As there's been a lot of traffic on the Directory over the past months
regarding firearm coatings, so I thought I'd write a snippet to help
with people's questions and give the facts from my long and vast
experience in this field.
Cerakote is basically a liquid resin with powdered ceramic mixed in to
create the formulation.
Once applied and cured, it offers a very hard wearing protective
surface, which is impervious to solvents and the elements offering
excellent corrosion resistance.
As well as giving a very hard and protective coating, it can also be used to great cosmetic advantage, from just brightening up a tired old rifle to hiding a multitude of different coloured components!
Surfaces and applications are endless, if it stays put once applied
anything can be coated and in the 8 years I've been using Cerakote and
Duracoat I've coated more projects than I can remember.
Experience has given me a very good understanding of what is required, what can be achieved and how surfaces are best prepared prior to coating, it really is child's play so don't panic if it goes wrong!
That said though, it does get a little more complicated when multiple
colours are used! As well as the requirement for some raw artistic
talent, the blending of edges and combining of colours is something
which can take an awful lot of practice to perfect.
Air cure or oven cure:
There is basically nothing between the two types but versatility and
The C series is an air cure coating, no oven required, with no two part
mixing required. Basically shake well, apply to your surface, allow to
cure overnight and you're good to go.
I've used the high temp C series on many items including Drag racing
exhaust pipes to very good effect!
The H series is a two part product and requires hardener to be mixed
with the ceramic carrier, then apply to your chosen surface, which must
be able to withstand a temp of around 190'...Don't put it next to the
Lasagne, bad idea!
Curing times, as I say, C series, I've handled work pieces after 12
hours but I'd always recommend 24 hours.
H series, a good hour at 190' some items may need longer but not
Preparation of the surface:
Now this is dependent on the type of surface to be coated. Beware, a
lot of plastics are easily attacked by solvents or degreasers, so be
careful what you choose.
I now make my own degreaser from several different products to
accommodate all surfaces. Its not always necessary to soak items in a
degreasing tank, this can sometimes cause issues leading to coating
As long as the surface is free from oil, grease and gunge, there's no
more needed except make sure you have clean hands.
Is it always necessary to grit blast??? No, it isn't always necessary,
a good grade of 320 grit ally oxide paper to scuff your workpiece is
sometimes enough...remember, these coatings were designed with the hobbyist in mind as well as a professional, not everyone has a grit blasting cabinet in the garage!
However, grit blasting can help remove crap from a heavily soiled
surface which is why ally oxide is used because it can be cleaned and
recycled. When ally oxide isn't available kiln dried sand is a good
second...the kids sand pit isn't an option!
Masking off areas can be critical, I always check and double check what
I do, it saves the heart rate once it's cured and bits don't fit anymore. Oops!
It's never necessary to remove barrels from actions, the difference in
coating thickness against the barrel face could actually alter your
headspace anyway! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise either, it's just another cost anyway.
Coating action raceways is ok providing you don't go over the top, if it's a tight action perhaps ask it to be masked off but don't forget it will wear in and as it does you need to clean the action and lightly
Same goes for scope rings and bolts but it needs to be applied
carefully and the inside of the rings lapped slightly after to prevent
marking the scope tube...The ceramic goes hard after curing and can abrade the scope surface.
As will all surface coating nothing is totally wear resistant. If you
knock the surface hard enough it will mark or shift it. It's only a
coating after all, however with care it lasts a very long time.
Toxicity, all coating products from liquid to atomised spray vapour
are poisonous. Once dry and cured there are no issues.
Costing for coating work:
Well to be fair it's mostly time, and it takes me 30-40 actual time to prep and coat a barrel and action start to finish. The coating does cost a bit, but it goes a long way!
Barrel, action, bottom metal and bolt knob, easily worth £85, throw the mod in at the same time £100. Plus postage.
Stocks depending on prep work £85-£100. Wooden stocks can be done in the same way.
Mags £15 multiples cheaper.
Mag and bottom metal £30
Standard rail £15
Scopes from £50. There is a bit of work that goes into this.
Knives £10 (Swords, machetes etc excluded. )
Cats/dogs/wife and kids POA
Camo patterns or Tacticool camo patterns can easily be achieved, no dark art in any of it.
There is a clearcoat that can be applied if you don't fancy a colour. Again this the same as any other colour but clear.
Good for Guns on the shoreline, pigeon shooting etc. I have to say though you can't beat the personal touch of a selected colour.
Might as well add...
Threading jobs done to a high standard. £40, £50 with re crown, £75 for shortening, threading and crowning including postage.
Barrel jobs, using Excellent Bergara barrels, £550 all in plus postage.
Small jobs that really don't take long, I ask for HFH donations.
All I can add is please ask if you think I've missed anything.
I hope this is a bit of helpful info.
I SHALL BE ATTENDING KELSO THIS YEAR