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stainless steel: etching and petina?


I am looking for a simple way to chemically color stainless steel black. this is a one time job (as far as I can tell), so I don't need a large quantity. also, does it matter if the steel is magnetic (300 or 400)? thank you

Jon magnuson
aespyre designs - tn


Jon - Look for a plating shop in your area that does black oxide on stainless using Hubbard-Hall's Black Magic chemicals. This will impart a beautiful black finish to your part that won't rub off. This will be much easier than trying to do it yourself, and will save lots of disposal time and effort.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois


I agree with Dan Brewer that you need to have this done by a job shop. Suggest you look in the JOBSHOPS section of for a resource. Also contacting Hubbard-Hall Inc. may give you a local resource for the process.

Your second question, "also, does it matter if the steel is magnetic (300 or 400)?" 409 and other 400 series stainless are magnetic, none of the 300 series stainless steels are magnetic.We had occasion to get parts mixed or it was difficult to tell after painting. The way we determined if it was 300 or 400, was using a magnet.

Good Luck!

Tyrone L. Caley
- Jefferson City, Missouri


I am looking for a chemical solution to display a part # on stainless steel. With the aid of a silk screen or stamp, the application would darken or blacken the surface contacted by the solution. I would also request that the solution be safe, not requiring a special process, any ideas?

Eric Lysiak
- Hackettstown, New Jersey

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