How to Use a Burnishing Tool to Polish


How to Use a Burnishing Tool to Polish

Today I want to talk about a simple polishing and finishing technique that has been around for a long time, longer than polishing machines, electricity, and even the internet…… yes, even the internet. It is called BURNISHING.

First, let me direct you to a Blog Post I did over a year ago on how to make a burnishing tool out of an old bur. This post will show you how to make, finish, and polish your own burnishers out of worn out burs. I always say, NEVER throw out your used burs, you can always use them for other projects and tools. I have many, MANY, shapes and sizes of burnishers. Here is a link to the Blog Post.

The process of burnishing is to take a smooth, polished tool, that is harder than the piece of jewelry that you want to polish, and rub with pressure. No Foredom or spinning motorized tool needed. This action will smooth out the piece that is softer than the steel or stone burnisher that you are using. (For instance gold or silver)

There are many types of burnishers to purchase:

Tungsten Carbide Burnishers are made out of a very hard steel that will keep it’s polish for a long time.


Another Tool you can use as a burnisher is a Steel Scribe.


A cool tool to use in your burnishing is an Agate Burnisher, a burnisher made out of stone.


I also use a scribe, shaved down and sharpened, to scrape and trim areas that are hard to get into.

smBurnisher4  smBurnisher5

I then burnish the hard to get into areas with the sharp end of a rounded point of a burnisher.

smBurnisher3 smBurnisher6

Again, the burnishing process it to rub an area with a polished object over and over to smooth and polish an area. The tool can be polished with Yellow Rouge on a piece of paper.

Texturing2 (2b) Texturing2 (3) Making a Burnishing Tool (6)

This is a great way to detail your jewelry, it is actually meditative and soothing for me. You can watch the polishing process happening slowly and have great control over your finishing work.


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Now go make something Shiny!


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5 Responses to How to Use a Burnishing Tool to Polish

  1. Lisa March 15, 2016 at 7:47 am #

    Thanks for this idea, Doug! I especially love the tip to use a scribe to detail hard to reach areas!

    • Doug Napier March 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

      You are so welcome Lisa.

  2. Vinod Patil March 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    very nice and detailed procedures.

    Thank you

    • Doug Napier March 23, 2016 at 7:09 am #

      You are welcome Vinod

    • Doug Napier April 10, 2016 at 11:34 am #

      Thank you Vinod