How to flatten enamel surface?

Hello everyone!

Thanks to your lovely recommendations, I have finally succeeded in enameling flattening discs. I use 19 gauge silver disc and one coat of counter enamel + 3 coats of enamel. The disc is not deforming (very slightly it does but thats ok). I am dry sifting my enamels.

The next challenge is a fully flat and smooth finish. I tried to place a laundry iron and press flat the enamel disc right after it came out of the kiln. This did not work and caused fishscale/deformation.

I have tried grinded flat and then reapply and refire but this also not feasible as it is a flat disc without edges and grinding/reapplying is also not yielding a flat surface.

I have searched for other solutions but have found little to no techniques to accomplish this.
Please let me know if you have any recommendations. I have attached an image of my progress!


some surfaces look smoother than others…are you firing long enough🤔…?


Can you describe a bit different what you mean by flat here? The surface of the enamel, or the flatness of the silver disks? Both?

As wizard noted, it doesnt look to my eye that the enamel has been heated enough on all the disks. It should be very shiny and smooth on its own after last firing.

Are you familiar with the three phases of enamel? Wet sugar, where its barely coming together, looking like sugar, orange peel, the next step, where it appears to be one material but has almost lile “pores” or little divots like orange peel, then you reach full gloss, or full fusion.

If youve gotten to that full gloss phase, and theres even heat on the metal, the enamel should self-level pretty well.

Otherwise, smoothing is done with high grit stones usually. Some people use very high grit (id guess 1000 plus) sand paper.
Best luck!

Hello Brian,

By flat I mean a perfectly flat disc of enamel. Like an enamel dial. Check attached reference here (Elements Collection – Ématelier). If not this flat then as flat as it can be made.

I am familiar with the three phases. And all the discs in the picture have excellent gloss and are ‘smooth’. The ones with 5 layers of enamel are even flatter however none is as flat as I want it to be (like the image above).

I will look into finer grit stones. I do sand them down but the surface is so uneven that even then it is not coming flat.

Note that I use a sifter which is much smaller than the disc (only 40% the diameter of the disc).

Thank you for your input

  1. The enamel is not evenly applied. It should be sifted on in a VERY thin, even layer.
  2. It has not been heated enough. The enamel should become totally liquid (held in place by capillary attraction), at which time the surface becomes perfectly smooth and even–like a drop of water.

Janet in Jerusalem



Grand Feu…how interesting! Thank you for posting about this!
I recall a watchmaker that frequented the forum often…perhaps he will join in,

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Thank you Janet. Sorry for my late reply. I identified the problem. I was using translucent enamel and not opqaue hence thick layers to save time.

…what size enamel mesh are you using?


Hello Julie.

I am using 80 mesh unleaded enamel from Thompson and a 120 mesh fine sifter. The funny thing is that black enamel in fine layers comes out well yet other enamel (through the same sifter) comes out uneven and burnt.


  1. Thin even layers of enamel are required for the enamel surface to be without ‘waves’.
  2. If enamels look burnt, that’s an issue of temperature control+ duration of firing. Try firing at lower temp for a long duration.
  3. Placing a weight on the enameled disc will only flatten the metal. If there are ‘waves’ in the enamel surface, the weight will not remove them. Only grinding them down with an alundum stone, diamond files, or emery paper and/or other abrasives will achieve a level enamel surface.
  4. It may be that you have not fired your enamels to full glossy/glassy surface, but it’s not possible to tell if this is so from your photo.
  5. Translucent enamels should fire to a glassy surface. All enamels can be fired to a glassy surface (or to sugar or orange peel surface) That is not your problem. It’s my guess that you have not applied an even surface of sifted enamel in thin enough layers (multiple firings required).
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