Color Case-Hardening Effect on Steel

STEEL F/X® Patinas Specially Developed for Creating a Color Case-Hardened Finish.

Hi Bill,

I have a modern S&W shotgun that is color case-hardened. Being my first exposure to the art of CCH, I did not know that CCH color is very fragile. I have kilns and someday I would like to learn the CCH art, but maybe I’ll learn something about steel patina first and try to touch up my damage to my shotgun receiver. First off–this is bare steel (not galvanized). Does patina work or will I need to try the dyes? It’s a nice shotgun but not a collectible piece or anything. Maybe you have some recommendations for me. With some resist oil or gel, I think I can come close to duplicating the patterns and style of the original colors (tan, rust/brown/red, blue, etc.). I included a photo of the undamaged side so you can see what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve polished off many previous attempts and will keep trying with your materials. Thanks for any advice. I’d be happy to phone you, if it’s easier than email, but wanted to get the photos to you first. -Cal

Hi Cal,

With the STEEL F/X® Patina Products listed below, you could come very, very close to Creating a Color Case-Hardening Effect. You will have to take the surface down to bright shiny steel first & have absolutely no trace of oil, unless you want areas that don’t “take” the color.  I would use very small amounts of gel/s & experiment with moving the gel around with canned air or small artists brush. If you have an airbrush, set it at about 10 p.s.i. and move the gel around with that.   Some COPPER F/X™ may also be advisable as a base color, but that will depend on individual preference. Follow up with a Oil or Wax to prevent unwanted corrosion and/or rusting.

Hope that helps.

Products I’d Recommend:






METHOD 1: USING GEL PATINAS.  After Your Steel Is Polished & Oil-Free, Apply COPPER F/X™ GEL Patina and Wipe Away With Wet Rag or Sponge. Follow-Up With Either the BLUE HALO™ GEL PATINA,  FLAME F/X™ GEL PATINA or the BLUE-BLACK™ GEL PATINA in Random Patterns.  Move Gels Around With a Small Brush or Gloved Fingertip to Increase the Marbling & Patterning Distinctions.

Wipe Off Excess & Neutralize Again With a Wet Rag or Sponge.

Apply BLUE HALO™ GEL PATINA, Using a Wood Tongue Depressor or Cotton Swab.  Important! ~ The Color/s Appear Only if Moving the Gel Around in a Small Area.

Touch Up Any Areas With Subsequent Applications of Your Favorite Gel Patina as You See Fit & Wipe Off Excess, Finishing With a Final Water Rinse. (Wet Rag or Sponge is Fine).

Dry Thoroughly With Clean, Dry Compressed Air or Blow-Dryer (Set to Warm, Not Hot) & Oil or Seal With Your Preferred Sealer.

Thanks, Bill

 Below is a Lever-Action Rifle Receiver Done With Only One STEEL F/X Gel Patina:  BLUE HALO™ GEL.




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