I saw the video with you spraying the 2 part clear coat. Question is where did you get the pivoting easel/vise that is holding the piece being clear-coated?
It’s called a “Ball-Vise” and you don’t need one with tons of accessories, unless you’re doing jewelry. I clamp a magnetic bar in mine to support my piece, but they’re not great for pieces over 14″ X 14″ or so. Comes in Real Handy Though…I’ve had Mine For 20+ Years & Use it Frequently. Thanks, Bill
(TIP) Google Search: ‘Ball-Vise’ or ‘Jeweler’s Vise’ on eBay or Amazon. You Can Usually Find Them For <$200 & Free Shipping.
QUESTION: What’s the Difference Between “Rattle-Can” Clear-Coat and “Automotive Clear-Coat”?
ANSWER: Typical “rattle-can”, single-stage clears from the big-box or hardware stores don’t work very well for several reasons. First of all, the viscosity and amount of solids is way too light to develop a decent film thickness on the metal. (Single Stage just means there is no catalyst or hardener. Just a thin, solvent-based clear).
Secondly, they require too many subsequent, repeated coats & don’t have the UV inhibiting qualities of a premium, high-velocity (High-Velocity means: Fast Drying), Automotive top-coat (clear-coat). I like my pieces to look like they’ve been “dipped in glass” and “water clear”. I aim for a film thickness of 1.8-2.2 mils, and can generally achieve that with two medium coats of 2-stage clear, about 7-10 minutes apart.
For the very best protection and longevity, I use and recommend a 2-part Automotive Clear-Coat.
My ‘hands-down’ favorite is PPG DELTRON DC3000™, available on this site or any PPG® Dealer that sells to the auto-body or collision market.
To use any 2-part automotive clear, PPG DELTRON DC3000 included, you will need a decent-quality gravity-fed (cup on top), clear-coat gun equipped with a 1.3mm needle, fluid tip & nozzle. I have a really nice, yet affordable spray-gun for clear-coat on my site, HERE.
And, it’s Important to Know That You Can Use a 1.3mm Gun, (like the AirGunsa®/Iwata® Clear-Coat Gun Below), For Other Solvent-Based Paints, as Well! I’ve even shot 2-Part, Bare Metal Epoxy Primer through my Gun With Great Results!
I use this exact gun & I love it. I have other clear-coat guns by Iwata & 3M® that were all over $600 each, and none of them are better. You may be able to find it or something similar for less, I don’t know off-hand. Just make sure whatever you buy is ‘Gravity Feed’ (tank on top, as shown in the photo above).
Fair Warning: If you buy Clear-Coat & Hardener locally, especially from a dealer that caters to the body-shop guys, they will tell you it won’t work on bare steel. They’re trained in the automotive collision market and have ‘primer, base-coat and clear-coat embedded in their brains’).
Trust me, it will adhere and look wet and crystal clear, just as it would over a base (color) coat. Thanks, Bill
Question:I was wondering if you have a catalog of your art files and your patina products for coloring steel? I find this stuff very interesting. Thank you, Steve. S.
Answer:STEEL F/X Patinas & Dyes are Found Only on This Site. You Will Not Find Them at Any Retail Outlets or Steel Yards.
Check out the Following Sites for DXF & Vector Files:
signtorch.com Main Site (Fantastic Collection of Cut-Ready DXF files in most any genre you can imagine). Gary’s DXF files also include .ai, .eps, .svg, .jpg, .gif, .pdf, etc.)
There is Also a Great Online Forum for Plasma-Cutters: plasmaspider.com That Have Many Hundreds of Frequently Asked Questions & DownloadableCut-ready DXF files w/ Paid Membership, Which is Very Nominal. There are Currently over 11,000 Members on That Site Alone and They are More Than Happy to Share Information Re: Plasma-Cutting & Metal Finishing.
Hello, If you were to use a paintbrush to apply dyes, would it leave streaks? Does it dry up in airbrushes and would need some sort of thinner? Thanks, Ryan
Answer by Bill:
Bristle-brush application vs. Airbrush application will yield different “looks”. There will be some outer edge streaking with a brush, as the higher concentration of product will crater on both sides of the brush stroke. Acetone is the recommended thinner. Water also works, as acetone & water do mix. I don’t recommend water for several reasons. For dilution & clean-up, use acetone.
I will be doing a couple of new dye videos in the near future.
There is a dye/airbrush tutorial on the videos page, one that I did over a year ago.
Question: PATINAS ON COLD-ROLLED OR HOT-ROLLED STEEL?
Do Your Patinas work on Cold-Rolled or Hot-Rolled Steel?
Answer by Bill:
Either Type of Steel is Fine, although HR requires the removal of the mill-scale, which is present on all hot-rolled steel. That’s easily done with a chemical bath & is cheap & fast. Mill-scale removal takes about a 15-minute soak, then flushes right off. The procedure is outlined in more detail in my eBook & everything you need is available where you live.
Below is a snapshot of a page included in my free eBook:
Hello, I was going to buy some of the metal dyes that you sell for my metal art, but I wasn’t sure it would work or not. My metal is not shiny. I make things out of antique square nails. Some are in the nail shape, others I flatten the nails after heating with a hammer. Would the metal have to be ground down first, or can I just paint it on the nail as is? Thank you. John
Answer by Bill:
John, If the metal is not shiny, the coloration won’t be as vivid, and may be a little unpredictable. I wouldn’t advise it, really.
See previous post re: Dye Application Methods.
Bill Worden, STEEL F/X®
Good Morning, I am very interested in your product. Can I Use Clear Powder-Coat over a STEEL F/X Patina Finish?
Thank you in advance for your reply. Chris
Answer by Bill:
Powder-Coating Over the Patinas and/or Dyes is Perfectly Fine. I always recommend going over the piece with a high-quality lint-free tack-rag a few minutes before spraying the powder. In some instances, mostly too long in the oven or ‘cooling down’ w/o removing the piece from the oven, the lightest patina (in color range) COPPER F/X™ can sometimes take on a slightly gold-green hue.
Still very nice looking, but not as crisp of a “new penny” copper that is achieved with a 2-part automotive clear.
And, as you probably already know, there are many grades of quality & gloss factors when it comes to clear Powder-Coatings. The higher quality products always yield the very best results. And, as with any clear-coat, a light patina color will be quite a bit darker after the clear-coat is applied.
Any further questions, just let me know.
Thank you! Bill
Which of your Patinas would I need to get this effect on the horse head you did?
All that was used on that piece was RUST F/X™ and TORCH F/X™. I will do a short video on that process…it’s very easy and equally easy to demonstrate, but a little difficult to explain in writing alone.
If you want, give me a phone call & I’ll tell you how to do it. The technique can be done year-round, although it works a little faster in warm weather.
Bill Worden, STEEL F/X®
QUESTION: Hi Bill. Is there any way that I can produce a patina that will give the color pictured below, or will I have to rely on dyes, etc?
I love your site and I enjoy the videos you post. I was hoping you could help me with a question. I’m looking for a sage green patina for 22 gauge mild steel. I’ve attached a photo of a steel cactus which has the color I’m going for. It’s galvanized steel and the makers claim that the patina will not rust any further except around the spot welds. Thanks for your help. Rick
Hi Rick The finish in the photo appears to be a faux finish or painted surface. A Sage Green is tough with patinas, at least mine…as they do not contain any pigments. I can help you get the type of finishes shown below on Steel or Copper.
BLAZE F/X™ Patina also gives a very unique ‘aged copper’ look to Copper or Brass.
If you’re trying to get an actual Copper Verdigris finish, it’s doable, but a little more complex. It involves sprinkling copper or bronze powder onto a a wet clear-coated surface. You let that dry for a couple of hours, sand lightly with a white or gray 3M® Scotch-Brite pad, #000 or #0000 steel wool or 400 or 600-grit Wet-or-Dri (3M®) sandpaper, then applying COPPER VERDE™or BLAZE F/X™, keeping wet for 2 to 3 applications and waiting 8-24 hrs.
The single stage patina: RED COPPER MULTI F/X™, won’t give you a true Verdigris finish by itself, although the colors are very unique and can include some green, although it’s mostly the early stages of flash-rust. It will look a little different on shiny steel as opposed to a matte, sand-blasted finish.
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks, Bill
How Do I Get a Rusty Patina on New Galvanized Steel?
Old Answer: Galvanized Steel Will Not Take a Rust Patina Without First Removing Some or All of the Zinc & Tin, Which Make up the Galvanization.
AUBURN F/X™ would be good choices. A high-quality clear-coat, preferably a 2-stage clear, is mandatory to preserve the color/s. (2-Stage just means that there is a catalyst or hardener is added to the clear just prior to stirring and spraying.
The SprayMax 2k is an excellent choice for jobs under 24 sq. ft. and DELTRON® for larger jobs or multiple small jobs.
Important Update: 12/07/2015. STEEL F/X PATINAS™ has just developed a new Rusting Patina for Steel, that Mimics the Look of Weathering Steel, also known as Corten® Steel. It is called, “KOR-10 F/X™”
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4 comments on “Frequently Asked Questions”
You haven’t discussed what becomes of the rinse water. As the water neatralizes the acids, does it become hazardous at all, or are you still simply letting it run down the gutter?
The patinas have very, very little acid in them. Some patinas have no acid at all, and some are so low in acid that they are measured in PPM.
Rinsing & Neutralization & Evaporation will further dilute all of the constituents in the formulas & causes no harm to the soil, ground-water or waste-water systems.
The patinas are odorless, will not burn your skin or irritate your respiratory system. All of my patinas are used as “cold method” application. Some other patinas on the market require the metal to be heated or fumed, which is a protagonist for fumes, contact, inhalation & other health & safety concerns.
I choose not to make or sell products that are dangerous to health or environment.
Unless you are using hundreds of gallons of patina products per day, there is no cause for contamination or safety concerns.
Always err on the side of caution & wear PPE, when using any chemicals. Store containers away from pets & children, as with any household products that contain chemicals. And, if large amounts of run-off are anticipated, follow the guidelines of your appropriate State or Local agencies for review of SDS info & suggested protocol, if any.
You are welcome to view the SDS info on all products at: http://steelfxpatinas.com/steel-fx-patinas-sds/
If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Do you send to Australia I’d be happy to spend enough with you to make it worth your while, your products look amazing!
I’m opening a sculpture garden at my gallery and would love to use your product on some of my sculptures to give them that point of difference. Kind regards Michael
Ps would love to talk to you if possible, what’s the best number to contact you on, thank you!
Yes, we ship internationally. My direct line is 1-435-668-7244.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to working with you!
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