- Painter's tape
- 18- or 24-karat gold leafing foil booklet
- Gold sizing liquid
- High gloss polyurethane varnish
Every year the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA, issues records plated in 24-karat gold to artists who have sold over 500,000 units of a particular album in the previous year. The usual method for creating gold-plated records is electroplating, which requires specific training and expensive equipment. However, other methods are available to the hobbyist who wishes to replicate a gold-plated record at a fraction of the cost of electroplating.
Spread newspaper over your work surface. Cut two pieces of newspaper to the size of your record labels. Attach these with painter's tape to the labels on each side of the record to avoid accidentally leafing over them.
Place the record onto the newspaper with Side A facing up. Lay gold leafing foil over the areas you wish to plate. Brush and tap the leaf into place with a soft, clean paintbrush. Run the brush around the record in circular motions to bring out the grooves of the record. Fold the foil over the edges so that you cover the edges.
Paint gold sizing liquid over the record carefully. Allow the record to dry for a few hours before proceeding.
Flip the record over to Side B and repeat the process. Once both sides are dry, apply more gold leafing foil to any areas where the foil didn't adhere. Paint more gold sizing liquid onto those areas and allow the record to dry.
Remove the painter's tape and newspaper that is covering the labels once the sizing is completely dry.
Paint high gloss polyurethane varnish over Side A of the record, including the label. Allow the record to dry overnight and repeat on Side B. Allow to dry overnight and your gold-plated record is ready for display or framing.
Clean up with mineral spirits and a rag.