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Info on pewter finishing and polishing


Q. We are craftpeople making hand shaped pewter ware, and some castings.

We are looking to receive information: technique, equipment for mechanical finishing and polishing.

merci beaucoup.

bernard chaudron
- val-david, Quebec canada


A. Not sure what final result you are looking for but I've done perhaps 100 pieces including plates, mugs, pitcher, etc. in the past decade. These were old, distressed pieces which were picked up at flea markets and antique shops around the world. In most cases I've hand sanded them working up to at least a 400 grade paper followed by machine buffing using at least two grades of rouge. The result is a blemish-free surface which is mistaken for all as polished silver. Indeed in Victorian England pewter was known as "poor mans' silver". I certainly would not do this on a valuable old piece since the value would disappear with the patina. It also takes a heck of a lot of hours so the reward of turning what was viewed as a piece of junk into a beautiful shining object must be sufficient for you.


Tom Barton


Q. Will anybody tell me in brief what is the procedure for finishing and polishing crystal? What materials and equipment are used?

Dr. Shailesh Swami
Pune, Maharashtra, India


Q. Hi there,

I am Spin casting large quantities of figurines, etc. in both pewter and zinc. I am looking for a method(without plating) to give these products an antique silver finish where the silver will have a high shine showing through the black. How is this achieved? I have a mini vibrator as well as a tumbler. Which is the best medium to use for polishing these figures after I have blackened them. And should I use some sort of polishing compound.

Thank you,

Andrew cartwright
- Durban, South Africa


I read somewhere, but have not tested for myself, that Caustic Acid will blacken the pewter and age it. I would also like to ask anyone's advice on lacquering pewter to shiny finish or translucent finish.

Thank you.

Rony Ben-Nachum
Freelance sculptor - Mizpe Hila, Israel

May 16, 2012

Q. I was looking at necklaces and I was wondering what the quality of a pewter finished necklace is?


Jerrica O'Neil
- Great Bend, New York, United States

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