How To Camouflage Paint Your Rifle By Greg Ballard


Do you sand or "rough up" any of the surfaces after you've removed the oils? When your painting plastic type parts what to you use to prepare those surfaces? I've always wanted to give this a try but was afaid the finsh wouldn't adhear well and would end up flaking off. Outstanding paint job by the way!!
Ideally on plastic you would do such a thing. You can simply scrub it with a scotch brite pad to rough it up while you are cleaning it with acetone or MEK and get it pretty clean and this will help the paint stick to it. For the professional types of jobs it would be a media blasting a couple of times with something like a 60 grit oxide. Plastic is made out of oil, and it will leach out oil again with some time so all the cleaning and prep in the world can't prevent this.

Krylon is not going to be the longest lasting paint job in the world, but does pretty well and is very cheap to do any touching up if required. It is pretty difficult to get any sort of paint to stick for a long time to items such as the Butler Creek Flip Covers that go onto the scopes. You will notice that I skipped painting the rubberized grips on the AR15 as it won't last too long there with the acidic sweat and general wear from your hands as you use the gun. A clear finish helps quite a bit as you first have to wear through or scratch through the clear to get to the color.

There are many other gun finishing products that one can use that outlast Krylon a good amount of time. I use DuraCoat quite a bit, but I wanted to write this one using a method that about anybody can do and at a price that about anybody can afford. I just completed one of the DuraCoat jobs on my new coyote rifle and it is shown below.

Won't acetone eat away at the plastic stock? I was thinking of doing this to my stock only, and I have a H-S Varmint stock. Is acetone safe to use? The H-S stock are already textured. Or would it really be better to go with Lauer Custom paints? Or have the gun sent out to Bell & Carlson?
You are only wiping the acetone across the surface to clean it and it evaporates rather quickly and it doesn't "eat" the plastic stocks. Yes, It is better to go with the DuraCoat, on a durability basis, and if you want to shell out the dollars then you can also have the gun film dipped. Krylon is cheap and if you mess up it cleans off easily and then you can do it again or easily touch up and you don't need any special equipment like HVLP guns, compressors, Airbrushes and media blasting cabinets ...
Most of the true film dips that I see offered on rifles that do not already have a coating on them run in the neighborhood of 500 dollars for the complete rifle. A Duracoat job on a stock applied by a professional is about 135 dollars.
True, krylon is the easiest to use, clean up and touch up. But with practice, Duracoat will give you one of the longest and toughest applications. Once you buy the kit, your set for another use on another day. Just have to get the duracoat paint colors you need.
Krylon or rattle can paint jobs are the item of this topic as they are the cheapest and easiest to do and require no special tools that a person might not have and they do produce a efficient and workable camo coating. I do a lot of Duracoat paint work also. To do really good Duracoat jobs you would want to get at a minimum a really good airbrush or three such as a Paasche or an Iwata, then you will also need a compressor with regulator and water traps. An HVLP gun and a media blasting cabinet are also very good things to have, and a neccessity for those who do this for customers. You will also either need to purchase or have the tools and capacity to build a huge variety of stencils. Duracoat colors cost about 320 dollars a gallon and the clear goes at about 500 dollars a gallon so Krylon is a bit cheaper.
Greg, I think you told me you are going to be doing camo work for others. Are you now ready to accept orders if someone on the site has an interest? Your work looks just great!
Yes, Len. I have had my FFL approved and should have the license within a week or so and this would allow me to receive in guns and such in order to coat them for customers.
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