DIY: Tin Plating

Tin plating is the process of dipping steel or aluminium into a liquid mixture to cover the metal surface with an ultra thin layer of tin. Tin plating has been used on aluminium cans, pots and pans and countless other uses. The tin-plating hobbyist typically uses tin in a lower volume for circuit boards and household goods. You can apply tin plating at home with the use of a tin-plating kit.

Clean the metal object thoroughly with metal cleaner and a non-metal scrub pad. Remove all grease and grime from the surface. Rinse the metal cleaner off of the object thoroughly. Dry completely with a clean towel.

Heat the tin plating solution to 43.3 degrees Celsius on a burner plate. This will rejoin any separated chemicals and keep the solution a uniform consistency.

Hold the metal object with plastic tongs. Do not use metal tongs. Move the object back and forth and up and down in the solution, leaving it submerged for three minutes.

Remove the object and run it under hot water for three minutes. Turn the faucet to cold and run the water under cold water for five minutes. Remove from the water and dry with a soft towel.


Dispose of the tin-plating solution properly. Most cities provide instructions for handling hazardous materials. Contact your city's waste management department.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal cleaner
  • Non-metal scrub pad
  • Tin-plating solution
  • Plastic tongs
  • Burner plate
  • Thermometer
  • Drying rack
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About the Author

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.