cold bluing tips

by Michael Wilson
(United Kingdom)

A great way to improve the finish on steel and iron sword fittings is to use cold gun blue - this is actually a well known method but heres a few tips to ensure you get the best results possible.

Prior to using gun blue wash the fitting thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.

To create a base coat that will enrich the patina created by subsequent coats use the following method:

Bring to the boil a sauce pan of de-ionised water, the kind used in steam irons place the fitting in the pan and leave it for 3-5 mins , remove it and towel dry it, while its still hot quickly apply a generous coat of gun blue -

the heat and the now open grain of the steel will react quicker with the gun blue giving it a deeper patina - it may appear patchy but further coats while the steel is cold will even the patina and you will have a deep rich blue/black finish.

When applying a coat of bluing leave it for 1 minute before rinsing under a cold tap, towel dry the part and with a clean soft cloth buff off any residue left behind and let stand for 1 hour.

To really bring the finish to life after standing for 1 hour take the fitting and finger rub a small amount of choji oil or gun oil ( 3 in 1 multi oil is just as good ) into the part , making sure you oil every are - wipe of any excess oil and you will have a deeply patinated , glossy finished part .


Gun blue works well on iron and steel , none ferrous metals like copper and brass will patinate to a deep, rich red/brown colour - an antiqued effect.

M Wilson 2007

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Sword Care Tips.

Buying Swords Online Can Be DANGEROUS!
Find the Best Swords in the: