Restoring a Beautiful Silver Vase

Every so often we get a treasured piece into The Shop that needs a little love to be restored to its former beauty. Sometimes it’s an heirloom, and sometimes it’s a collection of silver frames. Once in a while, we’ll get flatware that’s been in a family for generations.

Last week we got a large silver vase into the office. It was not hard to see how beautiful this piece once was, but time and use had not been kind. Now the vase featured scratches, dings, and worn silver.

The owners asked us one thing: make this amazing again. So, we got right to work.

Bringing heirloom pieces back to life is something we’ve been doing here for decades. Our Dad taught us how to honor and restore very important projects with care and craftsmanship.

Here are the steps we took to restore this silver vase:

Step One

We needed to refinish the copper core of the vase by buffing out the scratches and hammering out the dings.

Step Two

Biro & Sons – Restoring a Vase, Step 2.

To get the vase ready for a new coat of silver, we gave it an electro copper strike. Think of this like priming a wall before painting it.


Step Three

Biro & Sons – Restoring a Vase, Step 3.

We buff the piece inside and out with a soft brass brush, getting it ready for the electroplating process.

Step Four

We give the vase a high voltage shot of silver that etches the surface so that the silver particles will adhere.

Step Five

Biro & Sons – Restoring a Vase, Step 5.

Then the vase goes into a silver plating tank that has a current of low voltage energy running through it for 45 minutes.

Step Six

The vase comes out of the tank milky white in color. A buff takes that away and restores a bright, high polish.

Step Seven

Get the vase home, add flowers, and move it back to the center of the room for all to enjoy.