Can You Paint Over Cerakote


Cerakote, a popular ceramic-based coating, is renowned for its durability, resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and chemical damage. However, there may be instances where you want to change the color or refresh the appearance of a surface coated with Cerakote. The question arises: can you paint over Cerakote? In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities, considerations, and steps involved in successfully painting over Cerakote.

Can You Paint Over Cerakote

Understanding Cerakote:

Cerakote is a ceramic-based finish originally developed for firearms but has found widespread use in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and sporting goods. Its ceramic properties provide excellent protection against wear, chemicals, and extreme temperatures, making it a preferred choice for high-performance applications.


  1. Surface Cleaning: Before attempting to paint over Cerakote, it’s crucial to clean the surface thoroughly. Remove any dust, dirt, or contaminants using a mild detergent and water solution. For more stubborn residue, consider using a degreaser to ensure a clean and receptive surface.
  2. Light Abrasion: Cerakote is known for its excellent adhesion, but providing a slightly roughened surface can enhance the bond with the new paint. Lightly abrade the Cerakote surface using fine-grit sandpaper (around 400-600 grit). This helps the new paint adhere better to the ceramic coating.
  3. Priming: Applying a high-quality primer is essential when painting over Cerakote. Choose a primer suitable for the material beneath the Cerakote and compatible with the type of paint you intend to use. An adhesion-promoting primer can enhance the bond between the new paint and the existing Cerakote.

Choosing the Right Paint:

  1. Compatibility: Not all paints adhere well to ceramic coatings, so it’s crucial to choose a paint specifically designed for this purpose. Epoxy-based or high-adhesion paints are often recommended for use over Cerakote. Check with the paint manufacturer for compatibility with ceramic coatings.
  2. Quality Paint: Invest in high-quality paint to ensure a durable and long-lasting finish. Quality paints provide better coverage, color retention, and adhesion to properly prepared surfaces.

Painting Process:

  1. Applying the Paint: Once the surface is cleaned, abraded, and primed, you can start applying the new paint. Use a high-quality brush, roller, or spray application, depending on your preference and the type of paint selected. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for drying times and recommended application methods.
  2. Multiple Coats: Depending on the type and color of paint, you may need to apply multiple coats for complete coverage. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next one. This ensures a smooth and uniform finish.
  3. Finishing Touches: After the final coat has dried, inspect the painted surface for any imperfections or uneven areas. If necessary, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish. Wipe away any dust before applying additional coats or finishing touches.


  1. Cerakote Thickness: Cerakote is applied in thin layers, and if the coating is excessively thick, it may impact the adhesion of the new paint. Assess the thickness of the existing Cerakote layer, and if it’s too thick, consider consulting a professional or removing the Cerakote before applying new paint.
  2. Professional Assistance: While painting over Cerakote is possible as a DIY project, seeking professional assistance is advisable for optimal results. Professionals have the expertise and equipment to ensure a flawless and durable finish.
  3. Ventilation: If you’re working in an enclosed space, ensure proper ventilation. Use a respirator if necessary, as fumes from both Cerakote and certain paints can be strong.
  4. Curing and Drying Times: Allow ample time for each layer of paint to dry and cure. Rushing the process can lead to poor adhesion and an uneven finish. Follow the recommended drying and curing times specified by both the Cerakote and paint manufacturers.


While Cerakote is known for its exceptional durability, it is possible to paint over it with careful preparation and the right materials. By cleaning, abrading, and priming the surface appropriately, and choosing a compatible and high-quality paint, you can achieve a successful and long-lasting finish. Whether you’re looking to update the color of your firearm, automotive parts, or other Cerakote-coated surfaces, following these steps will help you achieve the desired results.

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