We're open! Orders are being dispatched as quickly as possible by our team, read more >

How To Get A Good Finish On Your Jewellery

A good quality finish creates a professional, high value and irresistible piece of jewellery that really stands out from the crowd. Here are our top tips and products on how to get that super shiny finish.

We talk you through the importance of cleaning your piece of jewellery and preparing it for polishing, our top tools for hand polishing and how to use a power tool to create a high shine. Not only that, we tell you how you can take your piece to the next level of shiny!

You can buy all the sanding, cleaning and polishing supplies you need online with Kernowcraft.

Pre-Polishing

The secret to a really high shine is all in the pre-polish. The more time and effort you put into this stage the better the results will

After construction, your design has been through a lot - fire scale, pickle residue, large scratches and the dreaded fire stain. The following products will help you to remove these and make the polishing stage much easier and more effective.

Shop Our Top Pre-Polishing Tools

Needle Files

Needle files are invaluable for use in jewellery where a small file with a fine cut is essential for reaching into small spaces. Needle files are used to shape and finish your pieces, removing excess metal and solder to tidy up your design.

Sanding sheets are great for cleaning metal and removing unwanted scratches and file marks in order to achieve a fine surface ready for polishing.  For best results, work down through the grades from coarse (400 grit) to fine (1200 grit). As they are flexible sheets you can fold them around things, such as your thumb or a round piece of metal to get into different shaped places.  

We also recommend our sanding & polishing sticks, with the wooden base providing a hard surface which is great for applying a good amount of pressure. Working from coarse (for sanding) down to very fine (for buffing and pre-polishing). Give worn sticks a new lease of life by re-wrapping with sanding sheets or polishing papers.

This glass fibre scratch brush is great for scratching off unwanted solder, fire stain and areas of unwanted patina - particularly where there is a texture or recesses. It is also great for cleaning grease and dirt from pieces prior to soldering.

Polishing 

A well polished, good finish can be achieved either by hand or with a Dremel (or similar). A Dremel will speed things up and make things a little easier. However, doing things by hand can give you more control, precision and convenience. Often a combination of the two is best!

By Hand With Polishing Papers

These polishing papers are excellent for gaining a high sheen on metals if you don't have power tools for polishing.

Use after sanding and simply work your way up through the coloured grades.

Change the direction you are working in after each grade and sanding marks will get smaller until they completely disappear.

Shop our 'Polishing By Hand Tool Kit'

Dremel 4000 Multi Tool

The Dremel 4000 multi-tool is one of the most universal tools on the market, this is an excellent, high quality and robust tool, ideal for both hobbyists and dedicated jewellery makers - at a very affordable price. The flexible shaft enables precise, detailed work particularly in hard to reach places and provides more comfort, flexibility and fingertip control. Despite its small size it is surprisingly powerful and offers numerous possibilities due to the multitude of accessories enabling detailed sanding, carving, engraving, cutting, grinding, cleaning and polishing.

Shop our 'Dremel Multi Tool & Accessories Tool Kit' including all our recommended attachments

Silicon Carbide Polishers Introductory Pack

If you like to save time in the workshop, you'll love our silicone carbine polishers. The cylinder shape is great for polishing large flat areas of metal as well the inside of rings. The top edges can be used for getting into hard to reach areas and they can also be cut or ground into points or other useful shapes depending on your project. They should fit into most pendant drills such as our Dremel Multi Tool (with the addition of a multi chuck which allows you to fit drill bits and accessories with shanks as small as 0.4mm).

Also available are our wheel and knife edge wheels shape polishers which are great for getting into awkward shapes for example where a bezel has been soldered onto a ring.

The Final Finish

Whilst a very high shine can still be achieved in the polishing stage there are certain products that can add that extra glistening touch...

An amazing machine - especially for jewellers with a lot of pieces to polish. The barrelling machine saves so much time compared to polishing by hand. Tumble polishers (also known as barrel or rotary polishers) work by 'tumbling' stainless steel shot around in a spinning barrel which impacts on the jewellery acting like thousands of tiny hammers burnishing the surface of the metal, polishing it to a super, super shiny finish!

Polishing mops, wheels & points are another great addition to a Dremel tool. Great for quickly polishing jewellery and really useful for getting into those hard to reach places.

Use these with our polishing compounds tripoli and rouge.

A must have for all jewellery makers or jewellery owners; simply buff the metal surface with the cloth and bring back the sparkle! No extra polishing compound is necessary as the cloth is impregnated using micro-abrasive technology. 

Great for getting rid of tarnish and giving your jewellery a quick polish before wearing or selling to ensure it is always sparkling and looking its best.

Keep Reading...

Polishing And Finishing For Jewellers By Stephen M Goldsmith

Polishing and finishing is a highly skilled specialist craft, a professional finish will transform a piece of jewellery or silver into a work of art. This practical book is an invaluable guide to the process. Written by a leading master polisher, it explains the traditional techniques and shares the secrets of this often under-rated craft.

Keep Your Fingers Protected

Don't forget to protect those fingers! Alligator tape is a clever self-adhering fabric tape that will protect your fingers from minor cuts, abrasions and burns during jewellery making. The tape is thin and flexible and it provides great grip when filing, sanding, polishing, buffing, grinding, assembling and stone setting.

To view all of these products and more, visit our Sanding, Polishing and Cleaning Supplies category on our website!