Darkening Aluminum?

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Darth Elevator

New Member
+1 on diluting aluminum black. I've done tests in the past with just a few drops of black in a container of water and it let me darken the metal by very small amounts quite slowly. The results can look really good.

This is going to be what I try first. I'm just waiting on a larger bottle to arrive. I'll report back how it goes.
 

Darth Elevator

New Member
So I finished the darkening the hilt and I'm happy with the result. Not 100% perfect, but it gives the effect I'm hoping for. In person, it looks a lot more like weathered steel than weathered aluminum now. The "brightness" of the metal is gone.

The diluted Aluminum Black method worked really well. I put them in a big bin full of water with just a little bit of Aluminum Black. I was able to watch the hilt slowly change darker and darker until I felt it was just right. It felt like I was BBQing a steak or something, watching it slowly cook. Afterwards, I sanded for awhile with a very light touch and very fine steel wool. I was looking to clean up the aluminum while keeping the effect uniform.

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures while I was in the process, but I have a before and after pic.

This was my Ben Solo hilt from Phoenix Props. Here are the two main pieces of the hilt after I cleaned them up for the Aluminum Dark bath.

IMG_E3175.JPG


IMG_E3176.JPG


And here is the finished hilt in my cabinet.

IMG_E3180.JPG


IMG_E3181.JPG


Thanks to everyone who provided advice on this. The hilt was driving me a bit crazy so I'm glad it's complete.
 

Darth Elevator

New Member
Looks great! You'd never know it's aluminum.

Thanks! Using a very small amount of Aluminum Black worked really well. Previously, when weathering the hilt, I was able to get some nice definition but it still had the lighter gray color you see in the first pics. The slower changes helped alter the tint a bit even in the more cleaned up areas, which is what I wanted.
 

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