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Coloring Various Metals
Article © MAIL User: thexnihil

This is by no means a completely comprehensive list of how to color metals, but here it goes:

Stainless Steel:
Brown: Heat with torch at low temperature.
Steel Blue: Heat with torch at high temperature.
(note both coloring methods will soften the metal).

Galvinized Steel:
Dark Gray: hydrogen peroxide.

Mild Steel:
Steel Blue: heat with torch (anneal).
Gun Blue: commercial solution sold at gun shops.
Gun Brown: commercial solution at gun shops.
Rust Patina: salt water.

Copper:
Red: heat with torch, quench while hot (will anneal).
Green: 2 parts ammonia, 1 part vinegar. Let sit a day (very smelly).

Silver:
Brownish: heat with torch (will anneal).
Brown-blue-green: use commercially bought 'liver-of-sulfur'.

Titanium:
Brown-blue: can be heat anodized or electrically anodized. To heat anodize, just slowly apply heat with a torch. Electric anodizing produces better and more controlled results (a makeshift Ti anodizer is not too hard to make...but if you do it, be cautious, the amps needed to anodize can KILL you).

Aluminum:
Black: commerical blackening solutions are available at gun shops. Beware, it's a nasty chemical.
All colors: can be anodized, but this is well out of the reach of most peoples' workshops.

Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=44