10 Ways to Add Color To Metal

UPDATE: This post has gotten a lot of love over the years, so we are re-sharing it!

I’ve really enjoyed my exploration of adding colors to the Nunn Design Findings. It adds a look of “handmade” – this is a quality I think is really important when creating jewelry that you want to be one-of-a-kind. Here are some inspirational ways to incorporate color.


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Designer: Past Innovation Team Member Karen McGovern


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Designer: Becky Nunn


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Designer: Nunn Design Shipping Diva Haylee Troncone


Learn How!

Here are 10 way to learn how to add colors to metals.

1. Colorizing Metals with Swellegants

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This blog post by Heather Powers of Humble Beads is killer! Swellegant Tips and Color Formulas! I love her patina chart featured here. On her blog she provides us with the formula for creating each of these amazing finishes. This woman really put some time into this post!

Learn about Swellegants from Christi herself in this video. She is talking about using the Swellegants on polymer clay, but there is great information here that applies to metals too!


2. Colorizing Metals with Mica Powder and Nunn Design Sealant

This is a super simple and quick way to add color to metals. In this video I created for Beadaholique, I walk you through how easy it is to add Mica Powders to Nunn Design Sealant and paint it onto brass stampings.


3. Colorizing Metals with Colorized Nunn Design 2-Part Resin

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Adding to your metals resin that has been colorized with Castin’ Craft’s Opaque Colorants provides an enamel like look and a pop of color.


4. Colorizing Metals with Nail Polish

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A quick and easy way to add color to metals is by adding fingernail polish. Gail Crosman-Moore addresses this in her blog post; Learn 6 Ways to Add Color To Metal featured on Jewelry Making Daily’s Blog.


5. Colorizing Metals with Alcohol Inks

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Rena Klingenberg walks you through a tutorial on Jewelry Making Daily’s Blog using alcohol inks to colorizing metals. This looks very doable. Coloring Metal with Alcohol Ink Tutorial

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Caroline at Blueberribeads Blog also used alcohol inks on her etched pieces.


6. Colorizing Metals with Soft Solder

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I have been exploring using soft solder on the Nunn Design Copper Findings. It totally works!! I’m totally smitten with soft soldering. To learn more about soft soldering, check out this blog post on Jewelry Making Daily about a new book that Laura Beth just released titled; Solder Alchemy.


7. Colorizing Metals with Heat

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I just took a class with Mary Hettmansperger at Bead & Button. I’m looking forward to getting this book. Mary covered so many great ideas on ways to add color to metals in her class that I was a little panicked that I wouldn’t remember! Heat, Color, Set & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal Jewelry

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I haven’t seen this PDF tutorial that is on sale by Payton Jett, but I sure love the look that she is creating on metals!


8. Colorizing with Mica Powder and 2-Part Resin

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Innovation Team Member Stephanie Gard Buss creating this great downloadable tutorial showing how easy it is to mix Mica Powders with 2-Part Resin to create color on resin. Tutorial: How To Colorize Nunn Design Resin with Mica Powders


9. Colorizing Metal with Colored Pencils

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I like this tutorial by Francesca Watson on Art Elements. She is a funny writer! Coloring on Metal

Jill Erickson did this fun video for Art Jewelry layering colored pencil on copper.
How to Color Copper Metal with Color Pencils for Jewelry

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Susan Wade teaches a color on copper class too. I really enjoyed the classes I have taken from Susan at Bead & Button.


10. Colorizing Metals with a Natural Patina

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Good Grief Girdie creates a patina with apple cider vinegar and sea salt.


Shop The Supplies!

To create some of these above techniques, here are some of the products that Nunn Design offers to help you add color to metals.

UPDATE: As we are closing out technique products from our product line, we have been asked for suggestions on other products that we would recommend. Please take a look at this blog post for alternative suggestions for Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, Crystal Clay and other items.


Shop Nunn Design Wholesale

Nunn Design has been supplying jewelry artists with findings for over 20 years. Shop wholesale jewelry findings for creative jewelry makers.

Shop Nunn Design!

How to Purchase Wholesale?

If you are interested in becoming one of the many designers who trust their jewelry to Nunn Design Findings, please join us by registering to become one of our wholesale customers!

Please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.


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4 thoughts on “10 Ways to Add Color To Metal

  1. christifriesen says:

    Holy COW! this blog is amazing!!! I am absolutely blown away with the details, variety and expertise as well as the can-do-ability of these metal coloring techniques. Needless to say, i am delighted that my Swellegants are included, but ALL the info Becky Nunn has put into getting this together is wonderful!
    Thank you Nunn Design!!!!

  2. Larissa Heskett says:

    AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! Being fairly NEW to the Jewelry World this was just an AMAZING Post!! =) I LOVED all of the Videos/Links that you share along with ALL of the Inspiration Photos!! This is SOMETHING I’m going to have to try!! THANKS for sharing and have a FABULOUS WEEK!! =) HUGS!!

  3. Maria Morris says:

    Wow. I found this amazing site and hope someone can direct me (before i go into overwhelm with ALL of the Sites Ideas 😉
    I would like to rainbow ‘colorize’ old silver plated utensils. Spoons, bowls etc. I would like the coating to be stable and hopefully food safe. i had a friend who used to ‘dip’ in an electrolyte solution, various metals to colorize. Does this stir an ideas / thoughts? I will be so Grateful !! 🙂

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