Resists are materials that will "resist" the corrosive action of the acid, leaving your design as the un-etched or raised metal on your finished piece. These are the options I've tried so far.
- White Out
- Paper resist
- String or cord
- Sharpie brand markers
- StaZOn ink
After-etching cleanup is important:
- neutralize the etching acid with a baking soda and water solution
- remove plugs and rinse again if needed
- scrub with toothbrush, soap and water to remove all the gunk from design
- use solvent of your choice to remove ink and adhesive (Goo Gone, Acetone) or steel wool, green scrubbie to remove marker or stamp ink.
White Out use as a scraffito (scratching through a surface of plaster or glazing to reveal a different color underneath) resist. Paint casing with white out, let dry then scratch designs into paint with sharp tools. White out flakes easily, not very satisfactory results, IMHO.
But the options are endless, and there may be better ways to do a scraffito method, especially if the materials is less flakey than white out. Or maybe with a better scratching tool.
• Gel medium
• Nail polish
Paper resist I used standard 3x4" label stock from the office supply store.
String or Cord applied by winding tightly and tying. I tried both cord soaked in PVA glue and waxed linen, which worked even better! Just wind tightly and tie to prevent slipping while etching. This gives a random look to the etch.
StayzOn Ink and Rubber Stamps give great results and permit the most detailed designs. The metal must be very clean for this and remember to let the ink dry before touching. Apply ink to the rubber stamp and roll the tube one full turn. Remember the circumference of the bullet casing is only about 1.3" so over-rolling will result in a double image. Using a long bamboo skewer (or dowel) will help you roll smoothly.
As with any other etched design, longer in the acid gives a deeper etched design. Shown,two pieces etched together, the front one has been cleaned.
These two were etched with a stamped design, then cleaned and treated with Liver of Sulfur to highlight the design.
Permalac, Gilders' Paste, spray varnish or your favorite finishing.
You can also experiment with other patinas, maybe you like what the metal looks like after etching before cleaning. These patinas will need to be protected with a layer of protective sealant.