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topic 6515

Gold plating for weather exposure


Hello all!

I am doing research for a sculpture project and have a few basic questions.

1. For weather exposure, what is the best method of permanently applying gold to a metal substrate?

2. For weather exposure, what is the best metal substrate for gold plating?

3. For weather exposure, what carat gold is best?

4. Are there any color choices available?

5. What is the largest size flat plate to which you (or others) can apply gold?

Thank you for your help,

Michael Kellough
- Staten Island, New York


1. Electroplating is far more durable than gilding and other processes

2. Probably nickel plating between a brass substrate and the gold plating

3. Sorry, that one I can't handle

4. In theory, plating offers you any gold color including greens and pinks. However, coloration depends on minute quantities of certain alloying metals and I would be worried about consistency for anything other than plain old yellow gold.

5. This would be done with brush plating, and many large statues and domes have been done.

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


As far as #3 is concerned, it's really not an issue. Gold will not oxidize in weather. What you want to worry about is mechanical wear, and thus, hardness. I would use a cobalt hardened formulation, somewhat along the lines of a bath used to plate electrical contacts. Purity should be in excess of 98%.

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida



As stated above by Ted, the sculpture can be brush plated either by you or a job shop like us. As for the largest size, with brush plating you don't really have a size limit to deal with.

David Crocker
- Valencia, California

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