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Gunmetal TechniquePosted by Greg Howe at August 15. 2005
I am installing a custom fabricated steel staircase and am looking for tips on a gunmetal finish. How is it done? Easy to do onsite? Durable finish? I have seen examples of acid finished steel that has a decided brown cast and I am trying to avoid this. If this is too diffucult to be a do it yourself project who should I contact to do the work? The fabricator I am using is great but has no experience with this finishing technique.
Re: Gunmetal TechniquePosted by Steve Schafer at August 15. 2005
I don't know of any web sites offhand, but the materials to produce such a finish are available from companies that supply gunsmiths, hobbyists who refurbish guns, etc. It depends on exactly what kind of finish you want, but the chemicals involved are moderately noxious, so it might be a problem trying to do something as large as a staircase. You also typically need to heat the steel up a bit (not really hot, but definitely warm), so that also might be hard to do.
I used a small kit of the stuff some years ago (I bought it from a sporting goods store) to put a gun blue finish on some parts of a fly-tying vise that I had made (back in the days when I still had the patience to tie my own flies). The finish came out quite nicely. It was moderately rust-resistant, although I don't think it would have survived very long if left outdoors. It wasn't very thick, so likewise it wasn't hard to scratch, but touching up the scratches was easy to do.