How to Get Rid of Metal Engraving

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Engraving on metal can be very beautiful, but there are many reasons that you may want to remove it. The engraving may be damaged or contain another person's initials, name or accomplishment. You may have made a mistake when engraving or wish to give the engraved item a different look. For whatever reason, you can remove the engraving with sandpaper.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Dust mask
  • Eye goggles
  • 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • 800-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • 1200-grit wet/dry sandpaper

Clean the area where you want to remove the engraving.

Protect the metal that does not have engraving or where there is engraving that you do not want to remove. Place masking tape over the areas until only the engraving that you want to remove is exposed.

Put on a dust mask and eye goggles to protect your eyes and lungs from sandpaper grit.

Use 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper to sand away the engraving. Continue to sand until the engraving is gone.

Use 400-grit sandpaper to remove the marks caused by the 200-grit sandpaper. Switch to 600-grit sandpaper, then 800-grit and 1,200-grit sandpaper to continue sanding until the metal has a smooth, polished surface where the engraving used to be.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check to be sure the metal is not plated before removing the engraving. If the metal is plated, then sanding away the engraving will also remove the plating.

References

  • "Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition‎"; Tim McCreight; 2005
  • "Metalsmithing"; Robert Ebendorf, Michael Jerry and Thomas Markusen; 1973
  • "Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths"; Heikki Seppä; 1978
  • "Jewelry Concepts and Technology": Oppi Untracht; 1982
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