Blackening steel

When thinking of knights, we often picture them in shining steel armour. However, it was quite common for armour to be a black colour, which was done by blackening or bronzing the steel.  We sell some bronzed armour in our shop, but if you want a specific model armour that isn’t available in a bronzed version, there are ways to create this effect yourself. 

Always make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear!

Heat blackening

One method to bronze your armour is by heating the steel with a weed burner or blow torch while it’s covered in oil. The oil will burn and give the steel a black coating.

What do you need?

-weed burner or blow torch

-linseed or olive oil

-spray bottle


-fireproof gloves 

How to blacken armour with heat:

Always wear the fireproof gloves when handling the burner or torch or the armour when it’s still hot!

Step 1:

Put the oil in a spray bottle.

Step 2:

Use the burner or torch to heat up the armour. You will see the moisture in the steel evaporate. Make sure you’ve gone over the full surface of the armour.

Step 3:

Spray the oil onto the armour and spread it evenly with the cloth.

Step 4:

Take the burner or torch again, but this time heat the armour from the back/inside of the piece. This way you can better see how dark the outside is getting. The steel will go through a few different shades during the process. It’ll first turn a golden brown, then a deeper plum brown. If you keep heating it, it’ll get a more reddish hue to it and eventually it will darken to black with some reddish brown undertones. Take care your leather straps don’t catch fire!

The black coating can flake when it’s being heated too long, but this can be fixed by repeating the process afterwards on the spot that have flaked. 

Step 5:

Repeat step 4. Let the armour cool down afterwards.

Step 6:

Once the armour has cooled down, check if there are any spots that have flaked or are lighter than the rest. Repeat step 4 on those spots if that’s needed.

Step 7:

Let the armour cool down fully. Apply a coat of oil or anti-rust spray to protect the metal. 

Chemical blackening

A simpler way of blackening your armour is by using a blackening fluid, which is a chemical solution made to blacken steel. This fluid also works great for touch ups on bronzed armour when they have some superficial damage. 

What do you need?

-blackening fluid

-sponge or brush

-rubbing alcohol

-2 clean soft cloths

How to chemically blacken armour?

Step 1:

Remove the grease from the armour using rubbing alcohol and a clean, soft cloth.

Step 2:

Apply the blackening fluid with the sponge or brush in an even coat. 

Step 3:

Let the blackening fluid sit on the armour for about 3 minutes. During this time a white-yellowish cover should have formed on the surface.

Step 4:

Rise the fluid off with water and dab the armour dry with the other cloth. 

Step 5:

Give the armour a coat of oil or anti-rust spray to protect the steel.