Coat of Arms

DIY CAMO JOB WITH DURACOAT AEROSOL

Firepower - - CONTENTS - TEXT & PHO­TOS BY JOHN TEATOR

A Diy­ers step-by-step guide to af­ford­able cus­tom coat­ings for your firearm.

One tried and true method for chang­ing up the look of your firearm, or any other piece of gear for that mat­ter, is to go at it with a rat­tle can. Yes, spray paint can be a sim­ple, cheap and ef­fec­tive way to ap­ply an al­ter­nate color or pat­tern to your gun. But as quick as it is to ap­ply, it also seems to wear off just as fast. There must be an eas­ily ap­plied, last­ing pig­ment that can take the same abuse that your guns and gear en­dure.

It’s true that there are other more durable coat­ings that are avail­able and quite pop­u­lar with gun own­ers than tra­di­tional paint. These ure­thane, epoxy or ce­ramic-based coat­ings tend to be much more tena­cious than their enamel or acrylic coun­ter­parts, re­pelling harsh chem­i­cals and prov­ing to be just about scratch and chip-proof. They do, how­ever, of­ten­times re­quire much more equip­ment, time, and prepa­ra­tion to ap­ply than plain old spray paint. For those of us who do not have ac­cess to air­brushes, spray booths, or ovens that can fit large gun and equip­ment parts, there is another way.

A DURABLE COAT­ING

Duracoat by Lauer Cus­tom Weaponry has been a go-to durable coat­ing for firearms cus­tomiz­ers for years. It is avail­able in well over 250 colors, with some colors matched to pop­u­lar cam­ou­flage pat­terns and even firearms ac­ces­sories. It's a tough, ure­thane based coat­ing that does not re­quire bak­ing or pre-heat­ing; it can sim­ply be air-cured. Duracoat in its orig­i­nal form does re­quire an air­brush or spray gun to ap­ply, which puts it out of touch for any­one who doesn’t have air­brush­ing or spray gun equip­ment and knowl­edge on how to use one.

Don’t de­spair, there’s good news for the rest of us non-air­brush­ing hea­thens: Duracoat is also avail­able in an aerosol can. Yes, even we who are limited to paint­ing by shak­ing a can and press­ing down on a noz­zle are now able to coat our guns in a blan­ket of rugged­ness as well. The Duracoat you get from the spray can is es­sen­tially the same stuff that you’d get by hir­ing a gun­smith to coat your gun, only it’s cheaper be­cause it’s some­thing you can do your­self, mi­nus the work of mea­sur­ing, mix­ing and clean­ing up its com­po­nents.

Duracoat Aerosol is avail­able in most of the colors that the orig­i­nal Duracoat is avail­able in. It comes in a unique spray can that, when you shake the can, com­bines the two-part mix­ture that forms Duracoat. Fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions found on the can’s la­bel, we ap­plied Duracoat via spray can to an AR-15 up­per re­ceiver as­sem­bly we were work­ing on. To keep it in­ter­est­ing, in­stead of go­ing with a sin­gle color, we de­cided to go with a cam­ou­flage scheme of our own mak­ing. Take a look at how we did it and fol­low along if you want to do it your­self, too.

AP­PLI­CA­TION OBSERVATIONS

It’s worth not­ing that we found Duracoat to be thicker than tra­di­tional spray paints, but the ap­pli­ca­tion is much the same. The spray can’s tip can get clogged, but each can that we re­ceived did come with an ex­tra tip so it never was a prob­lem. The tips are ad­justable to spray in both ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal fan pat­terns, which is a nice fea­ture.

Duracoat says that each can lasts up to four weeks af­ter it is mixed with its hard­ener, but we haven’t been able to ver­ify that be­cause we ended up us­ing up our sup­ply over a span of less than a week. (Yes, we went crazy with the stuff.) We looked up Duracoat’s web­site and saw that each can sells for about $40, which need­less to say is a no­tice­able pre­mium over the stuff you pick up at the hard­ware store. Is it worth it? That’s a per­sonal call, but if you con­sider the other end of the spec­trum and know how much a gun­smith charges for coat­ing ser­vices, this op­tion be­comes a no-brainer.

As you will see, achiev­ing a long-last­ing coat­ing that is much more durable than acrylics and enam­els is not that much dif­fer­ent from us­ing reg­u­lar spray paints thanks to Duracoat’s aerosols. No spray gun, no air­brush, no prob­lem. If you try coat­ing some of your guns and gear, share your re­sults with us at www.face­book.com/ world of fire power.

LAUERWEAPONRY.COM

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