Spontaneous emission from crystal centers is influenced by both the photonic local density of states and non-radiative processes. Here, we monitor the spontaneous emission of single nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers as their host diamond is reduced in size from a large monolithic crystal to a nanocrystal by successive cycles of oxidation. The size reduction induces a quenching of the NV radiative emission. Additional non-radiative channels lead to a decrease of the fluorescence intensity and the excited state lifetime. In one case, we observe the onset of blinking which may provide a route to understand these additional non-radiative decay channels.