I wanted to recreate a traditional and well-proven method of coating metal – destinctively not using simple oil nor lacquer or other modern substances. The solution is the so-called “Japanning“. I found a very interesting and informative YouTube Video from this guy (he’s somewhat crazy and absolutely cool!) and I recreated it. It’s a lot more time-consuming than modern coating methods, but it’s fun, it works and it gives me a feeling of “traditionalism”.

His recipe for a japanning mix is:

– 50% turpentine
– 30% asphaltum, available here
– 20% boiled linseed oil

Blend this thoroughly and let sit for 24 hours in a sealed jar. Your goal is to achieve a honey- or nutella- like consistency. If it turns out too thin: add  more asphaltum. If it turns out too thick: add more turpentine. Then let sit for another 24 hours and check again.

Clean your workpiece thoroughly with degreaser and apply the substance as an even coat. Now it’s for “baking” 🙂

CAUTION: This stinks and it releases fumes. Only do this in your kitchen oven if you have a very reliable and powerful ventilation in your room!

– One hour at 100 °C, let cool completely
– 1/2 hour at 170 °C, let cool completely
– 1/2 hour at 200 °C, let cool, and you should be done.

If it’s not hardened enough after the last bake, try repeating step 3. The result is a glossy, hard and durable deeply black coating. Very pleasing.