Learn how to easily add touches of 22 karat gold to your PMC and other silver designs with Aura 22 accent paint. The result is a permanent, natural, fluid-looking layer of gold that is substantially thicker than electroplating.
Because Aura 22 is relatively thick, you can easily control your application, accenting your design where and how you like. It is especially effective on heavily textured surfaces and in areas normally difficult to accent.
Aura 22 must be applied to fine silver or gold. To use it on sterling pieces, you must first depletion-gild the metal to create a layer of fine silver. Information on this process is available on our website.
Each one-gram jar of Aura 22 will accent approximately 20–30 small pieces, depending on the amount of accenting you wish to do.
Be sure that your workpiece is fine silver. If the piece is sterling silver, you must depletion-gild it to bring a layer of fine silver to the surface. Aura 22 will not adhere to sterling silver without this step.
Make sure that your silver workpiece is clean and free of any oil, fingerprints or debris. The surface should be "kiln white" or "pickle white." Aura 22 will not adhere to polished surfaces.
Aura 22 should have the consistency of nail polish, thick but easily spreadable. If the solution is dried out or too thick, follow the instructions on the rehydrating agent included with your Aura 22 to restore the correct consistency. Be careful to follow the instructions carefully to avoid ruining the consistency or dulling the color of the Aura 22.
Apply the Aura 22 to your silver piece using a clean, dry paint brush or rubber-tipped tool. Apply the solution in even layers, allowing each layer to dry for 15 minutes between applications. Usually 2 to 3 layers deliver the best results. Allow the piece to dry thoroughly after the final layer is applied; the color when dry should be a dark gold. Any moisture left between layers will become steam during firing and will cause blistering and/or poor adhesion.
After applying Aura 22, clean your paint brush by swirling it in a small jar of water. Keep a separate, dedicated jar for this purpose to capture the gold from the brush. When there is noticeable sediment in the bottom of the jar, allow the water to mostly evaporate and return the semi-dry gold residue to the Aura 22 jar.
Fire the piece, either in a kiln, at 850°F (450°C) for 30 mins., or using a torch to fuse the metals. The torch method is the most effective because it allows you to watch your progress and burnish the piece as soon as the firing is complete. Any simple butane-fueled, hand-held torch can be used for this purpose. Remember to take every precaution for safety when working with kilns, torches and hot metal.
To torch-fire, move the torch constantly around the accent painted on your workpiece. You will notice the binder in the Aura 22 solution burning off first (the fumes from this are completely non-toxic and present no health hazard to you or your shop).
Shortly after the binder burns away, the piece will begin to glow a pale red. When this happens, watch the accent on your workpiece while continuing to move the flame over and around it. Before long, the Aura 22 will change color from the dark gold to a pale yellow. As soon as this color change happens, shut off your torch--the silver piece SHOULD NOT be heated beyond the pale red color.
Whether you've used a torch or a kiln, immediately after firing, while the work piece is still hot, the Aura 22 MUST BE burnished to complete the fusion process and prevent the gold layer from flaking off. Burnish well, covering every part of your painted accent. DO NOT QUENCH THE WORKPIECE PRIOR TO BURNISHING!
Once the piece has cooled, complete the workpiece with the desired finish. Pieces can be left burnished or can be further finished with tumbling, brushing or polishing just like any piece of gold to produce the desired final finish.