The Science behind Cerakote


Many people believe that Cerakote, like other coatings is mainly just for looks. While it is, and it can lend itself to many colors and patterns, that is not why it was developed.
Cerakote is actually a military grade polymer ceramic that resists corrosion (they have some colors that have lasted over 6000 hours in a salt bath) is flexible, scratch resistant, adds luberisity, aids in being a thermal barrier, can be IR invisible, an electrical insulator and much more.
Cerakote H Series is usually sprayed at a thickness of .0015 of an inch.
Cerakote Elite series is sprayed at a thickness of .00085
Being so thin, it has the ability to be applied on screw threads and not interfere with the function of the threads.
H Series can with stand on average 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
While C Coat can with stand up to 1720 degrees Fahrenheit.
Glacier Series can with stand 2000 degrees Fahrenheit!
Cerakote not only aids in being self lubricating, it also helps prevent carbon build up on parts internally and externally where applied.
Where people have seen failures in the bonding of Cerakote to any given material is usually due to improper surface preparation or in correct mixing and curing of the Cerakote.

Key factors are complete degreasing of the materials including off gassing through heating parts to 300° F , surface prep (all parts have to be media blasted for most applications) and properly applying of the coating.

Another key factor in applying Cerakote is knowing how the parts to be coated will be used and how they interact with other parts. While many people can figure out how to apply Cerakote, how to apply Cerakote to a firearm can be a bit more difficult. This is where many new companies or individuals run into trouble with Cerakote.

1911s, and the higher end bolt actions that have precise tolerances become tricky to coat. Some manufacturers take the thickness of the Cerakote into account, leaving extra room for fitment in the machining process to account for the thickness of the Cerakote. This runs true with anodizing too. Companies like LWRC both hard coat anodize and Cerakote on their weapons. Fitment is a concern in this because reliability can be effected if tolerances are to close.

As an applicator, companies who cut corners during production are well known. We see the firearms from the inside out. Fitment issues, metallurgy, quality of parts. We have seen factory firearms come out with Bondo covering up machine tooling marks or imperfections in the materials.

Like buying a lemon car, all can be revealed once parts become stripped of their paint or protective coatings.
But this is also a great way of protecting investments. Factory HK weapons (roller block weapons) are not really coated internally. With Cerakote, they can be. This helps protect the weapons for premature wear and unseen corrosion.

So before scoffing off Cerakote as just another fad or coating that will not hold up, do some research. Cerakote is used on F-16 fighter jets and the Joint Strike Fighter jets so it maybe good enough to help protect your investments. We will keep coating.


This is a good representation of the product
As you stated 90% of the issue I see with it is the prep work that was done on a piece when I discuss this with some customers there response is I sprayed it down and wiped it down before I used it
When I try to teach people how to apply a good finish I generally tell them that if it takes 20 min to paint them it take 3 hours to clean
Granted most people don’t own a media blaster and other tolls that help with this process but it’s all in the prep work and the patience to let the piece cure properly
The baking part of the process is lost in some people as well
What do you mean I had to bake it
I get this all the time
I like to heat the pieces as well before I apply the finish and bake afterwards
Unfortunately most of us don’t have baking chambers or a kiln to work with
But you’d be suprised what you can fit in your home oven lol
I always laugh when the old lady opens the oven and there’s parts in there baking and she yells again why can’t I use the oven again
Finnaly she went to Salvation Army and bought me a used kitchen oven that the range no longer worked but the oven was fine


Super awesome post, I’ll be needing some prices soon I can see that!


Cerakote is not like paint… though it is very similar. I have started to experiment with new techniques that have led to some interesting things.

We have come up with the first copper patina on a suppressor. This one is headed off to a special customer who requested us to do it.

Stepping out of the norm, doing what many would consider a “mistake” gives some cool effects. This was a bat we did for a paint ball company who gave this away.

SHIP WRECK is a personal project we did where I started to step away from what most shops do with Cerakote. At this point, many of our customers just give us an idea and tell us to run with it. While we still do contract work, this is where we love to engage the crazy side of things. Some customers just let us do as we please. Once I figured out that there are only a few rules we have to abide by, the texture and look went to a different level.


Thats some nice artwork :+1:
I really like that worn look on the Glock slide. Most firearms that have that type look come off cheesy but that one is pretty impressive.


What did you use to do the artwork on the grip?


On Ship Wreck how did you do that effect on the slide? I’d love to get that sort of thing, like a rusty war torn look. Would look awesome on the Helwan (aka Pharoah).


So that is a special effect we do with Cerakote… lots of fun. There is actually no green used, but it looks like it. :grin:


So all of the artwork is laser engraved. Amazing technology


Thanks! I grew up around salt water. Lots of rusty trucks and boats. That’s what I wanted it to look like. Multiple colors of paint coming off due to rust and time. Hahhaha


That’s awesome. Too bad I couldn’t get you to do my Helwan for payment of services rendered. :cowboy_hat_face:


That particular color pattern is not cheap. Hahhahaa the services rendered would have to be long time.


Have you done any custom battle worn paint schemes?


Oh yes… lots. Very popular.

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Everyone wants something different, color or what have you. Hahhahaha


I cant believe you made the PX4 storm look so good, thats an impressive feat all by itself.


They are an underrated pistol.


I agree with this two of my buddy’s carry a px4 and after having shot them quite a few times they are great pistols
Ugly as sin but they function great
But I’ve always though Berretta made ugly guns


I didnt like them, tbh. It was not a bad gun just didnt fit me. That one in the pic looks solid though.



the PX4’s I had, had squishy triggers. Also, the material in the frames was strange - would chip off around the edges.

I couldn’t conceal them, they weren’t DAO (which came to be my preferred defense action), and the two other problems listed above - all led me to trade them in for something else.

They did, however, shoot okay.