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topic 1684

Brass Blackening Solution


I need to find a recipe for a brass blackening solution.

What I've been trying so far is:

Copper Nitrate in dist water and equal quantity of ammonia + Sodium Carbonate to reduce the acidity.

This solution should take about 1 minute to produce rich "Gun-blue" black on brass, but it doesn't work properly. Thanks for your help.

Massimiliano C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT-AUSTRALIA


There is a plating process which requires copper plating followed by blackening in a solution called Ebonal. I cannot remember the particular supplier. Good luck.

Jeff Mills
metal finishing shop - Gorham, Maine


Have you tried Electroblack ?

It's available in Australia from Macdermid.

Mick Long
- Australia

Bob Brownell's Gunsmith -- Complete I, II, and III & IV


I am looking for a recipe to put a black finish on mild steel.Can anybody help me. Kevin

kevin C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
sawell - South Africa


Hi Kevin,

Blackening steel is a little bit different subject than blackening brass because we are speaking of reactions with the substrate metal, not a separate coating. We have an FAQ about black oxide and cold blackening. You can follow that up with more in-depth information in the Metal finishing Guidebook. After you have a general idea what technology you are interested in, please get back to us with your followup questions. Thanks.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 7, 2008

For blackening mild steel, and pretty much any ferrous (non-stainless) steel, try Brownell's Oxpho-Blue. Shy of sending parts out for hot blueing and specialty oxide blackening, this has been the easiest and most durable cold-blue solution I've ever used.

Mike Forti
- Franklin, Massachusetts

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