Hmmmm. Not actually used my 416 in anger, yet, but the acrylic paint job is exhibiting pronounced chipping and peeling over the Cerakoted areas (rail, upper and lower).
It’s not nearly as bad as the lower was, post Silicone-gate, but it’s not entirely satisfactory. This wear has happened just through handling and using with kit, around the house.
I’d already begun to think that the Cerakote on my 416 wasn’t the optimum surface on which to use acrylic paints. Not for an authentic, naturally worn look, anyway. The paint goes on fine, but its lifecycle seems different to paint with more traditional foundations (e.g. anodised surfaces).
I’ve never experienced accelerated wear with OEM, Prime or any other airsoft or RS parts that I’ve painted. And I’ve done a fair bit of painting and not only for myself, as regular readers will know.
Aside from sanding the Cerakote to allow the acrylic to key, I’m not sure there is a solution.
So, that’s exactly what I decided to do with the rail.
As you can see from the above pic, the rail has been heavily abraided and the finish is down to the metal in some places.
I’ve now repainted it. Let’s see which base layer allows the acrylic paint to adhere and weather more authentically, bog standard airsoft finish or the 416’s Cerakote. I’ve used exactly the same paints, from the same cans and again thoroughly cleaned the surface with acetone.
Personally, I think the rail’s acrylic finish will wear more naturally. Cerakote in general is very good at being a tough, resistant finish. And I’d guess it’s this toughness and resistance which shrugs off acrylic paint. Indeed, the Cerakote beneath the peeled paint on my 416 is absolutely pristine. Cerakote is hardy stuff.
It could be that matt Cerakote is a better choice of base layer for acrylic paint, but I’m not about to pay to get the 416 receiver set stripped and repainted on a hunch.
Current plan is to let the acrylic paint wear off and just leave the blaster as it is. It may end up looking good and at least my expectations are managed with regards to any further rattle can escapades upon the 416.
Meanwhile, Tosh from SGT has kindly offered to look into the matter:
“OK, this is just weird… And the way it’s chipping – it’s not in any way or form binding to the Cerakote.
I mean, yes, paint is hard to bind [to Cerakote], but not this bad. Let me check on this for you.”
Great service, as usual.
It would be great to find an approved solution to this, even if it means sourcing and sticking to a particular brand of paint. Or, if there’s no solution, it would be interesting to find out what it is about the Cerakote on my 416 which is causing the flaking and chipping.