How to Apply a Shiny Glaze on a Silver-Plated Tea Service

Written by kimberly johnson
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How to Apply a Shiny Glaze on a Silver-Plated Tea Service
Lacquer prevents silver from tarnishing. (luxury silver tray with elegant silver tea pot image by araraadt from

Silver plating is a finishing process by which a thin coat of silver is applied to the outside of a metal object to give the appearance that it is pure silver. One of the negative aspects of silver and silver plating is that silver reacts to oxygen and develops black tarnish on its surface. To prevent this tarnish from developing on your silver-plated tea service, you can coat the pieces with lacquer.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Disposable gloves
  • Acetone
  • Cotton cloth
  • Cotton swab
  • Plastic dust sheet or newspaper
  • Clear acrylic lacquer spray

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  1. 1

    Put on disposable gloves to protect your hands from the cleaning solution and lacquer.

  2. 2

    Apply 1 to 2 tablespoons of acetone to a cotton cloth and wipe the surface of all pieces to degrease them and to remove old silver polish residue. Apply acetone to cotton swabs to clean intricate scroll work and designs.

  3. 3

    Spread a plastic dust sheet or newspapers over an outdoor workspace and arrange each piece of the tea service on top of it. Place cups and teapots upside down, if possible. Make sure that there is at least 5 to 6 inches of space between the pieces.

  4. 4

    Remove the top from a can of clear acrylic lacquer spray paint and shake it for 30 seconds.

  5. 5

    Press down on the nozzle to cover each piece with a thin, even coat of lacquer. Coat each piece completely before moving on to the next.

  6. 6

    Allow the pieces to dry for about 30 minutes to one hour, and then apply a second coat of acrylic lacquer.

  7. 7

    Allow the tea service to dry completely (at least 24 hours) before using it.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a cellulose nitrate solution to glaze the silver service, but it is more difficult to find.

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