How to Blacken Metal Parts

Posted: March 4, 2014 By: Louis Beaudreau

In the automotive industry, the process of blackening steel and iron parts has been widely used in the manufacturing of cars. Over time, your vehicle’s blackened parts can start to fade or become corroded, which is why it is useful to learn how to blacken metal parts in your own workspace instead of paying too much money to have them refinished. With the Eastwood Metal Blackening System, you will be able to professionally blacken your own automotive parts with ease.

Blackening Metal Parts: Preparation

The first thing to note is that this metal blackening process will not work on any stainless steel or non-ferrous metals such as brass, aluminum and pot metal. That being said, these are the supplies you need that are part of the Eastwood Metal Blackening System Set: pair of safety goggles, pair of safety gloves, 56 oz. (two quart) process container, pint of metal blackener concentrate, and an aerosol can of satin finish for bare metal. It is very important that you always keep your safety goggles and gloves on during the entire process to assure no injuries.

The first thing you need to do in order to prepare your iron or steel object for blackening is disassemble the object entirely. This will ensure that the part will get complete coverage during the blackening process. Then, remove any oil, grease, dirt, rust, paint or old plating with the appropriate solution and equipment. For dirt, grease and oil, use a heavy duty degreaser or PRE painting prep solution. For paint and rust, use an abrasive blaster or sander to strip it off. For old plating, you can use abrasives or soak the part in muriatic acid. After disassembling and cleaning your part, it is best to start the blacking process immediately to avoid any swift corrosion. Pour your metal blackener concentrate into the two quart process container, and add distilled water or warm tap water to the concentrate until the solution rises to two inches below the top of the container. Secure the container lid and swish around the solution to make sure it is mixed evenly. Now it is time to blacken your part.

Blackening Metal Parts: Execution

Now that the part has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased, and your blackening solution is mixed well, remove the container lid and immediately submerge the part in the blackening solution until it has a consistent black or gray finish. This will normally take between 20 and 60 seconds, depending on the size of the part and temperature of the blackening solution (for best results, make sure the solution is at about 75 degrees or slightly higher). Some parts may take minutes to be fully blackened. Make sure to turn the part in the solution so that all surfaces are being covered, and do not leave the part in the solution for longer than it needs to. Once the part achieves a uniform black or gray color, it is done. Full blackened color will be successfully achieved once the sealant dries.

After you take the part out of the blackening solution, rinse it with water for 10 to 20 seconds, and dry it with a soft, clean cloth. Once the part is dry, spray two or three light coats of the satin finish on the part, and set it aside to dry for several hours or simply overnight. Be sure to store your blackening kit in a safe place, and always wash off your safety equipment after using it. Once the finish has dried, you will be the proud owner of a professionally blackened automotive part.

To learn more about blackening automotive parts and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

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