If you are a gun guy or girl the chances are high that you have one, perhaps more than one, rifle or shotgun that you’d like to refinish. You may have even considered refinishing the gun on several occasions but always talked yourself out if it due to the cost of paying someone else to do it or the perceived difficulty of doing it yourself.
Let’s face it; few folks are going to pay a shop one to two hundred dollars to put a new finish on a gun that might only be worth a couple hundred dollars. That’s like investing in a new paint job on a ten year old pickup truck. Most people can’t talk themselves into spending that much money.
What about investing thirty or forty dollars in a professional looking gun finish? Could you swing that much to make that old, hand-me-down shotgun look new again?
DuraCoat All in One Aerosol Kit
Savvy gun people already know that DuraCoat firearms refinishing products are owned and distributed by Lauer Custom Weaponry. Steve Lauer is the wizard behind the curtain making it all happen. Last year Steve released the new DuraCoat Aerosol can (can in a can complete unit).
At the SHOT Show in January of 2014 Steve made a good thing better by announcing the Aerosol Can Kit. The end user can now purchase a single color 12 ounce aerosol can of DuraCoat along with a 6 ounce can of TruStrip (cleaner/degreaser). The complete kit is less than $40.
DuraCoat Project Weekend
What You Need
Before I began my weekend project of refinishing my guns and gear, I needed to secure a few items. Naturally, I had ordered the DuraCoat aerosol cans and TruStrip. In addition, I purchased a protective face mask to minimize the fume intake.
Also acquired were a pair of work gloves, a packet of Scotch pads, and a roll of blue painter’s masking tape. Aside from the DuraCoat all of the other gear was relatively inexpensive and easy to find. All told it was less than a $20 investment.
As discussed in a previous article, the new DuraCoat Aerosol cans have both the color and hardener in the same unit. There is a small can inside the large can that separates the two components. When you are ready to use them, you follow the instructions and release the hardener into the color and mix them up. You have 48 hours to use the contents of the can.
Before your jump in and start spraying down your gun, stop yourself. It was explained to me many years ago that the key to a good finishing job is the preparation. Any remaining oil/lubricant/grease, dirt or debris on the project will spoil the new finish.
Dirt and debris are easy enough to remove, but how about the 27 years of Hoppes #9 or Rem Oil on that old rifle? This is where the TruStrip comes in to play. Steve Lauer suggests that your two best items are a 3M Scotch Pad and TruStrip.
Put on the gloves and face mask and start out by spraying a liberal amount of TruStrip onto your project, scrub it, spray, and scrub it until you are satisfied that any oil or grease as well as dust, dirt, carbon, etc. has been removed. Keep in mind that you can indeed apply DuraCoat to existing finishes on wood, metal, or plastic.
Applying the DuraCoat
The TruStrip dries quickly and should be evaporated by the time you have your project pieces hung up to be sprayed. This is a good use for those crappy wire hangers you have in your closet. Choose a well ventilated area and hang up your project pieces. Attention Men: Actually Read the Directions on the back of the DuraCoat Aerosol can. They are not complicated but they are important.
When it comes time to coat your project, remember to take your time. Resist the urge to coat the whole item with one spray blast. Spray side to side or up and down with deliberate sweeping motions. Short quick spray busts that last about one second are what I have found work well.
You can let the project air dry or you can use a hand drier to help set the DuraCoat between layers. Remember, you want to apply the coat in light layers, not all at once. You do not need to oven dry or bake the DuraCoat on to your project. It will harden over a day or two. Give the finish at least 24 hours to dry and set before you reassemble your parts. DuraCoat recommends that you allow the finish to set for several days before hard use. Personally, I will give my DuraCoated guns a couple weeks before I start running them in and out of holsters or doing serious live-fire training.
Don’t expect your first project to be perfect. That is the beauty of the relatively inexpensive aerosol can-in-can. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time and you can afford to do numerous projects.
If you are really feeling froggy, DuraCoat offers their camouflage pattern kits as “Peel N Spray” templates. You can refinish your guns and gear with hunting, military, or “hardcore” patterns. The sky is the limit. As of press time, every color that DuraCoat stocks is now offered in the aerosol cans. What are you waiting for?