What shot can be used to get a matte, dull shine on silver discs?

by Dawn Z

I now use ss shot in my 3lb tumbler overnight on my handstamped sterling silver 1/2" discs. Then I re-tumble w/these plastic small green pyramid shaped shot that I was told would give a dull matte shine. I then hand buff to bring back some of the original high shine but as it fades a bit the nice dull comes thru. Only problem is it's time consuming and sometimes the green shot makes scratches that I have then dremel out. Please help simplify me!!!!!

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dawn!

I'm not sure I understand why you are buffing to re-polish the discs after putting a matte finish on them. If you are wanting to add a high polish to the raised areas, you must have more of a contrast between the two - ergo, more texture.

To obtain a matte finish on your metal jewelry, you can use an abrasive cutting media in your tumbler. You must be sure to VERY CAREFULLY AND THOROUGHLY clean your tumbler barrel if you're then going to use it for polishing jewelry to a shiny finish like when using Stainless steel shot.

Silicon carbide grit is an abrasive used for polishing rocks. I understand to get a similar finish matte on metal, many folks like Rio Grande Jewelry Supply's Porcelain Burnishing Media White/Ultra-Fine item #3391615 which is an ultra-fine micro-abrasive media for tumbling. It works best used with one of their liquid burnishing compounds. I personally have never used this method.

You can also put discs into a pickle solution like Sparex No.2. Leave in for 10-15 minutes or so, and you'll have a matte-like finish on the silver. There are also various polishing discs that can be used with a flex-shaft or extra fine grit sandpapers by 3M for adding a matte finish to metal.

Sorry to say Dawn, that any matte-type finish that is not deeply cut into the metal will buff out over time with wear. Silver is soft, so constant rubbing like a ring or disc against cloth or skin, will change and smooth the finish. Applying a stone finish with special stone tips for a flex-shaft or dremel will be longer lasting. But, they're also more labor intensive!

Try putting one of your discs in a heated pickle solution (crock pots used only for pickling work best) mentioned above and see how the finish works for you. It's simple, easy and inexpensive!

Comments for What shot can be used to get a matte, dull shine on silver discs?

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Nov 04, 2010
re-matte shine
by: dawn z

I was putting a dull over the high shine and then just rubbing on a cloth to bring out a dullish/hi shine if that makes sense so that when the hi shine dulled a bit, it still had a professional look since the silver I start out with is raw so I still would have to tumble to get a nice finish. I have a website-www.pbjdesigns.us Maybe you could take a look and see a pic of what im saying

Sep 14, 2011
matte finish on silver
by: Anonymous

Try a fiber wheel (at Home Depot, Lowe's in the tools section with Dremel bits). I dip the wheel into a water and Dawn detergent solution, hold the piece tightly in my hand cupped or with my fingers depending on how large the piece is (I work with small discs and flat tags) and whirl away. If you let go of the piece it can slip and fly away. So be careful of that. But the fiber wheel gives a good matte, satin finish. It can still be polished off with time. For a real matte finish that lasts, you can bead blast, but that's different territory!

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