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How to DIY Copper Plate Steel for Rust Protection

How to DIY Copper Plate Steel for Rust Protection

Copper plating is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to protect your steel from rust without spending too much money. Copper plating can be done at home with some basic materials and tools, and it is relatively inexpensive compared to other rust protection methods. Plus, it gives your steel a nice shiny finish that adds an exciting aesthetic. Let’s look at what you need to know about copper plating steel.

What You Need

For this project, you will need the following:

  • A metal object that needs to be coated with copper
  • Steel wool or sandpaper
  • Copper sulfate crystals (can be purchased online)
  • White vinegar or citric acid (can be found in grocery stores)
  • Baking soda and water
  • An electrical source (battery) and wire
  • Protective gloves and eyewear (safety first!)


First, you should use steel wool or sandpaper to scrub the metal object until it is clean. This will help ensure that the copper adheres to the metal properly. Next, prepare an electrolyte solution by mixing one part copper sulfate crystals with three parts white vinegar or citric acid. Then, prepare a baking soda solution by mixing one baking soda with three parts water.

Plating Process

Now, it’s time for the plating process! Start by attaching the negative terminal of your electrical source (battery) to your metal object with some wire. Then, dip the metal into the electrolyte solution and connect the positive terminal of your battery to another piece of wire that has been dipped into the electrolyte solution. Ensure all your wires are securely attached so there is no risk of sparks or shocks! Finally, dip both pieces of wire into the baking soda solution and back into the electrolyte solution before turning on your electrical current. The current should run for approximately 10 minutes before being turned off. Afterward, rinse your metal object in cold water and let it dry completely before use.


Copper plating quickly gives steel objects durable protection from rust without wasting too much money on expensive coatings or treatments. All you need are basic materials and tools, plus patience during the preparation and plating stages! With just a few steps, you can have beautiful results that add value and style to any project involving steel surfaces! So go ahead—give copper plating a try today!


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