How to Color Titanium

This simple guide describes how to anodize titanium. Colorize sheets of titanium to create permanent, metal artwork. Titanium is valued for its weather resistance and durability, but it is also valued by artists for its beauty and colors when oxidized. All it takes is a thin, transparent layer of oxide to create color on the surface. This process of wave interference occurs when light reflecting off of the coating collides with light reflected off of the titanium surface.


  1. Image titled Color Titanium Step 1
    Coat the titanium in phosphoric acid (cola will do). This is easily done by filling a paint roller's pan (or a shallow tub) with cola, then dipping the titanium into the pan.
  2. Image titled Color Titanium Step 2
    Attach a wire to the titanium with a clip, then attach a battery (or multiple batteries) to the wire.
  3. Image titled Color Titanium Step 3
    Attach another wire to the paint brush, then attach the same batteries to this wire. It does not matter if the batteries' positive or negative terminals is attached to the titanium or brush, as long as current flows in one direction.
  4. Image titled Color Titanium Step 4
    Fill a jar with cola, then dip the paint brush to coat it in cola.
  5. Image titled Color Titanium Step 5
    Experiment with various voltages to achieve different colors:


  • As an alternative, use a tinfoil to distribute current through a paper towel to act as a template you can affix to the titanium.
  • Multiple colors can be achieved with varying voltages, including, browns, blues, yellows, reds, purples, and greens. Greater amperage decreases the amount of time it takes to anodize.
  • Anodizing works well on stable metals such as Titanium and Aluminum Try your hand at anodizing aluminum as well as other stable metals.
  • Titanium is far too stable to rust, which offers a good window of time in which to create your artwork.
  • Diet colas are a little easier to work with since they do not contain natural forms of sugar.


  • The colors are permanent and will not fade in sunlight or other weather.
  • Do not leave the positive terminal of your batteries connected to the titanium or brush for extended periods of time, as this will very slowly drain the battery.
  • Voltages as low as 30 V can kill. Use rubber gloves and lots of caution.

Things You'll Need

  • Titanium in any form. Titanium sheets cost approximately $33 US a square foot.
  • Paint brush with metal bristles.
  • Numerous 9 volt batteries, or an AC to DC adapter.
  • Wire or clips to connect batteries to the brush.

Article Info

Categories: Metalwork and Wire Projects