Re: Topic:Need receipies for rusting, patina's etc. for HRSteel

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Posted by Chris Ray on July 08, 1998 at 23:19:49:

In Reply to: Topic:Need receipies for rusting, patina's etc. for HRSteel posted by Preston Fennell on July 08, 1998 at 01:14:01:

This topic has been covered elsewhere in the Forum so I won't repeat what has been said. For patinas meant for interior spaces then you have a number of other options to consider as well as the rusted finish.

Some folks have had good luck using both blueing and browning chemicals available from gunsmith suppliers. This may be of interest. Also you can try using heat temper colors on bare metal if you apply a protective finish afterward.

Another idea is to use a brass wire wheel and power brush a finish on the work. The wheel will leave a bronze like finish on the steel.

Finally there is a painted finish. This is an option distained by many but I suspect that's because the use of paint as something more than a protective finish is grossly misunderstood. The coloring of metals, sometimes known as polychroming has a long history both in Europe and around the world for centuries. This is a tradition that calls for a bit of sensitivity on the part of the artisan though. If this process is not used well it can result in some pretty garish and gross looking work. That however, is no reason not to try it.

There are so many ways to glaze and scumble paint to produce wonderful colored and varigated surfaces that can seem to meld right into the metal itself. Think of it as a skin and then consider how the skin we wear ourselves is an integral part of our own bodies. Think of painted surfaces that way and you may have more success than failures.

Consider too the use of metal leaf both as a surface and also as an underlayment over which you can apply glazes. This allows for a greater transmission of light through the color itself producing something that is very metallic looking but at the same time presents a quality of elegance as well.

Try another extreme and distress the surface of metal with grinders and heavy duty scratch wheels. Not my favorite finish but done by the right person it can produce some satisfactory results.

I have even developed a sugar/water treatment of all things that when applied to metal and worked on with the right kind of heat source can produce what looks like marbled paper only the colors are all muted brown, blacks and translucent ambers. This only works on flat clean surfaces though.

Well, that's about all I can think of for the moment.

Chris Ray


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