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thinner for (birchwood) brass black

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I have bought a bottle of Birchwood Brass Black Metal Finish


When I dipped a piece of brass wire into the solution it turned completely black within seconds (accoridng to the instruction on the bottle this should take up to a minute).
For some parts the blackening effect is just what I want but for other parts I want to achieve a lighter or darker brown color.


Does any one know what I can use as thinner? Water or some  special thinner?








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I used the same product on brass cannon. I kept the cannon in the solution for about 25 seconds and then rinsed in a tub of water. None went full black but got that dark brown color you're seeking. One cannon needed to be re-dipped as it was too light.

According to all I've read each metal reacts differently and also depends on how it is cleaned. I cleaned my cannon beforehand with 91% isopropyl alcohol and allowed to dry. Additionally, there doesn't seem to be a true 'science' to this... I mean different metals with different alloys with different cleaning methods all yield different results :huh: and even give different results even when it seems everything is the same.

Now, I know none of this is helpful in solving your problem :( but what I would do is take a small sample of the brass black and dilute it, with water, and see what happens. I don't think any other solvents or chemicals should be added without knowing how those added would react with the acids in the product.

Or perhaps when all else fails... contact the company... I think should know, eh? :)




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You can use water to dilute the brass black. This will slow the process down and should help get effects you are looking for. It's something of a "black art", but most advice I've seen has been to use a solution of 1 part brass black to 8 parts water. Demineralised water would be best, and you should rinse in this after treatment to stop the chemical reaction.


And Randy is correct about thoroughly cleaning the parts first. Some people use vinegar to wash the parts first, then rinse in water, then blackening solution/mix, then rinse again in water.

Edited by gjdale
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