Black Oxide Coating: Beautiful metal design that goes beyond the surface
By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Black Oxide Coating
Due to its versatility, black oxide coating is suitable for almost any kind of steel or stainless-steel surface, and the options for its use in design are limitless. The Finnish company Black Oxide Coating provides a beautiful, practical and durable alternative to traditional coating methods.
Founded in 2020, Black Oxide Coating is a company specialising in the chemical blackening of almost all kinds of steel surfaces. The black oxide coating is a great-value substance that results in a visually-impressive surface, without changing the surface’s dimensions or measurement accuracy. The products are intended primarily for architects and space planners seeking to make their designs grander and add value to them.
“Chemical blackening is a great solution for a high-quality finish. The steel does not lose its dimensional accuracy in the process, so even small details retain their shape, such as the patterns cut into the cladding elements in this site. We’re here to help our clients achieve the most stylish design possible and, while we take care of the practicalities, our clients are free to let their imagination fly,” says Jyri Kettula, owner and CEO of Black Oxide Coating.
Unlike painting, the process requires no preparation or drying time and the unique way that the black oxide colour permeates the material, rather than sitting on top of it as with other coating methods, means that the colour does not chip or flake. In addition, black oxide coating requires minimal to no maintenance – cleaning it with water when necessary is sufficient.
According to Kettula, the chemical blackening enhances the look of steel surfaces in unprecedented ways. “The methods used by Black Oxide Coating are unique and cannot be achieved with any other processing methods. Chemical blackening can be applied to virtually all steel surfaces. “We can handle pieces of many sizes and shapes. This allows our clients to fully focus on other parts of the design, while we take care of everything else,” he says.
Simple and sleek designs
Black Oxide Coating know that in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, steel surfaces also need to be practical. Depending on the lighting and angle, the surface changes colour, almost as if the surface was alive. “Our process brings out the characteristics of the material. The surface ages beautifully, and each coating is unique,” the CEO says.
A stunning example of the potential of black oxide coating is the design of The Barö, an archipelago hotel in Inkoo, Finland. The hotel includes black oxide coating as a focal point in its sleek and elegant interior design, on the fireplace’s steel surfaces, bar counter and kitchen backsplash, for example.
There is plenty of scope for customisation as the chemical blackening method can be used on floor-level furniture, and for finishing the surfaces of furniture frames as well as on fixed furniture. It can also be used for smaller detailing, to draw attention to or highlight something as a design feature. There are various shades, ranging from brushed, matte or natural metal for indoor and outdoor use.
“The owner of The Barö fell in love with the authenticity of the blackened steel. Simplicity is at the core of Finnish architecture, and we have found a way to accentuate this in a very understated but impressive way,” Kettula explains.
Black Oxide Coating has also made an impression on the company Climecon, which specialises in indoor air design and whose clients include high-end restaurants and hotels. Incidentally, the owner had been impressed by The Barö’s design, and enquired into who was behind it. The trail led to Black Oxide Coating, and the two companies started a collaboration. Today, all Climecon kitchen hoods and ceiling ventilation solutions are available in black.
“Because kitchen hoods have a very specific and practical purpose, they are often not seen as design features. But in our opinion, the potential for blackened kitchen hoods is high, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of open kitchens. The elegant black oxide kitchen hoods are perfect for high-end hotels and restaurants. We want to provide fresh, innovative solutions and influence the market,” Kettula concludes.
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