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I want to make a very shiny surface, like a mirror. I tried to use chrome paint but it's barely shiny. It's more like gray even though I bought one of the most expensive crom looking paint.

I know mirrors can be produced using Tollen's reagent on glass (seen some demonstrations on YouTube).

But glass is quite expensive for what I want - I would like to make the mirror on plastic - more specifically on PET - the same material that a normal Coca Cola bottle is made from. I have big sheets of this PET material and I intend to transform them into mirrors.

Will silver be depositing on the PET like it does on glass, or will it not?

I need to order the ingredients online, then wait for it couple of days - also because they are quite big quantities, it will end up being quite expensive. So, before doing a mistake, I thought to ask here.

Maybe this idea is a big mistake and I can find out from somebody who already knows it doesn't work, and also can explain a bit why.

Why would work on glass but not on PET?

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    $\begingroup$ As I remember from the book "Surely you are joking, Mr. Feynman!",stable silver coating of plastics is very difficult to achieve. It may depend on plastics and may require mechanical a/o chemicsl preprocessing of surface. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Jun 3 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ It will be endangered by plastics eventual flexing and would need fixing, otherwise it would be damaged soon by scraping and falling off. I suppose you cannot avoid experimental testing. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Jun 3 at 5:49
  • $\begingroup$ Definitely worth a test, if nobody knows of course. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jun 3 at 10:05
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    $\begingroup$ See this for alternative metalization techniques: thomasnet.com/articles/custom-manufacturing-fabricating/… $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Jun 4 at 2:33
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I found a video on YouTube making mirror on PET bottles, very cute girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MWHH9GPYpw&t=334s -

Just that it consumes quite a lot of substance, and is not using Tollens reagent. My question is specifically about Tollens reagent.

What she uses is some secret mixture called RA-205, wonder what is that :))

It just proves that Ag can precipitate on PET bottles, which is further supporting the fact that will work with Tollens reagent. Im gonna edit this answer once i execute my experiment. So this finding is only somewhat helpful.

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  • $\begingroup$ Even though this is very interesting and relevant information, I think currently it looks like this is better suited as an edit to your question and not as an answer. However, do keep in mind that answering your own question is a good practice:) $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jun 4 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ @andselisk yes indeed, started with an edit that was quite long, then i changed my mind and made it an answer. I intent to continue it, i will provide the results of the experiments in an edit on this answer. I need the package with ingredients delivered first. People can post answers in the mean time, and i'm gonna choose those as the best answer if they answer the question. Nice to see your effort of keeping this community high quality though :) $\endgroup$ – AIon Jun 4 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ The silver deposition itself is much smaller problem them mirror layer durability. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Jun 6 at 7:21

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