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Author Topic: Brass sheet colouring?  (Read 339 times)

tizdaz

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Brass sheet colouring?
« on: September 05, 2019, 06:40:18 AM »

Hi guys, on my build there will be quite alot of brass parts but i want to dull the colour of the brass so its not so bright to give it more of a "worn" look, whats the best method to doing this?
I was thinking of just painting the brass but i dont want to completely cover the brass if that makes sense also im not quite sure what paint is best to use on brass, the look i would like to try and get is something similar like the pic below:
cheers!

tizdaz

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 06:42:16 AM »

heres pic of colour i would like similar:


clockworks

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 09:05:07 AM »

Best way to tone down brass is to patinate it.


The chap who repairs clock cases for me told me about the trick he uses for brass fittings, and I've done it myself a few times - oak shavings and ammonia.  Place the shavings in an airtight container, dampen with ammonia, pop the clean brass parts in and shake. Depending on the amount and strength of ammonia used, it can take a few seconds to a few minutes.


Beware of the fumes!


Not sure if this method would work if the damp oak shavings were just rubbed over a finished model?


Failing that, the brass will naturally patinate after a few sailings.
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Mark T

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 09:20:00 AM »

Try this - give it a good clean with thinners to remove any coatings that the brass may have. Then pop it in a container covered lightly with vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Leave for 24 hours and it should look quite old
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tonyH

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 04:50:47 PM »

I know it may sound daft but I once pickled some silver soldered brass with diluted red wine vinegar, 'cos it was all I had, and it gave it a lovely rose-tinted shade! Perhaps sherry vinegar could brown yours a tad %)
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tizdaz

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 05:16:24 PM »

thanks for the info guys, think i will give the vinegar trick a go & see how it goes :)
Do i need to submerge the whole item in venegar or just sit the item in it?
cheers! :)

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 07:56:17 PM »

The brass went in rather hot, just after silver soldering at 600 degrees plus :-))
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tizdaz

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 04:54:09 AM »

ok ive been doing a bit of research on this, there are certain chemicals available purely for this (black-it) but VERY expensive, but the other popular method is as mentioned, vinegar & salt.. but apparantly its the fumes that does it not the actual liquid? I read that we put some vinegar into a container/pot etc (whatever size will fit the part in) then we place the part inside but not to get any vinegar on the actual part, a way around this was to place the part loosely on some film (such as cling film that we use for cooking) then seal the container & leave it for a while & just keep checking it until you get the effect you like?

RST

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 08:39:01 AM »

If it's just cheap salt and vinegar surely just try it in an old yoghurt pot or summit?  Or is that too old fashioned a suggestion these days?  Save any leftovers for chips next time.
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tizdaz

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 11:11:10 AM »

If it's just cheap salt and vinegar surely just try it in an old yoghurt pot or summit?  Or is that too old fashioned a suggestion these days?  Save any leftovers for chips next time.
indeed! i will give it a test on a small piece of brass go over the weekend, will post results once done :)

Mark T

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 01:42:36 PM »

ok ive been doing a bit of research on this, there are certain chemicals available purely for this (black-it) but VERY expensive, but the other popular method is as mentioned, vinegar & salt.. but apparantly its the fumes that does it not the actual liquid? I read that we put some vinegar into a container/pot etc (whatever size will fit the part in) then we place the part inside but not to get any vinegar on the actual part, a way around this was to place the part loosely on some film (such as cling film that we use for cooking) then seal the container & leave it for a while & just keep checking it until you get the effect you like?


Don't over think your test mate - the last time I did this I just chucked the brass into a bag (without and holes).  The poured some vinegar in and a bit of salt; shook it up a bit and left it for 24hours.  It came out looking really quite old and used.


The antiques people use the vapour method and only let the fumes of the vinegar do the job.  This gives a very even colour but does take a bit of time.  Think of candle sticks or light fittings that sort of thing that they want to dull rather than make it look used.
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Mark T

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2019, 01:44:36 PM »

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tizdaz

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Re: Brass sheet colouring?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2019, 03:21:38 PM »

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