Living in Michigan - there are lots of automotive manufacturing plants. The car painting process leaves deposits of paint on the floor and equipment. These deposits have layers upon layers of paint. These layers build up and must be cleaned out of the paint areas. I believe they are chipped out which creates the paint chunks. These paint chunks can be made into some amazing looking jewelry. When you work them down, the different color
layers reveal themselves.
My father just told me that my grandfather use to bring paint chunks home from the paint plant he worked in. My grandfather use to make rings and things.
Remember to practice and use shop safety – use protective eyeglasses, dust masks and gloves. Know how to safely use the equipment before you start. No loose clothing - hair - objects around moving items. Remove your rings while working.
Step 1: Items in This Project
Paint chunks – I started with a piece approximately 3 inch by 2 inch by about ½ inch thick (piece shown is an example of the layers).
Hack saw – for cutting to size
Sand paper – I recommend the wet type grits 100 – 220 – 400 (please
note I used power wheel sanders).
Polish – car or buffing polish
Bail – this is the metal to hang the paint jewelry from a
necklace – I used metal eyelet loops - cut down to ¼ inch (cut measurement from
bottom of eye to bottom of wire)
Needle nose pliers
Blunt nose (with built in wire cutter)
Small drill bit and drill (used a mini screw type)
Step 2: Cut to Size
Close the paint chunk in the vise. I wrapped the paint chunk with a towel to reduce the chance of breakage (from the vise).
I used a standard hacksaw to cut the big paint chunk in to smaller pieces. These pieces came out to be
approximately 1 inch by 1/2 inch by 3/8 inch - each.
Just a note: take your time the paint can be brittle and break or crack.
Step 3: Shape the Smaller Pieces
I started by using the 100 grit wet paper. The 100 grit wet paper takes a lot of material off, this will shape the piece (use lots of water while sanding). Once I got the general shape I wanted; I moved onto the 220 grit wet paper. The 220 grit wet paper will still shape the paint pieces a little and start the polishing process. I then went onto the next sanding level with 400 grit wet paper. The 400 grit paper does more polishing with little material removal.
Step 4: Polish the Smaller Pieces and Put the Wire Bail Into the Smaller Pieces
I used a buffing wheel with polishing compound to give the smaller pieces a gloss. Car polish on a power wheel works well. I found the new clear spray-on car polish does just as nice of a finish without a lot of work.
Setting the wire bail into the smaller pieces
Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller in diameter than
the eye loop diameter. I drilled a ¼ inch deep hole in the paint pieces.
Form the wire bail:
I used the wire cutter part of the pliers to cut down a metal eye loop to create a bail. I cut approximately ¼ inch down from the bottom of the eye.
I use pliers to force the cut down eye loop into the paint pieces.
I put an 8 mm ring onto the eye loop and then I strung the necklace through the ring.
Step 5: More Pictures
Just wanted to share some more pictures of paint chunk pendants – necklace.
The last four show the fronts and backs, either way these paint chunks look great.
Thanks for viewning.
Second Prize in the