Cerakote, 100% and, find a Certified applicator. There is a LOT non Certified applicators do not know. That’s why it costs so much to become Certified. It is an extremely thin and tough finish.
Have you checked if there are Certified Cerakote applicators in your area? Or a smith that can parkerize and cerakote in one stop shop?
Funny, I didn’t even know a certification existed! I only asked my usual smith about cerakote. I can ask about parkerizing too.
Some people have a ton of experience which would be acceptable or more acceptable than a certification and little experience I think.
As an advanced certified Cerakote applicator, I can tell you that is not true. There are trade secrets that are held under a signed contract with NIC. While you may find a guy who can do an awesome looking job, it is not the same. I thought I was hot stuff the first 3 years I was coating. Then I became certified. Now, with my advanced certification I am one of 2 in the state of Montana that I know of. You can pretty much ask any Certified applicator if he would trust a non Certified applicator now that he or she knows… I have not met or spoke to one yet that says they didn’t need the training, or that they would take their stuff to a non Certified applicator.
Here is something esle… due to the process of Cerakote, there is zero reason to do any other coating first. If we are talking steel… if it is aluminum, then type 2 or type 3 hard coat anodize is recommended for added protection. Only when the steel is coated with nickel boron or other types like that does it matter.
Thanks for the info brother. It’d be steel so I’m good there.
Good to know.
But I thought converted surface by parkerizing and resulting porosity promotes adhesion/grab.
I dont know enough about it, but that is what I have read.
I have only one pistol that I had cerakoted by a certified applicator. Like you he had a bunch of experience first and then became certified. Phil Briley at Los Angeles Cerakote. He applied the coating without parkerizing and it has held up so far. So I am not saying parkerizing is necessary, just that I have seen people state it is even better. Though I am not sure if they are certified.
To prep the surfaces, besides for being degreased and off gassed, they have to be blasted. Granted, it is with 120 grit and is at 60 to 80 psi… but, do that with any parkerized finish and it is gone. Mennonite is 100% different, that stays…
Learning. Thank you.
What I have seen people suggest is to parkerize (done over freshly degreased and sandblasted surface), and then obviously without oiling the finish proceed to cerakote. As in, cerakote freshly parkerized parts.
Parkerizing, as we all know, is a very porous finish, which is why it holds the oil so well, so I imagine that is why many smiths I have seen suggest to cerakote right over fresh parkerizing.
Never heard of anyone coating nitriding finish until now. I thought those were as tough as they come.
Like I said, learning quite a bit.
Good stuff. Keep the information flowing!
Actually, the reason you do not want to coat right over parkerization is because it does not bond as well as Cerakote will to the base metal. It is not like anodizing, it is a surface treatment only. So in effect, you are compromising the Cerakote from the beginning. It would be like doing a mat bluing first then cerakoting over that thinking that the bluing will protect it more. Not the case. The Cerakote actually bonds to the metal. That’s what you want. Absolute adhesion to the part. That’s why Cerakote can go 6000 hours in a salt bath and other coatings cannot.
Most of the actual work with Cerakote is the surface prep.
Just like you do not use “sand” or glass bead to blast the parts. That will effect the longevity of the coating as well. Have to remember, Cerakote is only .0015 thick. .008 or so for the Elite Series.
Granite or aluminum oxide media. I like the granite media personally.
I run aluminum oxide and stuff that I cannot remember… ummmm oh I will have to look. I am having a senior moment
I should have been more specific when I said sandblasting. I refer to alox media as sand.
Really great info in the thread. I am glad it came up.
Oh I figured you didnt use beach sand. . Hahahhahaha
I just spent the last two days searching and reading.
What I gather:
- parkerizing seems to be a preferred pre-treatment for various similar products to Cerakote.
- Perhaps as a carry-over from those practices people parkerize (pre-treat) before cerakote.
- The claim is better adhesion.
- No certified applicators recommend it and are instead relaying what they have been told by NIC - dont cerakote over park.
Do I still have questions after reading all those other threads and this one? You bet.
Why? Because I also read questions like “hey, guys with experience… have you done comparative tests on cerakote over fresh park and cerakote over bare steel?”
And those are unanswered.
So… you obviously dont owe me anything, nor do you have to prove anything to anyone, but, would you help us out with an unbiased comparative test?
I would be more than willing to supply a couple of chunks of carbon steel, though I am sure you have more than enough scrap in the shop.
I am talking 2 pieces of the exact same steel. Both decreased, one parkerized (manganese for example), the other kept in the white. Same mix of cerakote applied and cured on both pieces.
Then we can come up with a range of tests that could simulate wear, but done to both pieces in the same way (same hands doing the wear).
I think it would be extremely informative and we will have the answer here (since it is nowhere to be found at the moment).
If someone sent me the parts, one parkerized, one not, I could spray them when I spray something else. I do not parkerize myself. I get maybe 1 or 2 calls for it a year. Just not worth my time to buy the equipment.