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"Black oxide finish"


I've seen quite a few of your responses on "finishing.com letters" while searching for information on black oxide finishing. I am a hobbyist and have two old cars that I am restoring. I recently saw an advertisement in a catalog for a kit to apply a cold black oxide finish to parts (it was in an Eastwood catalog).

It consisted of an oxidizing dip solution and a sealer. Because I don't want to paint many of the small pieces on my cars (i.e., bolts, hinges, brackets, etc.),which is also not too durable, this seems like a reasonable solution. Unfortunately Eastwood won't shed too much info on the process, but they will sell it to you. Do you think this to be worth the effort, are these cold black oxide finishes any good? I am aware of "finishers" in our area that use a "hot finish" but am afraid the cost of the thousands of pieces will be cost prohibitive and can't be done at one time. Lastly can you tell me where best to find information on these finishes, I've pretty much been striking out on the web and at the library. Thanks very much.

Louis Waycuilis


Black Oxide on any steel material subject to outside environment is taboo. It will rust in a matter of days, even with a sealer. I have some success with spraying a lacquer finish after blacking. As far as cold blackening goes its finish is inferior to the hot process and affords less rust proofing. My suggestion go with the hot process and ask for a lacquer finish after. You should also note that different materials will give you various shades of black.

Charles Fascia

Ed. note: We have an FAQ about black oxide and cold blackening


Have run into your problem in small parts that I didn't want a thick buildup of paint on them. I have sprayed these parts with a PPG two part epoxy primer, DP 90 and DP401 catalyst. This is an extremely hard and durable finish which appears as a dull black color. One good coat is sufficient to get good results. The appearance is very much like black oxide. I also use this paint to do under hood components such as firewall, inner fenders, and suspension parts. Don't mix much more than you need at one time however I have saved left over activated paint in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Ed Antesberger
Fairfax, Virginia

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