You’ve probably seen a movie or two in which powerful bosses are toting gold-plated guns as a show of wealth, dominance, and success. But those elegant firearms aren’t just for Hollywood. The gold plating of guns is becoming a global trend, with gun owners covering parts or the entire body of their guns in gold. Why? Aesthetically speaking, the finish adds a royal look to the firearm. Also, gold plating enables users to imprint their guns with a brand or pattern of their choice.
(Pixabay / alles)
But the advantages of gold plating go far beyond looks; the process can secure the surface of the gun to help prevent metal corrosion. In addition, it can make the firearm less prone to wear and tear.
There are numerous gold plating techniques; some of them can be applied from the comfort of your home.
Gold Plating a Gun at Home
Did you know that it’s possible to gold-plate a gun at your residence? You’ll just need to buy a few chemicals to set up and seal its surface and some sheets of gold leaf. You can cut the latter into smaller pieces for applying on the gun’s surface. The next step is to disassemble your firearm so that it becomes easier to work with.
Now use tape to label the sections you want to gold plate, and then apply a gold-leaf adhesive coating to the labeled areas with the help of a brush. Make sure to take a balanced approach with the application of the adhesive to prevent liquid puddles. Once that’s done, give the adhesive enough time to dry. It will first show up as a white color but should become clear within 40-60 minutes.
The gold leaf, however, will become tacky and clear before it adheres to the surface. Make sure to take off the tape once the adhesive has been applied. Next, take a half teaspoon of pumice powder and sprinkle it on a soft, flat surface. A best practice is to spread it out with the back of a gliding knife, take out the gold leaf, and slide the gliding knife beneath the leaf before lifting it up. The leaf should be placed in a flat position on the surface and then cut into smaller pieces with the blade edge.
You’ll also need some petroleum jelly. Place a dab of the jelly on the back of your dry hand. Now transfer it to a cotton ball by pressing the jelly against it, and then touch the jelly-coated part of the cotton ball onto a section of gold leaf to lift.
The next step is to apply the gold leaf to the tacky area of the firearm. You can use a soft-bristled brush to smooth it flat. Keep applying parts of the gold leaf to the components of the firearm, overlapping a bit where any pieces come together. You can then patch any gold leaf tears by using additional gold leaf and even an additional coating of adhesive. As the final step, brush on a sealer to seal the gold plating, and allow it to dry for a few hours before reassembling your firearm.
It’s also crucial to note that you will not be able to control the thickness of gold plating while it’s being brushed on. Also, it can be difficult to apply the coating in a balanced way. Most gun owners like the “bath plating process” because of its capability to get the whole gun part or firearm coated evenly. That said, the entire gun part or whole gun (depending on your goal) must be able to fit into the plating receptacle.
Other Things to Note
- The firearm must be made of stainless steel, plastic, zinc alloys, aluminum, or a mixture of these materials. The outcome of the gold plating will vary based on the firearm’s surface material. For instance, a steel coated gun will often feature a dark finish that needs to be removed to expose the bare steel before it can be gold plated.
- If aluminum is the main material, it’s not possible to plate directly onto the surface. You’ll need to take the firearm to a specialist who can apply specialized bath plating to help it achieve a nickel finish. Once a bright nickel finish is visible, you can apply the gold plating.
- The gold plating should be separately applied to any other types of customizations you’re planning to make.
Gold Plating Kits
If you want to take up gold plating on guns as a hobby or small business, consider purchasing a gold electroplating kit. A bench-top plating kit is portable, simple to use, and delivers beautiful, even results when it comes to blinging up firearms and other items.