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I was born in 1936 and my mother bought a small aluminum ( 6.5 inches in diameter ) cauldre, thus it is my own age, 75 years old. It had a beautifull black patina on the outside and to make a long story short, somebody in my family found it and removed all this patina and painted some ridicolous flowers on it. To do this the patina was removed ( maybe with sandpaper ). Now this item is again in my posesion and I removed the ridicolous flowers and now the small cauldre is shining aluminum color. I would like to ADD a black patina on it, on the OUTSIDE. All the information there is on the Internet is about seasoning the metal on the inside. Does somebody know how to do this ?

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Can you describe the patina, and what type of stove it had been used on? I ask, because I suspect that it's deposits from the fuel used (gas or wood). If that's the case, it'll lessen as it goes up the sides. It's most pronounced when the flames really lick the sides of the pot. – Joe Oct 26 '11 at 2:35
It may have also been a heavy layer of Aluminum Oxide, which would naturally form over time. Though in that case, it would be a very dark gray, rather than black. – baka Nov 2 '11 at 14:15

this is just my guess, but i would think that seasoning on the outside would be the same... like illustrated here at the Black Iron blog:

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Flax seed oil is your best choice, and your cheap good choice is soybean oil. Olive is a terrible choice (lower iodine index than soy, much more expensive).… and (for alternate, cheaper oils) see the links in the comments. FYI, Cooks Illustrated tested that method and found their cast iron immune to commercial dishwasher(!) – derobert Oct 25 '11 at 20:19

Most aluminum cookware today that is dark colored has been hard coat anodized. This provides a somewhat non-stick and protective surface. While the pot you refer to was quite old, it's still possible that it had an anodize coating on the outside. If true, then it will be difficult (expensive) to put back.

Old aluminum cookware I have from that same time period is just the basic silverish color further indicating to me that this is not some seasoning process that happened naturally.

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