How to Stain Stainless Steel Dark or Black

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Things You'll Need

  • Black oxide kit

  • Rubber work gloves

  • Metal wire

  • Lint free rags

  • #0000 steel wool

  • One gallon of distilled water

  • Plastic bucket

The act of turning stainless steel black is called "bluing." Bluing chemicals used to require a heat source to work. Because heating these chemicals was bad for the environment, new chemicals have been developed to turn stainless steel black or brown. A black oxide kit gives anyone the ability to complete oxidation on metal surfaces and achieve a professional quality appearance. Bluing, commonly used to change the color of gun barrels, is used when the chrome-like color of stainless steel is not desirable.


Step 1

Pour one ounce of black oxide concentrate into a plastic bucket for every nine-ounces of distilled water you plan to use. Then pour the distilled water into the plastic bucket maintaining a ratio of 9:1. If you plan to use a gallon of water, add 14.22 ounces of the concentrate per every 128 ounces of distilled water. Otherwise, use one ounce of concentrate per every nine ounces of distilled water. Pouring the water over the black oxide will adequately mix the black oxide and the water together.


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Step 2

Hang the stainless steel off a metal wire and suspend it into the fluid until it turns your desired shade of black. Do not touch the concentrate with your skin. Do not soak the stainless steel for more than three minutes or you can damage the structural integrity of the stainless steel. If you want a shinier finish or a less dramatic black, you can burnish the stainless steel before applying the sealer by buffing it with #0000 steel wool.


Step 3

Dry off the stainless steel with a lint free cloth. Again, take caution to avoid getting the solution onto your skin. Rubber work gloves will help with this.

Step 4

Place the penetrating sealant provided with the black oxide kit into a clean bucket. Dip the stainless steel into the penetrating sealant supplied with your oxidation kit. Wipe the stainless steel with a clean, lint-free rag to remove the excess sealant. Allow the stainless steel to dry before using the stainless steel for its intended purpose.