Alternatives for titanium prep

I’ve been looking at anodizing titanium for use in some of my
jewelry. From what I’ve read, etching is a suggested step in
preparing the titanium for anodizing. The issue is, the usual etchant
for that process contains hydrofluoric acid, which is more hazardous
than I’m comfortable with in my studio. There is an alternative
chemical on the market, but it also contains fluoride compounds,
which if I understand correctly may be less dangerous, but are still
rather toxic. Has anyone had success with other chemicals or
procedures for preparing the titanium? I’m wondering a mild abrasive
or a more common acid might do the job. I’d rather be patient and use
a slow process than use a chemical I’m not comfortable with.


While you can use mechanical methods to clean Ti for anodizing you
will never get as intense a color as a chemically etched surface.
MultiEtch will do a good job without the danger of handling
hydrofluoric acid. Yes it contains sodium fluoride and ammonium per
sulfate and needs all the standard protections ( goggles, gloves etc
and good ventilation) it will yield good color and many communities
have some form of hazardous waste disposal unit that can either take
the spent etch or advise on its disposal.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

I use the same procedure that I use for gold or silver. Increasingly
fine abrasives and polishing with tripoli and rouge.

Tony Konrath

Contact Bill at Reactive Metals. He sells a “safe®” chemical. Good
luck, have fun coloring,

Linda Savineau