Matte enamel and LOS

I have used LOS with glossy enamelled pieces (and they are fine), but have not tried with matte enamel---does the LOS affect the matte enamel?

Stacy's Answer:

I'm not sure what you are talking about here.....but if you use a shiny lacquer on a matte-finished piece, you'll make in shiny. Shiny is not the best look for everything, so if you've had success using shiny lacquer on your shiny enameled pieces, I would imagine that you would have success using a matte-finish lacquer on the matte finish enameled pieces. The below earrings I made, have the matte-finish lacquer on them.

And these have a shiny/satin lacquer coating.

If enamel is coating the entire piece, I'm not sure what benefit applying a lacquer would bring. I've never applied lacquer to glass...only to base metals.

As to adding a liver-of-sulfur patina, that surface treatment (patina) is added before the lacquer coating. A lacquer coating on the metal will prevent the LOS from reacting with the metal as it cannot come into direct contact with it. When using lacquer as a metal protectant, I...
1. polish
2. clean
3. patina
4. dip in acetone
5. apply the lacquer

I also never apply lacquer to an ear wire where it makes contact with the ear piercing.

Comments for Matte enamel and LOS

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Oct 28, 2012
Matte enamel and LOS
by: Stacy

I use the acetone to remove any oils or other impurities that can interfere with the lacquer adhesion to the metal. Acetone dries very quickly once the metal has been dipped in it and it does not harm the patinas. I know that LOS is liver-of-sulfur, but assumed that "coating" meant lacquer. Sorry about that! I just had lacquer on the brain after answering several questions about it.

I agree with you that dipping an enameled piece - matte or shiny - will not harm the glass/enamel. It just effects metal. An exception could be if the enameling did not form a tight seal on the metal allowing the patina to get under it and oxidize the metal. If the enamel was a color that you could see through, the patina coloring under the enamel could alter the way the color looks.

Oct 28, 2012
Matte enamel and LOS
by: Katharine

Thank you Stacey for your answer---but I realize I didn't make clear what I was asking. By LOS, I meant Liver of Sulphur. You're right, what would be the purpose of coating a shiny enamel, let alone a matte enamel, with a shiny lacquer?

No, I decided to plow along and tested it on a sample. I am happy to report that Liver of Sulphur doesn't seem to affect matte enamel (at least not the LF black that I was using).

But your answer raised a different question---why do you use acetone after the patina and before the lacquer?


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