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Coloring Brass & Stainless Steel

Short of plating, does anyone know of a commercial
product or formula I can use to dip stainless steel or
brass to turn it black? I’m not looking for something
as permanent as plating.

Any help would be appreciated.
Al Kalin

Hi, Liver of sulpher has worked for me in the past on copper, brass and
silver. Make sure to read all info on it that you can. I heat my solution
of ‘liver’ and water and dip the piece or paint it on. Then rinse, brass
brushing under the water… repeat until color is reached… Not sure about
stainless steel, but works on brass. There is a solution called
"Silver-Black" , don’t use it! The salesman told me it worked great on
everything…couldn’t even get it to stick on copper…had to go back to
stinky sulpher, but what a finish! :slight_smile:

Terry Swift (Stormy Corydon, In. U.S.)

There is a gentleman by the name RON YOUNG, who lives in San Diego County
in California. He has at least one book out and also sell the materials
to patina metals. “Contemporary Patination”, Young.

The bottle of stuff I have says:

625 W. 10th Avenue
Escondido, California 92025
(760) 432-8242

I just called and spoke to Debby Young and received the following:

Good luck on your coloring.


G’day, Al; could you try black broad-tipped marker pen? I use it for
coating silver sheet prior to marking out for piercing, etc. CHEERS,

       / \
     /  /
   /  /
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2
(______ )       

At sunny Nelson NZ (in midwinter)

For copper based alloys ammonium sulphide makes a bery dense, black
patine. Can be lessened by “fuming” the piece (passing it close to the
bottle and into the vapors). It will “polish or rub” off with elbow
grease. Stainless is much more difficult, that is why it is called
stainless. There are metal dyes available that are used in industrial
applications to “mark” metal pieces with particular characteristics and
what have you. Don’t know who actually makes the stuff but I bet you could
fine it under metal dyes in Thomas Register.


John and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/ Bloomin’ Wax Works. etc.

PO Bx 44, Philo
CA 95466
Ph 707-895-2635 FAX 707-895-9332

The playfulness of the Universe
is reflected in the dance of the stars!

hi al,

gun blue, available from a pawn shop or anyone selling guns works nicely
on brass. never used it on stainless, but it is worth a try.

best regards,

geo fox

I’ve tried cold gun blue (selenium dioxide) on stainless… It doesn’t
work. However…the Birchwood/Casey company, which makes the most
popular gun bluing products, also sells something called “Gold Oxidizing
Solution”. I’ve seen it used to put a black background on stainless steel
engravings. Be sure to keep both of these products -far- away from stones
and organic materials!