New hardware is often way too shiny for my taste, so I chemically “age” it. If the metal is raw steel, I use standard gun bluing. But if it’s plated with zinc, I turn to Super Blue, a double-strength bluing. Super Blue gives zinc-plated hardware a beautiful copper-brown patina.
Super Blue also works on highly polished steel, hardened steel and nickel and chrome alloys. It doesn’t work on stainless steel.
Though the directions say to wipe on the liquid bluing, I’ve had better results soaking parts in a shallow container. When I get the color I want, I rinse the part thoroughly with water to stop the process and wipe on a coat of 3-In-1 oil or other light machine oil. –David Stacey
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