Leaded or Lead Free?

These are among the most important choices you'll make!

When starting to explore the amazing world of enameling there are many choices to be made, not the least of which is whether to use leaded or lead free enamels.


Why do I have to decide, can't I use both? The answer is absolutely yes, you can use both leaded as well as unleaded. However, (ah, you knew that was coming) it's extremely important for the success of your piece to understand the order in which to apply the enamels!


For example, you can apply unleaded enamel first onto a piece of metal and then apply leaded enamel over the previously fired unleaded and things should appear just fine. But if you reverse the order by applying lead bearing enamel first, then apply unleaded over the fired leaded enamel, all hell could break loose. Meaning the results can vary textually in a surprising way. This is why it's advisable to test any new combinations before using them on a piece in the works.


Upon testing examples of enamels and their order of application to the metal, you may find that you do, in fact like the result of the textures, but it's always best to avoid "surprises"!