Clear Cerokote over engraving???

AllenClapp

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
386
Location
Raleigh, NC
Has anyone tried clear Cerokote over engraved metal as protection for the metal? If so, how did the look of the engraved areas turn out?
 

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,889
Location
washington, pa
allen: if nobody here knows, perhaps a call to the folks that make the stuff could help. good luck
 

Meshach

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2023
Messages
14
I dont use much clear Cerakote but I have thought about trying it over engraving, Although I have been hesitant because the only way I know of to remove it after cured is blasting or polishing it off so if it were to have a poor finish (contamination, blemishes, chipping over time from the polished surfaces?) it would be pretty much irreversible, all of Cerakote's directions say to blast befor application for proper adhesion.. I have done a clear Rust-Oleum product once before trying to protect a copper piece from oxidizing, i knew I could strip it off without damaging the engraving if need be and it was a cartoon or a floral bouquet line art with inked lines so it didn't matter about reflective cuts getting filled in, it looked ok but due to the smooth surface from filling in the light cuts it gave more of a drawn on appearance.

So I think it would look alright with matte or satin finish over line engraving if you don't mind that more drawn on appearance.
Gloss I'm afraid would look like it had a reflective sheet of plastic or tape over it that would reflect light in horrible ways for good viewing..

I would be interested to know what it looks like for sure on deeper cuts with reflective surfaces as I imagine it would give a more rounded glossy look due to paint building more on flatter surfaces then the sharp edges which I think would catch the light weird for engraving..
I tend to think matte would look better then gloss there as well. gloss clearcoats tend to make things look like they have been dipped in plastic in my opinion.
Downside about just doing a test piece is lack of long term feedback, short term you can see the visual effects but as far as chipping or dulling from scuffs it's hard to say a couple years down the road what it would look like or if it would be better off than oiled or waxed finishes..

I hope some of this rambling is of use.

What kind of piece are you thinking about putting Cerakote on?
 

DaveatWeirs

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2023
Messages
68
Location
Ireland
I'm sure you know of it already but I'm a fan of renaissance wax for protecting engravings and stopping metal tarnishing. leaves a lovely clear polished finish while stopping tarnish/rust.

It might be worth doing a test on a coin. I've done this a few times to see which styles/finishes last longer and how they will age over time. usually I'll engrave a large coin, from a different country so I don't spend it, and then just leave it in my pocked to get bashed around with keys and other coins and whatnot. That way you'd see how it ages with wear probably a bit harder than it'll naturally get but will give good info
 

AllenClapp

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
386
Location
Raleigh, NC
I was thinkiing about the possibility of using Cerokote over an engraved rifle [or shotgun] frame that would be frequently used in hunting, such as a Winchester 94, to give it a French gray look that would be better protected against the vagaries of hand sweat, etc.
 

DaveatWeirs

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2023
Messages
68
Location
Ireland
Ok I accidentally misread cerokote as clearcoate and thought you meant clear spray paint.
Having looked at their sample gallery there does definitely seem to be a loss of smaller details.
 

JJ Roberts

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,469
Location
Manassas, VA
The only finish I use on firearms are hot bluing, slow rust blue, cast color hardening Browning or French Gray never used cerokote on firearms. J.J.
 
Last edited:

AllenClapp

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
386
Location
Raleigh, NC
I appreciate your bringing up that subject JJ. Can you elaborate? Why is Cerakote better used on military arms than hunting arms? I seem to see a lot of ads for new hunting rifles coated with Cerakote. Is that because finishing with Cerakote is less expensive than bluing? Or is it because the Cerakote finish holds up better with continued field use? I profess to be ignorant about the Cerakote finish, which is why I asked the question that started this conversation. When I saw that there is a clear Cerakote finish, I began to wonder if it might make a better finish for engraved hunting guns that would be expected to see frequent field use than a French gray finish IF it does not unduly affect the look of the engraving.
 

Meshach

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2023
Messages
14
I believe Cerakote would be better used on military firearms only. J.J.
This is a time when one must agree to disagree.
I have applied Cerakote on many hunting and sporting firearms for various reasons, water/weather resistance and durability of finish being among them, but just as people like red and blue cars they also like "cool" and "unique" looking guns (good thing for engravers ) I can't tell you how many times I have done a flag or camo pattern on someone's rifle or pistol to their great pleasure.
Still undecided on using it over top of engraving though, perhaps on a firearm that is going to be ' neglectet' in post use treatment, but in that case is it worth putting in the time to engrave it in the first place? If that is what the costomer wants does it matter? Maybe they want that clearcoat look on the surface... I just don't see any clearcoat outlasting the engraved surface and with properly tended and maintained metal finishes touch up work is always an option, sure it could prevent some scratches short term but over time it is still going to build up and show the wear and I am afraid it will be very hard to repair/refinish the Cerakote when that time comes..
I like DaveatWeirs idea of a test coin for the wear test, and even just a test plate to see how it looks when not scratched, who knows what the costomer wants the finished product to look like?
 

JJ Roberts

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,469
Location
Manassas, VA
I had a client a year ago with an L.C.Smith crown grade that he wanted me to recut all the scrolls on the receiver and forend iron it had been coated with Cerakote I then tried to wire wheel the finish off big problem very hard finish the client was going to have the receiver case color hardening I told him good luck I did not take on this job this is what happen when you buy a gun site un seen. J.J.
 

RowdyDan

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
1
Location
South Texas
Cerakote is pretty rugged stuff. It's normally applied with about a 1 mil thickness although it can be as thin as 1/4 mil. It has a hardness of 9H on the Rockwell scale. I have had some firearms Cerakoted and one must be careful about overspraying into areas of tight tolerance as it will cause a problem with moving parts. I've never tried a Cerakote over an engraved item but think that the thickness would mute the details of the engraving. The Cerakote could also pool in the engraved areas when it is applied. I haven't tried to engrave through a Cerakote surface. It could be a nice effect as long as the Cerakote doesn't chip. Looks like I have another experiment to perform.
 

Latest posts

Sponsors

Top