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Qtn about Sandblasting Process

I just picked up a pair of gold earrings from the caster. I would
like to give them a sandblasted matt finish – will be taking it to
a finishing place to have done. I’m not sure what the process is.
Do the earrings needs to be completely finished and polished first?
Is sandblasting the very last step? I still need to solder on
french wires – should I do that after the sandblasting?

Thanks in advance for your help,


Rita, It is best to do all finishing before you sandblast if there
are any areas that will have other than a sandblast finish. Those
areas will then have to be masked so as to be unaffected by the
sandblasting. How you do that depends on the nature of the design.

JoelNyack, NY

Blasting should be the last thing you do. Especially if you
intend to solder. Don’t know about your solder skill, but sometimes
soldering leaves an oxidized area that need finishing, and the area
is always in the worst place. Depending on what your friend uses,
you should be able to shield the area you want to stay bright with
fingernail polish. When through, provided there are no stones that
could be damaged with chemical, a soaking in acetone will remove
the nail polish.

For anyone reading this, acetone can turn a nice stone into junk.
Especially the porous stones such as turquoise, lapis, & AMBER.
Acetone will separate a mabe pearl into its various parts. Acetone
being a solvent can break down oils and some glues used on stones.
So, use acetone carefully. It will also turn a plastic container
or brush into a pile of goo.

Rita,’ from my experience sand blast finishes do no cover any
surface flaws, but only enhance them and make them more visible. my
best results are to sand blast a red rouge finish. i always solder
everything on and then blast as soldering can sometimes discolor
surface and have to be repolished which will remove some of the
sandblast finish. so finish then blast is my rule of thumb. luck
Frank Houston, tx.

If you are taking something for sandblasting you will need to have
as good a finish as you would for polishing. The sandblasting will
find all the defects in the surface.

Richard W

Hi Rita,

Yes, I think sandblasting should be the last step. For best
results (i.e. a completely uniform sandblast finish), solder on the
ear wires, and clean & polish the earring. You will want to talk
to them about masking the areas that you DON’T want sandblasted.
They can probably do that for you.

Best Regards,

Elaine Corwin
Fine Tools, Equipment & Supplies for Jewelers


As a general rule it is best to sandblast last. although, I just
finished a piece that I sandblasted part of it rouged under and
around it and then soldered it on. all I needed then was a small
amount of rouge and the piece was done. sandblasting will
withstand some careful soldering, you must however design it into
the piece that you do not have to get the whole piece very hot to
accomplish the task. Never be afraid to try something against
conventional wisdom to get a desired effect. I could not have
gotten this piece to look like I wanted it to by sandblasting

All jewelry making is a few basic skills , that when masterered,
can be used to make or repair anything. The hardest part is
figuring out the correct order to do them in…

Good luck,