Help, please: even mat finish on silver and gold

May 10, 2012
Thread starter #1
Hi there,

can someone please help me with some tips how to handle surfaces? I like to do bulino engravings on silver and inlayed gold. But i always struggle to get an even mat finish. Personaly i dont like to engrave on mirror polished surfaces. Therefore i used extra fine steel wool to get a mat finish. But there are always some tiny parts or sharp edges in the steel wool that causes a scratch on an almost finished surface. Now i tried soft glas fibre brushes, very fine micro mesh etc. But not with the desired results. How do you handle your surfaces for bulino work?

Or do you all engrave on high polished mirror like silver? In my opinion high polished surfaces swallo a lot of details.

Archie Woodworth

Elite Cafe Member
Dec 10, 2010
Northeastern North Carolina
Flat steel block with Wet&Dry sandpaper. You can buy an expensive one or just make it yourself...flatten a piece of steel on a glass plate or granite (drops from the local granite countertop business are often free) with wet&Dry paper .... might take you a little while, depending of what your are starting with, but you will end up with a nice flat to wrap the sandpaper around.


Elite Cafe Member
May 17, 2018
#0000 Steel wool works, but only if the metal has already been completely buffed clean of scratches and surface irregularities.

To prep the metal, I use dense 3M abrasive wheels arbor mounted on a polishing lathe

From there the metal can be quickly buffed to a dull even finish with yellow bobbing compound on a muslin wheel. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the surface with dawn, running tap water, and a soft toothbrush to remove any compound residues prior to application of the matte finish.

Finally, one can use #0000 steel wool wrapped around a threaded spindle arbor on a polishing lathe (around 3000 RPM) moving the work piece back and forth in one direction only to get a smooth consistent matte finish.

The other final matte finish process that works very well for me is a satin finish wheel mounted on the same threaded spindle arbor I use for steel wool.
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