Preparing your surface for brush plating gold and silver

Preparing different metals for brush plating.

This section includes a handy quick reference table to show you which pretreatment stages you need to go through on which metals to prepare for gold and silver plating.

Please refer to the table below for preparation options

Please note;

  • A lot of surfaces can be easily prepared by rubbing with MPU and buffing with a clean paper towel.
  • In the table below, where is says ’Gold Flash’, this means to plate a thin layer of gold – usually around 0.01 micron thick – using our Gold Flash solution.
  • For areas that are difficult to reach with MPU or are highly textured, electroclean and electro-activate all in one with our unique ActiClean.
Base Metal Gold Plating (includes rose and green gold made with our Coloured metal Mixers) Silver Plating
Copper, brass, bronze and its alloys 1.MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner 2. Plate a barrier layer of nickel, palladium or white bronze 3. Gold plate 1. MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner2. Silver Plate
Stainless Steel 1. MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner 2. Gold plate 1. MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner 2. Gold flash or PP Copper plate 3. Silver plate
Zinc and its alloys (pot metal, Zamak and Mazak) 1. MPU only. Keep dry. Dust off any remaining MPU residue with a clean paper towel.2. Copper plate with Copper Strike Brush Plating Solution thickened with Thickener 3. Barrier plate with nickel, palladium, white bronze or silver 4. Gold plate 1. MPU only. Keep dry. Dust off any remaining MPU residue with a clean paper towel 2. Copper plate with Copper Strike Brush Plating Solution thickened with Thickener 3. Silver plate
Nickel and its alloys- (Monel metal, nickel silver, EPNS) 1. MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner 2. Gold plate 1. MPU or ActiClean or Cleaner 2. Gold flash 3. Silver plate
Tin and its alloys (pewter, Britannia metal and solder) 1. MPU 2. Plate with some freshly pre-mixed white bronze plating solution using our White Bronze Mixer and our Copper Brush Plating Solution (Use within one hour after mixing) 3. Gold plate

2. Copper plate with either PP Copper, Copper Strike or Copper Brush Plating Solution, nickel plate then gold.

1. MPU 2. Copper plate with Copper Plating Solution 3. Silver plate
Silver MPU or Cleaner N/A
Gold N/A 1. MPU or Cleaner 2. Silver plate

 

Despite its name, EPNS (Electro Plated Nickel Silver) does not contain any silver, but is an alloy of copper (60%), nickel and zinc.

Monel metal is an alloy of nickel and copper, with some iron added for strength.

This table is meant as a general guide only. Please refer to individual projects for detailed guidance.

 

2 responses to “Surface preparation for brush plating gold and silver – a quick reference”

  1. Hello there, following on from Paul’s question above, I’m looking at rhodium plating for small brass pieces – both engraving brass and lead-free brass, just in case there’s a difference. Is this possible with your equipment? Thanks ever so much, Tagmaster

    • Thank you for your enquiry.
      It is possible but the brass should be nickel plated first. Perhaps you could get them nickel plated (usually a cheap process) or
      you can brush or plate them in a beaker with our process.

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