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Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


How to make glass & mirrors in colors?

Q. I need Yellow and Blue Rainbow effect on my glass of fog lamp with uniform coating on each piece. How to get the same effect on each piece without variation?

Rohit Gupta
- Delhi, India
November 15, 2022

⇩ Related postings, oldest first ⇩

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

"The Surface
Treatment &
Finishing of
Aluminium and
Its Alloys"

by Wernick, Pinner
& Sheasby

on AbeBooks

or eBay or

(note: this book is two volumes)

(affil links)

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 with tinted clear coats.

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,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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
February 12, 2009

Want to make copper color mirrors by PVD process

"Coatings on Glass"

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

(affil links)

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

Hamid R. Rahnoma
Rah Co. - Iran

Looking for mirror/colored vacuum deposition on visors

mirror tinted visor

mirror tinted visor 2

RFQ: 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, etc.
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

Ed. note: Sorry, this RFQ is old & outdated, so contact info is no longer available. However, if you feel that something technical should be said in reply, please post it; no public commercial suggestions please ( huh? why?)

A. Hi Joeri. I think the problem of astronomical prices is due to the fact that PVD machines are not only expensive, but are high vacuum processes highly subject to costly-to-resolve contamination, such that they're just not well suited to onesy-twosy jobs. I would suggest talking to one of the suppliers of high quality "spray chrome" (chrome-look paint) because that process is much more appropriate to prototypes and low volume.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Readers my wish to review these related threads:

Topic #49329 "How to get Aurora Borealis effect on crystal beads?"

Topic #7846 "PVD coatings: color control"

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