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Burnishers or Dotting Tools (in the nail trade)


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Handy little tools to have when you need to rub down a sticker or rub a dry transfer from a sheet onto a surface. They are just a tiny metal ball mounted on a stick basically. Come in various ball diameters for small or larger things. Also great to make sure the edge of your masking tape is firmly sealed ro the surface before painting along a mask so paint doesn’t seep under the tape.


you can find expensive ones used in art and printing, but there’s a very inexpensive option of getting a set of “dotting tools” for fingernail decoration. Basically they are burnisher tips that nail decorators use to make little dots of paint by dipping ball end in paint and then just touching to a surface. Set of 5 different sixed double ended ones are a couple of bucks on ebay or check your local nail supply/decoration place. Amazon has them for a bit more or search ebay for “dotting tool”.




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There are also some other burnishers out there. There are dental “pluggers” that are used to tamp down amalgam and cement into drilled out cavities holes and root canals. Just have to make sure they have the polished ends not the serrated ends. These are nice as more flat than round ones so usually pushing down a larger area but no hard edges. Down side is they don’t come past like 2-3mm in diameter usually and a bit more expensive ($3-6 each).







you can make wooden ones from a piece of hardwood doweling and sand and polish the end down. I was actually taught to do rub off transfer lettering this way decades ago by an old sage printer/sign maker. These cuticle sticks also work pretty well when you need a semi hard tip to push on something or burnishing (some may need a tad of sanding).






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