A page to bring together a novices exploits in enameling. Starting with the absolute basics and building from there. When I say basic, I’m starting with little knowledge. The knowledge I have is at the dangerous level.

Steps to Enameling

A very basic list of steps:

  • Metallic material
    • copper
    • silver
    • gold
    • steel
    • Not aluminium as this will melt before the enamel
  • Clean metallic surface
    • free of grease
    • free of particulates
  • Surface texture
    • give the surface of the metal some texture using emery cloth/sandpaper
    • sandblast the surface – recommended for steel
  • Kiln
    • pre-heat to ~810°C (check enamels you are using)
  • Application
    • abrasive clean the metal surface
    • pickle the metal (acetic acid or white vinegar)
    • rinse with water
    • apply a thin coat of enamel liquid or powder
      • for powders use a sieve and just tap the sieve
    • place the piece in a pre-heated kiln
    • let the temperature come back to the set point (eg 810°C)
    • leave for ~1-2 minutes
    • remove part and place on a heat proof surface to cool


Enamel powders, liquids and powders suitable to be used used in liquids are readily available to various colours. You can fire a part multiple times and so build up layers with opaque and transparent enamels. I find the WG Ball enamels from Cooksongold work really well and are very vibrant in colour.


There are many different types of kiln available. One option is to find a local college or art studio where they teach enameling as they will be able to teach and advise.

prometheus kiln

Prometheus Prog-1 – a small electric kiln plugs into a 13A socket and can reach temperatures up to 1000°C.

The temperature, ramp rate and hold time are all programmable.

The only downside is that this is a small kiln with a small working volume. However, that small working space is ideal for enameling.

Enameling Glossary

Enamel Buttons – using simple copper blanks it is possible to make decorative buttons.

WG Ball clear flux

Steel – a great readily available base material. However, getting the enamel to stick to the steel and not ping off is tricky as I found out.

Enameling on Steel – a first go at making homemade enamel signs.

Vitreous Enamel – an opaque or transparent glaze, generally coloured, which adheres to a suitable metallic surface when applied in a powder or liquid state.