Thursday, February 21, 2013

Saving Old Vintage Dyed Coral by Sealing the Coral

Beautiful Vintage Dyed Coral Drying in the Sunlight
Saving Old Dyed Coral is well worth it, most of us, (who are lucky enough), have strands of big, chunky coral in our Bead Stash. The problem with it is that over time, the finish has worn away and if they get wet, they bleed dye all over you and your nice clothing. For this reason a lot of good jewelry making material gets thrown out or otherwise discarded.

I was lucky enough to buy a lot of coral from a good friend who just didn't want to even try doing something with the material, but I knew from a good Gemologist Friend of mine that it could be saved by using a good clear acrylic sealer.

Here is a photo of two pieces of Coral, the one on the left is sealed, the one on the right is still unsealed, you can see that the piece on the right is faded and very dull.

You will need a can of spray Acrylic Sealer, (I use Krylon Crystal Clear Indoor/Outdoor Protective, Non-yellowing Clear Finish), and a protected area outside to spray.

I use paper towels to protect my table top, it doesn't stick to the coral  shells and my table is a work surface, so I don't worry about over-spray.

Wash and lay out your coral to dry, spacing it so you can rotate it easily between coats.

At this point you may want to touch up white spots where the coral has chipped or broken with a sharpie pen of matching color.

If the coral snaps off at a black joint it can be easily super glued back together and touched up with a black sharpie.

Next you want to apply a layer of acrylic sealer evenly over the pieces and let sit to dry.

After about 20 minutes you can flip each piece and spray the other side. Repeat this process until you get the results you want.

Let dry thoroughly before storing away.

As you can see below, this process works great and brings back the finish of vintage coral, that looks even better than the original!

This coral is well worth saving as there aren't large beautiful pieces left on the market anymore and the colors of dye are not as nice as they used to be. Save some Vintage Coral Today!

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