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How to make mirrors in colors

An ongoing discussion from 2001 through 2016 . . .


Q. Hi sir,

I work with mirrors by Ag [silver], and golden mirrors by Cu [copper], and black by Pb [lead]. Can anyone help me to make another color for mirror?

Thanks for help.

Maher Shaker Afifi
G.L.S - Cairo, Egypt

Need mirror finishes on aluminum in various colors

"Surface Treatment & Finishing of Aluminium and Its Alloys"
by Wernick, Pinner & Sheasby

from Abe Books
info on Amazon


Q. We manufacture aluminum planters. Now we are producing mirror and brushed finishes on outside and want to make mirror brass, mirror copper, mirror bronze finishes on aluminum -- how to get this finishes.

Vijay Raj
Manufacturer - Chennai, Tamilnadu, INDIA


A. Hi Vijay. There are at least 3 ways to do this. The first way is to bright dip, anodize, and dye them the color you wish. The second would be to bright dip and electrophoretic lacquer them with a tinted lacquer. The third would be to apply the new generation of 'chrome-look' paints.

I think the second approach would give you the most believable imitation metals, but you might have samples done each way and see what you think. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Want to make copper color mirrors by PVD process

Coatings on Glass
from Abe Books



Q. Hi
I have some problems with COPPER COATING ON GLASS with PVD (thermal evaporation) method. My porpose is produce COLORED MIRROR with use of Copper(Cu) (mirror with brass or copper color, bronze color), but its seem that: adherence of Cu on glass is weak so large amount of copper will need to produce thin layer of Cu, and these are my problems. Is it possible that replace Cu with another metal(s) or alloy(s) to produce this type of mirrors?
Best regards.

Hamid R. Rahnoma
Rah Co. - Iran

February 12, 2009

A. Al alloys allow several gold tone colors with good adhesion.
92% Al 8% Cu gives a gold tone. Higher percentages of Cu will Darken the color. I recommend cleaning the glass prior to PVD process with H2O2 to remove any surface grease or oil. A Glow Discharge Clean would also help adhesion. N2 or air for 90 to 120 seconds should be fine.

stephen horner
- phoenix Arizona USA

Looking for mirror/colored vacuum deposition on visors

mirror tinted visor

mirror tinted visor 2

Q. Dear reader,

I'm looking for a way to have a few pilot's visors vacuum deposited with reflective material making them a see-through mirror. The visors are made of polycarbonate and are coated so that they get a mirror-color chrome, gold, rainbow,...
Color is not that important, I'm just looking for a visor with the mirror effect for display purposes and NOT for actual flight use. When contacting major companies they charge astronomic prices so I hope to find a solution at minimum cost in the more private area. Thanks very much for reading this.

best regards

Joeri Sarens
hobbyist - St-Amands, Belgium
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