How can I make engraved letters stand out against a silver-toned background?
I have an engraved bracelet, but from day 1 the engraving has been hard to read. I sent it back to be engraved deeper, but it came back the same (minus what I paid for shipping). Is there any way of adding definition to the letters so they stand out more?
To make engraved letters stand out on silver background, add black edges around the letters because silver is light color and to make anything stand out on top of lighter color is to change foreground color or letter's edge into dark color or black.
Gorgeous piece, ep4f! Congrats if you made it! Thanks for the hint on using black to highlight letters--I think that'll help, though your example is embossing, whereas I've got engraving, so it'll be a bit tricky to do. Cheers! Thanks for commenting.
I think with time it will become more prominent all by it's self to be honest because when something is engraved it means that it has been grooved out. What will happen is over time those grooves will get filled up with deposits and they will get dulled making them less reflective. This will make the grooves more prominent because they will reflect less light than the flat surface of the bracelet which will stay quite clean because it is flat and cannot collect deposits as well as the grooves can. Alternatively you could do as ep4f is suggesting and rub a little bit of something into the grooves to dull them purposely. In ep4f's example picture it is in reverse the letter shapes are raised and will stay relatively clean, reflective and shiny. The areas surrounding them will be dulled by deposits, in ep4f's example it looks to me like some blackish substance has been rubbed into the decoration to dull the surrounding areas around the letter shapes. The raised areas will always stay cleaner than the grooved or lower areas because they make more contact with the environment in which they exist.
Cool, thanks Gareth Pritchard! I was hoping that I agree on ep4f''s gorgeous example: that is embossing (design sticks out from the background), not engraving (letters embedded in surface). But, the concepts are similar just opposite. Thanks!
I had the same idea...adding black to your engraving will make it stand out. Rub with black shoe polish, use liquid that comes with a small sponge at the top of the bottle, letting it go into the grooves, wipe off excess, let it dry. When completely dry just clean/rub the shiny part only. Can use Arm & Hammer baking soda with soft cloth.
Shoe polish (head-->desk)--what a great idea! I'll try that right away. Thanks!
Actually, it really didn't work at all--the engraving is so shallow that all of the black came right off when I removed the excess polish. :-( Great idea, though. I'll try old-fashioned wax shoe polish next: wish me luck!
I would try black marker pen instead, especially since it is alcohol based and very similar to the dye used for leather which is also used for shoes. It will not permanently stain metal so will come back off the raised areas with some rubbing.
Great idea, Gareth Pritchard! I'll clean it off very well with alcohol and perhaps acetone first and then try a Sharpie marker! (Sharpies, Duct tape, WD-40 and/or 3-in-1 oil... What would we do without these lifesavers?) Wish me luck... Thanks!!
Hi Laura, sorry the shoe polish didn't work. The sharpie sounds like a good idea.
Depending on the value of the piece, I might try cleaning it well and using one of the outdoor craft paints (Patio Pain, around $1.79 -- see http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/wro … t-368316/t) in black. A small paintbrush would get it into all the engraved cuts, then a soft cloth to immediately buff off the surface, exposing the sliver surface again.
Thanks, RTalloni (hi!) ! I'll give that a shot--Patio Paint would be perfect!
Unfortunately, I think the final answer will be to throw it out and buy one from a local engraver who will stand by their work! (But I paid $70+ for this one--ow!)
Depending on the value of the bracelet and how good with a paint brush you are - pick an enamel colour paint that you like and with a very fine tipped paint brush, fill it in and then brush over it with a clear coat that is suitable for metal.
place the piece in a small bowl with liquid Liver of Sulfur that can be bought at any crafts store. check it after every few minutes to make sure it gets to be the amount of darkness you want. then wipe off excess and polish with soft cloth. This is what jewelers use.
May I suggest a bit of red enamel paint to outline the lettering? Enamel is used extensively in some jewelry and can look quite attractive. Or perhaps coloring the letters themselves with black enamel. There are many options.
This question feels so unresolved Lol. I had the same problem with a silver ring so I simply globbed on a little black nail polish into the grooves where I wanted the engraving to stand out and wiped off the excess. Looked perfect. I maybe do this two or three times a year as it starts to fade. Takes all of 30 seconds so I don't mind.
What if you make so the letters go all the way through instead of just some of the way? That's what I would do I think it would look very nice if you did that! I have done that before and to me it looks very cool!! You don't have to do it that is just what I would do that's what I am saying.
I had the same idea...adding black to your engraving will make it stand out. Rub with black shoe polish, use liquid that comes with a small sponge at the top of the bottle, letting it go into the grooves, wipe off excess, let it dry. When completely dry just clean/rub the shiny part only. Can use Arm & Hammer baking soda with soft clot
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