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Author Topic: Brass-plating Tin or Steel  (Read 2045 times)
« on: September 26, 2012, 04:31:24 am »

Greetings all,   I'm looking for a 'reasonable' (defined as practical-inexpensive) method to simulate a brass finish on-over steel or tin.

I'm doing a prop that is constructed from a few different sets of stainless steel Tiffin lunchboxes, the stacking sets with the lock-down clamps.  What I need is a uniform brass finish on the completed items but uncertain of the best end result and applications to achieve such.

Mind the entire set of 'boxes' are being stripped down, removing hardware and such so my main concern is the containers and lids themselves.

Each box will have a degree of modification to it in the sense of surface modification, cutting slots and-or inserting metal mesh and-or perforated panels.

So, the proof in the pudding will be just obtaining a brass-plate or brass finish on said containers, any thoughts ?

United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2012, 10:50:58 am »

Brass plating is complicated by the fact that brass is an alloy rather than a pure metal.

One way to do it its to first plate with copper, then zinc. Moderate heating will cause the two to fuse creating a layer of brass.

Home plating can be a bit hit and miss though. most commercial processes use some pretty nasty chemicals which require special precautions even if you could get hold of them. The main issue tends to be durability of the plated surface. Depositing a layer of metal is fairly straightforward, making it long lasting is more tricky as you need to make sure that it is adequately bonded to the base metal.

For stainless one alternative is to colour it with heat, heating to around 300-350 degC will give a goldish yellow colour which should pass for brass.

A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 05:04:45 am »

.....Brass plating is complicated by the fact that brass is an alloy rather than a pure metal. .....

My thanks for the information and the kindness of your reply.

Now I'm wondering it might be more 'expedient' (and economical) to just apply a metallic lacquer by ways of a air-brush/paint-gun on the larger pieces. 
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