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Old June 24, 2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 4, 2010
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Pictoral Guide: How to Detail (color) Your Engraving

this is a tutorial on how to color the engraving on your firearms. this can be done with simple fingernail polish. or if you
want a different color selection you can go to your local autoparts store and get some touch up paint. these are both
essentially the same product. and anyone who tells you differently doesnt know what they are talking about. and you should
seek advice else where. both are a solvent bourne acrylic enamel. and although these products dont require a catalyst. it is
essentially the same product that is on your car.

first i want to say that the level of color that is visible will be greatly determined by the depth and width of the cut in
your specific gun. some things like serial numbers are typically deaper and wider than the decorative engravings for say a
company logo. but again all manufaturers do it a little different. so dont blame me if it doesnt show up like night and day.
for the purpose of the turorial i will be using my wifes pt-22. but i will also provide some pics of my s&w sw99 for some

first things first. these are the products you will need.

clear and dissasemble your gun.

clean the parts that will be painted with a solvent like break-free or gun scrubber to remove all oils and residue. make sure
to scrub in the engraving with a brush of some sort. this part is crutial so dont skimp here.
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Old June 24, 2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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Join Date: February 4, 2010
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choose your favorite paint. in this case its my daughters hanna montanna pink. you will also need acetone (finger nail polish
remover). and a paper towel.

apply the paint in a heavy liquid coat to the area to be painted.

both paints mentioned here will begin to dry immediatly. so grab your credit card and use the flat edge to scrape the bulk of
the material off of the surface. wiping it off the card onto the paper towel. dont try to clean it all with the card. this is
where the acetone comes in.

let the paint dry for about 15 minutes. then wet the paper towel with the acetone. dont get it soaked you just want the
surface of the paper towel to be wet. dont use a rag on this part. you want the smooth surface of the paper towel so it isnt
digging into the engraving during the cleaning.
wipe the surface of the metal to remove the residual paint on the surface. dont rush this and if you need to re-wet the paper
towel then do so.

visually inspect the work to your satisfaction. some deaper engravings can take a second coat depending on the opacity of the
paint used. if it needs a second coat just repeat the steps above without the initial cleaning. here are some finished pics
of the guns. the pt-22 engraving is so fine that in the pics its barely visible that its colored. but i assure you that in
person it has a nice pink glow.

this is paint. so its semi permenant. i say semi because while regular oils like clp and remoil will not remove it. a product
like gun scrubber will. you can wipe over it with a rag sprayed in gun scrubber to clean your gun without the paint comming
off. but if you spray the heck out of your slide and start wiping it will start to remove the lettering job.
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Old June 24, 2010, 03:21 PM   #3
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Join Date: September 19, 2008
Posts: 4,678
FWIW, There's many an old gun floating around the used gun market, with Gold Model Paint (enamel) in the engraving/lettering/stamping applied exactly the same way.

IIRC, I first saw the method, using white paint, in a gun rag article, in the early 70's.

I use it on guns I wish to photograph F/S, to show special markings clearly.

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Old June 24, 2010, 10:10 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 9,240
Break Free is an oil-based solvent, and is not something you want to use if you are going to paint metal. Alcohol or Acetone will work great.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old June 25, 2010, 04:07 PM   #5
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Join Date: February 4, 2010
Posts: 13
break free powder blast is acetone base. not petroleum. just like gun scrubber. the regular can of break free lube is petroleum base but its also not a cleaner. although it can be used to clean minor powder build up just like remoil. its more of a preservative oil then a cleaner.
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