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Patina if you must(ard)


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When I first got interested in mustard patinas, I asked around how it was done and the answer I got was "you put mustard on the blade". While I understand it meant there was no wrong ways to do it, I was hoping for a bit more details :lol:

Now that I've done a few patinas and had A LOT of requests on how I get this stonewashed look, I'm going to give you the details in this short tutorial. 

This bladesport'ish blade was not intended to have a patina but it was the only one I had around that's large enough for a good demo. In case you wondered, it is 80CrV2 steel. This patina will work pretty good on any simple carbon or tool steels, as long as they don't contain too much nickel like 15n20 or L6. The nickel increases the steel's resistance to acid.

So, what I first do is hand sand the blade to #800. It may not be necessary but I like how, after the patina is done, the blade is still shiny from a certain angle of view and shows how good the finish is. 

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After the blade is finished and cleaned with acetone or brake cleaner, I use these cotton pads to dab the mustard. 

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Only a small amount of mustard is necessary. The thinner the layer, the darker the finish. I dab a LOT to get an even layout. 

 

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Now is the time to let it dry. Wait at least 30 minutes. Then clean thoroughly in soapy water and dry. 

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Here's what it looks like after just one layer. You may be satisfied and stop there or do a second layer for a darker and more homogeneous finish. Everywhere there was tiny mustard spikes is where the blade did barely etch and shows those lighter spots.

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Now a second coat.

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And how it looks after a good cleaning. I have found that applying a thin film of food grade mineral oil darkens the finish even further. It's not been applied yet on these photos.

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If you have any questions, please ask and I'll update the tutorial if needed. 

Edited by Joël Mercier
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3 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

Pinned!  I'll even move it to Fit and Finish if you think it belongs there. B)

It's up to you, I really don't mind :rolleyes:

 

3 hours ago, MacKINNON said:

A very intriguing finish. Many thanks for taking the time to document your process.

You're welcome!

 

2 hours ago, steven smith said:

Thanks for sharing, ive been using too much and it does hardly anything.

It seems to be a common mistake. I had no idea what I was doing and ended up with this finish entirely by chance. 

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Ive been waiting for this thread!  I'm gonna try it soon.

 

Do you think if you were to use a stone ground mustard (much more course texture) you would achieve a different patina?

Edited by Conner Michaux
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4 minutes ago, Conner Michaux said:

Ive been waiting for this thread!  I'm gonna try it soon.

 

Do you think if you were to use a stone ground mustard (much more course texture) you would achieve a different patina?

No idea, you'll have to see for yourself :lol:

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Trying it out, will see how it goes. It’s already starting to patina. 

image.jpg

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Well, it didn’t turn out as good as I thought it would, I forgot if I was supposed to degrees it or not before applying the mustard, so I didn’t. 

63D1632B-8232-4624-9DCE-4D3D7BF6FC30.jpeg

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Yes, you have to thoroughly clean the blade first. Not sure whether it's related to your result or not though. Your photo is a bit shady but I can see your sanding is a bit rough 

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