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Plastic and Wood?

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  • Plastic and Wood?

    I have some plastic and wood parts that I would like to get chrome and gold plated. The plastic parts are very thin, but about 12 inches in length and width. The wood parts are 2 ft x 2 ft x 1.75 in. Is it possible to chrome and gold plate these?

    Also, I have some small chrome plated parts. What would I need to get them gold? Would it be possible, using powder coating or something, to get them black?

  • #2
    Re: Plastic and Wood?

    I have never plated wood but I guess anything is possible I have plated plastic using silva spray
    you can also use a conductive paint of some sort with the silva spray you must apply a light coating and let dry then another light coating I have never tried dipping into the silva spray
    after applying silva spray use a flash copper after flash copper use acid copper to build up the surface polish lightly and clean then nickel and final plate always make sure you rinse in-between steps to prevent contamination I would recommend lots of practice using these products
    Good Luck
    Jim Eaton


    • #3
      Re: Plastic and Wood?

      I don't think you will be able to get a good enough seal on the wood to prevent it from absorbing the plating solutions. That will contaminate the solution and ruin some of them. Even if you could get it to plate, you would need a rectifier that puts out aroun 1200 Amps to do the 2ft X 2ft piece (1 A per sq in surface area).
      To plate chrome with gold, you will need to strip off the chrome with 50/50 muratic acid and water. Buff the nickle to activate it and then gold plate. Yes you should be able to powder coat them black, assuming of course that it is a metal part.


      • #4
        Re: Plastic and Wood?

        All it takes is the tiniest crack in the surface seal and you'll start the wood soaking up plating solution. The wood will swell and the sealed surface will crack further until the piece is ruined. Even epoxy is somewhat hygroscopic (absorbs moisture although slowly) and might not protect the wood part from the solution. There are some marine epoxy finishes that might work. But I don't know how they'd hold up under plating solution.

        In any case, Gold plating an article as large as what you are describing would probably require tank plating. A tank large enough to accommodate the article you're describing would be at least 5 gallons, which could cost thousands to fill with gold plating solution.

        Have you considered doing gold leaf on the part? Gold leaf is the tried and true method for applying a gold finish to wooden articles. You can buy genuine gold leaf, or the "imitation" stuff that is basically super thin anodized aluminum. Personally I think the genuine stuff works and looks much better even though it costs a little more. Plus, you won't ruin your article...