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I had it in mind to paint a stock flat dark earth, a color I’ve used a lot in ARs. Blends in well in my region.

I settled on Aervoe spray paint, but there appears to be some confusion in the online world as to which Aervoe color is the best equivalent for flat dark earth. So I did a little experiment, and figured I’d stick the results here.

Aervoe doesn’t make a “flat dark earth”. They do make a “coyote” (color 1081) and “digital light coyote” (color 1076). Different online articles have declared one or the other to be the perfect match for flat dark earth—especially Magpul’s FDE, which is kind of a standard. Which one to believe?

So I bought a can of both and made a test, using a piece of PVC pipe. That’s coyote (1081) on the left and digital light coyote 1076) on the right. The Magpul FDE shotgun stock shows coyote (1081) is a little darker, but clearly a closer match for Magpul’s FDE.

The match is closer in person than it is in the picture.

And kudos to Airvoe. The test piece was just a remnant of pvc pipe, scrubbedd and then lightly sanded with 220. One coat went on pretty smoothly, and the results were smooth and flat. Much easier that you’d get with Duracoat and an airbrush.

I just hope the next guy who needs this info can pull this up in a search engine.


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The 1076 looks on my computer a little bit pink to me. Maybe unvisible in the dawning sun in desert.

Both colors side by side give an interesting desert camo, I think.
 

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I tried to match the FDE Cerakote on my Aero Receivers & HG's , & I believe there is no rattle can paint out there that comes close to it . There are some out there that come close to Magpul FDE & Brownells Aluma-hyde II is not bad , I spent weeks with different paints on an A2 Stock trying to come close to the Cerakote , but its still not as dark .

I like the one pictured on the left & the one on the right does look a little pink , but wasn't that pinkish color used in the WWII in Africa ?
 

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