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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/20/2010 8:44:28 AM
Could someone either provide an explanation on, or else post a link to, a comparison between the different options that exist for refinishing (painting) a firearm?

I am so lost right now, it hurts.
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strat81
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Posted: 10/20/2010 11:58:38 AM
[Last Edit: 10/20/2010 12:01:08 PM by strat81]
IMO, the most important questions to ask yourself when picking a finish are:

1) Do I have access to an airbrush, or must I use rattle cans?

2) Do I have the ability to bake the parts? (Will my wife let me? Will my barreled action fit in my oven?)

3) Do the parts have very close clearances that may bind with thicker finishes?

4) Do I want/need a very broad color palette?



For example, if you can't bake stuff, GunKote is pretty much out (although I think they have an air-cure version now). If you don't have an airbrush, Duracoat is out. If you need 4 shades of green, 5 shades of brown, and Remchester Black, then Duracoat is probably the best choice. If it's a tightly fitted gun, a thinker finish like Aluma-Hyde II or Duracoat might be a no-go.
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Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 10/20/2010 12:15:00 PM
[Last Edit: 10/20/2010 12:22:38 PM by Aggie_Gunner]
I do and have done a lot of refinishing... I've tried most all of the various spray on finishes.

It boils down to this:

If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

If heating it isn't an option, then you'll have to settle for Duracote (chemical hardening), which is a MUCH inferior product.

- AG

Some fairly recent work (KG GunKote)... a custom built .35 Whelen off of a Weatherby Vanguard Action in Titanium Grey. I was looking for the "Ruger Alaskan" look but didn't need a .375 Ruger...


I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
Zaphod
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Posted: 10/20/2010 12:57:13 PM
[Last Edit: 10/20/2010 12:58:00 PM by Zaphod]
Originally Posted By strat81:
IMO, the most important questions to ask yourself when picking a finish are:

1) Do I have access to an airbrush, or must I use rattle cans? I have an airbrush.

2) Do I have the ability to bake the parts? (Will my wife let me? Will my barreled action fit in my oven?) Probably not. The wife, that is.

3) Do the parts have very close clearances that may bind with thicker finishes? I doubt it. What I want to paint is stocks and military-type firearms.

4) Do I want/need a very broad color palette? Somewhat. I'm not going to do the Mona Lisa, but I would like some fairly complex cammo patterns.


"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

Zaphod
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:04:22 PM
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

If heating it isn't an option, then you'll have to settle for Duracote (chemical hardening), which is a MUCH inferior product.


Okay. Got it.

Now, just for the education of the ignorant (i.e. - ME), what are you measuring when comparing? Is it toughness, ease of application, lubricity? I assume it isn't pallet availability...

Also, in your opinion are GK and DC the only options? Are these superior to Cerakote and such?

Thanks again.
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." - Robert A. Heinlein

USMCBuckWild
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:09:17 PM
How do I REMOVE Cerakote??? Got an upper with it on there and I kinda don't like it
Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:15:02 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

If heating it isn't an option, then you'll have to settle for Duracote (chemical hardening), which is a MUCH inferior product.


Okay. Got it.

Now, just for the education of the ignorant (i.e. - ME), what are you measuring when comparing? Is it toughness, ease of application, lubricity? I assume it isn't pallet availability...

Toughness. Duracote is only somewhat better than good paint. KG is very tough. Both apply similarly. Remember, light fogging passes is the trick.

Also, in your opinion are GK and DC the only options? Are these superior to Cerakote and such?

Yes. These are my two favorite by a large margin.

Thanks again.


I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:15:15 PM
Originally Posted By USMCBuckWild:
How do I REMOVE Cerakote??? Got an upper with it on there and I kinda don't like it


With a sandblaster.
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:25:31 PM
Here are the steps I commonly use.

1.) Wait until wife is out of town (oh how I miss my old refinishing shop!)

2.) Sandblast part with medium grit (120) aluminum oxide. I get mine from Northern Tools. A blast cabinet is best, so the media doesn't get everywhere and can be re-used, but a gravity fed gun in the backyard is fine. WEAR HEAVY GLOVES.

3.) With a nylon bristled brush and a bucket with some purple power in it, scrub the part to remove all sandblasting grit and grease.

4.) Wipe/ rinse part with acetone to remove any residue.

5.) preheat part with heat gun to about 100 - 120 degrees F (this helps the finish set quickly and keeps it from running)

6.) Use a good DRY, OIL FREE air supply for your airbrush or HVLP sprayer. An inline filter is a must.

7.) Use light fogging passes, less is more.

8.) Stick in the oven that is already preheated. Use a candy thermometer or similar to varify the temp.

9.) Once you take it out, set it aside and DON'T SCREW WITH IT FOR SEVERAL HOURS.


If you follow this, you'll end up with something you are proud of.

- AG
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
strat81
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Posted: 10/20/2010 1:57:59 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By strat81:
IMO, the most important questions to ask yourself when picking a finish are:

1) Do I have access to an airbrush, or must I use rattle cans? I have an airbrush.

2) Do I have the ability to bake the parts? (Will my wife let me? Will my barreled action fit in my oven?) Probably not. The wife, that is.

3) Do the parts have very close clearances that may bind with thicker finishes? I doubt it. What I want to paint is stocks and military-type firearms.

4) Do I want/need a very broad color palette? Somewhat. I'm not going to do the Mona Lisa, but I would like some fairly complex cammo patterns.




I've never messed with Cerakote. I've heard it's good, and their website talks a good story.

Airbrush + no baking + normal clearances + desire for a broad palette = Duracoat.

Almost any coating is susceptible to wear, including blueing, black oxide, parkerizing, plating, and the various paints. What paints have going for them is that they are relatively simple to repair.

Like any finish, the most important part is prep. Visit Lauer's website and read up on it. There are a bunch of threads here too, be sure to check the archives.

Some guys do some very impressive camo work, from digital to flora.
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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/20/2010 2:28:41 PM
[Last Edit: 10/20/2010 2:31:08 PM by Zaphod]
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:

7.) Use light fogging passes, less is more.

8.) Stick in the oven that is already preheated. Use a candy thermometer or similar to varify the temp.


How do you go from 7) to 8) without ruining the finish?

ETA: or does the pre-heat of the part cause the paint to dry enough to transfer from spray area to oven provided you don't finger-f**k it too much?
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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/20/2010 2:30:10 PM
Originally Posted By strat81:
Airbrush + no baking + normal clearances + desire for a broad palette = Duracoat.


Seems logical to me.

Besides, the reality is that my guns aren't going to get beaten up much. I don't get to shoot that often.
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Posted: 10/20/2010 2:48:55 PM
KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

Hey Aggie Gunner, just curious. I've used Norrell"s over parkerizing for a long time and been happy with it ( durability, and look). How much better is GunKote and why? BTW I really like the titanium grey Weatherby you did. That look is almost enough for me to buy a bottle of GK.
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Posted: 10/20/2010 3:12:29 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:

7.) Use light fogging passes, less is more.

8.) Stick in the oven that is already preheated. Use a candy thermometer or similar to varify the temp.


How do you go from 7) to 8) without ruining the finish?

ETA: or does the pre-heat of the part cause the paint to dry enough to transfer from spray area to oven provided you don't finger-f**k it too much?


Exactly... no one says it shouldn't dry completely before you put it in the oven. Let it dry, there is no reason to rush it to the oven.
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
Aggie_Gunner
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Posted: 10/20/2010 3:15:06 PM
Originally Posted By smoothy8500:
KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

Hey Aggie Gunner, just curious. I've used Norrell"s over parkerizing for a long time and been happy with it ( durability, and look). How much better is GunKote and why? BTW I really like the titanium grey Weatherby you did. That look is almost enough for me to buy a bottle of GK.


Of course this is just qualitative, but KG seems to be a thicker product that coats better, and for me, has better wear resistance.

- AG

Also, the pure Titanium grey is a little darker than what you see, I lightened it some (you can mix KG gunkote colors to get any shade you want...) It actually came out closer to their "brushed stainless" product.
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
strat81
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Posted: 10/20/2010 4:40:10 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:

7.) Use light fogging passes, less is more.

8.) Stick in the oven that is already preheated. Use a candy thermometer or similar to varify the temp.


How do you go from 7) to 8) without ruining the finish?

ETA: or does the pre-heat of the part cause the paint to dry enough to transfer from spray area to oven provided you don't finger-f**k it too much?


The parts you spray should be suspended from stainless steel wire (very cheap at Harbor Freight). Attach the part to the wire, then degrease. Do not touch the part as the oils from your hands can mar the finish.

With GunKote, I've never used a preheated oven since getting parts secured in a hot oven would result in me burning myself.

As for preheating the part and using a hair drier between coats, that helps the curing process a bit, allowing the paint to dry enough to allow you to have subsequent coats.


With Duracoat, once the part is painted, don't touch it for a few weeks. Cure time varies with climate. In a typical indoor environment, I'd give it at least two weeks, if not four, before I shot the gun.
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Posted: 10/20/2010 10:11:59 PM
Originally Posted By strat81:
With Duracoat, once the part is painted, don't touch it for a few weeks. Cure time varies with climate. In a typical indoor environment, I'd give it at least two weeks, if not four, before I shot the gun.


'scuse me? Few weeks?
Few hours, maybe. Small oven, I'm on the second color in about 30-45 minutes. DC air dries in my garage enough to hold without coming off in a matter of 20-30 minutes on a rainy day. With my small oven set on 110F and short bake times, I'm re-assembling multiple color camo jobs in 2-3hrs. No reason to wait weeks for anything except spraying it with gun scrubber or brake cleaner.
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Posted: 10/21/2010 6:04:50 PM
Originally Posted By millerized:
Originally Posted By strat81:
With Duracoat, once the part is painted, don't touch it for a few weeks. Cure time varies with climate. In a typical indoor environment, I'd give it at least two weeks, if not four, before I shot the gun.


'scuse me? Few weeks?
Few hours, maybe. Small oven, I'm on the second color in about 30-45 minutes. DC air dries in my garage enough to hold without coming off in a matter of 20-30 minutes on a rainy day. With my small oven set on 110F and short bake times, I'm re-assembling multiple color camo jobs in 2-3hrs. No reason to wait weeks for anything except spraying it with gun scrubber or brake cleaner.


Without knowing everyone's climate (temp, humidity) or how they've mixed the product, two weeks is reasonable, IMO. Also note the OP said he does not have the ability to bake.

As per Duracoat's site:
When is DuraCoat fully cured?
DuraCoat is dry to the touch in 20 minutes, can be handled in 1 hour and is ready for use overnight. Although DuraCoat will gain most of its final hardness, elasticity and chemical resistance over a 2-3 week period, time will continue to enhance DuraCoat's characteristics over a lifetime. DuraCoat, like fine wine, gets better with age. As we say, "DuraCoat wears in, not out."


Knowing how hard on equipment some people are, a longer wait time is prudent. I wouldn't trust a non-baked rifle to be ready for a carbine class overnight.

Given the investment of time and money in the refinishing process, I would not risk prematurely damaging the finish.

But then, this is why I prefer GunKote. Spray, bake, done.
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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/22/2010 11:19:43 AM
Well, I suppose there's always a chance I could find an oven to use. Aside from a kitchen oven, any options?

Regarding Duracoat: If it is applied correctly and cures crrectly, how resistant is it to all the oils and cleaning solvents normally associated with gun use?
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Posted: 10/22/2010 5:34:34 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Well, I suppose there's always a chance I could find an oven to use. Aside from a kitchen oven, any options?

Regarding Duracoat: If it is applied correctly and cures crrectly, how resistant is it to all the oils and cleaning solvents normally associated with gun use?


For small items like receivers and pistol slides, a toaster-oven can work.

For larger items, I've heard of some guys using an electric smoker (sans the smoke, of course). Others build their own out of sheet metal and heat lamps.

Duracoat is pretty durable stuff in terms of solvent resistance. Acetone, kerosene, Breakfree CLP, brake cleaner, Hoppes #9 Nitro Solvent, and Simple Green shouldn't harm a well prepped, well cured Duracoat job.
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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/24/2010 3:06:13 PM
Originally Posted By strat81:
Others build their own out of sheet metal and heat lamps.


<–––– See the gears turning?
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Posted: 10/24/2010 8:25:11 PM
Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Originally Posted By strat81:
Others build their own out of sheet metal and heat lamps.


<–––– See the gears turning?


Old metal lockers seem to fit the bill. Others use chimney material from the hardware store.

Be sure to add provision for a thermometer (meat/candy thermometer). To control heat, you can try a dimmer switch. Watch the load on your circuit(s) - you don't want to start any fires.
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Posted: 10/26/2010 3:41:00 PM
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

AG - if you don't mind can you go into a little more detail comparing KG GunKote to Cerakote? I was just getting ready to order some Cerakote and most people rave about it like you are raving about Gunkote so I'd really like to read why you prefer Gunkote?

PS - I am mostly concerned with long term durability and wear-ability?

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Posted: 10/26/2010 3:58:58 PM
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

AG - if you don't mind can you go into a little more detail comparing KG GunKote to Cerakote? I was just getting ready to order some Cerakote and most people rave about it like you are raving about Gunkote so I'd really like to read why you prefer Gunkote?

PS - I am mostly concerned with long term durability and wear-ability?



I must admit, I have the least experience with Cerakote... I know many swear by it. I've used it once in black (graphite) and it went on fine. Mostly once I "discovered" KG Gunkote, I didn't see the use in experimenting much more.

- AG
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
airgunner
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Posted: 10/26/2010 5:43:09 PM
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

AG - if you don't mind can you go into a little more detail comparing KG GunKote to Cerakote? I was just getting ready to order some Cerakote and most people rave about it like you are raving about Gunkote so I'd really like to read why you prefer Gunkote?

PS - I am mostly concerned with long term durability and wear-ability?



I must admit, I have the least experience with Cerakote... I know many swear by it. I've used it once in black (graphite) and it went on fine. Mostly once I "discovered" KG Gunkote, I didn't see the use in experimenting much more.

- AG

That's cool. Can you comment on this... I was reading the reviews on Midway re: KG Gunkote and one person mentioned that KG's "Satin" black isn't really satin but more of a gloss and suggested to get true satin, it's best to mix equal portions of KG's "Flat" and "Satin" blacks. Does that match your experience with it?
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Posted: 10/27/2010 10:24:44 AM
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
Originally Posted By airgunner:
Originally Posted By Aggie_Gunner:
If the part can stand 350 degrees for an hour and fits in the oven, then KG Gunkote is the only way to fly. Best stuff out there. Norrell's Moly Resin is a distant second.

AG - if you don't mind can you go into a little more detail comparing KG GunKote to Cerakote? I was just getting ready to order some Cerakote and most people rave about it like you are raving about Gunkote so I'd really like to read why you prefer Gunkote?

PS - I am mostly concerned with long term durability and wear-ability?



I must admit, I have the least experience with Cerakote... I know many swear by it. I've used it once in black (graphite) and it went on fine. Mostly once I "discovered" KG Gunkote, I didn't see the use in experimenting much more.

- AG

That's cool. Can you comment on this... I was reading the reviews on Midway re: KG Gunkote and one person mentioned that KG's "Satin" black isn't really satin but more of a gloss and suggested to get true satin, it's best to mix equal portions of KG's "Flat" and "Satin" blacks. Does that match your experience with it?


Well, the Satin definitely does not have the look of the flat, it is a "more shiny" finish, but I wouldn't call it gloss by any stretch. You can always hit it with some 0000 steel wool if it is too shiny.

- AG
I have a compulsion for firearms, martial arts, and explosives; other than that I'm pretty non-violent...

Smart as a horse, and hung like Einstein...
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