How to Polish Resin Jewellery & Resin Buffing

Finishing Resin Jewellery with techniques such as Buffing Resins

After your resin embedment or piece of jewellery has fully cured you can apply numerous finishing techniques to finish the resin jewellery and refine the appearance of the article. It can be drilled, sanded or polished. As always when the possibility exists of inhaling resin dust while buffing resins, wear a dust mask.

Hand Sanding and Polishing
Initial sanding can begin with coarse sandpaper of 100 to 180 grit to remove any obvious imperfections that have occurred during casting using sandpaper adhered to wooden blocks or plastic cosmetic nail files of various grits before buffing resins. One of the best sanding tools we have used are the hobby ceramic Glit sanding sponges available at any ceramic studio.

Following this rough cleaning, which with any luck, may not have been necessary, use wet and dry sandpaper in grits starting at 320 and going through to 400 and ultimately 600, working under water if necessary to reduce dust. If you wished to refine the article with further sanding, papers up to 1000 and 1500 are available at auto supply stores.

To achieve a final polish we often use a soft cloth and Brasso for buffing resins available at any hardware store. To maintain this finish a carnauba wax polish helps fill in any imperfections and provide a highly polished finished article. This wax is available at auto supply stores.

Please note that unlike the polyester resins, epoxy resins such as Crystal Cast Clear will not develop a high gloss on polishing. Finishing resin jewellery of this material to a high gloss requires the surface to be recoated with the epoxy resin or use Aristocrat or Envirotex Lite. (More information on resins for jewelry here)

Machine Buffing: Resin buffing can be done by machine providing it is not done at too fast a speed that softens the resin and leaves white marks on the finished surface. Buffing resins needs special care and patience.

As with the machine buffing, drilling must be done at slow speeds to prevent the bits from being clogged with melted resin particles. It is essential to hold the piece firmly in a vice while drilling to get a straight hole. We have found that a couple of pieces of scrap leather will enable the resin to be held firmly without marking, while drilling your holes.

Any drilling mistakes can be repaired with additional resin mix.

Attaching Jewellery Findings
Use 5 or 30 minute Araldite. If time is no object you can apply a mix of the original resin with a brush to the part and leave overnight.

To Achieve a Matt Finish
A different and very attractive finish can be given resin jewellery by sandblasting the cured piece. If you don't have access to a sandblaster, pumice rubbing compound gives a matt finish (available at paint and hardware stores)

You can find materials for buffing resins and finishing resin jewellery on our web store. You can enter the store by clicking here.

By Stan Alderson

Copyright 2010 Aldax Enterprises Pty Ltd