View Full Version : Getting ready to coat my 1911...which coating?

January 5, 2011, 10:01 PM
I picked up a Taurus PT1911 the other day...way to cheap to pass up. It's going to be my "range beater". It's got the standard blued finish on it.....but I want to either coat it solid matt-black, or got bi-ton with a black frame and silver slide.

I've been searching the gun forums, and all over the new for info on the different types of firearms coatings out there....and WOW, there sure are a lot!

From what I have seen, it looks like the most common coating are Duracoat, KG Gun-Kote, Brownells Gun-Kote (same as KG?), Norells Moly Resin, Cerakote, and Cerama-coat by Wheelers.

I want to do this once, and I want to do it right. I'm assuming that what ever I do I will need to sand the bluing off of the gun and parkerize it. KG makes some stuff called KG-Park that looks like an easy way to park it. I have spray equipment, but the only oven I have is in the kitchen...how bad is that going to smell up the house?

What's the best looking and durable coating for the money?

Thanks for the help!! Any additional information would really help me out!!

Here is the PT1911 I picked up.


This is what I would like it to look like when I'm done with it.


January 6, 2011, 12:27 PM
If you want the most durable white metal coating, the answer is none of the above. Assuming you have the usual little bit of play between slide and frame so you can stand a slight build-up of the surface thickness, send it out for hard chrome plating. Second choice would be electroless nickel plating. All the paint-on finishes are less durable than those.

As to phosphating (Parkerizing is a commercial name for phosphating solutions made by the Parker company, specifically, but there are a number of others), I've done quite a bit of it. The best for a paint base comes from a fine abrasive blasted surface reacted in a temperature controlled phosphating tank. Zinc is generally preferred to Manganese phosphate as a paint base for its higher porosity and lighter neutral color that is easier to cover. There's a learning curve to phosphating, so be prepared to spend some time getting your method established on scraps. The first time I tried Parkerizing (actual Parker brand solution), twenty-odd years ago, the coatings I got were way too thin and lacked adequate durability due to temperature being too low. It's not hard, I'm just saying your slide shouldn't be the the very first piece of steel you try it on.

Be careful using a home oven, as the temperature control often swings 50 degrees in them, and that's enough to affect the color of some of the coating products. Using a pre-heated baking stone or bricks and an inverted baking pan over the workpiece to protect it from hot gasses to even out the heat helps.

Some coating have you preheat the part slightly before spraying to help prevent runs by flashing the solvent off. The higher heat is just to cure the coating after it has dried, so there isn't much odor. I've used Brownells' bake-on moly spray finish that matches their Parkerizing solutions to paint stainless gas cylinder parts on Garands. I don't recall the curing step creating any significant odor.

January 7, 2011, 08:19 PM
If you "only want to do this once" you need to consider something besides paint. It won't hold up.

January 7, 2011, 11:53 PM
Yep...I decided to go with KG Gun-Kote....all of the parts were blasted, parked, sprayed, and now they are all in the oven :D

I will post up some pics when it's all back together!!

Bill DeShivs
January 8, 2011, 12:54 PM
And post pics after 6 months of use, please.

January 8, 2011, 01:54 PM
Well, all finished with it. It turned out great.