Anyone who’s current on firearms knows about Cerakote. This thin-film ceramic coating has become prolific across factory and custom firearms: it’s become the industry standard. Due to huge demand, many Cerakote applicators are backed up for months which has created an opportunity for new shops to enter the market. And that’s where Cerakote’s training program comes in. I just took the training, joined the program, and will share my experiences with you in this story.
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Cerakote Certified Applicator Training
Anyone interested in becoming a “Certified Applicator” can take the training at Cerakote headquarters in White City Oregon. From the Cerakote training page:
Cerakote® is a professionally applied OEM finish, it is not a DIY finish. NIC Industries offers the only one-on-one training program for Cerakote® in North America. You will receive individual training at our state-of-the-art facilities in White City, Oregon. Our expert trainers will provide you the training you need for your industry. Each class is tailored to fit your needs to be successful at coating products in your industry. We regularly work with manufacturers, coating companies, OEMs, and a variety of custom shops.
Please review each document for more information on benefits of becoming a Certified Cerakote® Applicator, travel, and our general training outline. It is best to start the process by filling out our application. Answering these questions will help us get a better understanding of who you are and what you are wanting to accomplish. Once the application is sent, we will verify the market area you are in is not saturated as we review your application (if applicable). You will be sent an invoice for $1,000 to reserve your spot in our next available training class.
Please feel free to contact us at CertifiedApplicators@Cerakote.com if you have any questions about training.
To apply to become a Certified Applicator, click here.
Day 1: Class Session and Fundamentals
Before getting hands-on with the paint gun, we had a briefing in the classroom. This was helpful as Cerakote has a lot of different products for different applications, and it’s super-important to understand the “technical and process landscape” before being set loose on projects.
Some of the products we covered included:
One of the super-interesting products we talked about is the C-110 Micro Slick coating. From the product page:
Cerakote Micro Slick Dry Film Lubricant Coating is an ambient (air) cure coating that is blue/grey in appearance.
Cerakote Micro Slick is used to assist with friction areas and shedding of oil. It is used to reduce friction on a variety of internal engine components such as piston skirts, valve stems, cams, cranks, and the underside of valve covers. It is also used on firearm components, such as bolts, and bolt carriers.
After lunch we got hands-on with the application of Cerakote! The first project was to apply H-Series Cerakote to a Glock slide:
This is a great first project because of the geometric simplicity of the Glock slide. It’s also a very common part to apply Cerakote to!
Following the Glock slide we moved on to AR parts, specifically handguards, uppers, and lowers. At the end of Day 1 you’ll know how to:
- Mix 2-part Cerakote on the scale
- Assemble and ajust the Iwata LPH-80 spray gun
- Rack and prepare parts for Cerakote (blasting was saved for day 2)
- Apply Cerakote to parts
Above: Cerakote mixing station showing precision scale, tablet with Cerakote app, graduated cylinder prepared for shaking/mixing
Day 2: Projects!
The focus for the second and final day of the training was to complete one or more projects. I chose to focus on two AR projects, with some odds and ends thrown in. The bulk of my attention was focused on a green multi-cam Cerakote job on an AR-15 lower:
We started by spraying the parts with the base layer of green. This built on our skills from Day 1. One of the difficult things to learn is the fine art of “getting Cerakote into tight places” namely the interior portions of the lower receiver. I’ll confess: I had to start over on the lower- we dipped it in acetone, brushed off the Cerakote, did a quick re-blasting, and were soon back in action. The second time, things went much more smoothly!
Then it was time to apply stencils and apply successive “layers” with different colors and techniques.
Above: Mid-way through the multi-cam Cerakote scheme using vinyl cutouts from a vinyl cutter.
The process continues until multiple layers of Cerakote are applied being careful to use minimal material so that edges around the stencil material don’t build up to the point of being visible.
The parts turned out great! I can’t wait to try this color scheme with grays and blues!
Now that I’m a “Cerakote Certified Applicator” it’s time for me to finish my paint booth, and get the rest of my equipment in place including:
- Ventilation and filtration
- Solvent tank
- Mixing station (I think I’ll dedicate a tablet for this!)
- Blast Cabinet
Look for more updates on the channel in the coming months!
If you’re interested in taking the Cerakote Certified Applicator training, I would suggest enrolling ASAP as there’s a bit of a waitlist. If you’ve taken the class, please drop a comment to share your experiences.
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One thought on “Cerakote Certified Applicator Training: My Experience”
I am definitely interested in Cerakote. I’m in the process of getting setup as and FFL and providing gunsmith work here in CT. Cerakote is one of those technologies that I want to be able to offer. I had not idea of the process but figured it would be a decent investment.
I’m looking forward to all the details you provide, including what goes into get your shop setup.