This study considers a method for producing SWNTs reinforced lightweight metal-matrix composites. In this research, fluorination has been applied to achieve considerable improvement in the dispersion of purified single-walled carbon nanotubes. It has been demonstrated that surface fluorination is a possible approach to entrap catalytic nucleation centers along the walls of SWNTs. The results show that nickel could be successfully plated onto the activated surfaces of fluorinated SWNTs (F-SWNTs) through electroless plating which is an effective way for producing nanotube/metal systems. It was observed that high surface coverage of Pd-Sn catalytic nuclei is needed to form high quality coatings. A two-step approach was used and the coating mechanism is described in this paper.