How to Apply Cerakote: The Ultimate Guide.
To apply cerakote, you need to prepare the surface, perform spray coating, and cure the finish with heat. Applying cerakote involves preparing the surface by cleaning, sandblasting, or applying a special bonding primer to ensure that the coating adheres correctly.
Once the surface is clean and dry, apply cerakote with a spray gun in thin, even coats. Use the recommended nozzle tip size and air pressure specified by the manufacturer for best results. Once the entire area is coated, cure the finish with heat, following the recommended curing temperature and time for your particular choice of cerakote.
With these steps, you can achieve a durable and attractive finish on your firearm, knives, or other equipment.
Essential Tools And Materials Needed
To apply cerakote properly, it is important to have the proper tools and materials. Without these essential items, the application may not yield the desired results. Here is a list of some of the essential tools and equipment needed when applying cerakote:
List Of Tools:
- An airbrush or hvlp spray gun: This is a tool used to spray cerakote onto a given surface. An airbrush is preferred for small projects, while an hvlp spray gun is better suited for larger-scale projects.
- Air compressor: This is used to power the airbrush or hvlp spray gun. A compressor with at least a 2-3 gallon tank and 1 horsepower motor is recommended.
- Spray booth or well-ventilated workspace: Proper ventilation is crucial when applying cerakote. A spray booth designed for cerakote application is ideal, but a well-ventilated workspace can also work.
- Cleaning supplies: Lacquer thinner or acetone, cleaning brushes, and microfiber towels should be used to clean the surface before applying cerakote.
- Safety equipment: A respirator mask, eye protection, gloves, and a lab coat or other protective clothing should be worn when applying cerakote.
List Of Materials:
- Cerakote: This is the main material needed when applying cerakote. Choose the color and type of cerakote based on the project’s needs.
- Catalyst/hardener: This is a necessary component needed to cure the cerakote. Choose the right ratio of catalyst to cerakote based on your project’s specific needs.
- Strainer: A strainer should be used to remove impurities from the cerakote before application.
- Air hose: These are used to connect the compressor to the airbrush or hvlp spray gun.
- Grease and lubricant: These products can help protect any moving parts or components from the heat generated from the curing process.
By having all of the necessary tools and materials, you can ensure that the cerakote application is successful. Remember to always wear safety equipment, choose a well-ventilated workspace, and properly clean the surface before applying cerakote. With these tips in mind, your cerakote application should come out looking smooth, even, and durable.
Preparation Before Applying Cerakote
Before applying cerakote, preparing the surface is crucial to achieve the best possible results. Proper surface preparation ensures that the coating will adhere correctly and remain durable over time. Here are some things to consider when preparing for cerakote application.
Importance Of Preparing The Surface Properly
Preparing the surface properly is vital to the success of your cerakote project. A poorly prepared surface can result in uneven color and poor adhesion of the cerakote coating. Proper surface preparation also helps to remove any contaminants, such as oil, grease, and dirt, which could negatively affect the final appearance of the coating.
Steps To Prepare The Surface
The following steps will help you prepare the surface for cerakote application:
- Disassemble the item: It is essential to disassemble the item as much as possible to ensure that every surface is treated equally.
- Clean the surface: Use a degreaser to clean the surface thoroughly, and then follow up with a rubbing alcohol wipe. A clean surface guarantees that the coating will adhere to the item and prevent any future issues.
- Sandblast or media blast the surface: Abrade the surface with sandblasting or media blasting to provide a proper substrate for the coating. The items must be free of rust, paint, or any previous coatings that can interfere with the cerakote bonding process.
- Oven dry the item: Put the item in an oven at the appropriate temperature and duration to dry it out thoroughly. You can also use air compressors to dehydrate the item.
- Masking: Use high-temperature masking tape to protect areas that do not require coating and to leave them untouched.
By following these steps, you are guaranteed to create a proper surface that guarantees the most consistent coating appearance and durability. Remember, surface preparation is crucial to the success of your cerakote project.
How To Apply Cerakote
Applying cerakote to your firearms is a great way to protect them from scratches, corrosion, and wear and tear. Additionally, it offers a superb way to enhance the appearance of your guns. But how do you apply cerakote? In this section, you will find a step-by-step guide to applying cerakote on your firearms.
Step-By-Step Guide To Applying Cerakote
Cerakote can be applied in several ways, but we will focus on the spray-on method, which is the most common. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Surface Preparation
Preparing your firearm’s surface is the most crucial part of the cerakote application process. Without thorough cleaning, your cerakote can easily flake, peel or chip off. Here’s how to prepare your surface:
- Disassemble your firearm and remove all the components including grips and optics because these areas don’t need cerakote.
- Degrease all surfaces to get rid of any oil, grease, or dirt thoroughly. You can use a solvent like acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or paint thinner to degrease your surfaces effectively.
- Sandblast all surfaces, including those you intend to coat. Sandblasting creates a rough surface that cerakote can adhere to.
- Wipe all surfaces with a lint-free rag and ensure that all debris is removed.
Step 2: Mixing Cerakote
Before applying cerakote, you need to mix it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions vary depending on the type of cerakote and the volume or weight of the product you are using.
- Measure the necessary amount of cerakote and hardener according to manufacturer’s instructions. Pour them into a mixing jar.
- Mix the two components thoroughly using a stirrer or an airbrush compressor. Follow the manufacturer’s specified mixing ration and duration.
- Allow the mixture to settle down for about ten minutes before use to allow any air bubbles to escape.
Step 3: Applying Cerakote
Once you have mixed your cerakote, it’s time to apply it to your firearm. Make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator or mask:
- Fill the airbrush canister with your cerakote mixture.
- Hold the airbrush 6 – 8 inches away from the surface you intend to coat.
- Apply a thin coat of cerakote in even strokes. Avoid any build-up areas to prevent runs and drips that cause uneven surfaces or flaking.
- Allow the first coat to dry for about 10-20 minutes.
- Apply additional coats of cerakote until you achieve the desired thickness and uniformity.
- Wait for the cerakote to dry according to the manufacturer’s drying time specifications.
Applying cerakote on your firearm gives it an excellent layer of protection against scratches, corrosion, and wear and tear. The above step-by-step guide offers a simple and efficient way to apply cerakote in the spray-on method. Make sure that you understand the manufacturer’s specifications before you mix and apply your cerakote for better results.
Explanation Of Curing Process And Why It Is Important
Curing is the process of heating and drying cerakote coatings to bond them permanently onto the surface of a substrate. Proper curing is essential to ensure the longevity and durability of the coating. The following are some key points that explain the importance of the curing process.
- The curing process ensures that the coating adheres properly to the substrate, forming a strong, durable bond that will last for years.
- If the curing process is not done correctly, the coating may fail prematurely, leading to flaking, chipping, or peeling off the surface of the substrate.
- Proper curing also enhances the coating’s resistance to chemicals, abrasion, corrosion, and temperature changes.
- Different types of cerakote coatings require different curing processes, depending on the composition and thickness of the coating, the type of substrate, and the environmental conditions.
- The proper curing temperature, duration, and method must be followed carefully to avoid any damage to the substrate or the coating.
Tips For Proper Curing
Here are some tips to ensure that your cerakote coatings cure properly and provide maximum protection and durability.
- Before starting the curing process, make sure that the coating is clean and free from any contaminants or dirt that may interfere with the bonding process.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended curing temperature, duration, and method. Different types of coatings may require different curing conditions.
- Use a high-quality oven thermometer to monitor the temperature accurately during the curing process. Do not rely on the oven’s built-in thermometer, as it may not be accurate.
- For larger items or irregularly shaped objects, consider using a heat lamp or ir heating system to ensure that the entire surface is evenly heated and cured.
- After curing, allow the coating to cool down gradually before handling or using the coated item. Rapid temperature changes may cause the coating to crack or peel.
- Avoid exposing the coated item to harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive materials for at least 24 hours after curing. The coating needs time to fully cure and harden before it can withstand aggressive environments.
- Keep in mind that the curing process is a critical step in cerakote application. Cutting corners or rushing the process may compromise the coating’s performance and durability. Be patient and follow the guidelines carefully to achieve the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Apply Cerakote
How Long Does Cerakote Last?
Cerakote is a durable coating that can last up to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. It can resist abrasion, corrosion, and chemical exposure, making it ideal for firearms, automotive parts, and other equipment.
Can You Cerakote Over Rust?
Cerakote can be applied over rust but it is important to remove as much of the rust as possible before applying the coating. Removing rust will ensure that the coating will adhere properly and prevent rust from spreading.
What Surfaces Can Be Cerakoted?
Cerakote can be applied to various surfaces such as metal, plastic, wood, and ceramics. It can be used to protect and/or change the color of firearms, automotive parts, knives, tools, and many other types of equipment.
Is Cerakote Heat-Resistant?
Cerakote can withstand high temperatures up to 1800°f, making it an ideal coating for high-temperature applications such as exhaust systems, engine parts, and firearms that are used in extreme conditions.
How Do You Clean Cerakote?
Cerakote can be easily cleaned with soap and water or a mild degreaser. For tougher stains, a nylon brush or non-abrasive pad can be used. Avoid using harsh solvents that can damage the coating.
Can You Apply Cerakote Yourself?
Cerakote can be applied by a professional or by individuals with the right equipment and training. However, it is important to follow proper safety precautions and application techniques to achieve a quality and long-lasting finish.
Now that you have an in-depth understanding of the process involved in applying cerakote, you can transform any firearm, automotive or industrial surface into a long-lasting, high-performance masterpiece! Do not skip any step while applying cerakote as it may compromise the quality and durability of the finish.
Start by selecting the right color and kit for your specific project, ensuring you have all the necessary equipment and protective gear, and then follow the outlined steps carefully. Remember to fire up the oven or curing station to the recommended temperatures, curing the surface appropriately.
With a little patience and practice, you can master the art of applying cerakote and turn any dull, worn-out surface into a vibrant, long-lasting durable finish. Happy cerakote!