Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Battle of the Jewelry Sealers - Part Three - The Bead and the Bracelet

I'm sorry it takes me so long to write these days. Packing for the move is kicking my butt, and I try to pack half the day and work the other half. Hopefully, after we get where we are going, I can do this more often. At any rate, thanks so much for your patience!

If you will remember, I started out with a water-based urethane coated polymer clay bead from Fanceethat. I re-coated it with the solvent-based coating, ProtectaClear. The only reason I did this was because ProtectaClear is one of the coatings I use to finish my wire projects, and had used it on many types of beads, just not beads that had been coated with urethane.

After chatting with Everbrite, the makers of ProtectaClear, I was told to make sure the bead had time to cure...4 or 5 days, or I could put it in a 180 degree oven for about an hour and let it rest before I put it to the real test.

I was naughty and poked the bead with my fake nails prior to letting it completely cure. It did dent the finish but did not break it. Yahoo! The bead has now cured, been a week, and I've been poking and scraping to my hearts content. Be aware, I have not taken anything metal, porcelain, or any other really damaging item to the bead. That would be totally unfair to the project.

When we sell our handmade products, we should all be telling our customers how to take care of their new pieces, especially if they are of delicate designs. For myself, my items are delicate but sturdy. They are made to be worn, but I do tell customers they require a little bit of common sense. Don't take a dental tool to my weaves and don't let your toddler use it as a teething ring. It is a piece of art, and as such should be treated as such.

Back to the bead. I used my very strong nails and pushed really hard into the surface of the bead. I did get a little dent in the finish, but not the type of dent that broke the finish. To be more accurate, the finish didn't crack. The really strange thing was that the dent seemed to fill back in after several minutes, which led me to believe that the finish had "memory." I used straight on window light in the pics to give you a clear idea of the finish.

The same thing happened when I ran my nails across the finish to scratch it. It did get a few tiny ripples in it, but again, minutes later, they seemed to disappear. Weird, huh? But boy, was I excited about that! I put a question in to Everbrite to see if they could give me a "why" but haven't heard back yet. As soon as I do, I will update you.

I did coat the bracelet and it has been four days now, and my customer is excited to get her wire jewelry bracelet. And I am thrilled for her, and for the product I love to use, ProtectaClear. I did use the regular shiny finish. FYI, Everbrite also makes a Satin finish.

A side note, after talking to Lisa of Fanceethat, if you do decide to make your own polymer clay beads, do not use this solvent based sealer as your main sealer. Over time it can or will make the polymer clay beads surface sticky. Hence, the reason she uses the water-based urethane finish to seal her beads.

I promised an article on Renaissance Wax, and that's next. The washers I was going to use have mysteriously disappeared into a moving box and I want to dig them out, so I can compare different sealers to the Wax. I promise I will find them.

Till then, Stay Wired Up!!! Gail


  1. Great Info! Am truly appreciative of your work and you generosity in sharing. Thanks!

  2. Thanks!1 I love doing the research and would rather do it and share, so maybe it will save some of us some grief as we continue to be creative.

  3. I agree, thank you so much for sharing -- its great info.

  4. Thank you! Your work is phenomenal!!!!!!!!!

  5. Thanks so much. I'm glad your are enjoying the info! There is more to come!

  6. So I have used Everbrite before but I don't think it was the protectaclear. I was very disappointed because my copper jewelry still went dark. I think I will try it again using the Protectaclear. Do you find that it keeps the copper the shiney bright color? Thanks.

  7. Allison, So far I have not been disappointed, although I know there are other artists that use more wax. After talking to the peeps at Everbrite, more than one coat may be needed on copper, as it is a somewhat porous metal. The weaving I put one coat on does sometimes turn darker over time. Two coats seems to work better for me. If I get more info on that subject, I will most certainly let you know. Copper is a tough one!

  8. I just ordered some Protectaclear so we'll see what happens. I use the wax too but I also want to keep peoples fingers, toes and wrists from turning green. I don't know if the wax is successful or not. I haven't had any complaints yet though.