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Hard Enamel: Delving Into The Artistry

hard enamel


Hard enamel, a prominent technique, enhances the luster of simple designs on decorative objects. It allows for a vibrant spectrum of colors to be applied to metal bases. Though the process of creating this substance can be labor-intensive, it results in durable adornments and appliances resistant to everyday wear and tear. Let’s take a deeper dive into the mastery of it and explore why it remains significant.


Hard Enamel: Drilling Down Its Process

Hard enamel may feature minimalistic artwork on accessories and mintage; however, it follows a much costlier and intensive process that gives a bang for the buck. This detailed approach creates alluring and highly durable ornamental pieces like lapel pins, badges, custom coins, and more.


The Enamelling (Enamel creation):

 This method is carried out to produce both hard and soft enamel. It involves creating vitreous enamel by mixing powdered glass and metal oxides, which subsequently act as a lubricant for the metal base to adhere to.


Creating An Enamel Design:

 Once the enamel becomes adhesive, it is poured into the recessed areas of the metal base. Before this, the metal base undergoes rigorous die-casting to create the desired design, forming the framework for the molten enamel to be poured.


Firing Session: 

This procedure is carried out to produce a color palette. However, there is a slight difference; after the enamel is poured into the recessed areas, the filled piece is placed in a kiln to fuse the enamel with the base, often referred to as the baking process. The piece is then cooled in the same kiln. Unlike soft enamel, this process involves firing all the colors together, eliminating the need for separate firing sessions.


Electroplating Process: 

This is often carried out to make the base accessories more durable and exhibit a more polished and elegant look on the surface, enabling the finishing to harmonize with the base colors.


Finishing Process:

After completing all the vital steps, the product undergoes the polishing process, commonly referred to as ‘buffing,’ which involves the use of abrasive compounds and buff wheels, similar to those used in car washes. This process smoothens the rough edges and levels them according to the base layer. This is where the distinction lies between the two counterparts; in its soft enamel counterpart, the edges are raised.

uses of soft enamel

Uses of Hard Enamel:


Personalized Hard Enamel Pins: 

One of the most sought-after items made, hard enamel lapel pins can be worn as wardrobe additions, treasured keepsakes, event souvenirs, and even serve as powerful branding tools. Their design versatility caters to various occasions, from ornate glitter pins and mascots to emanating iconic moments and figures from sports or popular culture.



Customizable keychains are also among the popular adornments, allowing consumers to make a statement about their persona or complement their wardrobe and occasions. A lesser-known fact is that these hard enamel keychains too are used as promotional tools by many organizations, such as at giveaways.


Customizable Badges:

Custom badges are also manufactured from this vitreous element as they are resistant to many conditions and can have complex inscriptions and designs incorporated. They come in handy as branding tools, keepsakes, and event souvenirs at eateries and various other occasions. Additionally, they are often used as collectibles by many for their flawless emanation of pop culture or any mainstream identities and moments. Hard enamel pin badges can be customized to represent organizations, events, or serve as valuable memorabilia.


Challenge Coins

Akin to soft enamel coins, hard enamel coins are also among the in-demand relics used to commemorate events and honor the services of veteran soldiers and workers. They are known for their durability, resistance to harsh conditions and chipping, and their ability to incorporate simple yet memorable designs while maintaining sleek edges.


Custom Enamel Paint:

Helpful in manufacturing paints used for walls, cars, and various other metal surfaces, due to its durability, preventing chipping and rusting. Moreover, it gives a sheen texture.


Hard Enamel Medals:

Customized hard enamel medals are also among the in-demand medallions. Like custom enamel coins, they are used to celebrate triumphs and commemorate milestones. Akin to their coin counterparts, they resist environmental and weather conditions, minimizing corrosion and chipping. Moreover, their ability to create crisp and simple designs makes them popular, especially for organizations seeking to enhance logo or insignia memorability and visibility.




What is a hard enamel?

  • Hard enamel is a layer produced from the enamel technique, resulting in a smooth, glassy finish with the ability to create crisp details. This makes it ideal for embellishments like pins and badges.

What is the difference between soft and hard enamel?

  • Soft enamel has a glossy, glass-like, and 3D finish due to its raised edges. Whereas, hard enamel exhibits a smooth, flat finish.

Can we make hard enamel pins on our own?

  • Crafting personalized pins on your own is unlikely due to the complex process, which requires precise temperature control and specialized equipment just for the enamel itself. However, you can customize existing pins using paint or other methods since they are durable. 

Is acrylic paint better than enamel paint?

  •  Enamel paint is more resistant to harsh environmental conditions compared to acrylic. However, there are some pitfalls in using enamel paint, such as its longer drying time, the need for thinner for cleaning, and the likelihood of emitting harmful odors.

In a nutshell, this substance is often preferred over glass-like enamel because of its durability and ability to create memorable and simple designs, such as in personalized lapel pins. Whether serving as decorations, keepsakes, or branding tools, like every other technique, this remains a valued one, leading to a growing number of hard enamel pin manufacturers. Among them is Custom Medals, where a plethora of ornaments and decorations can be found in various exquisite designs and dimensions.