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Is there a colored, yet semi-translucent glaze that can be applied to metal? Answered

I'm making my friend a replica knife from a popular game we both play. In-game, the blade has a reddish tint. Is there a glaze that can be applied to metal that will give it a red tint, yet still be somewhat translucent? Thanks!


In addition to anodizing and enameling and plasticizing -- a very thin layer of plating might be enough to shift the color in an appropriate direction.

Personally, I'd go with transparent vitreous enamel, but I'm an enameller already so I have all the tools & stuff.
You might look into coloring some clear epoxy instead. You can use official epoxy colorant, or even regular RIT dye will work just fine.
This will leave you with a clear tint that won't easily chip or scratch like paint would.

I'd think that if you were using the correct enamel formula to go with the underlying metal, you'd be fine as long as you didn't apply it too thickly all at once. I have successfully enamelled thin copper embossing foil with no crazing at all. (The piece didn't work out for other reasons, but the gazillion and one copper leaves turned out very nicely.) The trick is to use multiple thin layers and underfire until the last one. Counter-enamelling is also essential with thin or very large pieces. I counter-enamel everything, regardless.
That's just for the application phase, though. After application, if the blade is thin enough to flex easily, or if you bash it into things, crazing is a distinct possibility. An enamelled blade of this type would be a display item, not a functional one.

You need to write some 'ibles. Sounds very interesting. I've always wanted to try it.

On a blade though, you just KNOW some A-hole is going flex the thing - would it take that ?


I may very well do that next time I do an enamelling project. I don't really do anything innovative with the process, but now that you mention it, I don't know that there's much information on "just the basics" online. Might be worth it just for that. Funny thing is, I found Instructables in the first place because I was searching for information on toner transfer copper etching for an enamelling project.
And no, a blade would not take being flexed. Shards of glass would fly across the room. I would only consider enamelling a shortish, heavy blade, preferably with a diamond or triangular cross-section. Something in a dagger or gladius would be ideal. Anything longer/more flexible would be asking for trouble if it was intended to do anything more than hang on the wall and look pretty.

You could use coloured enamel - it can be applied to clean metal; it is what insulates copper wire and makes it all sorts of colours (usually red).

Some metals can be anodized to change their colours (silver, aluminum, many others)...