How to Gold Dip a Rose
Gold-dipped roses, like gold jewelry, can last forever with the appropriate care. A gold-dipped rose is a freshly picked rose coated and preserved with 24 karat, or a lesser karat, gold. Lesser karats will not last as long on the rose or give it the same kind of shine and beauty.
Select a healthy rose. Choose a rose that is in the beginning of its bloom. Avoid choosing a rose that has already opened, as it is difficult to protect the petals.
Cut the flower. Snip the rose fresh from the plant. Cut the rose so that it has a minimum of a 5 or 6 inch stem for easier dipping.
Coat the rose. Spray the rose with a clear electrophoretic lacquer. Apply evenly to all part of the rose, enhancing the flower's color and the details of its stem, leaves and rose bud. Let the rose dry for at least 1 hour, or until the spray is no longer wet and sticky.
Protect yourself. Slip on protective rubber gloves. Pull them up as high as possible on your arms to avoid any gold plating solution that may splash the length of your arm. Put on safety goggles that cover your whole eye area. Put on a rubber apron, which you can find at a hardware store or can purchase along with a gold plating kit.
Heat the gold. Open the 3.4 fluid oz., or larger, container of gold solution from your gold plating kit. Keep the liquid gold in the jar or other container. Heat the gold liquid according to the kit instructions.
Dip the rose. Pinch the rose at the bottom of the stem and hold the rose steady, with the bud facing down. Sink the rose bud, leaves, and stem slowly and gently into the gold. Keep the rose submerged for 30 to 60 seconds or more, depending on the instructions in your gold plating kit. Submerge the rose in the gold solution longer if you want a thicker gold coating. If you prefer to create a light gold shell, keep the dipping time under 60 seconds. Dry the rose for at least 24 hours after dipping, or until the gold fully hardens. This could take up to 48 hours depending on the humidity or dryness of the climate.
Add a durable finish. Apply a layer of clear lacquer or or protective wax, such as Collinite wax. Completely cover the rose with the protective layer to enhance the gold color and protect it from marring.
Cyanide free gold plating solutions eliminate the dangers of deadly poisoning from ingestion, skin contact, or cyanide gas.
Heated gold is extremely dangerous. Wear thick, heat or fire retardant gloves when dipping the rose. Use extreme caution.
Do not use dried roses for plating. The flaking petals will be tricky to hold together and will likely fall into the solution.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.