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I’ve never been one to do much surface prep before painting a blaster. If it looked a bit oily or dirty, I’d give it a wipe with meths and a microfiber cloth before masking, but that was it.

I received a new SGT 416 lower recently. These are anodized, then Cerakoted. The result is a rich, deep, lustrous finish. Beautiful as that finish was, I was always going to paint my 416 and that’s precisely what I did. You can read about it here.

Now, I gathered from Tosh of SGT that my lower had been oiled before it was sent to me, so I made sure I swabbed it with meths before painting.

Imagine my surprise, after painting, when this happened:

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Yes. The acrylic paint has peeled off.

It turns out that Cerakote can absorb and store a lot of oil and a quick wipe over with meths doesn’t cut it. How I chuckled to myself, as I stripped all the paint from the entire lower and looked forward to re-painting it.

Luckily, a combination of the paint and the solvents I used to dissolve the paint also keyed the surface of the lower.

When I re-painted I decided that I simply could not be arsed with the complicated net scheme. It wouldn’t match the upper, anyway. So I had to think of something simple which would add variety, but which would also suit the parts which were already painted with the net.

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It was quite a useful exercise. Not only did I learn more about surface prep, but I also experimented with a few different painting techniques.

However, the most significant outcome is that I’ve finally weaned myself off using the net. So I can safely say that not only will I be thoroughly degreasing blasters before painting, but I’ll never use the net method again.

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