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Stamped letters blackening


I design sterling silver necklaces that I hand stamp wording on
them. I would like for the wording to be more prominent and have
even used “black max” from Rio but one of the finishing techniques I
do is sand blast the silver and it slowly fades the black that has
set into the letters.

Does anyone else have any ideas on how I can create the contrast of
the black sunk into the letters against the silver.

Lori Hampton
Loriann Hampton Designs

Try Background Antique. It’s sold by Gesswein and doesn’t require
anything but time to dry. Instead of applying the antique then
sandblasting, do the opposite. The great thing about the Antique is
that you can remove any excess with a little bit of acetone on a


You can try wiping black acrylic paint over the recessed area with a
rag or piece of tissue. With a little practice, you can achieve
anything from jet black to a very light black.


Lori - you might try a different approach to this. If you first
apply your choice of blackening patina - liver of sulfer, silver
black or anything short of acrylic paint - to your pieces. Cover them
well in the letters, but neatness doesn’t count here.

Then use a vibratory tumbler with a coarse media to get the
sandblasted look or a medium to fine media for a satin look. Run the
pieces for 15 minutes and the excess black will be gone. Run them
longer and the tumbler will do all of your finishing job.

If you want a bright shiny finish, follow the abrasive run with
stainless steel in a rotary tumbler. The letters will stay black, but
the apparent contrast is less because everything is shiny.

Tumblers are a perfect answer to making a patina stand out on
texture without messing up the texture.

For more get the book - Tumble Finishing for Handmade
Jewelry - it has the detail you need to evaluate the process and make
it work.

Judy Hoch