Electroplating is an electrochemical process used to change the surface appearance of certain metals. The metal being electroplated is called the anode, while the piece the anode is being plated onto is called the work piece. Dip plating is a popular method for electroplating. During this process, the anode and work piece are connected to an electrical source and placed in a solution specially formulated to facilitate the transferring of the anode’s physical characteristics to the work piece. Knowing how to perform this action can help anyone learn to electroplate any metal as a hobby.
Purchase brass plating solution from an online electroplating kit retailer or from your local arts and crafts store.
Put on gloves and goggles to avoid incidental eye or skin contact.
Pour the brass plating solution into the beaker. The amount of solution used should be enough to fully submerge the work piece being plated and the beaker should be large enough to accommodate both the anode and work piece without the metals or alligator clips coming in contact with each other.
Attach the positive charged alligator clip to the anode and the negatively charged alligator clip to the work piece. Submerge both into the solution, but make sure the piece and clips are not touching. Plug the wall adapter into the power outlet.
Leave the metal pieces submerged until the piece being plated onto fully assumes the color and physical characteristics of the brass piece being electroplated. This should be apparent by looking through the beaker or occasionally pulling the work piece out of the solution and examining it.
Unplug the wall adapter when plating is complete and dry the metal pieces with a rag
- Brass plating solution
- Wall mount power adapter with alligator clips
If the metals touch during the plating process, staining can occur and result in the piece being plated appearing smeared or dark. Also, if the alligator clips touch, the wall adapter may short out.
The plating solution is flammable so do not electroplate brass near open flames.