Paint, Cerakote or something else?

Ok here is quick question. Imlooking to add a little FDE to my hand guard but i think the best way to do what i want is to use a roller. Im just going to do the section around the lettering. What would be the best and color match for Magpul FDE?


Cerakote has official Magpul colors.


With Cerakote I would need to figure out how to cook it. The wife may not like me sticking in the oven. But its not really going to be a very big area? Im just not sure?


C-267 MAGPUL® FDE | Cerakote Ceramic Coatings

C series is air dry. This might be a good option.


As with all painting, prep is everything. I used the rattle can Duracoat that Brownell’s sells once. It holds up OK. It is not as durable as Cerakote but better than paint. Regular paint will rub off from wear and it will be affected by the usual gun cleaning chemicals if you aren’t super careful.

I have a local gunsmith who I also refer to as a gun decorator. He does baked-on Cerakote any way you want - two colors - for a flat rate of $200. Unless you get artsy. Then it’s slightly more. I like doing things myself. But when I add up the cost of the coatings and factor in my time, that’s pretty cheap to get it done right by a pro. Plus you don’t rattle Momma’s cage by messing up the kitchen or the oven.


Duracoat works great on surfaces that aren’t under friction. Cerakote is better, but Duracoat doesn’t require heat to cure. Duracoat has a few magpul-matched colors, but I don’t recall their names.


This exactly.

I think the C series is the best option and I’ll probably start buying some myself.
I’ll still use H series for metal and other parts I’m not worried about oven curing.
But I’ve always been leery of doing polymer and plastics even at lower temps.
I think 24 hours gets a partial cure and 5 days for a complete cure, not too bad.


Doing correct prep work to the surface is what will make or break painting a firearm, along with choosing the correct paint and top coat and allowing them to fully cure before you do anything with them.
I’ve painted a bunch of gun’s over the years, and they all look as good today as they did when they were painted.
I mainly use automotive paints and use an Airbrush to apply them, but I’ve used quality Rattle can paints and get the same type of results.

You can’t rush doing it, you must be patient, and follow the painting instructions as far as the time it takes the paint to flash before adding another coat.

This is a Rattle can & Airbrush paint job. Before-


This one was done with all automotive paints and an airbrush-


Plastidip, ok maybe not lol! Or rattle can kahki camo, easy touch up and cheap.


Cerakote is nice. I had a work from home gunsmith do it to an SKS and it is amazing. Didn’t cost too much either. He explained to me there’s a little bit of an art to it so I was happy to pay him. Usually I do everything myself too.


This stuff is awesome. In addition to tool handles, when I make a lanyard or some other similar cord or pull, I sear the ends of the paracord and then dip it in this goop. I like to add paracord zipper pulls to my backpack and sling bags.

But I digress. Back to the subject.

If I had the following, I would do all of my own Cerakote work:

  1. Big compressor and receiver tank
  2. Media blasting cabinet
  3. A decent airbrush
  4. A suitable oven that is not in my kitchen
  5. Time

Because rust is a never ending battle where I live, I will get set up with a media blasting cabinet and a big enough air supply to operate it. I just dont have it now.

Painting is pretty messy. I’d want a dedicated and dust free space just for that.

When I add up the cost of all this I can get a lot of guns Cerakoted with that money.


The big challenge for Cerakote is the oven. Yes, you can get by with a toaster oven, or your regular kitchen oven for some things, but if you need to do a rifle barrel or a barreled action - you’re going to need to get creative fast. You don’t actually need to sandblast the parts, they just need to be uncoated/unpainted and clean. Spraying the Cerakote can be done with a Preval disposable sprayer.

TLDR : You need a big oven. This is usually the main deal-breaker for budget/home DIY’ers.


Haven’t been pinstriping much recently but had the brush in my hand two days in a row for the first time in a while! So why not pick a challenging piece (rounded) with a style I haven’t done in years (fineline) using a brush I usually struggle with? Was expecting a disaster, but didn’t have to start over once.
AK dust cover


Nice! I wish I had the knack. My attempts always take a crazy dive.


I have been using HOT ROD FLATZ paint with an airbrush. Polyethylene 2 part. (Use an appropriate respirator). I mask with textures, torn tape, and liquid masking agent. Hot wax and a brush would probably work tooo. Duracoat is a urethane. I have found mixing colors is easy and have even dabbled in natural sponge painting on top of airbrush.


With a bit of UV brighter mixed in ( neon paint ) the cammo glows in the twilight.


Did you paint the freedom one? I would like to know to leave all the crevasses black like that and just paint the outer most surfaces?


I used small brushes and a jeweler’s loop for most of the work. Then I clear coated with a sprayed on automotive urethane. The stars were done with a dental pick. I used a powdered pearl base in clear for the letters. Looks completely different brushed on instead of sprayed.

It was very labor intensive. Thank you for admiring.


That is really nice looking work.


I’ve recently started doing my own cerakoting on mine.