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Plating resin items

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  • Plating resin items

    Great forum you have going here! I cannot wait to get started.
    My question is this:
    I am fabricating and finishing some cast resin items, and intend to get a workshop kit to start with, as well as an airbrush and either the copper paint, or silvaspray, depending on which you guys deem better for my application. Most pieces need to have the final display layer be either gold or brass. I realize there will be multiple steps to the process for both, but I am looking for the process with the best results, NOT the quickest way to finish the pieces.
    On a polyester resin, which would work better for a plating base coat? Silvaspray, or the copper paint? Which would yield more detail? Does it matter?
    For refernce, none of these items is larger than 1'X1'X1'.
    I am currently doing an extensive paching/sanding/priming job on them, which will allow me to find any flaws and fix them.
    Will the copper paint or silvaspray stick to a gloss enamel prime coat, or do I need a special primer or something? the gloss black was originally used because the pieces were to be gold leafed (before I found out about Caswell Plating.) The leafing results I have seen are not satisfactory, so here I am.
    Any thoughts? Opinions? Thanks in advance!

    PS is there any way to do this without a tank setup? I have pretty limited space.

  • #2
    Silvaspray is by far the best method. However, we'd prefer if you plated it in immersion, rather than trying to brush plate it.

    Having said that, several people have successfully copper brush plated the coating, then nickeled and finally gold plated it.
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick response. I will go the silvaspray route, then, and I will try to make room for a small copper immersion kit, but will probably just go witht the brush plating method to start with, as cost is a bit of a factor (at least on this set of projects.)
      Will be ordering soon, &thanks again!
      off to do more sanding...


      • #4
        Okay, so I have my silvaspray, airbrush, and the copper immersion kit I ordered arrived today. Looking through the manual, it indicates that non-conductive items should be silvasprayed, and then FLASH-COPPER plated. Did I get the wrong thing? Is this going to work if I try it? I cannot replace the items I am looking to plate, and don't want to screw them up beyond salvage.
        please advise!

        ****disregard question, Caswell's AWESOME support staff covered it, and says that the bright copper kit will do the trick. I'll take pics all the way through & post info how it comes out.


        • #5
          Also Plating Resin

          Hello. I was curious what results you have achieved plating resin. I'm also attempting to plate resin with silver or chrome. I've tried the Silvachrome system, but have been unable to produce any results that do not have a milky clouding.


          • #6
            I'll let you know. Just finished setting up the tanks. I have 3 test pieces I will do tonight, then on to the real deal.


            • #7

              Just found this forum and I am curious as well.
              Enquiring minds wanna know.



              • #8
                Just posted 3 pics of a silvasprayed, copperes, silvered then gold plated resin replica movie prop.
                Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark?
                This was a resin cast of the Headpiece of the staff of Ra. It was in bad shape when I got it-someone had gold leafed it, over a zinc primer (i Think,) then sealed it with something clear, yet gooey. Several hours later with the aid of 50/50 Goof Off and Dawn dish soap, all the fake gold and zinc were gone (used a toothbrush.) I drilled out the cruddy fake crystal in the middle, cleaned it up a bit more, then brushed on silvaspray by hand-3 coats. Tank plated it with copper, then used the Caswell workshop brush plating kit to silver plate it in a tupperware bow via the dip method. Did the same for gold; and made sure I cleaned the part thoroughly between each step.
                The only places there are problems with the plating are the parts where the original gunk that was on it would not come off. Plating peeled right off. Easy enough to touch up the few small spots with paint, though; it IS supposed to be a weathered piece.
                I am working on 2 10' high resin crosses now. Same method, only brushing on the silver ang gold. The nickel did not seem to go on very well, but I think that was mostly cleaning problems, and the fact that my pickle is snowed in in my shed, so I had to give up on multiple coat of nickel till spring.

                Any other questions?


                • #9
                  my opinion

                  I think that the silver spray looks good after you properly do everything .

                  this is off the subject when you have a spare moment look an my posts on google's forum's sci.chem for my posts about this