Sealing Base Metal Wire to Preserve the Shine?

by JLBaas.
(Wisconsin)

Sealing Base Metal Wire to Preserve the Shine?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

Is there a way to coat base metal wires to preserve shine?
Does it really work?

Thank you.

JLBaas
JB Designs

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  • Katie Murphy says:

    Look at article below, she speaks of sealing her work.

  • Fay says:

    Oh what a can of worms you have opened! Lacquer, wax … I have done it all. Renaissance Wax is not harmful but only lasts a short while and can actually add dullness in the recessed areas. ProtectaClear (a lacquer) is fine for copper and brass but will turn a putrid yellow color on silver wires over time, totally ruining the piece. I have tried to remove it with Xylene (a noxious chemical) to no avail and ended up re-wrapping 150 pieces and I can tell you, I was irked! Now, I wrap or cover my silver pieces with Pacific cloth before storing them between shows. Pacific cloth is the fabric that silver flatware chests are lined with that prevents tarnish from adhering to the silver. You can easily find it online but, a word of caution, there are lesser brands that are less expensive = less effective and short-lived. Pacific cloth is always brown in color and sells for about $24./yard plus s&h. The good thing is, with proper care, it lasts forever. At the end of a show, I lightly wipe finger prints off of my products, then cover with Pacific cloth and put them away until the next show. At least once a year, I give all of my pieces a good polishing with Sunshine cloths or in a tumbler. Also, if you do use a jeweler’s cloth, such as the Sunshine cloth, be sure to wash the jewelry with soap and water as the last step. And, another tip, the manufacturer of Sunshine cloths tells you that they are no longer good after they turn black from use. After they turn black, I dampen them slightly and continue to use them for a while.

  • I have used Protectaclear to seal some copper/brass pieces, never used it on wire. It works or a while, but any “sealer” is eventually going to wear off. It’s a lot easier to store with an anti-tarnish strip and polish occasionally.

  • Listen Linda Listen says:

    I started using Vintaj brand Glaze which made to be used to seal metal. There are a smooth and matte version. I put it on shiny copper and it dried smooth and shiny. Used a very small brush to keep glaze thin when I applied it. Available at local craft stores or online.

  • Gayle says:

    For my $.02, I’d use a bit of caution with that Vintaj Glaze. I made about 6 Steampunk necklaces and coated them w/a couple of coats (letting them dry, etc.). I gave one to my daughter who wore it to a dance and the perspiration caused it to discolor to a milky white and she could scratch it off in one place! Needless to say, I didn’t sell the other ones – I’ve been wondering if I could maybe soak them in something to remove the Sealer and use something else. Does anyone have any ideas? I appreciate any ideas.

  • I’ve used Protectaclear without any issues on sterling. I only use it on items like earrings and necklaces that don’t get wear from rubbing like a ring or bracelet will. This way the coating doesn’t wear off as easily. Rings & bracelets seam to get enough wear to keep the tarnish at bay. I also put anti tarnish strips in the boxes with my items. I’m currently testing Protectaclear with my Ethiopian Opal pieces too. I’m hoping it seals the opal so that it doesn’t absorb moisture and chemicals near it. This should help keep them from changing colors. So far, after 6 months, it’s working.

  • Duane, thanks for sharing this helpful research. 🙂

  • Susan C says:

    I believe it’s Beadalon that sells craft wire that is non-tarnish. I’ve seen it at Michaels craft store. It says right on the package. Oh, and it’s silver colored. There may be other colors I’m not sure.

  • Denise says:

    I also use Vintaj clear glaze. It works great!

  • Lena says:

    Try soaking in lacquer thinner to remove the sealer. Use caution when using as it is highly flammable, use outdoors.

  • Lisa says:

    I recently contacted Everbrite that makes Protectaclear. One thing they told me is that you should have at least three coats on it and after the last coat, bake cure it to make the coating harder. Here is their instructions. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees F. Put your items on a cookie sheet lined with foil and place the sheet in the hot oven for 1 hour. After the hour is up, take them out and let them cool. Once cool they are completely cured and you are good to go!

  • Lisa, thanks so much for finding these great tips and for sharing them! 🙂

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