Creating a satin finish on plated findings?
I bought some brass and copper plated findings recently. I want to
patina them but they are very shiny. Ideally I'd like them to be a
satin finish in the end, so that had better be before I do the
patina. They have a prominent texture. If they were solid and not
plated I would know what to do. But since I don't know the thickness
of the plating, or indeed what they are plated over, I don't. I
played around with Rio micro abrasive sheets in 1200 grit, or
scotchbrite pads, but those could not get into the grooves of the
Would a rotary brass brush in the flexshaft be a safe choice? Or is
there abetter solution?
You should perhaps use radial bristle discs with *zero* pressure in
a flexshaft- in all probability even in a no pressure application
they may remove the plating from any slips over the surfaces other
than in the grooves in your pre-fab components. I would wrap a sharp
pointed bamboo skewer with a strip of the 3M abrasive Tri-m-ite (wet
or dry) papers or films in your favourite micro-fine grits to form a
slight conical shape as long as the component plus a bit extra and
tape it down or use a dot of rubber cement on the backside of the
strip to hold it together tightly and use the wood skewers for
getting to the details, with very light pressure.
Plating is plating-If it will rub off with wear intentionally
altering it will speed up the process. Buy already satin finished
components or make your bails, clasps, etc. out of the base metals
then you can be free to design and finish as you like.
If you need a large amount of any type (fichu catch, clasps, toggle
sets, etc.) have some cast by the gross (or whatever suits your
needs considering the caster's minimums if any)..Don't pay for extra
finishing on the lot as you will want to do that yourself, unless
the casting service offers them polished or tumbled free, in which
case you can tell them all you want is deburring, no need to add
compounds, or burnishers if you are going to matte them, or otherwise
texture them to the point any finish you have paid for will be
Linnea- Plating is only molecules thick. You will remove the plating
with any abrasives. Return them to the vendor for findings with the
finish you want, or finish them the way you want and re plate them
It's just basic chemistry and pretty easy to do.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.