Question About a Protective Finish
by Nina Lerm
Hello Stacy, I would love to know what protective finish you use on some of your jewelry pieces. It looks nice and shiny and I think it would protect the copper from discolouring? (I love all your jewelry, wish I could take your classes, but I live too far away, in Hong Kong.)
Hi Nina! Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing? Even though we live thousands of miles apart, through cyberspace, it's just moments. I've just added a new tutorial and have many more on the way. Not quite as good as being there in person, but informative just the same.
The shiny finish on my jewelry is achieved by polishing. I use a rotary-style Lortone® tumbler with stainless steel shot (available in my Etsy store), water and a squirt of Dawn® dish soap. With my copper pieces, I find I get the best finish by also using a polishing cloth after tumbling.
When I do apply a protective finish, my preference is Rio Grande's Midas® Finish Seal Lacquer. It's a clear coating that you can't see or feel. You can dilute it with water for a thinner application or use as is. In the areas where I want the lacquer, I either dip or paint with a small soft sable paintbrush like those for applying eye make-up. It dries within 10 minutes or so. Rust-o-leum® and Krylon® brands of spray clear enamel in both a glossy and satin finish are used successfully by many folks, but sometimes I can feel or see them, so I prefer Rio Grande's product.
I usually apply a protective coating only on copper used in earrings or by the request of someone who wishes it on a piece they're purchasing.