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Satin protective sealer - metal jewelry

July 29, 2010

I make metal jewelry professionally - using wire & sheets of sterling, copper, and sometimes brass. Often I torch or chemically treat the metal to get a nice patina.

WHAT SPECIFIC PRODUCT would you suggest to protect/preserve the patina & give the soft glow of a SATIN finish? I'd prefer product in a spray-can for ease of use.

Someone suggested that a clear polyurethane product for metal would have more 'give,' whereas a lacquer might 'crack' with the metal flexes at all. With a cuff bracelet, there would be some flexing...

Thanks in advance. Your answer will help many artists like myself, hoping to preserve the special finish on our handmade creations.

Cheryl Zettler
Jewelry Artist - Bellvue, Washington, USA

Microcrystalline "Museum Wax"

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August 31, 2010

Hi Cheryl,

I am neither a jeweler nor an artist, but running this website exposes me to some interesting dialog on the subject. The biggest problem actually seems to be loss of subtle coloration no matter what coating is applied; and the reason for this is that some of the patina, especially heat coloration, is actually a diffraction effect like the rainbow sheen of a drop of oil in a puddle of water. As soon as you coat it with anything whatsoever, you've changed the diffraction situation and lost the color. So some artists say the thinner the better, and something like museum wax may do the least damage to the diffraction patterns. I think you will find thread 2662 interesting. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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