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How do I prepare silver for enamelling?

There are some basic techniques that should be followed to prepare silver for enamelling, namely it needs to be de-greased and de-oxidised.

  1. To de-grease silver use emery paper or pumice powder and a brush
  2. To remove oxidation, cover the metal with nitric acid, until the metal appears white in colour. Alternatively, heat until it turns cherry red, quench in cold water then place in a 10% sulphuric acid solution until it turns white. Rinse and repeat until the desired finish is achieved
  3. Finally, brighten up your metal with a wire brush and liquid soap, dry with a cotton cloth without touching the surface that is to be enamelled. A good idea is to wear latex gloves

When enamelling - and in particular when using acids - take cake a consider health and safety. Ensure you work in a well ventilated environment, use suitable protective clothing (goggles, mask, strong rubber gloves) and maintain good bench practice.