Making the Metal Shine
Hi im totally new to stamping metal. I just wanted to know after i watched a video on youtube, the guy wouldn't say how he got his metals so shiny but im guessing it's the tumbler?
I have an etsy shop but i have never stamped metal and i am so excited to start. But i have no idea why some people use markers "Sharpies" and some use liver of sulfur?
If i can get some of these questions answered that would be great.
You can get a nice mirror shine on metal by either polishing with a rotary buffing tool such as a flexshaft, dremel or polishing machine and the appropriate polishing medium and wheels (buffs). Tumble polishing works will also.
As to the Sharpie/vs. liver-of-sulfur patina? Using LOS darkens the entire metal surface. You can then use a polishing cloth or fine steel wool to remove the excess patina or oxidation from the surface of the metal. This leaves the resessed areas darker. However, all the metal is darker than than it's original bright finish.
To get a bright (no patina), shiny finish with black lettering, us a Sharpie-style marker to color in the letters or stamped design of the shiny metal. Let it dry and then remove the excess from the surface using a cotton ball or Q-tip swab and 91% Isopropal alcohol. (make sure your swab or cotton ball is not too wet!) Then, buff with a jewelry polishing cloth to remove the alcohol from the metal's surface and to really polish up that metal. The alcohol easily removes the marker from the high areas and leaves the marker in the ressesed areas. The result is bright, shiny metal and black lettering. This is especially dramatic on silver.
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