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Blackening Britannia metal

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I wanted to avoid painting my Britannia metal fittings.  Black paint on the guns just didn't look realistic.  If I used Blacken-It, a dark crust would form, which rubbed off with a paper towel, leaving a barely darkened piece of metal.  What to do?


I started by soaking the parts in a 50:50 solution of muriatic acid and water for 10 minutes.  This cleaned and I think etched the surface a bit.  Then into Blacken-it, full strength,  for 10 minutes after rinsing.  I polished the pieces with paper towel and Q tips, and while darker, they weren't where I wanted them.  The last step was to soak the parts for 10 minutes in "Brass Black" Metal Finish by Birchwood Casey.  After cleanup with paper towels and Q tips, almost no finish came off and the parts were a dark gunmetal color.  Perfect!  In certain lighting they almost have a faint bronze cast to them  Here is a photo




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I have had good results using the following process.

1.  Clean in a solution of 50/50 water and vinegar.

2.  Soak in Blacken-it for half an hour.

3.  Dry and let sit for a couple of days.

4.  Paint with a thin coat of MS cannon black paint.


The blacken-it gives the metal a good new cast iron look but does require time to set (I guess that is the right word).  It provides a great base for the paint.  The result is a dull black, slightly rough finish that looks like painted cast iron does.  Just my results, your mileage may vary.

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