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topic 44444

Silvering formulas using silver nitrate distilled water spraying with a 2 component gun


After using a silvering solution from Peacock Labs has anyone tried to make their own chemical? If so what success did you have.

Dean Smith
owner - UK

Ed. note: we add the usual note that there is no practical way for the site editors to know whether proper "white methods" are being employed in reverse engineering efforts, or whether a formulation is in the public domain or is a trade secret. So readers are encouraged to refer the inquirer to a particular book or published article if you can, but we can't directly print formulations; we don't want to be a part of crowdsourcing industrial espionage :-)
For safety sake we also warn that people should investigate the concept of "fulminates" before mixing anything with silver chemicals.



Old texts contain many formulations for silvering solutions.
I cannot recommend any. You exchange a known and acceptable problem (cost) for an unknown process involving a significant possibility of accidentally generating explosive silver compounds. Many of the recommended reducing agents like hydrazine are also difficult to justify in today's safety culture.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


A very old recipe I came across did the following:
1) prepare a buffer solution of 200g sodium hydroxide and 150 0.88 Ammonia solution in 1 litre of water.
2) Mix 90 mls 0.88 ammonia and 35 g of silver nitrate with 1 litre of water and add 70 mls of the buffer solution. Dilute this with 1 litre of water. This is the spraying solution for silver;
3)Dissolve 150g of glucose in 1 litre of water and add 140 mls of formaldehyde. This is the reducer and should be diluted to 65ml/litre with water when sprayed.

This is a very good two part silver spray solution that gives a bright shiny deposit. However, many substrates need to be sensitised before the silver will adhere to it, especially if it is a plastic, so the correct activation process is needed.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK

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