Painting the AR 15?


January 29, 2012, 09:30 PM
I was looking around and I kinda wanted to change some of the black pieces on my Ar15. I know for instance the stock and rails can just be changed out but they are too much money and I like the stock I got with the gun so Is there any advice on maybe painting the stock and rail a different color that would work? Thanks!

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January 29, 2012, 09:46 PM
Are the stock and pieces polymer or metal? If polymer you could have someone duracoat them or you could get some of the duplicolor high temp paint from advance and spray it on. If it is metal I recommend either cerakote or moly (gunkote) over a parkerized base.

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January 29, 2012, 09:47 PM
Duracoat works great on anything and it comes it a ton of colors :D just don't forget to clean your airbrush afterwards....

January 29, 2012, 09:59 PM
Just duracoated my .458 SOCOM. Blasted all the parts with aluminum oxide and used flat black self lubricating with a satin clear coat. Youmreally don't need to blast it but that makes for the best adhesion. It's inexpensive, easy and durable.

January 30, 2012, 08:22 AM
If you want the best adhesion parkerize it first then hit with duracoat, moly, or cerakote, if you just aluminum oxide blast it when the finish wears you then have bare metal and rust can set in. If you parked it not only would it give a good adhesion base it would help prevent rust when the finish wore off. That is if the parts are not polymer. Obviously if they are polymer you dont need to worry about rust.

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January 30, 2012, 09:23 AM
Are you looking to paint the whole gun, or just try to match up a couple of parts?

You dont have to bead blast or even park to get good adhesion. Degreasing well is necessary with any of them, and actually the most important step.

Ive painted a lot of guns over the years, and just painted over the guns original bluing in a lot of cases, and never had any problems. A few years back, I removed the paint from a gun that was painted over 25 years, and there wasnt a speck of rust anywhere that the paint covered, and only slight finish/handling wear, where the paint was worn due to handling.

You need to decide if youre wanting "permanent" paint, or one you can later remove. I prefer the later, in case change my mind and/or my cammies down the road. Then again, a good permanent paint can be painted over like a good finish.

January 30, 2012, 09:31 AM
I've done a lot of furniture and some other parts. I use Krylon Fusion, or the current Krylon camo that's marked "with fusion technology". As long as you degrease the surface thoroughly first, it sticks very well and is quite durable. It will be scraped off where metal is regularly rubbing against it, but that's it.

On metal parts I've used Duplicolor engine paint with excellent results. The engine paint is very durable against chemicals or abrasion - it's probably the most durable paint you can get in a spray can that doesn't require baking (Gunhyde might be better but requires baking and costs 3x more). I don't think it's really intended for plastic though.

Finally I've used Rustoleum BBQ hi-temp paint on metal parts as well. It is extremely flat black, and durable enough, but I think the Duplicolor is probably more durable, and I'm not going to get any painted parts above the 500 degree F. rating of the engine paint.

I'm sure Duracoat is great, but the cost is far higher, especially if you don't already own an airbrush.

January 30, 2012, 02:59 PM
thanks for the advice guys! I will look into duracoating. The pieces are both plastic that I had in mind to paint. Does the duracoat have a earth color or not?

January 30, 2012, 03:02 PM
Duracoat is available in dozens of colors.

Once you see the prices you may reconsider just buying new furniture.

January 30, 2012, 03:14 PM
Testors is even cheaper, will let you match pretty much any pattern, and comes off if you dont like it.

Paint the whole thing, and you wont have to worry about matching anything. :)

January 30, 2012, 09:56 PM
I rattle canned my FAL with pretty dang good results. It did scratch but I'd just hit it with the can again and all was well. I need to do my AR but I need the weather to warm up a bit first. Maybe April or May...

Having it coated with something like Duracoat may be tougher and last longer but it also costs a heck of a lot more. And what if you decide to change it later on?

February 1, 2012, 02:55 PM
how did you get the that design on your gun Ak103K? I was thinking of something like that but didn't know how exactly to go about doing it? Also since we are talking about painting it, what all has to come off the gun so I can spray the paint on it? What can the paint not get on?

February 1, 2012, 03:31 PM
I just sprayed the whole gun in the base color, and then used patterns cut out of printer paper and laid over the gun and then sprayed, going from light to dark in the pattern. Its really pretty easy to do.

If your going to paint the whole gun, then you really dont have to, or really want to take it apart to paint it. I just masked off the sights where I wanted them "black" or clean, and kept the Aimpoints covers closed. I did put a piece of paper towel under the caps to cover the lens, just in case there was any blow by of the covers seal.

The paint I used on this gun was a mix of Testors and Krylon.

Heres the same gun on the cammies I use and was trying to match. It will give you an idea as to how effective it can be in making the gun "go away". :)

February 1, 2012, 04:06 PM
Here is the official US Army guide to painting an M16/M4 type rifle:

That should cover what you can/cannot/should not paint.

The basic rule is don't paint lenses or front sight posts, and you can paint almost anything else if you want to.

February 2, 2012, 08:23 AM
And if you want to camo your rifle to match your own geographic area, you can use (the free application) CamoPicker to help you select colors for the desired paint system (duracoat, cerakoat, krylon). The link to the software is in my signature.

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