Removing Mirrored or Metallic Finish from Glass Beads

by Divine Designs by Shannon Modrell

Hello! Thanks for offering a question section :)
I have some faceted glass beads with what I can best describe as a "mirrored" or "metallic" finish on one side that gets scratched up very easily.

I don't want disappointed customers who end up with a piece that scratches up after only a few wearings. I'd like to remove the finish and use the beads as plain glass beads.

I've tried scratching the finish off w/ my fingernails but it's very time consuming and still doesn't completely remove the finish (you'd think it would come off easily this way, but doesn't!).

I've tried acetone, alcohol, Goo-Gone, oily eye-makeup remover, and a few household cleaners but none of them worked. Do you have any ideas?

BTW - Thanks so much for creating this website - it's been very helpful


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Oct 15, 2011
mirrored finish
by: Anonymous

Hi Shannon,

You are right, I was speaking more towards how the finishes are done with Swarovski crystals, most of the fire polished, and the finishes done on fusible glass.

From what it sounds like then, your coating may just be spray paint!

I'd just go with a care tag, as adding more chemicals to strip that finish off might actually add more unwanted residue to the jewelry.

Oct 12, 2011
Response to Oran
by: Shannon Modrell

Hi Oran,
Thanks so much for your reply...I'm not sure, but I think we may be talking about two different finish types.

The finish type I'm dealing with scratches off really easily compared to other finishes if scratched, even more easily than some of the cheaper AB Swarovsky knockoff beads I've seen.. Also, you mention iridized finishes, however this is simply metallic w/ no iridescence-not sure if the process is the same.

Unfortunately it scratches off more easily than many of the baked on finishes I'm used to dealing with, such as if it gets rubbed up against any other jewelry. I was able to scratch a lot of it off with just my fingernail but it was pretty bit time consuming and still left little bits of stubborn residue.

Well, at any rate, if I cannot find a way to remove it I will simply do as you say and print special care instructions for them!
Thanks again

Oct 12, 2011
Iridized Glass Beads
by: Home Jewelry Business Guide

The short answer on removing iridized coatings from glass beads is: no, it's not possible without damaging the beads in questions.

To get the coating on, you have to heat up the finished bead, and while super hot, spray metallic chemical infusions on the beads, which vaporizes when they hit the hot beads leaving a mirrored finish.

This is super a super toxic process, so I would imagine getting the stuff off would be super toxic as well.

I know glass fusers removed the coating through sand blasting, but that would damage the beads beyond use.

I do enjoy using beads with iridized coatings, but I always explained to potential buyers how to care for their jewelry, especially if they bought designs that had special coatings, or gemstone beads or cabochons that had special care instructions.

You could even go as far as creating small flyers for jewelry care or print them on the back of your business cards.

You can include information such as:

Makeup and perfume sensitivity for natural stones such as turquoise and pearls.

Water sensitivity: now swimming or showering with jewelry (the chlorine especially in swimming pools and hot tubs is terrible for gemstones such as turquoise).

Heat sensitivity such as leaving items in hot cars or not leaving in direct sunlight.

Storage and cleaning tips: recommend ways to clean sterling silver parts, best ways to store necklaces (flat or hung).

At the end of your flyer, make sure you leave them your website address and email so they can contact you to buy more stuff!

Hope this Helps!


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