View Full Version : how to paint markings/stampings on rifle?

woody wood
January 27, 2013, 11:55 AM
how do you guy's paint the selector markings on ar lower or stamping marks on a ak or other rifles.i want some stamping marks to stand out with paint.
ive tried with one or two ak's and a mosin to make factory stamping stand out. but sometime looks muddy or paint washes out when wiping off,and even some staining.i understand they may not stand up to chemicals in long term,but thats ok. i can always redo it.
any tricks that work good? what to use and how?

January 27, 2013, 12:25 PM
I use the little bottles of touch up paint that you get at auto stores. Clean the metal with a solvent like acetone, then carefully brush in the paint. The trick is in the removal of the excess around the edges. If you wait to long, it's bonded to the metal and you have to use a solvent to get it off. If you do it to soon, it smears the whole thing. I use a magnifyer and a very sharp metal probe. Carefully, pull the excess away from the part you want to keep. If you try to peel it towards the keeper stuff, it'll all peel up. Another trick is to use a toothpick for the application instead of the brush. Push it into the stamping and let the paint wick off of the toothpick into the channels.

Final touchup can be done with a flat edge with a cloth wrapped around it and acetone. Use the flat edge to keep the cloth flat on the metal and wipe off the excess paint. Note: If your finish is duracoat, it will smear from the acetone.

Here's one that was done with a fake gold inlay. This stuff is more like a wax and is really messy. Once clearcoated, it's fine.

Be sure to coat it with clearcoat. Keep yer powder dry, Mac.
Tuff-Gun Finishes. The Name Says It All.
Mac's Shootin' irons.

James K
January 27, 2013, 01:24 PM
For temporary marks, like a photo, chalk, white lipstick, or a white china marker will work quite well and all are easily removed.


January 27, 2013, 01:35 PM
We used to use White Out for photgraphic purposes. Worked great.
Don't even know if that stuff is still available these days.

January 27, 2013, 08:01 PM
Gunsmiths and military armorers use Lacquer-Stik to fill lettering and sight markings. This is paint in a stick form.

To use, scrape the end with a knife to expose fresh material and rub into the stamps until they're full.
Use a paper towel with a dab of lacquer thinner to remove the excess from the surface, leaving the stamps full. Allow to dry an hour then apply a lube to prevent rust.

Another option is white appliance chip covering lacquer. This is sold in small bottles at hardware and appliance stores. Apply with a small artist's brush.
Finally, buy small bottles of model paints and use a fine brush to apply it into the stamps.


January 27, 2013, 09:01 PM
Prepare the sight by cleaning oil etc off with thinner and allow to thoroughly dry.

Thin enamel paint to a water like consistancy. Apply with a toothpick or bamboo skewer tip or fine point brush by touching the rollmark and letting capiliary action wick paint into the groove. Touch multiple points as needed to fill the design. The less excess the better but it is not the end of the world if you get some outside the lines.

Let it dry 5 minutes & then examine. If the groove is not full enough (from shrinkage in drying) then repeat the application step as needed. I think the results look better with a fuller groove.

After 5 minutes dry time following last application use a patch dampened (not wet!) with clp or similar and rub across the rollmark to gradually remove excess. The more accurate you are in paint application the less you need to clean up.

You don't have to buy special paint. I've used flat gray primer sprayed into a disposable container and thinned with mineral spirits and gotten good results.


woody wood
January 28, 2013, 12:41 PM
good ideas-thanks!!!