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How To Get A Blue Patina On Carbon Steel – [Simple Ways]

When it comes to steel material, a lot of people prefer how to get a blue patina on carbon steel over stainless steel. Carbon steel has a huge set of usage ranging from kitchen knives to railway tracks.

If you look at your kitchen, you will see many knives are made with, but like any other steel, carbon steel may get corroded. A very easy way to prevent carbon steel from rusting is using blue patina.

If you want to know how to put a blue patina on carbon steel, you are in luck. We will show exactly how you can apply blue patina in your carbon steel products very easily.

How To Get A Blue Patina On Carbon Steel

Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel

Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel

Stainless steel has a high level of chromium, whereas carbon steel has a high level of carbon. The chromium in the stainless steel makes the steel less reactive to corrosion and helps to elongate the longevity of stainless steel. On the other hand, the high amount of carbon in carbon steel makes the steel very hard and durable.

It is useful when it comes to heavy industries as they require steel that can take a heavy load. Carbon steel is much stronger than stainless steel, but carbon steel corrodes easily. If carbon steel is preserved well, then it can have a longer lifetime as well.

Why Use Blue Patina?

Why Use Blue Patina?

We all know metal corrodes when it comes in contact with water. The oxygen molecules of the water particle react with the metal and make different molecules. It greatly damages the metal and its integrity.

As we have seen earlier, carbon steel is more prone to corrosion than any other steel. Carbon steel has a high level of carbon that makes it much stronger but leaves it corrosive.

So, to prevent carbon steel from rusting, we use a patina coating on it. Patina is a chemical substance that is mainly acidic. If blue patina is put on carbon steel, the blue patina will create a layer of acid that will prevent the carbon steel from reacting with water. Thus, it will greatly benefit the longevity of carbon steel.

How To Apply Blue Patina On Carbon Steel – Simple Way

How To Apply Blue Patina On Carbon Steel?

We have learned what carbon steel is, and we have also understood why a good coating of blue patina is important for carbon steel. Now the question arises that what is the process of applying blue patina?

Do not worry at all. We are here to show you the complete process for putting blue patina on your carbon steel instrument. It is a very easy and effortless process. You can get on with it at your home with the help of simple instruments. Here are the steps for putting blue patina:

Step – 1: Safety Precautions

Safety Precautions

At the very beginning, you will have to ensure proper safety measurements before you start the applying process of blue patina. The blue patina is a chemical substance. It can react with certain materials, which makes it volatile in nature. So, it is very important to be careful while handling such chemical material.

Before applying blue patina, you have to put the carbon steel on a plastic container. The container will help to contain the blue patina from going elsewhere. It will also work as a holding place for the carbon steel after the blue patina has been applied. For personal safety, you must wear gloves.

It is also recommended that you wear surgical mask and safety goggles. Try to conduct this process in an open place so that there is no inconvenience throughout the whole process. By ensuring this high level of safety, you will have ease of mind while putting the patina on the steel surface.

Step – 2: Cleaning Carbon Steel

Cleaning Carbon Steel

After ensuring the safety of the process, the next step comes with proper cleaning of the carbon steel. The carbon steel that you want to put a blue patina on may not be fully clean. If the carbon steel was kept in the open air, dust and other particles would surely get stuck on the surface of the carbon steel.

If the carbon steel you want to coat is a kitchen knife, then it may have an oily surface. If the carbon steel is not clean, then the blue patina will not properly stick to the surface of the carbon steel.

It will greatly hamper the effectiveness of blue patina. In fact, the blue patina coating may not work at all. If the blue patina is put on a dirty or oily surface, it may get spoiled by reacting chemically with other substances.

To clean the carbon steel, first, wash it with water. You may use hot water to remove oil and other sticky material. Then for a better and deeper clean, use rubbing alcohol. Take rubbing alcohol on a soft cotton cloth and use it to vigorously rub the surface of carbon steel and cleaning it in the process. Make sure there is no residue left on the surface of the steel. After the cleaning is done, the carbon steel is ready for putting patina.

Step – 3: Heating The Carbon Steel

Heating The Carbon Steel

One thing that helps with applying blue patina is warming up the carbon steel. It is not a mandatory step, but it greatly helps to make the process more efficient. By heating the carbon steel, it will gain a bit of length because of thermal elongation. It will allow the surface to expand and consume more patina.

For this step, you will have to procure a heat gun. Using a hairdryer will also work for this process. Now, take the heat gun or the hairdryer and give heat directly to the surface of the carbon steel. Make sure the heat is spread evenly. Keep heating up the steel for a minute or two.

Now the steel is perfect for patina coating. Be cautious of not overheating the carbon steel. If the carbon steel is overheated, it may get degraded and lose its longevity. To avoid such a problem, use the lowest setting of the heat gun or air dryer, which you will be using to heat up the carbon steel.

Step – 4: Apply Blue Patina

Apply Blue Patina

There are various kinds of patina available in the market. One of the chemical variants of blue patina is super blue. For this process, you will first have to procure blue patina from the market. The patina can be found as a liquid solution in a plastic bottle or container.

Now put the liquid patina in a pot. You will see that the liquid patina is mostly transparent with a light blue tint that can be seen from a certain angle. Now you will have to take the patina and put on the carbon steel. For doing this, you can use a brush.

A point 50 brush will easily soak liquid patina, and you can put it on the carbon steel afterward. Wipe the patina all over the carbon steel body. Make sure you have covered every inch with patina. If you miss any spot, it may cause corrosion as you keep using the carbon steel. You can also put a patina on the side of your carbon steel if it’s a carbon steel knife.

If you didn’t clean the carbon steel properly, then you will see that there are parts where the blue patina didn’t stick properly. This sometimes gives the carbon steel a unique look.

Step – 5: Put On Rest

After you finish applying the blue patina on the steel surface, you will have to keep it on rest for some minutes. If you want a stronger coat of the patina, then keep the knife on rest for a longer period of time. If you want a lighter coat of blue patina, then you should keep the carbon steel on rest for only thirty seconds.

After keeping the carbon steel on rest for a certain period of time, you will have to wash the carbon steel for future use. You can use regular tap water to clean off the extra blue patina from the carbon steel. Now dry the carbon steel with hot air. After this, the steel will be ready for use with a fresh new coat of patina.


This simple process mentioned above will help you to put a blue patina on any kind of carbon steel product very easily. It is a very quick method and, surprisingly, efficient too. After the process of applying blue patina is finished, it is recommended to keep the carbon steel in an open place for a couple of hours before using the steel.

It will solidify the coating of the blue patina and add to the longevity of the coating. If you have read the whole article, then you are ready to apply blue patina by yourself any time of the day. I hope now you know about how to get a blue patina on carbon steel.

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