Friday, April 1, 2011

An Alternative To Sanding - Renaissance Wax Micro-Crystalline Polish

Several people have emailed me and asked about the shiny finish on the faux cameos and the red faux cinnebar pieces. Since I am known for sanding and buffing my work, they assumed I sanded and buffed the pieces as I usually do.

I did not sand these pieces, and it almost killed me not to, honestly. Sanding is a cathartic experience for me. I love nothing better than to sit down with a big batch of pendants and beads and a big bowl of warm, soapy water and just whale away on them with my 8 grits of wet-dry sandpaper until they are all perfect. Given the highly etched detail in the latest pieces, I knew I had to find an alternative to sanding to preserve the crisp details.

Some polymer artists seal their work with resin, Future floor polish, or some other kind of glaze or sealant. I don't like the mess or aggravation of having to wait for a liquid finish to set, and those freakin' bubbles drive me nuts. I felt like I was drowning all my hard work, and it really ruined the aesthetics of the piece for me.

These pieces are finished with several coats of Renaissance Wax, a micro-crystalline, fossil-origin wax polish that contains no damaging acids, which was developed by the British Museum to protect its priceless antiques. A very little dab will go a long way, too... a very, very little. A 65ml can will last forever.

There was a bit of a learning curve to begin with, I wasn't gettting the shine I thought I was supposed to get, but I realized you have to let the wax dry for a few minutes, even though the instructions tell you to apply and wipe. I buffed between coats with my Dremel, although you could certainly hand buff as well. The result is a beautiful, soft, lustrous and very durable finish.

It is still not something I would choose to do for every piece, I much prefer sanding and buffing. I have converted many people to sanding, but I realize there are those times when you just can't do it, like with these highly detailed pieces, and I am thrilled there is another solution available.


Marian Hertzog said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. I struggle with sanding because I ususally have a lot of detailed texture in my beads. I will definitely try the wax. I loved the red beads by the way!

JuLee said...

If you miss sanding, I will send all my pieces that need sanding to you ... LOL.
Thanks for the tip. I will have to give it a try

BluMoon said...

Rennaissance wax is brilliant. I use it for all my gold collection pieces as the detail is raised and sculpted and a lot of my buffing is done with a brush.

Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Thanks, ladies!

JuLee, oh I still sand and buff all my other work, just not these detailed moldings. I would be lost without sanding. I don't think anything can compare to a sanded and buffed finish! :)


Lupe Meter said...

Thanks for sharing this information, Lynda! I am with you...I just have to sand and buff all my creations but once in awhile it is nice to having something to give your creation a nice shine to it without all the sanding buffing especially if you are in a hurry. For me, if I haven't sanded and buffed, my creation is just not finished. By the way, I received my rose pendant today! It is so beautiful! Plan to wear it tomorrow! Thank you again...I will treasure it! Your mom is quite the artist!

Anonymous said...

How long does it take for the smell from the Renaissance wax to dissipate?

Tina said...

Hi Lynda! Can renaissance wax be used to seal acrylic paint on polymer? I want a soft glow but need to also seal in some acrylic paint. Have you tried this?


Diva Designs Jewelry said...

Anonymous, sorry for my tardiness in answering, I just saw your question this morning. I only smell a noticeable order when I open the can. It may be just me, but I don't find it lingers at all. Maybe my sense of smell is off, but I have worn several pieces that I buffed with wax and don't recall smelling any odor at all.

Tina, I have used the wax to seal in acrylic paint. I applied 10 layers of it, letting the wax dry thoroughly and then buffing it with a Dremel hand tool before applying another coat. Someone mentioned it resembled a "candy coated shell" somewhere, not sure if it was here or in my flickr photostream, but that's exactly the effect you get.

Thaks, ladies!