Copper nickel and gold plating

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by baltimore, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. baltimore
    baltimore New Member
    so i spent around $200 on a plating kit from caswell plating i got a 4 oz jar of 24k plating solution, 8 oz of copper and 8oz of nickel.

    I've learned that I need to heavily polish the stainless steel to make it attach. I'm not happy with plating directly to gold, it looks ugly. It was suggested to me to do copper first, and then gold on the copper and i'll get a good result. Copper went on great. I haven't tried the nickel.

    I'll update this later with more results. and pictures. my camera is charging so i cant take pics. i'll record video next time i do it though.
  2. noesis
    noesis New Member
    Thinking about gold plating or gold leafing, any updates on your experiments? Any luck with gold?
  3. baltimore
    baltimore New Member
    Well, it works... kinda.

    You need to polish really well and then nickel plate and then polish really well again and then gold plate, and then it works.

    Copper works really easily but isn't so pretty.

    Polishing a lot is the key to plating.
    Paying shapeways to do it works really well though, and is worth your time.

    Also the blackening solution at works great too. It's just a dip, and it turns the surface of the metal black. rubbing it again with sandpaper makes it shiny. It's neat if you have a bumpy surface, turn it black, and then sand the high points down so they show up shiny. check the pic

    The darker one is darker than you see in the picture. it really makes it dark. Bad cellphone pic.
  4. noesis
    noesis New Member
    Hey that does look pretty cool! Must be how you did your green lantern ring right? I'm just looking for a cheap alternative to get a gold 'look' ordered a faux leafing kit for $12, I'll have to post results after I've tried it. Thanks for the update!
  5. baltimore
    baltimore New Member
  6. erckgillis
    erckgillis New Member
    Experienced Caswell plating guru... :rolleyes:

    While their materials and kits are great the solutions are very expensive. You can often find the same solutions at chemical supply houses online.

    yes the shiny nickel or silver plate will help the gold shine and adhere firmly.

    For a patina other than black try a Liver of Sulfur (Potassium Sulfate) and Ammonia heated to 110 deg F from this you can get colors like green, purple to gold from many materials and then protect the finish with a hard wax or clear coat.

    I have not tried the spray on or pens for items as these are faux finishes and I give my customers real metals in silver, gold or other metal finishes.