Etching Stainless Steel Washers Test #2

Test #2 - Stainless Steel 2" washers - 3 hours in the etch and a better result
better than last time  - I refresh my etch with a little fresh ferric each time  - but etch time changes on how old the ferric chloride is and how many uses - so visual is still important - this could have been 3-1/2 to four hours


Why stainless steel ?-   an alternative to silver or silver color that is relative reasonably priced 

Looking at these I would be hard to tell the difference between  silver, silver clay and the stainless steel 
that is just my opinion but stainless steel gives me another alternative now to silver 

I have in the past used stainless steel to enamel on as well - so once again old is new again and bringing stainless steel back into the studio 

Just think how easy is it to go to home depot or any other home improvement store and buy stainless steel  washers (some have zinc coatings ) and some brass if I can find those too -  with perfectly centered holes (I hate centering holes)  ( I have a bunch of copper ones too but havnt found any with this wide a band and small hole) and the variety of sizes available makes it easy to find raw materials to work with (trip to home depot this week I think to buy a variety of sizes)  I have these really large ones for testing for so long and finally getting to do it I wonder what took me so long 

They came out really nice 
I can patina them to bring out the patterns 

I did find that the stazon ink  is starting to come off the stainless steel when etching ( a crumbly material is produced during etching- )  so I am going to try some PnP blue  for the next few  at least the same length of time for test #3 and see how the crumbling effects that 

I also have a kit to do electro etching on stainless steel so I'll have to pull that out soon too and give it a try again and see what effects I can produce 


  1. OMGosh, I'm so glad to know stainless steel can be etched in a ferric chloride bath. Anxious to try it.

    1. Please do and share results
      I've planned for so long and finally just did it
      now I cant stop - I went out today and picked up a bunch more washers in different sizes - but going to use the Pnp Blue this time

  2. I'm really enjoying your blog at the moment as I'm just starting to dabble in etching. I have one problem thus far and it's that I'm getting lines on my piece after the etching has finished, i've tried laying the piece face down into the solution and I've also suspended the piece side up (on packing tape) and I'm still getting strange lines. are you able to tell me what I might be doing wrong? Thank you so much!!

  3. they look like rays of sunshine - theres a term for it but cant think off the top of my head
    some people find etching vertically helps with those lines and a bit of movement of the etching solution - with airators
    I get sometimes if I dont move my piece a bit - so I check every hour to ensure no bubbles and sometimes it helps

    1. Thanks Deborah! I tried the etching vertically the second time around with Copper and got the lines, but they looked like runs, more than 'rays of sunshine' if you know what I mean? I am going to blog about it, in the hopes someone might know what I can do to minimize/eradicate the problem!

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