Using Dalmar Conductive Powder
Before making the item conductive, you should first attach your up-eye or finding if you are going to make a piece of jewelry. If you do not need a finding on your piece just glue a piece of conductive wire to the object that you want to electroform.
One of the easiest ways to make an item conductive is to first spray the piece with either lacquer or plastic spray. While the item is still tacky , drop the item into a bag of conductive powder. After about 15 seconds, lift it out and brush it off with a dry paint brush, brushing the excess powder into the bag. It is now ready to go into the copper electroforming solution.
A second method is to mix 1/3 part lacquer with a 2/3 parts of lacquer thinner. To this mixture add 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of conductive powder. Paint this solution on the work piece, let it dry for about 15 to 30 minutes then electroform it in copper electroforming solution. If after you paint the solution on the work piece it looks shinny, then you have too much lacquer and not enough lacquer thinner. The piece should look frosted if the mixture is correct.
A third method is one that I personally used for years. This method amazed people in the industry as it was so simple that everyone had over looked it. This was the Dalmar Two Step Conductive Coating that started our company on the road to success. This method worked for everyone, even when they could not get good results with other methods. Step one: Paint a coating of lacquer just where you want the metal to grow. Now mix in a small battle ½ lacquer thinner and ½ conductive powder by volume. Step Two: Now paint this mixture over the first step. After about 15 minutes you are ready to electroform. The way that it works, is that the lacquer thinner in the second step eats into the lacquer from the first step making it tacky. The conductive powder in the second step adheres to the lacquer and the lacquer thinner in the second step evaporates leaving just a coating of conductive powder.
Conductive powder is available from Dalmar Mfg Co.