Metal Embossing Series

Metal Embossing The Basics #4: Finishing The Project

Thank you for sharing!
Part 4 of Metal Embossing Series for Beginners gives information on various methods for finishing a metal embossed project using aluminium embossing foil.

Here is the final post in this little mini series!  Thanks again to all who have e-mailed me with additional questions and comments.  I am in awe, and did not expect such a response.  Finishing the project and getting the look I want is still sometimes a challenge.  Today I’ll discuss the process I use when finishing the project.

Through trial and error, I have discovered ways to finish my projects to get a variety of finishes.   I am happy to share what I have learned so far.  I am always trying new things, so don’t be surprised to find something new on the blog from time to time.

Keep in mind that I am no expert.  I am passing on what I have learned and what works best for me.

Using the two projects from the Post #3 in this series, I will show you various ways to finish each of these projects.  I’m starting with the Elegant Lady, remember her?


embossed Elegant Lady on metal embossing foil

I cut her out using a pair of scissors.  Because this project has such little spaces to get to, I used a jewelry scissors.  The jewelry scissors have a much smaller blade and allowed me to get into all the little spaces I needed to cut.   I picked up the little scissors at Hobby Lobby in the jewelry section for under $3.00.

I’m also showing my regular scissors and a little tool I picked up at an art store that I use as a dry point cutter.   I use the dry point cutter and my cutting board to cut out very small areas – like in this project the little area between the purse handle. The dry point cutter is used to score the metal until it cuts.


Tools used to cut metal embossing foil.

Here is the cut out piece laid on a piece of black felt.  You could call this project finished at this point as it is beautiful as it is. However, I decided I wanted to dress this lady up for spring and to show you what it would look like with a little color added.


Embossed Elegant Lady with metal embossing foil.

I chose to use alcohol inks because the color is very vibrant.   These inks are available at all the major craft stores and a very little goes a long, long way on metal.


Alcohol Inks.

I use a cotton swab and put a few drops of ink on a swab and rub it over the area I want to color.


Alcohol Ink on cotton swab.


Embossed Elegant Lady colored with Alcohol Ink.

I finished this project by placing the felt and metal piece in a frame.  I did not have to glue it down, however, depending on the project, you may want to.  I should mention that it is a good idea to protect your piece by spraying on a clear coat to seal and protect your work.

Framed Elegant Lady

Loved how this project turned out.  It was so very easy to do and took me under 1/2 hour from start to finish.  The use of the stencils for textures is such a fun and very simple way to emboss.

Pewter-Like Finish on Aluminium

Now, for the pattern I embossed in Post #3 of this series.  I will show you two different ways to get a pewter-like finish. Aluminium is shiny and some projects look great without any additional finish as you saw above, however, if the look you want is a dull pewter-like finish, then you have to color the metal.

Here is the finished piece.  I used the metal end of my stylist tool to scribble on the flat areas of this design to give it a different look.  This is optional, but just another way to add different texture into your piece.


Scoring a design in the flat areas of an embossed metal piece.

In my first example, I’m using gilders paste.  This is available on-line (for links of where to find it, see Post #2 in this series).


Gilders Paste

This paste can get a little dried out.  When that happens, I take a cotton swab and mix in just a little mineral spirits.   A very small amount of this paste goes a long way.


Mineral Spirits

You can apply the paste with a fingertip (it washes off easily), or apply it with a cotton swab.  I have done both.  I rub it across the metal to dull the metal and to help define the piece.


Using gilders paste on embossed metal

When finished, take a soft cloth or a square of felt and lightly buff the piece to remove any excess paste.


Gilder's paste applied to metal embossed piece.

After using the paste, let it dry for at least 24 hours and then lightly spray the project with a clear top coat.

Another way to achieve a Pewter-like finish is to use any basic black craft paint.

black craft paint

I picked up a heart cut out left over from a different project to show you how this works.  I quickly embossed some x’s and o’x on the piece then covered the project with the black paint using a cotton swab.


embossed metal covered with black craft paint

I let it sit for a minute or two, then took a soft cloth and rubbed off the excess.  The result is that the black paint sticks into the crevices and lightly colors the other sections of the metal.

using black craft paint to define an embossed metal piece
This does take some practice.  Sometimes, I have to apply the black paint more than once to make sure it adhered the way I wanted it to.  You can use more or less, just depends on the look you want for your finished project.
After letting these dry for at least an hour.  I spray the finished piece with a clear top coat to seal it.
It is important to back fill any project that will be handled or glued to something that will be handled. See Post #2 in this series for products that can be used to  back fill your project when needed.
Below is a recent project that I back filled white Elmer’s glue.   I purchased a big jug of glue a few years ago, and I put some into a condiment dispenser which works great for filling.
Elmer's Glue used in metal embossing project as back fill.
I hope you found this little series informative.  I’d love to hear your feed back.  If you have additional comments, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.  Feel free to contact me via the comments page on my blog.  I will respond to all e-mails as soon as I am able.
If you are enjoying this Series, we’d love for you to Pin It!  Thank you!
Part 4 of Metal Embossing Series for Beginners gives information on various methods for finishing a metal embossed project using aluminium embossing foil.
Thank you for sharing!

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2 Comment

  1. Beverly Roderick
    February 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    You've given so much great information! The tutorials are all packed with great advice!

    1. Laurie
      February 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you Beverly, hopefully someone out there will find them useful. As a novice embosser, I still have a lot to learn about this craft myself.

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