How to Patina Steel

Written by russell wood
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Over long periods of time, metals age and change colour, which is called a patina. To get a piece of metal to look like it's older than it is, you can apply a special treatment to the surface, which gives it the same effect. With steel, you need to use a patina that mimics the reddish brown colour of rust, without having the bad side effects of real rust. When you're done, the steel part will look like it's been aged for years.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Cleaner/degreaser
  • Paper towels
  • Steel patina kit

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  1. 1

    Place the steel part in a well ventilated area, on top of a clean work surface. Clean off the part using the cleaner/degreaser and some paper towels.

  2. 2

    Apply the liquid patina from the steel patina kit by spraying it onto the surface of the steel part. Shake off any excess patina from the surface and let it sit for an hour.

  3. 3

    Spray the potassium-dichromate from the patina kit onto the steel part, using short, even strokes. Allow each coat to dry. Reapply until you have two to three coats.

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