5 Quick Tips for Applying Cerakote to Firearms

After the parts are blasted with Aluminum Oxide, compressed air is used to remove any residual abrasive.

A shotgun extension tube prior to removal from the blast cabinet.  Prep is everything, skip or rush a step and the final results suffer.

5 Quick tips for applying Cerakote to firearms:

We’ve had great success applying Cerakote finishes to rifles, pistols and shotguns over the past 6 years.  Here are five tips we find especially helpful for outstanding results:

  1. Degrease prior to sand blasting parts.  We like to use spray TCE from Brownells.  In addition to preventing the media from loading with oils and potentially ruining the finish, the degreasing process removes oils which may provide a surface for abrasive to stick too while it is in the blast cabinet.  This abrasive residue may impede function of the firearm or scratch parts later in the assembly process.
    After the area is shaped, we  refinished it with burnt bronze Cerakote... looks pretty good.

    A flawless Burnt Bronze Cerakote finish

  2. Don’t skimp on the degreaser.  Always order more then you need.  We degrease before and after blasting the parts.  The TCE needs to run clear.  Failure to do so can result in a the finish not adhering if any oil residue is left in place.
  3. Prep is everything.  Any finishing professional will tell you this.  If you rush or try to cut corners during any of the preparation stages, the quality of your finish will suffer.  Double check all surfaces of each part to be sure that you have blasted it evenly.  Figure out how you are going to evenly coat every surface of each part prior to mixing the Cerakote.  A dry run can pay off big.
  4. Have ample space to hang parts.  We made a hanger to allow our parts to hang during the coating process.  Once a part is coated, it is then moved to the curing oven to finish.
    Parts are hung in the curing oven and allowed to cure at 250F for two hours.  If you don't have a purpose made oven like this one, you can make your own from an old locker.

    Parts hanging in the parts curing oven.

  5. Invest in a decent curing oven.  We started out with a improvised oven which was nothing more then an old sheet metal gun safe with a heat gun and recently graduated to the Brownells bake on finish curing oven.  The increased ease of use and ability to precisely monitor curing temperatures make it a solid winner.

We hope these tips help you with your Cerakote project.  A complete overview of the process we use can be found here.  To purchase Cerakote, a curing oven and related finishing supplies, visit Brownells.

The Brownells curing oven is cool to the touch while the parts are allowed to cure at the appropriate temperature.

The Brownells curing oven is cool to the touch while the parts are allowed to cure at the appropriate temperature.