With the popularity of guns continually on the rise, that just means more people are getting guns that look exactly like yours. If you want to switch up your look or go for a functional camo, but aren’t looking to spend a fortune, here’s the way we do it!
We picked up everything here at our local hardware store for right around $25. Results may vary, but that’s a lot less than a full-blown Cerakote job.
- Gun – AR, Bolt Gun or Other. All will work; we went with the Mossberg MVP Flex in this example.
- Paint – We used Rustoleum Camouflage tan, green and reddish brown (Super technical term) – You can use any colors you want!
- Painters tape
- Denatured Alcohol
- Old Mesh Laundry Bag (Optional)
- Paracord (Optional – Not Pictured)
- Leaves (Optional – Not Pictured)
2.) Remove Bolt and Apply Tape
- Apply tape to the inside of the action
- Make sure to tape the red safety indicator so it is still visible after painting.
- Apply tape to all laser engraved portions of the optic – Magnification ring numbers, eyepiece engravings, numbers on illumination knobs and exposed elevation turrets
- Tape up the glass! It’s pretty important ;)
- Don’t forget to tape up the end of the muzzle!
3.) Apply Base Coat
- It’s always best to start with your lightest color, so the darker colors can go over top and visually pop. We went tan in this case.
- Get Creative! For this gun, we wrapped it randomly in paracord for a striped finish. You can cover the gun in anything you want to break up the lines of the gun.
(For example: leaves, mesh laundry bag, random bits of painters tape, etc.)
- Keep the rattle can about a foot away from the gun, and paint in shorter bursts rather than one long stream. It’s better to do multiple thin layers than one thick layer all at once.
- Don’t forget to use a nice base to hold the rifle while painting. These PMAGS with the MagPod base plate are excellent for holding a gun without having anything touching areas where you would otherwise want to put paint. Mossberg came in clutch making Bolt Guns that can accept AR mags!
- Lastly, NEVER paint your scope unmounted, outside of the rings. Paint adds thickness to your scope’s tube, which is precisely machined to a very tight tolerance in diameter. Your rings will not be able to properly grip your scope if that dimension is altered.
4.) Start Layering
- Dark colors come next – We followed up our tan with a little OD Green and this reddish-brown color from Rustoleum. Never used that one before, but it came out OK!
- This was also the point where we covered the gun in an old mesh laundry bag. This is what helps give painted guns that “Snake Skin” look.
- We like to do our darker colors in big, thick “Tiger Stripes” so they stand out, but also give plenty of room for the lighter base color to show through as well.
5.) Examine your work
- In this case, we took off the laundry bag to see the rifle more clearly so we could see if we wanted to change anything. We did this about two or three times until the paint and pattern were just right.
6.) Finishing Touches!
- Watch your creativity come to life as you remove all the paracord, leaves, mesh laundry bags, painters tape (Unless you are clear-coating! See Below), or anything else you used to get yourself a pattern.
- It’s best to remove all your coverings before the paint has completely cured. At this point, it is still soft and malleable. Once it cures, it is much more hard and brittle with a greater chance to chip and crack where you remove anything.
7.) Clear-coat or No?
- If you remove your coverings and decide “I did awesome! I want to keep this paint job forever” it is a good idea to spend a couple extra bucks and get some **Matte Finish** Clear-coat. This will help seal in your new paint job and prevent it from chipping/wearing away over time. Get the Matte Finish stuff, especially if you just did camo, or you’ll have a great camo rifle that is extremely shiny… Ask us how we know…
- If you don’t like your paint job, intend to change it in the future, or just don’t really care if your new paint job gets worn away, you can just leave it here and let it cure for 24-48 hours!
8.) Showoff to Friends
Everyone else with their boring, plain guns will be so jealous ;)
Here is the finished product. Our rattle canned Mossberg MVP Flex in .223. Ready to go blast some varmints!