There are really two types of rust blueing. The first you boil the parts to bring them up to temperature then apply the blueing which flashes off and leaves rust behind. You reboil to turn the rust into black oxide and card the part with 0000 steel wool then repeat the steps until the desired color is reached generally four to six times. The most popular product for this type is Art's Belgian blue.
The second type is a slow rusting process where the solution is applied to the metal and it is placed in a damp box for several hours untill a fine coat of rust develops then it is boiled to turn the rust into black oxide and the parts are carded with a fine wire wheel. Again the steps are repeated untill the desired effect is achieved.
Polishing with both systems is generally not beyond 320grit.
Both systems are well within the purvey of the home craftsman and the results are easily on par with hot blueing as to durability and above regarding appearance. Hot blueing becamne prevalent because it was quicker and more cost effective for production.
Midway USA has videos on youtube showing the basics of both systems.