View Full Version : Questions on painting a rifle

January 31, 2013, 06:07 PM
I'm working on some AK kits right now that I got before the panic, and want to do some unique things with them. I had this blasphemous idea to put an American flag on an AK. It was kind of a joke idea, but then I got to thinking that may look good on an AR, or maybe something like a Confederate flag, seeing as I've never seen that done.

So, I googled over and over, and all I can find are fill ins for serial numbers, camo painting, and super professional jobs that they don't really explain how they did it.

If I'm correct, there are two ways that I have seen so far. Krylon spray paint by itself (after a base coat, of course) is one. The other is airbrushing. I have no experience airbrushing, but I am an artist, so I figure "how hard could it be?" From what I understand you need some kind of base coat (not krylon, because it can't be baked), bake it, do your painting, bake, then clear coat.

The Krylon option concerns me because I don't see how that would hold up to the heat on an AR.

So does anyone know of any good techniques to actually do painting that is NOT camouflage, but actual artwork on aluminum of an AR15? Actually, the carbon material, also. And can any actual freehand painting be done?

Thanks in advance. I wasn't sure what forum to put this under, but this looked as good as any.

January 31, 2013, 11:03 PM
Use automotive engine paints... they come in a variety of colors and can take substantial heat. They tend to come in spray bombs at the local auto parts, but Restomotive Labs and others (like Eastwood for example) carry a multitude of engine enamels in pints (http://www.por15.com/ENGINE-ENAMEL/productinfo/EEPA/).


F. Guffey
February 1, 2013, 12:05 AM
Degrease the metal, then etch the metal to give the paint something to hold on to. Aluminum, I use vinegar diluted with water, for metal I use an acid on clean degrease metal.

I have not finished the project but plain to paint a Mauser receiver with Zinc. If for some reason it does not work out, there is paint remover.

F. Guffey

February 1, 2013, 06:54 AM
Alright, would that need to be baked?

F. Guffey
February 1, 2013, 09:40 AM
Bake? Porcelain is sprayed on case iron, then, baked, same with frying pans etc.. Then there is baked on enamel, porcelain and baked on enamel are unfinished before baking, something like spraying on glass beads with a glue binder. Problem, there is no give or flex and it chips like glass. My opinion glass that chips is not something a shooter wants setting along side their head while shooting, smooth, gloss with a shine, yes.

Take what ever you have to paint to a motor cycle paint shop, but first determine how much you want to pay when repairing a dent, scratch or chip.

F. Guffey

June 10, 2013, 05:50 AM
Hi guys new here. I picked up an AK Sporter cheap cheap!!
Needs a little refinishing. Shoots as true as any AK I have fired in the past so thats good. The barrel looks good etc. just needs a stock refinish and recoating.
Have any of you all tried high heat header paints used to paint exaust headers on cars??? Seems to me they would work well???

Dixie Gunsmithing
June 10, 2013, 06:39 AM

Though I've never done it, a friend ended up with a cheap Chinese 9mm, and painted it with something similar, and said it worked out okay, but as far as wear, I can not say. Duracoat and others do tend to ware well, but they are baked on finishes. There is also the military standard Parkerising too. You can get the kits from eBay, and Caswell.

June 10, 2013, 12:11 PM
GunKote. It comes in many, many colors. You bead blast the metal, spray the base color on with an airbrush, then bake. Then just mask and spray for the design colors If you know how to do multi-masking, it's a snap. If not, you can still do multi-color designs, you just have to either make sure you are not taping on top of other colors when you mask, or bake between coats.