Topics: Jeweler's Tools, Fixative

Q.
Many of your metal plated seed beads suggest using an "artist's fixative" to keep the metal from wearing off. Would you spray the individual beads before using them, or the finished piece. If the finished piece, how do you get into the crevices of the piece. Will this also stop tarnishing? What can you do if a finished piece, copper in this case, has started to tarnish?
- Pamela
A.
Metallic and galvanized seed beads have a coated surface that will wear off with normal use; contact with chemicals and oils; exposure to sunlight; and are also susceptible to tarnishing. To extend the life of the beads finish, use a seal or fixative. Depending on the type of work used to create the seed bead design, it would be advisable to apply the fixative prior to stitching so your piece remains flexible.

Beads can be temporarily strung, a fixative applied and hung to dry. You can use a brush-on formula, such as Mona Lisa™ Metal Leaf™ top coat sealant, or a spray-on option, such as SpectraFix™.

Mona Lisa Metal Leaf can also be used as a fixative for dyed and hand-painted beads, polymer clay beads and gold leaf designs.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert

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