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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/19/2005 10:53:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 1:55:21 PM EDT by enforcer22]
I've been getting a lot of email reguarding do it your self refinishing. So I thought I'd post a step by step how to. (this is the way I do it, I'm sure there are other ways that will get the same result).

Equipment needed: You will need an airbrush or gravity feed spray gun. You can use the Preval disposable kind but they do not have steady air pressure are not adjustable (for air pressure or paint volume). DuraCoat, DuraCoat hardner, DuraCoat reducer, tape, basic hand tools (for disassembly), an oven (not required but recommended).

1. Disassemble & Inspect. Completely disassemble the firearm (any oil or grease around pins or other things that leeches out will cause the finish not to adhear properly). Also I know this sounds like common sense but don't refinish something that is almost worn out (ie; barrel) or broken (ie; stock, optics mounts, etc).

2. Degrease parts to be refinished. Attention to detail is a must. I recommend ACN, NST, TruStrip, Acetone, or Laquer Thinner for clean up. Be careful using harsh chemicals on plastic & rubber, try it on them in a nonvisible area first.

3. Media blasting. I blast parts to be refinished using 60 to 120 grit aluminum oxide @ 40 - 60 psi. Just to rough them up a little, it helps give the coating bond to the surface better. Most brake shops & spray on truck bed liner shops have media blasters. If you dont want to blast the parts atleaste use some fine steel wool on them. Then re-clean all parts. From now on wear rubber or latex gloves when handling any parts to be refinished. I know it sounds anal but your hands have oil on them.

4. Prep items. Mask or plug any place you dont want the coating to go. Make sure the tape is down good around the edges. I use 3m plastic tape, any auto parts store that carriers paint supplies will have it. Shake the piss out of the color. It settles and needs to be vigorously shaken for for 3 to 4 min after the ball inside begins to rattle. Mix your DuraCoat @ 1:12 ratio hardner to color. (a good rule of thumb for mixing is 3 tablespoons of DuraCoat to 1/2 teaspoon of hardner). Depending on humidity you may need to add reducer only up to 20% by volume is recommended. Test spray a scrap of something if the coating isn't coming out even, spitting out large drops, or if its cloudy on the surface it needs reducer or psi increased.

5. Refinishing items. Hang items ups and spray using even passes slowly building up a layer of the coating (Lauer recommends keeping the spray gun approx 1" to 6" from items being coated). I use a gravity feed spray gun, 45 to 50 psi and about 8" distance from items. Be careful not to get it too thick use the minimum to cover parts. Keep it as thin as possible but still cover completely (approx 1 ml is optimum). If your doing a single color skip down to #7. If your applying coatings to Flexible items (4 rail grip panels, ergo grips, etc) add DuraCoat Flex additive up to 10% by volume.
Tip: when you think your done with a color reduce your PSI, put gun about 12" to 18" from item, and let it spit a fine mist on items not heavy just a quick squirt. It will give it a textured appearance and looks real good for camo jobs.

6. Camouflage patterns Once you get the base coat on allow a minimum of 20 mins for coating to dry enough to handle. (You dont have to do this next step but IMO it helps.) Put metal parts in oven @ 150 degrees for 45 min If there are plastic parts only heat oven 110 degrees bake for 1 hr. This allows the base coat to cure a little better. Allow to cool. Randomly put on camo template. Spray second color of coating following the same steps as before. Allow to dry. I DO NOT put parts in oven with the templates on. If your doing three or 4 colors repeat steps until all colors are applied. At first the coating is very soft and easy to scratch. I let it sit 24 hrs then carefully remove template. Use mineral spirts & a soft cloth to clean any residue from the tape off. Then force cure or allow to cure on its own.

7. Curing. Baking is not required for DuraCoat to cure but it will speed up the process and I highly recommend it. There is a smell when you bake the items. I would recommend you do it when no one else is home to avoid unwanted distractions. I place metal parts in oven @ 150 for 45 min. If you are baking plastic parts like flip open scope caps or sensative things like optics only heat oven to 110 degrees. Most items will tolerate the lower tempature. Let cool and your done. DuraCoat will take approx 3 to 4 weeks to fully cure.

For refinishing with Moly resin the steps are pretty much the same. Moly Resin MUST be baked to cure. Curing is done by baking @ 300 degrees for 1 hr. DO NOT use Moly Resin on synthetic stocks, plastic or rubber. They WILL NOT tolerate the higher temp needed for cuirng. Depending on desired results preheating of parts is required.

Good luck with your refinish & post a pic when its done. I'm more than happy to answer any questions if you run into any problems or have concerns. My contact info is on my web site or you can email me through this site.

Here are a couple of samples of completed work:


Edited to include photos.
Link Posted: 6/20/2005 1:11:54 PM EDT
Good info, I recently purchased 4 colors of Molyresin and plan on doing some sort of camoflauge pattern after I have some time to practice with my airbrush. Is there a certain order I should apply the colors based on how dark they are?. I would guess the lightest color goes on first.
Link Posted: 6/20/2005 2:05:27 PM EDT
Spray lighter colors first. But I always spray what ever I want to be the primary color to be last.

Link Posted: 6/20/2005 2:54:34 PM EDT
Nice write up, I would add a few things.

Norrells can certainly be applied to plastics, I do it all the time. Reduce the heat if you are worried (and extend the time), but I cure plastics that have been coated on a regular basis. Its also worth adding that most ovens do not have a correct temperature, and a cheap oven thermometer is worth it.

Regarding blasting, don't blast parkerized surfaces, they are the perfect substrate for your coating. There is also little use in blasting receivers, unless you have something special that you need to address.

This entire weapon (plastic and metal parts) was coated with Norrells last year, and has been holding up well.

Link Posted: 6/21/2005 7:28:22 PM EDT

First, I have to tell you that is one sweet looking rifle! The way you mixed the green and black parts, really looks good.

Good point about the oven. I use a couple of oven's that I hand made and they have a thermometer built in.

Your right about parkerized surfaces, they are an excellent base for Moly or DuraCoat. I still blast them lightly (not enough to take the coating off) unless they are in perfect condition. A lot of the firearms I refinish have seen some use (to be as polite as possible) and a light blasting will smooth out minor scratches and imperfections in the surface.

What temp do you run for collapsable stocks, handguards, and synthetic rifle stocks? Is it below 275 degrees? If so what temp and how long? I contacted John Norrell yesterday about reducing temps and increasing bake time. I really like Moly & would love to be able to use it on optics and such. His response was pretty cut and dried "do not attempt cure at temps below 275 degrees". Thats way to hot for optics, rubber 4 rail handguard protectors, ergo grips, recoil pads on the back of stocks, etc. He also warned me about plastic parts that are attached to metal parts (like FN carry handles). Brother if your getting good results using your method then drive on, airborne. But our SOP for curing Moly Resin will not change. I sorry but I can't disreguard application advice from one of the leading experts for the use of this product on firearms & firearms accessories.

Take care and good shooting.

Link Posted: 6/21/2005 8:33:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/21/2005 8:36:17 PM EDT by Stickman]
His website used to talk about curing plastics and other soft items for 90 minutes at 250. If he told you something different, I don't blame you one bit for not trying it, especially on a customers weapon. I notice his website only talks about touching up existing MolyResin at 250-300 degrees. I wish I knew why he altered the time/ temp....

If you get the chance, and you are bored, take a handguard and spray it. Cure it for 90 @250 and see what happens. The best way to check for a proper cure is by using acetone or similar product and rubbing the cured finish (I know you already know that, but it might help other people). If it starts to come off, it isn't cured. Its worth trying out just for a "gee whiz" factor if you work with the stuff on a regular basis.

I've also heard people talk of curing @ 200 degrees for 2 hours, but I've never bothered to try, so I can't give you an honest answer with that trick.

PS- Great writeup, I wish we had a section for refinishing here!

Link Posted: 6/21/2005 9:12:18 PM EDT
certainly would be a sticky candidate...
Link Posted: 7/9/2005 10:22:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/10/2005 1:06:18 AM EDT
Question about disassembly. I can see taking apart something like a 1911, or striping out a AR lower. But for those of us that don't have all the tools, is it really nessesary to disassmble or remove the barrel from an upper? Provided it can be degreased properly. Is it advisable to remove the dust cover? Forward assist? Or can they be left in place too.
Link Posted: 7/10/2005 7:26:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Question about disassembly. I can see taking apart something like a 1911, or striping out a AR lower. But for those of us that don't have all the tools, is it really nessesary to disassmble or remove the barrel from an upper? Provided it can be degreased properly. Is it advisable to remove the dust cover? Forward assist? Or can they be left in place too.

There is no need to remove the barrel. Both the forward assist and dustcover can be left in place, but remember to spray and cover all sides so it blends together.
Link Posted: 7/10/2005 9:31:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By smokycity:
Question about disassembly. I can see taking apart something like a 1911, or striping out a AR lower. But for those of us that don't have all the tools, is it really nessesary to disassmble or remove the barrel from an upper? Provided it can be degreased properly. Is it advisable to remove the dust cover? Forward assist? Or can they be left in place too.

No, taking off the barrel isnt required but it is recommended. When AR's are assembed there is usually grease where the barrel and receiver come togeather. If you bake the upper to cure there is a chance the grease will bleed out and cause the finish not to properly adhear there (bubbling, flaking, etc). I remove the dust covers & forward assist for cleaning then replace them prior to applying the coating.

Remember I do this professionally and want to leave zero margin for error. I am very anal about the preperation & application of the finishes I apply. I have never had a complaint or return of an item I have refinished. The point I'm trying to make is that any place grease and oil can hide needs to be cleaned. Especially if your using a coating that requires high temps for curing. In my expierence (murphy's law) is always up front in my mind, in this case "if it can bleed out oil or grease it will".

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 11:29:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 3:52:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 4:45:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 5:01:23 PM EDT by FLRich]
Just finished welding up an Oven so I can do full actions in KG or Norells. Any suggestions for the heat would be appreciated. I am going to leave the bottom open for now while I run tests. I have a Crab Boil Burner that should do the job, I have seen one fellow use a propane heater (bolt on fixture on the tank available at Harbor Freight) and I am also thinking that tearing up my old BBQ for the manafold, burner, and regulator/hose will also be an option. Tomorrow I will pick up a couple of hinges at Home Depot to weld on the front door along with 2 magnets and drill the hole for the SS Thermometer.

Molly Coating Oven

Next step will be to cut a hole in the side of the blast cabinet so I can work on barreled actions. The cabinet is big enough to do 1/2 of a long arm at a time. With the price of sheet metal (OUCH!!)
I would be better of cutting off one end and welding up two of them side by side if I really wanted to, I had thought about welding up my own for the correct size to do rifles.
I guess if I cut a door out and place a hinge and hasp on it I should be able to keep it sealed most of the time and when I do a rifle I can close it up with rags around the barrel.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 4:53:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 7:16:09 PM EDT
Great post.

I know stickman's how to is now posted one or two places. This one has some really good information too.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:58:40 PM EDT
tag for the future
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:16:32 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:29:29 PM EDT
I really would like to go electric instead of fighting the wife for propane every time she runs out!<grin>
How have you set up the electric element? I have replaced them from time to time in ovens and I know they can be bought for $20-$40 depending on the size. The other necessary item would be the temperature control, don't know how expensive that would be since I have never bought one. Don't know what to go looking for either, I guess I can be a pest and walk into service america and ask them for a 117v Temperature contol and look to see all of their heating elements for one that would fit.

Don't want to make an expensive mistake so that is why I am apprehensive, but I am ready. I finished welding today and all I need to do is put the casters on the bottom and the source of heat. I can place a regular stovetop burner on the bottom (15"sq) or mount an long element along the side (45"x15"). The long element would be good for even heat but I am afraid of TOO MUCH TOO CLOSE. The burner would be further away but I am afraid that the top of the oven would not heat up to 300 deg while the bottom would be at or above that. Have also thought of mounting a small 8" fan on the top to draw the air heat out and make sure it's at a low RPM so that it does not cool off too much.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:30:59 PM EDT
I just finished my first 2 projects an older Smith and Wesson Switchblade that had seen better days and then I stripped a 15 or so year old low end Colt .45. I never liked the parked like finish on that .45 but it was cheap and good for my carry piece here in Florida. if it rusted I did not care as much as I would have on my nice blued guns.

The Knife was blasted and cleaned well prior to paint, the .45 frame was blasted due to some slight rust and then cleaned but the slide was just cleaned with brake cleaner then denatured alcohol. Items were pre-heated to 125 degrees using a infra-red thermometer.

Considering it's my first time using an air brush and the KG Gunkote products I am very pleased! My next try will be my Remington 870. I have a Mesa Tactical Grip/Stock on it in grey while the rest is your standard blue/black park. I think I'll order up some HK/Wilson Green for that project.

Cammo Switchblade

Colt .45 Auto

I'd like to do my M4 but I will need to switch to Duracoat due to the stock and pistol grip. Any other suggestions for what brand to use on plastic items ? I really do like the GunKote but do not want to have a color mismatch, thinking of Coyote Tan with some Grey/OD Green thrown in.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:44:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:50:44 PM EDT
Hold on, when did Norrells recommend against it?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:52:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:54:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 6:54:46 PM EDT by KnobCreek]
I've used both Duracoat and Molyresin. I prefer the moly as the coating seems to be a bit more durable.

I only have my kitchen oven to use, so space is limited and this can limit ones ability to use molyresin, especially on a rifle that's difficult to fully disassembly like an AK. Make sure to check the item for fit into your oven before applying the molyresin. In my haste, I didn't do this the first time I used it. Just an FYI from an novice.

edit to add: Enforcer, great post. This one is getting printed.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:23:02 PM EDT
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