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GrahamIreland

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Hi, I have a metal table I have made and would like to finish it some ways interesting other than just a paint.

Mild steel. Dark oak boards on top.

Ideally some kind of old looking finish, maybe rusted then lacquered?
Or a patina of some kind....
I dunno, anyone know an interesting alternative.

Graham
 

woodpig

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If you polish then play a flame over the steel parts you can get some lovely colours including blues, purples and gold.
 

novocaine

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chemical black works well on this sort of thing and provides a rust proving too.
 

GrahamIreland

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Tried some copper nitrate on some of the bare metal and heated it.
Came out nice.

What is the chemical black?
 

novocaine

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the stuff we used was by blackfast. I don't think they sell to individuals (I've still got some stashed though). it's a copper selenium solution you paint on, it oxidises and protects the steel from rust, gives it a nice finish.

a quick goggle found this explanation which will be better than I can give. :)

http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/do-it ... blackening

you might find it called bluing as well, although the cost of cold bluing chemicals makes it expensive for large surfaces.
 

GrahamIreland

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Ya, I bought a bottle of the cold blueing solution - by phillips (gun blueing), but could never get it to work properly.
I know theres a chemical in londons sculpture supply store that apparently blackens mild steel as well but they wouldn't post.

Interestingly, today, after heating certain areas with a blowtorch and the copper nitrate and salt solution, parts tended to go black. Have no idea, why certain areas were rusty and others black, but may explore that more.
 

novocaine

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that's called heat bluing. I do it on small parts regularly, you don't need the copper nitrate as such to do it. be a pig to do it on a full table though. (I also oil dip hot parts at times but that isn't an option here)

this chap does it better than I've seen it done, but that might just be the camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h1Uf9bkc3E

cold bluing with gun blue is a tricky one, the surface needs to be spotless, most people ignore the cleaning solution these companies sell, but it's important to get a good finish.
 

GrahamIreland

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I thought of nickel plating as well, but companies here said part is too big.

Zinc - or galvanised apparently is a messy finish.

So this rusting patina look was just a sort of experiment.
 

Hitch

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What sort of mild steel is it? hot rolled section, like angle? or from cold rolled or drawn steel?
A finish i quite like is to give it a really good going over with a twist knot cup brush mounted in a grinder, this will remove dirt and mill scale, and some areas can be cleaned more to suit how you want it to look. Once this is done, just wax it. I usually use a darkish wax, cheapo screwfix stuff.

An easy and cheap finish that is effective.

Heres a picture of a shield i knocked up for my local...hot rolled sheet, cup brush and wax...
 

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