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Hi, the rust method is my favourite too as you get a better penatrarion and as you say leaves a hint of grain showing. If you need a total dense black try an old 78 record, the really brittle ones that smash to smithereens when dropped and dissolve well in some cellulose thinners before applying. prone to chipping but gives a nice old antique look if the distressed finish is preferred. I favour gun stock oil for the former finish but I understand it is banned in the states?