Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2023-08-30T22:28:41+00:00
How do I back the inside of a silvered vase?2023-09-01T21:00:36+00:00

We suggest applying 2 coats of Copper Tite Vehicle #3 or Permalac Original Satin plus 1 coat of a waterproof epoxy. Note, this can only be washed by hand afterwards.

How do I unclog my silvering gun?2023-09-01T20:59:05+00:00

If your silvering spray gun is clogged with silver crystals, soak it in acetone first. That may resolve the problem. If it’s not enough, use some of our silver strip solution (run it through the gun) and that should fix the clog.

Why am I seeing dark and/or uneven patches of silver on larger substrates?2023-09-01T20:57:40+00:00

If this issue is only happening on larger substrates, it’s possible you are getting some precipitation caught on the structures. Rinsing a little while silvering should help mitigate this.

How can I get the silver to deposit in nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach spaces of my substrate?2023-09-01T20:51:32+00:00

We suggest several treatments with the C-22 Wetting Agent to ensure sufficient wetting over the whole surface and into your smaller spaces. This should allow the silver to bind in those hard-to-reach areas.

How should I spray silver for electroplating?2023-09-01T20:49:50+00:00

When you are carrying out the silvering portion of the process, you want to make sure it appears milky while spraying. This means there is sufficient silver to make it conductive on the surface.

How do I dispose of my silver solutions?2023-09-01T20:48:22+00:00

You can find all instructions related to silver chemical disposal by visiting our home page (, mousing over the “technical data” tab up top, clicking on the “data sheets” option in the following dropdown menu, and then opening up the “Disposal of Various Silver Solutions” document on our document drive.

How can I speed up my silvering rate?2023-09-01T20:45:49+00:00

The actual silvering portion of the process usually takes about 2-3 minutes for spray application and 4-5 minutes for pouring application. If you want to speed up the reaction rate of the silver, you can either:

    • Increase the concentration of reducer used. Change dilution from 1:30 to 1:20 (reducer:deionized water).
    • Use warm water between 80-85F (not more than 90F) when diluting your silver and reducer solutions.
How should I back and mount my mirrored substrate?2023-09-01T20:41:41+00:00

If you are looking to mount your mirrored surface with a glue or adhesive, we suggest that you first back your mirror as follows:

  • First, apply 2 coats of Copper Tite Vehicle #3 to the silver layer, let dry 1 hour.
  • Then, apply 3 coats 0f #390 backing paint, let dry 2-4 hours between coats and 24 hours before shellac.
  • Finally, apply 1 coat of shellac paint to seal.

After you have finished the suggested backing protocol, apply no more than a dime sized blob of mirror mastic (we suggest Palmer or Gunther) for every square foot of mirrored substrate. You should aim to have some kind of support rail on the bottom of the mirror so that there isn’t too much shearing stress on the paint (which could cause the backing to detach).

What is causing the silver to appear cloudy, hazy, or stained?2023-09-01T20:55:53+00:00

This issue is usually observed for a few reasons:

  1. One or more of the chemicals you have are expired or very close to expiring. To find out the shelf-life of your solution, click here. Then click on the shelf-life document to open it and figure out if your solution has expired or not. Most users find that expired reducer or sensitizer is the culprit. Make sure to replace the expired/stale chemicals prior to your next application attempt.
  2. Overspray can also cause some cloudiness. You can use a polishing agent, such as our 4F pumice, to remove the overspray of silver from the face of your glass if that seems to be the problem.
  3. If the sensitizer is not rinsed off properly or sits on the surface for too long, you may see some issues. Make sure to follow instructions in applying and rinsing sensitizer in timely manner.
  4. Over-reducing can also cause cloudiness. Follow the recommended dilutions for reducer. If you have, then dilute a bit more to see if the issue improves.
  5. High humidity (above 70%) can also cause these issues. Try to reapply when ambient environment presents less humidity.
Why am I noticing cracks in my silver layer?2023-08-30T20:23:48+00:00

Observing cracks in your silver layer is often caused by the overuse of reducer solution, which in turn causes the silver to flake off. The presence of grease on the substrate’s surface can also cause improper adhesion and flaking. If this happens, make sure to remove the grease thoroughly with a good degreaser (#87) solution. If no grease is present, reduce your quantities of #87 degreaser and C-22 wetting agent used. If none of these factors are viable, it is possible that temperatures above 70F can sometimes cause this problem. If that is the case, increase your reducer dilution by changing it to a 1:30 (reducer to DI water) mix.

Why is my pouring silver appearing dark, amber, or inconsistent?2023-08-30T20:19:16+00:00

When you notice this, it usually means your silver solutions are not uniformly circulating in the cylinder or chamber of application. Make sure to swirl based on our recommendations and you should see better results the next time around. It is also suggested that you ensure all chemicals are fresh prior to application.

What is a mirror backing paint and do I need one?2023-08-30T20:16:33+00:00

A mirror backing paint is used to prevent a silver finish from corrosion or attack by solvent(s), such as when using a mirror mastic. While some mirrors have a copper layer as a direct backing agent (in case moisture or air leaks through), most mirrors have a good backing paint which either binds directly to the silver or seals an existing copper layer over the silver to protect it. It is highly recommended to use a mirror backing paint to protect your silver whenever possible, unless of course if you are going for an antique or tarnished silver look. If you are looking for a one-way mirror look, we suggest using a clear backing like our Copper-Tite Vehicle #3. If you instead want to give the mirror a dark backdrop or contrast, we suggest using either our #390 or #175 backing paint.


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