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Problems brass blackening using Jax Pewter Black

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I am trying my hand at blackening brass.  I applied Jax Pewter Black with a very quick dark black coating on the brass.  The only problem was that rinsing the part with water washed off most of the color as well.  What am I doing wrong?  Does it need to be allowed to dry before rinsing?  That doesn't make any sense since leaving in the solution too long is supposed to result in a coating that flakes off. 


Open to any suggestions. 


Just saw the post from July on this same topic.  I will renew my efforts painting it on.

Edited by mrmdpc
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I use it full strength after cleaning the brass with the Jax cleaner, applying with a paint brush and just keep 'painting' the part until it's dark, then drop it into water to rinse.  Works quite well on the brass I've used it on.  In some cases I've done multiple 'coats'.  I don't let the chemical stay on the brass very long each time before rinsing.


This swivel gun was blackened with Jax Pewter Black using this technique, as was the bowsprit foot strap.  The gun is a brass barrel from Syren, the handle is K&S brass rod, and the mount is also K&S strip and rod.  The strap is K&S brass and soldered.  The solder on both is Solder-It paste.




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  • 4 weeks later...

I just started using JAX recently and I have found that using the product full strength, painted on with a brush, gives me the best results. I have tried dunking alone and the blackness often comes right off after rinsing and drying. But when I apply it with a brush, using the brush to rub the liquid around on the part, I get much better results. I have sometimes done multiple coats to get the look I want or to fill in spots that I missed the first time.


My process of late has been to clean the brass with a wire brush (on a Dremel) before blackening. I used to soak parts in muriatic acid or vinegar before blackening but even that wouldn't get all the residue from soldering off them. I can get it all with the wire brush (I brush it until it looks almost like gold - bright and shiny). So I make a part, clean it with the wire brush, then paint on the JAX. That's it. (Of course, I wash the part after it's blackened.)


Here's a pic of some small bails I just made yesterday. I like the fact that they aren't totally black. They look more realistic to me. I used two applications of JAX on these.



Cheers -


Edited by jhearl
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I haven't tried Sparex. If I understand its use correctly, it needs to be warm. Jewelers often keep a small crock pot on their bench with pickling in it, heated all day. But my work on brass parts is so sporadic, I would need to heat up the crock pot every time I wanted to pickle something and that would take too much  time. The wire brush is very effective in cleaning parts and quick to use, so it suits my style of working best.

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