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Finally found the right Epoxy Paint for Colt and Smith Airweights

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Bedfordtec, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Bedfordtec

    Bedfordtec Member

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    The problem with older aluminum frame revolvers is that the finish tends to be worn down to the aluminum in many places and not just the edges. Colt and Smith used some sort of lacquer paint on their Cobras/Agent and blue finish Airweights. If it is a significant loss, the only choice is to refinish with Duracoat, Cerokote or Brownells Aluma Hyde. Can't blue aluminum. You can use automotive touch up paint on small spots and scratches. These are great products and I used matte Aluma Hyde a lot. However the finish (even gloss Aluma Hyde) does not match up with the older finish on say a Smith M-38 Bodyguard or Model 12. Also it is thick and just doesn't match up. Regular paint will not resist chemicals so you need an epoxy paint. I was looking at automotive epoxy paints to refinish a first series Colt Agent with Shroud. The backstrap was down to the aluminum and hidden with an old Pacmeyer Grip that is too big. The rest of the revolver is almost mint. Anyway, I did a search of automotive epoxy paints and AutoZone sells a paint product called VHT Gloss Black Epoxy Paint. It comes in an 11 OZ spray can. Went over there this afternoon and bought a can. Sanded down the backstrap and masked it with lots of tape. Three light coats in an hour and it looks unbelievable. It is almost a perfect match with the Colt frame and looks just like the finish on my Smith Airweights. I am going to let it cure and then see how resistant it is to CLP. Has anyone used VHT?
     
  2. Bama59

    Bama59 Member

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    Not VHT but used semi gloss black engine spray paint to touch up a Mossberg receiver. Should be resistant to CLP
     
  3. Bedfordtec

    Bedfordtec Member

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    Sprayed some into the plastic cap cover and used a Q-Tip to touch up a small ding on the shroud edge and the ding disappeared. Match is that good.
     
  4. Cump

    Cump Member

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    Haven't used it, but I might. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  5. jimboecv

    jimboecv Member

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    I'm in the coatings business. There are amazing systems that are incredibly durable. They do tend to run on the thicker side, once cured (excellent choice of words by the way. Dried and cured are two totally different things.
    An easy, effective resourced is Rustolieum. Get on their website, then call customer service and they will give you good advice. There are other resources but rustolieum is the most retail friendly.
     
    Steve762us and Walkalong like this.
  6. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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  7. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Member

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    I've used it a lot in auto applications, it holds up pretty well. Only firearm application I've used it on was a bolt handle and it has held up fine on that as well.
     
  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Colt did not paint their aluminum frame revolvers, and neither did S&W.
    Colt and S&W anodized the aluminum parts.

    Today, S&W may use a paint type coating of some sort on some models.
     
    sgt127, ColtPythonElite and P5 Guy like this.
  9. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Bedfordtec...can you post some photos of your paint job?
     
  10. Bedfordtec

    Bedfordtec Member

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    Pictures of the Backstrap that was painted. The front side of the grip is original. Jim, Bedfordtec IMG_6.jpg IMG_5.jpg IMG_4.jpg IMG_3.jpg IMG_2.jpg IMG_1.jpg
     
  11. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the photos...looks really nice! No Drips or Runs. :what:
     
  12. Steve762us

    Steve762us Member

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    I've used Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy, from Lowe's or Wallyworld, on quite a few
    items. It seems to stick better to metal than the VHT matte epoxy rattlecan, tho
    it is super glossy.

    I've coated a few carry pistols, using the Rustoleum as base coat, and top
    coated with the VHT matte. Has made for a durable and rustproof finish.

    The downside is, it takes about a month to cure. You can accelerate it
    a bit by keeping it over an incandescent light bulb, but it really takes
    several weeks to get rock-hard.

    I've even used the Rustoleum black on a freshwater trolling motor*, and it's
    held up well against UV exposure (trailer boat, sitting in full sun) for years.

    *on a boat that's used in saltwater :)
     
  13. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Nice work! I use VHTs epoxy paint on stuff also, and it's worked well once cured.
     
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