Our Antique Clock Dial Silvering Powder & Finishing Powder has been used by the Horological trade and clock restorers for many years. This has been made with an age old recipe passed down through generations of clock restorers, made from the finest quality old English silver.
See silvering in action in this video by Clifford J. Freeman of Castlegate Clocks.
How to use Dial Silvering Powder
- Brass dials that require re-silvering should be cleaned back to the brass with fine abrasive paper or very fine steel wool.
- If a ‘spun’ effect is required, put a nail in a piece of old board and rotate the dial around it while holding fine emery paper on the surface.
- Fill numerals in etched dials with black engravers wax. If the old wax is just cracked, hold the dial over a heat source to heat the wax just enough for the cracks to disappear. If the wax is missing or insufficient, add a few flakes of it to the numerals and heat gently.
- Rub the surface back down again if necessary to be level with the dial.
- Rinse under warm water and rub silvering powder into the surface with a clean cloth or tissue.
- Rinse again and apply finishing powder.
- Rinse once more to ensure there is no finishing powder left on the surface.
- For best results dry with a Hairdryer to ensure there is no moisture left on the Metal.
- When thoroughly dry apply colourless lacquer (optional).
- The lacquer should only be applied thinly to engraved dials. Dial wax will melt and run if too much lacquer is used. A soft cotton cloth or cotton wool pad can be used; a quick swipe is the usual method then leave to dry before touching or attempting to add more lacquer.
- Cleanliness is of paramount importance when silvering and almost all problems encountered are due to finger marks on the metal between cleaning and applying the powder. Silvering powder acts by chemical reaction with the metal, and if this cannot take place evenly, an uneven colouring occurs. This powder will not work on plated or lacquered dials. It will not work on aluminium. Use only on clean brass or copper Dials.
- We find that on some certain dials, they hold a lot more moisture than others. This can affect the silvering process overnight, making the brass patchy or loosing the silver effect on your dial. To resolve this, after the finishing powder process, dry quickly the front and back without spreading any grease or dirt from the back, so use different cloths. Then warm the dial quickly to ensure thorough dryness, either by hairdryer or well above a naked flame. This will ensure the cracks and stress fractures are totally dry. This will usually resolve the problem.
For a full Clock Dial restoration, please see also see our Clock Dial Silvering Restoration Kit
Light sensitive, store in a dark place, shelf life 2-6 years if stored correctly.