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Silver Plating of Brass

Q. I have some small brass sculptures that I need to plate with silver. However no local silver finishing company is willing to do it for me. According to them it is extremely difficult to get a good finish with brass due to the appearance of tiny holes / dots after the cleaning process. These will show up clearly once silver is plated onto the brass surface. Is this true? If so, what is the best and most economical base material I should use for the sculptures?

Your advice is most appreciated. Thank you.

Mei Ling Yap
- Bangkok, Thailand

Electroless Liquid Silver Plating Solution

on eBay or


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February 23, 2010

A. I have had success by using a battery charger [on eBay or Amazon affil link]
connect object to black negative terminal
positive to scrap silver item such as a spoon must be solid silver
use white vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links] on spoon
brush stroke brass slowly making sure lint is always between spoon and plating brass
slowly silver will transfer onto brass
this is a very cheap way of plating with out costly plating equipment
brass is covered with silver but brass colour does show but item is very highly polished more plating will increase silver thickness
cost is minimal

Noel Dyson
- UK

A. Hi, Mei. Professionals would probably handle this like they handle restorations of old parts. They would probably do a heavy soft copper plate, then "mush buff" to try to push copper into the little pores, and then do the silver plating.

Other readers who are trying to put silver plating onto a relatively smooth brass surface may find our FAQ, "Silver Plating at Home", helpful.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 2010

Q. Dear Sir,

I want to please ask for your help, and tell me if Swarovski mounts (brass settings) can be silver plated? Can I do this at home? I cannot afford to pay for someone to plate this for me and I am afraid that Swarovski brass settings won't be able to be silver plated and I will waste my money.
I am looking forward for your answer.
all the best,

Radu Cristina
- Brasov, Brasov, Romania
February 27, 2012

A. Hi Cristina.

Can you not simply buy silver plated mounts for pretty much the same price?

Yes, brass mounts can certainly be silver plated, but real silver electroplating is not something to be done at home. You can try the simple immersion plating processes described in our FAQ, but the coating will be thin.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 28, 2012

History of silvered brass

"English Domestic Brass 1680-1810, and the history of its origins"

on AbeBooks

or Amazon

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Q. I am interested in the domestic use of silvered brass in British homes in the 17th and 18th centuries. Please can anybody recommend books or articles on this subject? The standard work on brass (Gentle and Feild) was published in 1975.
and it seems likely that somebody has written something more recently, but I am having no success identifying suitable sources. Suggestions most gratefully received.

An Bradley
Research - UK
September 28, 2016

Nickel + palladium barrier layer for silver plating on brass is peeling

Q. Hi,I have a question on silver plating over brass. Right now one client required plating as per below process. But as my factory advised that both nickel and palladium are very hard materials, and the combination of nickel and palladium is not good ... and we have experience of issues, the plating layer coming off, especially the ones we need to adjust the shape of the products. So we suggest to use nickel is enough, no need for any palladium, since it will cause more potential issues. Does anyone have this kind of experience? Could you kindly give us more suggestion?

Plating process as below:
Cleanse/Oil Removal-----Alkaline Copper Plate / copper sulphate [on eBay or Amazon affil link]Plate------Nickel Barrier: 3-4 micron barrier----Palladium Plate: 0.1 micron barrier----Silver Plate: 3-4 micron plate ----E-Coat / Drying.

fanny lai
silver plating over brass - Shenzhen,China
October 24, 2016

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