To apply cerakote, prepare the surface, select the right equipment, mix the coating, and apply it evenly. Cerakote is a high-quality, durable firearm coating that offers protection against abrasion, corrosion, and wear.
To apply this coating, you need to follow a step-by-step process that involves surface preparation, equipment selection, coating mixing, and application. By following these steps correctly, you can achieve a flawless finish that lasts a long time. In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying cerakote to your firearms.
We will cover everything from the necessary equipment and supplies to the preparation steps and application techniques. Whether you are a seasoned gun enthusiast or a beginner, this guide will help you achieve a professional-looking finish.
What Is Cerakote And How Does It Work?
Brief Introduction To Cerakote And Its Benefits
If you’re keen on firearms, then you’re likely to have heard of cerakote. Cerakote is a thin-film ceramic coating that can be applied to any metal or even certain types of plastic and polymer surfaces to provide a protective coating against abrasion, impact, and corrosion.
Here are some of the benefits of cerakote:
- Enhanced durability and wear resistance
- Improved corrosion resistance even in salty environments
- Enhanced overall appearance
- Can withstand high temperatures
- Non-reflective finish for customization and camouflage
- Available in an enormous range of colours and patterns
An Explanation Of How Cerakote Works
Cerakote is a highly specialised coating that has been developed over several years for use in high-stress environments such as firearms and other heavy machinery. The ceramic coating is applied via a high-volume, low-pressure spray gun, creating a very thin layer of the coating which is only microns thick.
This thin layer is cured at elevated temperatures, creating a cross-linked matrix of the ceramic particles that provide incredible durability to the coated surface.
Cerakote has unique properties that make it stand out from other coatings. Here are some of the key factors that contribute to its success:
- Ceramic particles bonded together through a proprietary chemical process provide the coating’s durability.
- Unlike traditional coatings, cerakote has self-lubrication properties, which enhances the coating’s ability to withstand friction and abrasion.
- Cerakote’s advanced level of adhesion ensures the coating can remain bonded to the metal surface even when exposed to harsh conditions.
- The ceramic particles in the coating significantly reduce the amount of heat conducted through the material, making it highly heat resistant.
Overall, cerakote is an impressive and innovative coating technology that provides significant benefits to the industry. It has become a popular choice for applications that require high durability, protective, and aesthetic characteristics such as firearms, automotive, and aviation industries.
Understanding The Different Types Of Cerakote Finishes
It’s important to understand the different types of cerakote finishes before you begin the application process. Each finish has unique properties and purposes, and knowing which one to use in a particular situation will help you achieve the best results.
In this section, we’ll cover the five main types of cerakote finishes: matte, gloss, metallic, tactical series, and high temperature coatings, using h3 headings (###) for each of them.
Matte finishes are perfect for those who want a subtle, anti-glare appearance. These finishes provide a smooth, non-reflective appearance with a low sheen. Here are some of the key points to know about matte finishes:
- The matte finish is ideal for tactical and design purposes.
- Matte finishes can have a clear appearance or come in a range of colors.
- You can apply the matte finish to most materials.
- Even though it doesn’t have a high gloss look, the matte finish provides effective protection for your surfaces.
Gloss finishes give surfaces an aesthetically appealing, high gloss appearance. They reflect light, adding depth and dimension to your surfaces. Here’s what you need to know about gloss finishes:
- The gloss finish is ideal for decorative purposes and lifestyle products.
- Gloss finishes are available in a wide range of colors and are ideal for adding rich colors to surfaces.
- Glossy finishes add a hard, thick layer over the surface that offers premium protection against wear and tear, scratches, and weathering.
Cerakote’s metallic finish provides a unique, metallic look that adds depth and texture to surfaces. It’s ideal for those who want a more interesting, industrial, and textured finish. Here are some of the key points to note about metallic finishes:
- The metallic finish is perfect for items that require robustness, such as guns.
- It can come in various textures and colors, including gun-metal, bronze, and chrome.
- This type of finish adds extra durability and strength to your surfaces, giving you an additional layer of protection.
The tactical series is the most high-performance series of cerakote finishes and provides superior performance in harsh environments and under tough conditions. It’s ideal for firearms, knives, and other tools that require robustness. Here are some key points about the tactical series:
- The tactical series is designed for extremely challenging environments, such as military applications or extreme sports activities.
- It’s available in various colors, textures, and patterns, providing many customization options.
- The tactical series offers excellent wear resistance and protects your equipment from moisture, chemicals, and debris.
High Temperature Coatings
High-temperature coatings are ideal for surfaces that come into contact with high temperatures, such as exhaust manifolds, headers, and other similar parts. These coatings can withstand temperatures up to 1800°f and are incredibly durable. Here’s what you need to know about high-temperature coatings:
- High-temperature coatings provide excellent protection against abrasion, corrosion, and oxidation.
- This coating is perfect for use in harsh environments, such as industrial applications and race cars.
- High-temperature coatings are available in many colors, including metallic shades.
Understanding the different types of cerakote finishes is crucial to achieving the best results when applying it. From matte to glossy and metallic to tactical series, each finish has unique properties and uses, and knowing which one to use in each situation is vital.
Preparing The Surface For Cerakote Application
Importance Of Surface Preparation
Before applying cerakote, it’s essential to prepare the surface of the item you will be coating. Doing so ensures that the coating will bond correctly, and the finish lasts as long as possible.
Here are the most critical reasons why surface preparation is crucial before applying cerakote:
- The coating won’t adhere correctly to surfaces that aren’t clean and free of contaminants.
- Surface preparation helps to remove dirt, oil, rust, and other debris that could impair the coating’s adhesion and durability.
- Cerakote is often used on firearms and other weapons where corrosion resistance is essential. Surface preparation can help protect these items from damage caused by exposure to moisture and other elements.
Steps To Prepare The Surface
To prepare the surface correctly, follow these simple steps:
- Disassemble the item you will be coating. This step will allow you to reach all surfaces easily. Disassembling will ensure even coating and maximum durability.
- Clean the item thoroughly. Use a degreaser or another cleaning solution to remove all debris, oils, and contaminants. Scrub the surface with a brush if necessary to remove any stubborn dirt or debris.
- Dry the item completely. Use a clean, lint-free cloth to remove any excess moisture. Make sure the item is completely dry before proceeding.
- Sandblast the surface or apply an abrasive material. This step is not always necessary, but it can help ensure that the surface is entirely free of contaminants and debris. Sandblasting creates a rough surface texture, which makes it easier for the cerakote to bond.
- Mask any surfaces that you don’t want to coat. Use high-temperature tape to cover any area that should not be coated, such as threads, optics lenses, or delicate surfaces.
Congratulations! You prepared the surface for cerakote application successfully. In the next section, we will discuss the steps to apply cerakote.
Are you ready to take your firearm customization to the next level? Cerakote is a highly durable ceramic-based coating that protects your firearm’s surface from scratches, corrosion, and even heat. Applying cerakote is an art itself, and it requires the right equipment, skills, and materials to create a smooth, even, and long-lasting finish.
We’ll delve into the key elements of applying cerakote, from choosing the right equipment to pro tips for spraying.
Choosing The Right Equipment
Applying cerakote requires special equipment that can handle the viscosity, texture, and chemical composition of the coating. Here are the essential items you’ll need:
- Airbrush: A professional-grade airbrush is the most important tool for applying cerakote. Choose a gravity-fed, double-action airbrush that can handle various nozzle sizes and air pressure levels.
- Air compressor: A high-quality air compressor with an air tank, a moisture filter, and a pressure regulator is necessary to achieve a consistent and smooth flow of cerakote.
- Spray booth: A well-ventilated and enclosed spray booth is essential to prevent overspray, contamination, and health hazards. Invest in a portable spray booth that can fit your workspace and has proper ventilation and lighting.
- Cleaning supplies: Before applying cerakote, you should clean and degrease your firearm thoroughly. Use a gun cleaning kit, a parts brush, and acetone or brake cleaner to remove all surface dirt, oil, and residue.
- Personal protection gear: Applying cerakote exposes you to hazardous fumes and particles. Wear a respirator, gloves, goggles, and a protective suit to avoid skin, eye, and lung irritation.
Tips For Spraying Cerakote
Now that you have the right equipment let’s move on to the most critical part – spraying the cerakote flawlessly. Here are some pro tips for spraying:
- Mix the cerakote well: Before pouring the cerakote into the airbrush, you should mix it thoroughly using a paint shaker or stir stick. This ensures that the pigment and the ceramic particles are well-distributed, and the coating is consistent.
- Use the correct air pressure: The recommended pressure for spraying cerakote is 25-30 psi. Adjust the air pressure to find the sweet spot that suits your airbrush and the effects you want to achieve.
- Apply multiple thin coats: Applying a single thick coat of cerakote may result in drips, orange peel texture and bubbles. Instead, apply multiple thin coats with a 10-15 minutes interval between each coat. Hold the airbrush 6-8 inches away from the surface and move it in circular motions for even coverage.
- Curing and baking: After applying the final coat, let the firearm dry for one hour, then cure it in a heating source such as a toaster oven, a kiln, or cerakote curing oven. The recommended temperature is 250-300 degrees fahrenheit, and the time ranges from 2 to 4 hours depending on the type of cerakote.
Applying cerakote may look daunting at first, but with the right equipment and these pro tips, you can achieve an impressive finish that will protect your firearm from any elements. Happy spraying!
Understanding The Curing Process
When applying cerakote, understanding the curing process is essential. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Curing is the process of hardening the cerakote coating.
- Curing time and temperature depend on the type of cerakote being used.
- The curing process determines the durability and longevity of the coating.
Heat Cure Vs. Air Cure
There are two types of curing methods for cerakote: heat cure and air cure. Here are the key points to keep in mind:
- Heat curing requires a temperature-controlled oven to cure the cerakote coating.
- This method produces a more durable finish, as it allows the coating to fully cure.
- Heat curing is recommended for high-wear items such as firearms.
- Air curing does not require an oven and involves allowing the coating to dry for a set amount of time at room temperature.
- This method is less expensive and easier to do at home.
- Air curing produces a less durable finish, and the coating may not be fully cured.
Tips For Proper Curing
To ensure proper curing of your cerakote coating, keep in mind the following tips:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing time and temperature.
- Allow the coating to cool down to room temperature before handling.
- Avoid exposing the coating to moisture or solvents during the curing process, as this may negatively affect the finish.
- Use a curing oven or heat lamp to ensure heat cure cerakote is fully cured.
- Allow air cure cerakote to dry for the recommended time before handling or using the item.
By following these tips, you can ensure your cerakote coating has the best possible durability and longevity.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Cerakote is a ceramic-based coating that is used to protect firearms, knives, automotive parts, and other metal objects. Applying cerakote requires a bit of skill and practice. However, even with adequate preparation, issues can still occur. In this section, we will discuss some common problems encountered during cerakote application and provide possible solutions.
Common Issues Encountered During Cerakote Application
Sometimes, despite careful preparation and attention to detail, issues can still arise during cerakote application. Here are some of the most common issues:
- Runs: This happens when an excess amount of coating is applied, causing the liquid to drip down the surface and accumulate in clumps. It can be caused by applying too much pressure on the spray gun or holding the nozzle too close.
- Sags: This occurs when the coating fails to adhere properly to the surface and forms a bulge or lump that appears to hang or sag. It can be caused by excessive thickness or improperly cured coating.
- Orange peel: This happens when the coating appears to have a bumpy or rough appearance resembling the skin of an orange. It can be caused by using a low-quality spray gun, improper adjustment of the spray gun, or incorrect air pressure.
Solutions For Issues Like Runs, Sags, And Orange Peel
Here are some possible solutions to the above-mentioned issues:
- Runs: Allow the excess coating to dry and then use sandpaper to quickly sand down the drips before they solidify. Apply lighter coats in the future and avoid holding the nozzle too close.
- Sags: In the case of sags, it’s best to sand down the raised area with sandpaper and reapply the coat. Ensure that the previous coat is dry before applying a new one. Always ensure that your coating is properly cured before handling the object that was coated.
- Orange peel: If the orange peel effect occurs, sand down the surface. Change the air pressure setting to the recommended level and adjust the nozzle accordingly. When spraying the new coat, ensure you keep the nozzle roughly 6-8 inches from the surface.
Applying cerakote requires practice and attention to detail. When encountering issues, it’s important to follow the above troubleshooting tips and be patient. Familiarizing yourself with these common issues and their solutions will help you produce a better finish.
Applying cerakote to firearms or any other metal objects is not an easy task. It requires precision, skill, and attention to detail. In the previous section, we discussed the essential steps involved in the cerakote application process, from surface preparation to spraying the coating.
In this final section, we will summarize the key points and offer some tips for achieving a professional-looking finish that will make your next cerakote project stand out.
Recap Of Cerakote Application Steps And Tips
Here’s what you need to remember about the cerakote application process:
- Surface preparation is critical. The metal object needs to be completely degreased, cleaned, and blasted with abrasive media to create a ‘tooth’ for the coating to adhere to.
- The mixing ratio of hardener, ceramic powder, and color tints should be precise as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The ideal temperature and humidity range for spraying cerakote is 60-90°f and 10-60% humidity.
- Coat the surface evenly, keeping the spraying distance and angle in mind, and let it dry for several hours or overnight before baking it.
- Bake the coated object in a curing oven at the recommended temperature and time to ensure durability and adhesion.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Use a good quality spray gun and nozzle for even and precise coverage.
- Protect yourself by wearing protective gear, including gloves, mask, and goggles.
- Consider using stencils and masking tape for creating patterns and designs.
- Practice spraying on scrap metal or old firearms to perfect your technique before tackling your main project.
By following these steps and tips, you will be able to achieve a professional-looking cerakote finish that will last a long time.
Final Thoughts On Achieving A Professional-Looking Cerakote Finish
Cerakote application is a fun and rewarding process that can turn your old, worn-out firearms or metal objects into something new and unique. However, achieving a professional-looking finish requires a lot of patience, practice, and attention to detail. Here are some final things to keep in mind:
- Take your time. Rushing the application process may result in a sloppy and uneven coating.
- Be organized and have everything you need within easy reach.
- Avoid touching the surface once you begin spraying, as this can leave fingerprints and ruin the finish.
- Store your cerakote in a cool and dry place to prevent any contamination.
- And most importantly, enjoy the process and have fun experimenting with different colors, patterns, and designs.
With these tips and tricks, coupled with the knowledge of the cerakote application process, you will be able to confidently undertake your next cerakote project. Happy spraying!
How To Apply Cerakote: Additional Resources
Now that you have learned the basics of applying cerakote, there are a few more places to explore for comprehensive information on the topic. Here are some additional resources to help you gain a deeper understanding of cerakote application.
List Of Additional Resources For More Information On Cerakote Application:
- Cerakote official website: The official cerakote website is a gold mine of information and resources. You can find detailed instructions and videos about every aspect of cerakote application. Additionally, the website offers a community section where you can join and connect with experienced cerakote applicators.
- Cerakote university: Cerakote university is a comprehensive program that teaches you everything you need to know about cerakote application. The program offers hands-on training, video tutorials, and certification courses for individuals and businesses interested in learning about cerakote.
- Youtube: Youtube has a vast number of videos that can assist you in understanding how to apply cerakote. You can find videos that focus on specific features of cerakote application, providing you with a visual learning experience.
- Cerakote fanatics facebook group: The cerakote fanatics group is a facebook community page where individuals can share their cerakote projects, ask and answer questions about cerakote’s application, and engage with other individuals who are passionate about cerakote.
- Reddit: On reddit, you can find a community, cerakote subreddit. Here, you can explore and discuss cerakote and its application in great detail.
Gaining knowledge about cerakote application from these resources will give you extensive insights to help you apply cerakote with confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Apply Cerakote
What Is Cerakote And Why Is It Used For Firearms?
Cerakote is a type of ceramic coating applied to firearms, knives, and other metal objects to enhance their durability, corrosion resistance, and aesthetics. This coating is much stronger than traditional paint finishes, making it ideal for gun owners who want to protect their investments.
How Do You Prepare A Firearm For Cerakote Application?
Before applying cerakote to your firearm, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly. This involves thoroughly cleaning the gun, removing any rust, scratches, or other imperfections, and degreasing the metal. You can use an oven or heat gun to ensure that the firearm is completely dry and free of moisture.
What Tools Are Needed To Apply Cerakote?
To apply cerakote, you will need specialized equipment, including a compressed air sprayer, air compressor, and a spray gun. You’ll also need some basic supplies, such as masking tape, cleaning solvents, and sandpaper.
Can Cerakote Be Applied To Any Type Of Firearm Or Metal Object?
Cerakote can be applied to any type of metal object, including firearms, knives, and tools. The coating is versatile and can be customized according to your preferences. Whether you want a matte finish or something that shines, there’s a cerakote option that will suit your needs.
Is It Possible To Apply Cerakote On Your Own, Or Should You Hire A Professional?
While it’s possible to apply cerakote on your own, it’s generally recommended that you hire a professional to do the job. Applying cerakote requires specialized equipment and a high level of skill, and mistakes can be costly and time-consuming to fix.
A professional will ensure that the coating is applied correctly and that your firearm looks and performs its best.
Applying cerakote is a complex process that requires patience, attention to detail, and expertise. However, with the right tools, techniques, and knowledge, it can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. Whether you are a professional gunsmith or a hobbyist, the tips and tricks shared in this blog will help you achieve a flawless and durable cerakote finish.
Remember to always start with proper prep work, choose the right product for the job, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and practice good safety habits. By applying these guidelines, you can enhance the appearance, performance, and longevity of your firearms, knives, tools, and other metal objects.