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wikiHow works on the principle of a wiki, which means that many of our articles are written by several authors. When creating this article, volunteer authors worked on its editing and improvement.

The number of sources used in this article is 10. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

Gilding is an electrochemical process in which a thin layer of gilding is applied to a metal. Due to the electric current, positively charged gold ions pass through a gilding solution, which is applied to a negatively charged metal, usually jewelry. Gilding is an easy way to give a new look to tarnished jewelry and other metal accessories. Using the gilding kit and the following instructions, the process of applying gilding will seem simple to you and will not take much time.

Galvanic gilding

Common galvanizing technologies have a number of disadvantages:

  • Harmful - electrolytes are cyanide or conditionally cyanide. (cyanide compounds evaporate and poison the air)
  • High cost - high gold content in the electrolyte and professional equipment require significant financial costs,
  • Complexity - the gilding process is complex and requires considerable experience and knowledge,
  • Disposal - Highly toxic waste electrolytes must be disposed of. They can not be poured into the sewer or to the ground!

Gilding Tribal Plating

Tribogalvanics is not an independent technology (refers to galvanic processes):

It does not stand up to criticism either in terms of application speed, or in quality, or in wear resistance.

Very capaciously this "method of applying gold coatings" has already been described on the Internet. So all interested can read the famous article "Legends and myths of tribogalvanics." We have nothing to add to it.

Gold leaf

A technology known since ancient times. It has a number of disadvantages:

  • High cost
  • Huge laboriousness. You need to learn for years and have phenomenal perseverance,
  • Low wear resistance of gold plating,
  • The mediocre appearance of the gold plating upon close examination

Chemical gilding

There are two types: spraying (spraying) and immersion (immersion gilding). They have a number of disadvantages:

  • Gilding method of spraying - a method designed for professionals. It is quite expensive and cannot be used at home. Requires protection of the gold coating with varnishes,
  • Immersion gilding (immersion gilding) - possible only on copper (brass and bronze) bases. The maximum coating thickness is 0.25 μm and, as a result, low resistance to abrasion and mechanical stress. Low durability

Various gilding techniques

The quality of the resulting surface largely depends on the features of the technology used. The most common are the following:

  1. Galvanic plating method.
  2. The use of special chemicals.
  3. The mechanical method of applying the desired substance.

In each case, certain tools and chemicals are used.

At the same time, some technologies are suitable for coating chains at home, other processing of other products as intended.

Chemical way

Chemical gilding of silver or another alloy is the process of applying gold chloride to the surface to be treated. Recommendations for creating the desired reagent are as follows:

  1. Metal needs to be uncoiled into pre-prepared foil. All items must be crushed to small items.
  2. Small pieces are immersed in a mixture of a pre-prepared chemical reagent. The solution is created by combining 30 grams of hydrochloric concentrate and 10 grams of nitric acid. It should be borne in mind that with such substances at home you need to work carefully.
  3. At least 10 ml of solution is necessary for one gram of spraying. That is why you should pre-calculate the required amount of fluid.

Gilding solution

Porcelain dishes are used to mix the active reagents. The dissolution process can last for three days. After preliminary preparation of the metal, it is evaporated at a temperature of about 80 ° C until a liquid appears. At the time of evaporation, stir the resulting consistency with a glass rod from time to time, due to which a homogeneous composition will be obtained.

Carrying out gilding of metal, it is necessary to qualitatively prepare the required composition. This will require:

  1. Water purified from impurities at a temperature of 60 ° C.
  2. About 15 grams of syrup of gold chloride.
  3. Over 65 grams of potassium carbonate or sodium chloride. Both substances must undergo a quality cleaning.

The surface of silver or other products should be covered only after its preparation. To do this, degreasing is carried out using 20% ​​sodium hydroxide, after which the product is washed in a 25% soda solution.

After surface preparation, the product is coated in a previously prepared mixture. After a while it becomes gilded. After removing and drying the surface, it is washed and wiped with a dry cloth. To give a more attractive look, gilding is polished with a woolen cloth.

Mechanical methods of gilding

Gold spraying is characterized by certain qualities that make the product more attractive and resistant to environmental influences. Mechanical application of gilding is extremely rare, since it is quite difficult to achieve uniformity of the surface layer. The features of this technology include the following points:

  1. With such gilding, a special paste is used. It can be prepared in a specialized store or made by yourself. The composition of the paste may vary significantly, which is worth considering.
  2. The layer obtained by applying the mechanical method of gilding at home, has a small thickness. That is why the resulting coating will not last for a long period.
  3. Common substances include yellow blood salt, chalk powder and tartar.
  4. It is recommended to mix the paste with water to obtain a homogeneous slurry, which is rubbed into the surface with a woolen cloth.
  5. Before gilding at home, the surface must be degreased. For this, special formulations are also used.
  6. Apply a paste of gilding should be a uniform layer, when rubbing, attention is paid to ensure that the substance does not fall on open areas of the skin.

Manual gilding

Mechanical technology is quite complicated in execution. As a rule, it is used if it is necessary to cover at home only part of the product. This is due to the fact that other coating technologies provide for the complete immersion of the product in a special solution.

Electroplating

A thick layer of high quality gilding can be obtained by using special technology. It provides for immersion of the workpiece in a special electrolyte. The galvanic method is used to process a variety of workpieces, since it resembles common electrochemical processes.

It should be borne in mind that, depending on the type of solution used, the surface can acquire a variety of shades. Do-it-yourself electrolyte for gilding at home can be made as follows:

  1. For 700 ml of purified water, 60 grams of sodium phosphate is added.
  2. When using 2.5 grams of gold chloride, 150 ml of water is used to dissolve them.
  3. 10 grams of sodium sulfite, as well as one gram of potassium cyanide, are dissolved in 150 ml of distilled water.

These reagents should be handled carefully. Gold plating at home is carried out when the solution is heated to a temperature of about 60 ° C, an anode is installed to activate the chemical process to deplete the electrolyte.

It takes about 15 hours to process the workpieces in such a solution. Significantly increase the efficiency of the process helps current low power. Due to this, a matte film of gold is formed on the surface.

Preparation of a solution for gilding

A solution for gilding at home should be prepared with extreme caution. This is due to the fact that upon contact of substances a chemical reaction is formed, which can lead to the appearance of harmful secretions. The following components can be mixed to create the desired composition:

  1. Chlorine Gold.
  2. Salt.
  3. Potassium cyanide.
  4. Soda and distilled water.

Such a composition is most suitable for processing ordinary metal. Gold plating at home with a silver surface can be carried out when creating the following composition:

  1. Chlorine Gold.
  2. Potassium carbonate.
  3. Edible salt.
  4. Ferruginous potassium.

All elements are mixed in water until a homogeneous consistency is obtained. Work should be done exclusively in protective equipment; ingestion of substances into open areas of the body or into the respiratory tract is not permitted.

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