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Photo Etch Coloring - help request

Started by detail_stymied, February 27, 2018, 04:43:05 PM

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I have used Blacken-It fairly successfully to turn brass photo etch , well, darker in the charcoal direction, but is there some chemical mordant which will turn it towards silver? maybe a question for a gunsmith? would barrel bluing offer a color somewhere between charcoal & silver just for a variety? thanks
s.e. charles


My experiences with rub-on or liquid gun blues is that they turn metal blue-black (usually mostly black) but are never a perfect match for a chemically blued color. I can't imagine they could produce a color with any silver tint. -- Russ


Non-ferrous metal can be dyed silver with chemical nickel, but this is a very complicated difficult process.

Addendum: That would color silver. It would be much easier to nickel plating.
Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal

Bill Gill

Not to highjack this thread, but are there any home made solutions that can blacken (or turn dark brown, but not bluish) brass, bronze or copper? 


Blue-black is usually the result of steel as a substrate. All non-ferrous metals are chemically colored brown-black.
Regards Helmut
the journey is the goal


so i'm getting the impression paint is going to be the way to go, eh?
s.e. charles

Mr Potato Head

They are in San Diego or Southern California and will ship to you and you can usually find it at metal supply centers they have both ferrous and non  colorants and also water based too for the more Eco friendly modeler.
l like their Japanese brown for the aged copper, and their blacken it solution is a fraction of the cost and much stronger than "Blacken It" brand
Gil Flores
In exile in Boise Idaho


s.e. charles

Lawton Maner

If you go back in time to issues of model engineering magazines from the 1930's through early 50's you will find some quite interesting (read as "frightening") DIY chemical mixtures for coloring metals.  Many suggest you first degrease your parts with gasoline and almost all of them will in the words of the State of California "are known to cause damage to unborn children". 

If you need an interesting selection of chemical coloring agents, look for them in any good catalogue for suppliers to jewelry makers.


Would nickel plating do what you want?  I think that's part of the chroming process, so a chrome shop might be able to accommodate you.