Free personalized metal finishing help!
How to create rust on tin
I purchased an old tin sugar shaker on Ebay sight unseen. When I received it, I found that much of the shaker is a very shiny tin. The lid and the handle however have a very old beautiful grey patina. I'm trying to get the rest of the shaker to dull down.
I put the shaker out in my garden where the sprinklers hit it thinking it would rust. I haven't really noticed much of a change. Is there some agent/product I could apply to get it to rust off or dull down? I am a collector of vintage tinware and could use a speedy solution to my dilemma.
Retired - Carlsbad, California, USA
Muriatic acid will accelerate rust on most metals with iron content. Tin usually doesn't contain iron but may be worth a try. Dilute down to 10 or 20% with water as too much acid may dissolve it. Good luck
Try 20 % iron chloride solution. Hope it helps and good luck!Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia
It sounds to me that you have a sugar shaker made form steel that has either been electroplated and then heat treated, or has been hot dipped in molten tin. Either process has resulted in some of the tin migrating into the steel and this has resulted in the formation of the grey "patina". Chemically, the grey "patina" is FeSn2. If you want the whole shaker to have this appearance, just soak it is hot alkali, such as 10% sodium hydroxide. this will dissolve the tin to leave the grey alloy. Do not leave it too long, or the alloy will also start to dissolve.
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK