Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

[Texturing] Using paint airbrush on high karat gold


#1

I have a question about texturing. Is it possible to use a paint
airbrush to get a nice matte finish on high karat gold? I thought
about investing in a sand or bead blaster, however I don’t intend to
do all that much texturing. Any suggestions would be greatly
appreciated!

Thanks all (especially Dr. Aspler - this is such an invaluable
resource. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated!)
Yumi


#2

Yumi- There’s one main problem with doing that, (using an airbrush to
sandblast stuff). The airbrush tip usually is made from steel,
aluminum, or plastic. Most media, aluminum oxide, glass beads, sand,
will eat the tip away too fast. That’s why sapphire tips are used on
proper equipment. Sorry! Donal


#3
I have a question about texturing. Is it possible to use a paint
airbrush to get a nice matte finish on high karat gold?

Hi Yumi; You can’t use an airbrush, but there are airbrush sized sand
blasters available. Rio Grande has them, and so does Frei & Borel.
Rio is at www.riogrande.com, I don’t know if Frei & Borel is online.
The units can’t use a very heavy/coarse sand, so the finish is
subtle, and also not very durable. They are not very expensive
though. I don’t have my catalogs handy, so I can’t quote.
David L. Huffman


#4

Hello Yumi, I don’t have the definitive answer, but a personal
anecdote that may encourage some experimentation. I received a paasche
system for some work that I did and had the same questions you did. I
got myself some 600 grit tumble media (silicon carbide) and mixed it
well with water. It put a nice frosted look on 14k white and yellow
gold. As this was just a test, I can’t comment further on it’s
durability. An interesting side note: the 220 grit did not make a mark
at all, I think it is too large.

Good luck and let us know how it works if you proceed any farther.

Regards,
Terry Swift


#5

yumi - after your question about using an airbrush & medium to texture
metal i got out my new-like paasche airbrush set to double check my
first thought: there’s no better way to wreck an airbrush unless you
throw it into the middle lane of interstate-75. on a sunday
afternoon. on a holiday weekend. during the tourist season. in
florida. the quantity of paint that comes out of the tips (mine has
4 different sizes) is dependent on the air pressure that’s controlled
by an adjustable needle-like rod that goes into a valve - for
effectiveness everything in it is balanced & totally trusting that no
one will kick sand in its face. ive


#6

Hi Yumi, I recently purchased a Paasche air brush type sand blaster.
It was designed as an eraser for removing errors from ink drawings
done on vellum. At the low pressure setting (20#) I can erase the
print from a newspaper without tearing the paper. At higher settings
(60#) it puts a very nice “frost” on silver. The medium that comes
with the brush/blaster is an extremly fine aluminum oxide grit. I
found (only tried it once) that on gold the finish was a rather
unpleasant tan frost (possibly some sort of reaction between the
aluminum and the gold?). I guess that if a design calls for it I’ll
try it again on the gold but the silver worked great. Remember one
thing though, the silver must be free of any fire scale (use Prips
flux), 'cause the frosted finish only tends to make the purple stand
out. UGLY! Hank Paynter


#7

Hank: I have been using an air eraser to sandblast for about 5 years
now. I found that the aluminum oxide does leave a flat grey finish ,
but if you swithch to the glass bead media you will get the results
you are looking for. I do a very small volume of sandblasting and feel
that the air eraser is sufficient for my needs. I am sure that a
production shop would quickly find it too small and not durable enough
for production use. I do however like the precision of blasting that
is provided by the air eraser. I find that masking is not as important
because of the control of bead stream available. Frank Goss


#8
    I got myself some 600 grit tumble media (silicon carbide) and
mixed it well with water. It put a nice frosted look on 14k white
and yellow gold. As this was just a test, I can't comment further on
it's durability. An interesting side note: the 220 grit did not
make a mark at all, I think it is too large. 

Dear Terry: that’s exactly what I wanted to hear. I initially bought
a beadblaster from Rio Grande and got a Craftsman air compressor.
Well, I live in a 2nd floor apt, and my neighbors thought I was using
a jackhammer. Thanks for your feedback.

Sincerely, Yumi