciate some advice from people with metalwork experience about finishes for sheet metal and wire, for use in jewellery. What I'd like to know is - when you've patinated the metal in liver of sulphur, or with heat, (etc), how do you preserve the surface?

I've tried a Carnauba wax polish which is sort of ok but not great; a bit waxy and hard to rub down cleanly. I've read about Renaissance wax, but as it's completely synthetic I'm a bit cautious about using it on something to be worn. Do other people use this? I've heard of 'Gilder's polish' being used on ceramic and polymer clay beads but don't know what it is, or if you can use it on metal.

I've wondered about some kind of varnish, but I don't want a high gloss, and fear it flaking off and looking 'oribble.
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mizgeorge
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 01:10:35 PM »

Renaissance wax is OK - as are any of the microcrystalline waxes. They don't last forever.

A lot of people use protectaclear, which was originally designed for the auto trade, but does pretty well, especially if applied in several thin coats.

I don't use anything. If I've coloured the metal with platinol or LoS I simply polish it back. Heat colours don't like to have anything put on top of them, the colours just disappear if they're varnished or waxed. I actually think the nicest finishes are those that develop naturally with age and wear.

Gilder's pastes are great on clays, but not on metal they just sit on the surface and look grubby.
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Moira HFG
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 04:14:51 PM »

Thanks very much, Mizgeorge.

Leaving it alone sounds like a good plan!

But this protectaclear sounds interesting. I've just done a search and found the Everbrite website.
Is it very shiny? And is it enough to protect someone's skin if they have problems wearing metals? I'm thinking about copper necklace links rather than earwires which rub against the skin.
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mizgeorge
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 05:05:06 PM »

It's pretty good Moira, and Everbrite is where I get mine. If people have problems with metals, each component would need to be coated separately before assembly, and there's always a risk of it being damaged putting everything together. I'd usually recommend sticking to very hypoallergenic metals, or finding an alternative - and making it clear that it's at the customer's own risk. For earwires, especially if they're to match copper, titanium or niobium are usually a better bet, and can be a good colour match.
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Moira HFG
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 08:29:51 AM »

I see, thanks.

I appreciate your guidance on this. When I'm experimenting with necklace designs, I usually wear the thing for a few hours, to see if it looks and feels OK. But finishing is a longer prospect, isn't it? I'd have to wear the thing for years to see how it would turn out!
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