Metal plating/galvanizing

Hi guys. I wonder if anyone had done any experimenting with metal plating? Galvanization, hot plating in zinc…

I tryed galvanizing years back, so long ago l dont even remember if it worked or not :smile: but lately l got a rather big project ahead, finaly its time to put a decorative touch to our kitchen. We decided for a vintage style, brick and copper combination. Did some research on the local market and the current price of copper sheet metal… well… its discourageing :smile:

So l looked in to copper plating and found this.

The copper lair is probably super thin and most likely wuld even rub off but it can probably be reaplyed periodicly. It seems super simple and cheap to make but has anyone ever tryed such a thing?


I have never tried it, but when I was building custom motorcycles we had a lot of parts chromed. First bath in that process is a copper plating and then nickle and finally chromium. With your knowledge as a chemist and skills it should be doable. I have been in the shops where plating it done. Nasty places full of acids and fumes. Disposing of the plating solution after you are done is also an issue. Perhaps it can be neutralized.


I have experimented with copper plating. I used a solution of copper sulfate, (root kill) that is used to kill roots in sewer pipes, and a low voltage, (batteries) DC current. It worked very well. The big thing is to have the metal to be plated very, extremely clean. There are lots of U-tube videos.


I have only looked at electroplating. You do not want copper that is not coated with a varnish beyond not keeping the copper color and tarnishing to green. The copper will leach off and your body will absorb it and it can cause psychotic issues among other things.

If you can’t find copper sulfate, you can synth it from scrap copper and sulfuric acid.

Generally, for any coating it will need to be very clean.

Copper is used as the base for almost all electroplating of gold, silver, nickle, platinum, etc. in jewelry. But you need a good dependable power supply. :slight_smile:


When I was in the building business we built some fairly high end custom houses. In one, the owner had someone hammer out a large copper kitchen sink. A thing of beauty.He paid over 3 thousand dollars for it. We installed it and then had to remove it because the inspector decided it wasn’t UL certified. Didn’t have anything to do with health issues. Just bureaucratic muscle flexing. The granite countertops had already been cut to receive it so they were scrap as well. Probably could have been worked out but the owner thought he was a big shot and got nasty.


Go to home depot and buy root kill, it is copper sulfate. a couple of D cell batteries will work for small sized parts


I once worked in a plating company , horrible stinking job is all i can remember , all items to be plated were put in a heated vat of Trike (had to look up how to spell it ) Trichloroethylene
now when i ever go into dry cleaning shops it reminds me of those dark gloomy days in that plating factory .


The europeans have different "environmental’ or ‘safety’ standards and sometimes what we can get fairly easily, they can’t get at all. ple of D cell batteries will work for small sized parts

The europeans have different "environmental’ or ‘safety’ standards and sometimes what we can get fairly easily, they can’t get at all. I have run into it in a number of videos especially from the UK for various things that are banned, that are still common in the US.

Trichloroethylene is banned in NY and Minnesota and restricted to industrial uses in the EU. There was a crackdown in insurance in the 90s because of the fire risk in our state which put a large number of small dry cleaners out of business and turn around times went from overnight to 2-3 days because they had to outsource it.


Aparently just diping steel in copper sulfate copper plates it. How did l not know this???

I tryed and it works but the lair is too weak.

I did experiment with other solutions and got preety close.

This one seems best. Copper formate.

First l reacted copper sulfate with baking soda to form copper carbonate, then disolve that in formic acid. You can see the plating is good and sticks well, but it leaves white stains wich are probably due to exess acid. Next time l need to add more c. carbonate and play with concentrations a bit but generaly it seems good.

Indeed, it can be hard to get some chemicals here but usualy you can get all the precursors and knolidge is power :wink:


It seems to me that you would be better off just saving up for a copper sheet. Thin, but strong enough for your needs. (like that used for roof flashing and with steel structural support). All this chemical plating is fine for electronics, jewelry, wall hangings, other experimental and art projects, etc., but would not hold up in everyday use in a kitchen environment. Plating seems like just another rabbit -hole-distraction in your quest for self-sufficiency. For what it’s worth. :thinking: :cowboy_hat_face:


Along THOSE lines. Aluminum is much cheaper then copper and you can anodize it to various colors. Or apparently it is possible to anodize with copper itself.

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