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Monday, April 2, 2012

DIY Aluma-Hyde Coating of an AR15

Recently I decided to give Brownells "Aluma-Hyde" a try. I decided to go with the "Coyote" color since it closely approximates Magpuls Flat Dark Earth. Which is the color of some of my gear and even goes well with Multi-cam camo gear. It is also a good neutral shade for almost any environment.
I started with a disassemble and sanding. I know a lot of people just spray their weapons fully assembled, but I had some time and I wanted it to look right. I also know that handling and baking a whole rifle can lead to problems - like knocking it over or mishandling and ruining your project. It is much easier to handle small pieces without mishaps.
I started the sanding with a 220 or 320 grit paper (mostly 320), and went to a 440 in some places, but in general the 320 grit paper was fine. Then I did a blow down with air, then a thorough wipe-down with Acetone to remove dust and oils. Once that was done I taped off all exposed threads and critical fit functions and areas.
Tape off and mask
I taped off the mag-well, the chamber, the front sight post, things like that. I ended up giving it 4 coats with baking in-between coats. For baking I setup a portable heater next to a large box. Cut a hole in the box, setup the pieces inside the box with a hole in the top for a vent. Temperatures inside the box got up to 165 degrees F. I could have gotten it higher but it seemed more than adequate considering the directions state that you can bake, or not.

Make sure you pay attention to the little things - like masking off threads
Interim final product
Then I did my old GI mags, and finished it up with a Para cord wrap of the stock. Not sure if that is staying or this point - the only problem I have with it - is that it has a little bit more shine than I would like...but it's not that noticeable overall...

GI Mags got treated too - they needed it.

assembled with para-cord wrap of the ACE SOCOM Stock
The forward assist grip is a Magpul Flat Dark Earth color.  The new color matches
as well as I need it to....

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