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Topics: Charms, Silver, Enamel

Q.
I want to paint silver charms with enamel. What kind is the best paint and what is the proper procedure?
- Amanda
A.
Enamel is the fusion of colored glass to a surface using high temperatures. Enamel paints are generally oil-based paints which dry glossy and hard, yet are softer and not as hardy as true vitreous enamel. Eventually with time and wear, the enamel paint will come off any surface.

High-quality enamel paint, for use on metal, can be purchased at hobby shops or arts and crafts stores. Pebeo paints are also a good option for color enhancing any surface that is heat resistant up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes porcelain, ceramic, china, glazed earthenware, terracotta, metal, enameled sheet steel, copper and glass. When painting silver or other metal that has a high polish, use a small file to gently dull the polished area that is going to be painted. Clean the area with a small amount of acetone or alcohol to remove any oils or debris from the surface to allow for better adhesion of the paint. A thin coat of lacquer can be applied over the paint to help extend its life. - Maura Buckner, Jewelry-Making Expert

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