Saturday, March 21, 2015

Aervoe Rattle Can Paintjobs

I'm a big fan of Aervoe rattle can paint and have touched on it's use in a few of my past posts. I have used it on many components; from gas tubes, to barrels, to rails, to entire firearms.  Aervoe is not resistant to scratches and continual wear, it doesn't claim to be, but it is durable, it is very easy to use, inexpensive, and readily available (I get it from DSG Arms located in TX). Additionally, it dries... dry, none of that residual tackiness I've experienced with other rattle can paints. To put down an effective coat one just has to follow a few basic steps, key being prepping the items to be painted correctly and an awareness of outside temperatures.

I recently got some parts in for one of my latest mods that I wanted to rattle can, a perfect time to do a post about it. Pictured above, the castle nut & Ace Pignose Adapter needed a different look. But before I apply the Coyote Tan Aervoe, I need to get the parts prepped.

[1] Prep

You've got to degrease your parts, whether it's factory grease, cosmoline, or your greasy mitt prints, get that stuff off! If you already have a degreasing regiment, use it. For these parts, I used GUNK Non-Chlorinated Brake Cleaner. GUNK does leave residue and I use boiling hot water to wash it off, thus the gritty garage kettle pictured to the left. Additionally, you do not want to use this stuff in an enclosed area, outside is ideal. Denatured alcohol does a good job too, especially for polymer parts, where you do not want to use GUNK. However, I have used GUNK on polymer parts, even though the can does warn against usage on such parts. 

After degreasing and drying off the parts, tape off the areas you don't want to paint. Use gloves or avoid handling the prepped areas, don't undo the work you just did by getting them greasy again. Blue painter's tape works adequately. For the interior of receivers, I stuff them with paper towels and then mask off with painter's tape. 

The parts I'm working on are on hooks made from coat hangers, nothing special. From prep to painting to drying, the parts stayed on these hooks and I didn't remove them until they were completely dry and ready for installation.

[2] Application

Place the parts in the sun once you're ready to paint. Temperature is an important part of the curing process, it needs to be warm and right now in Southern California it has been in the 80s and low 90s, more than adequate. Put the rattle can in the sun as well before starting and get everything nice and warmed up as it really helps with the flow of paint & the curing process.

Be sure to shake the hell out of that Aervoe can, make sure the marble inside the can is moving freely. Test spray on some paper or something else, then apply to parts. 

Do not go heavy, get a light layer on and let it dry, then reapply. It's better to go slow than oversaturate and end up with drips & runs. I will usually hit a part 2-4 times in the first hour, leave it out in the sun "baking" all day, and then wait 24hrs before I touch it or before I reapply an additional coat. Whether it's a receiver or castle nut, my routine stays the same; apply Aervoe to the part lightly, layering the paint by hitting the part several times within the first hour, allow part to dry for the next 24hrs +, reapply paint, and allow to dry for an additional 24hrs+, allowing the part to get as much sun exposure or heat as possible.

[3] Result

After completely drying for 24hrs+, I will wipe down the part(s) with CLP lube to give it a nice lustre. This is by no means a requirement, simply something I do. As pictured, it matches up very well.

Final notes. It's inexpensive, it's durable if applied correctly, it has an excellent finish, you can do it yourself, and... it's inexpensive.  

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