Nail Polish Gun Detailing... Spontaneous Combustion?


March 17, 2013, 05:40 PM
Hey guys,

I painted my Walther P99 and mags today with some green and pink nail polish. I think it looks pretty sweet, but I'm wondering if it's gonna create a problem when I go to shoot it. I'm pretty sure nail polish is not supposed to be around excessive heat or flame. I only shoot about 50-100 rounds from this gun each trip to the range. Do you think the heating up of the barrel or the friction of the slide on the frame will cause the polish to melt or catch fire / explode?

Attached some pics for reference to my question and for those who just enjoy gun porn ;-)

Thanks for your input!

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March 17, 2013, 05:47 PM
That looks pretty good. How did you do the fine lines?

Nail polish is highly flammable because it contains acetone. When it dries, the acetone is gone. I use nail polish to seal primers or mark ammo sometimes.

March 17, 2013, 05:51 PM
Not going to catch fire, but it's likely to start peeling off from the movement and heat. The only way to get color like that to stay put is to have a duracoat or similar process involved. Otherwise it's just paint sitting on the surface ready to fall off.

Sun Tzu warrior
March 17, 2013, 09:46 PM
I use nail polish as cocking indication. Stays on very well.
You color between the lines very well!

Jim K
March 17, 2013, 09:54 PM
My friends will think I am nuts, but I like it.

That would be a great way to distinguish guns and magazines if one had near-identical guns in different calibers, say 9mm and .40. Green gun - green magazine.

Nail polish is great for sights also; it is quite durable, but easy to remove (acetone) if you want to change color.

Of course nail polish is not affected by heat; otherwise the girls... better not go there!


March 17, 2013, 10:12 PM

You have way too much time on your hands.
You need to find a hobby.

Other then that?

No it won't spontaneously combust, if you ever shoot it.

Yes, it will loook like hell if you ever shoot it and clean it with bore cleaner though.


March 18, 2013, 11:56 AM
RC has a good point.

Most good cleaning solvents will act like nail-polish remover. I managed to remove a 10/22 receiver factory coating with Brownell's Blast and Shine... and i wasn't even trying to...

March 18, 2013, 12:33 PM
..... and I thought i was bad using nail polish on the front sight of my revolver, not going to that extreme!

March 18, 2013, 02:57 PM
@zxcvbob: Thanks! I brushed the nail polish over the engravings, let them dry, and then used a patch with nail polish remover to wipe the excess polish off around the outside of the lettering. For the slide serrations I used q-tips and toothpicks to handle the fine detailing. Need to touch it up a little, but want to shoot it first to see how it holds up before I go crazy with it.

@Cosmoline: Good suggestion on the duracoat

@SunTzu: Appreciate it!

@Jim: Glad you like it. You're absolutely right: it's a great way to differentiate between mags/calibers. And haha I'm not gonna touch that girl comment (no pun intended).

@RC: Guns are one of my hobbies. I enjoy shooting them, cleaning them, customizing them, and finding ways to make money to buy more of them!

And FYI, I used Hoppes #9 to clean off the remaining nail polish remover and it doesn't seem to have affected the paint job at all.

If you enjoyed reading about "Nail Polish Gun Detailing... Spontaneous Combustion?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!