View Full Version : Stainless blackening/bluing

December 1, 2010, 11:24 AM
I did a search on 'blacken stainless' and read the resulting threads. I am curious if anyone has any pics of stainless that has been refinished this way? Not coatings, but via chemical process.
Thanks in advance.

James K
December 1, 2010, 09:09 PM
Basically, "bluing", "browning" and "blackening" are simply refined rust, and the whole intent of stainless steel is that it is highly rust resistant. I have seen several products that do work to chemically blacken stainless steel (not paints) but the gunshop products I have tried don't work any better than cold blue works on regular steel. The darkening lasts for a while but will rub right off in a short time.

Factories do blue stainless steel barrels, but seem to keep the process a closely guarded secret. The problem has been gotten around in other ways, among them anodizing (yes, it works with steel as well as with aluminum), and plating the steel with iron, then bluing the iron. Neither is really a DIY type of operation.


George R
December 2, 2010, 10:18 AM
I hot blue stainless, and I think Ford's is now doing it. Not a big secret. The salts are available from DuLite and Brownells.

Buzzard Bait
December 2, 2010, 05:04 PM
I think factory Remington 700 rifles in magnum calibers have stainless barrels but are in some way blued to match the rest of the rifle

December 3, 2010, 01:01 PM
Brownells Oxynate 84. It is for bluing stainless and cast iron. But it is a hot bluing method, so you need to be equipped for hot bluing to use it.

I've got a gallon of cold black for stainless, but a kind of charcoal gray is all I ever get out of it. Abrasive blasting helps, but on polished stainless it is pretty disappointing. I got it for coloring screws to match a panel originally, but wasn't pleased by the results.

December 3, 2010, 01:50 PM
There is a place in New Britain CT. Called "Black oxide". I had them do an AMT Hardballer Longslide. They did a great job and it lasted a long time.

James K
December 3, 2010, 02:13 PM
Black chrome is another method, but it is plating, not a chemical treatment.