Painting Your Firearm – The Cheap Ass Way

M1a - Fully Painted

Most firearms start their life out either as evil black or in red neck wood – and like the story of the butterfly or ugly duckling, they must be transformed into a more aesthetic version.

We must do it for the children if not for any other reason!

I am a tinkerer/modifier at heart, and must always “upgrade” things in my life (with varying degrees of success.) Painting my firearms is just another one of those upgrades I have done myself – mainly by reading others most excellent outlines. The following is just how I did it on my M1a Scout.

Now, you can go the expensive route and get a custom Dura-coat or other like “hardened finishes” coating – either by a professional or at home kits. These can run you from over a hundred bucks for a kit to the cost of a used Glock 22 for a pro. Personally, I’m a cheap ass, and prefer to cover my thousand dollar guns in 10 bucks worth of Krylon spray paint.

Krylon has additional benefits beyond just the price, including:
– Don’t like what you did? It all comes off with paint stripper/break cleaner.
– It has this weird powdery-stickyness that I like (some folks don’t share my appreciation, so YMMV) it adds some grip enhancement.
– Over time it rubs off, enhancing the cool-guy, “been there, done that” aspect of the weapon.
– You can brag on how awesome you are for doing it yourself.

The Host Weapon:

What You Need:
1. Krylon “camouflage” series in the colors you want (in this case tan, brown, and green.)
2. Painters tape.
3. Cleaner/degreaser.

The Steps:
1. Use a good cleaner/degreaser, and following the manufactures instructions – clean/strip all the grease, lubricants, and grime off your host weapon.
2. Realize you most likely don’t want Krylon inside your firearm, so use some blue painters tape to mask off openings like your barrel and parts of your receiver. Also, tape any optics glass and small numbers that you don’t want covered – like range markings on iron sights.
3. Paint the whole thing your base color, it is best to use the lightest color first, so the following colors can be seen. take your time, multiple lite coats are better than one heavy coating.

4. Wait for the base coat to dry – not long if you were not heavy-handed with the base coat.
5. Rip 3″-8″ strips of the painters tape in half, so you have long strips of jagged-edged tape.
6. Put the tape on the weapon, with two jagged-edges facing each other. The space between these strips will become your next color.

7. Add tape to the back-side of the tape strips – giving you a paint splash guard area. (see picture to account for my horrible description.)

8. Carefully, paint your next color between the torn strips.

9. After a drying period, remove tape.

10. Repeat as many times as you like with each color needed.


11. Enjoy!

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One Response to Painting Your Firearm – The Cheap Ass Way

  1. Pingback: Painting Your Tomahawk… The Cheap Ass Way | Freedom Hold Ranch

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