metal staining

We are doing a survey on some incredible custom homes. I will take some pictures and post them at flickr next week.
These gates are one of a kind custom, and all appear to be made of steel.
But they use flat panels of 26ga. or so that have lots of hues in them. Some appear that they have been discolored by heat, going to a purplish tint. Some look golden, but more like light copper than actual gold. They are all shiny on the surface, indicating clear coating. They are all sorts of designs from suns to Indian symbols to abstracts. They are a combination of tubular frame and flat panel inserts.
I was wondering if anyone knows how they get the colors in/on the metal.
I have to go to the manufacturing company next week to get the replacement costs, and that should be interesting, as I will be looking for as much as they will divulge about the process.
Nice looking stuff, and like I say, I'll have some pictures next week.
Steve
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wrote:

Hey Steve,
There are some structural steels that are intended to be used without further surface preparations to keep them from rusting. In fact, they are intended to rust to provide an oxidation that has various hues, from red to brown to purple to black. Quite striking. The are not "shiny" though.
Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. SNIP
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Brian Lawson wrote:

Torches of various styles and heat ranges and LOT'S of practice.
--
Steve W.
Near Cooperstown, New York
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There are an incredible number of clear colors available in custom automotive finishes, are you sure that isn't what you're seeing? A guy with an airbrush can do some incredible things with them, too.
There ARE chemical methods for coloring steel, there's a whole book on artistic chemical treatments of various metals and alloys, "The colouring, bronzing, and patination of metal" by Richard Hughes. Check your local library first, it's a spendy tome. Most of the formulas etch the surface to one degree or another. It's oriented more towards sculpture/architectural works, not selective treatments and stenciling. I mentioned spray coatings first because that would be easiest/cheapest to do with stencils.
Stan
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If you take some hot rolled steel - or stainless for that much - and put it in the kitchen oven at 350 degrees F. Wait for a couple of hours or have the oven at that temp and wait 30 minutes - it will be golden.
The colors are based on the temperature.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
SteveB wrote:

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