How to Paint a Rifle?


April 23, 2004, 01:01 PM
And I don't mean what colors or patterns, the Search function has given me some of those answers.

I mean how do you prep it for painting? Do you remove the barreled action and paint that and the stock separately?

Do you degrease it first? If so, what do you do for corrosion protection later, especially the part of the action in the stock; re-oil it? If so, won't most petroleum-based products ruin your paint job?

Do you remove the bolt (assuming it's a bolt action) or tape it? If the shiny bolt isn't painted, are you concerned about the shine afterward? The bolt is usually the shiniest part of the whole weapon.

Do you tape off the bolt rails or scrape them off afterward?

What parts need special attention after painting to ensure reliability and safety?

Thanks for your input. I'm thinking of doing this but want to know what I'm getting in to first.

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April 23, 2004, 02:35 PM
If it's a nice wood stock refinish it like you would furniture. If you want to "paint" it I would probably remove all the laquer/varnish and paint.
I would also remove all metal parts before doing anything.
I'm kinda partial to refinishing wood and not painting. As far as synthetic stocks go I don't have a clue.

April 23, 2004, 02:41 PM
When I painted mine, I took the barrelled action out of the stock, so the bottom of the barrel would also be protected from rust. I wouldn't paint this if it were already bedded, though, because the thickness of the paint could keep it from seating correctly. I removed the bolt and rolled up a paper towel and slid it in where the bolt was. This kept paint out of the action and off the rails. Then I masked off everything in front of the handle of the bolt, and painted the back part. Some people paint the whole bolt, but I didn't want to. Degrease everything well with alcohol, and spray away. Afterwards, oil anything not painted like normal. It hasn't hurt the paint yet. I got some Sweets 7.62 on mine yesterday. It took a little spot of paint off the receiver, but didn't hurt the paint on the stock at all. Sweets 7.62 is some pretty powerful stuff, so if it did that little bit of damage, I'm not worried about it.

And, of course, I can't write about it without showing a picture (again.)

April 23, 2004, 03:03 PM
The stock is inexpensive, nonfigured wood (birch?). It's been around the hill a few times and has picked up a few dings. It's nothing special that painting would hurt. If it was a nice walnut of course, I wouldn't be considering painting it.

Thanks for the tips.

I assume you taped off your scope lenses. Did you have any problems getting paint on them anyway?

Have you had any rust break through the paint where the steel may have gotten dinged after painting? I further assume that you don't oil the steel in those places.

Have you seen any appreciable wear of the paint through handling, expecially in the wrist and forearm areas? If not, is that because you don't carry it much in the field (i.e. you drive to a prairie dog town or something like that), or because the paint job has been pretty tough?

Lastly, what did you use for a finish over the paint?

April 23, 2004, 03:59 PM
My rifle is a Remington PSS, which has a very textured synthetic stock and parkerized metal. Both of these things help the paint stick better. With the wood, I'd sand it with fine sandpaper first to give it something to 'bite'. I painted it after hunting season this year, so it hasn't been in the woods, but it has been handled a fair bit, and shot a lot. It surprised me how well it's wearing so far, the paint is really standing up well. I was going to put some sort of clear enamel on it to protect it, but decided not to. I have several more camo patterns in my mind, and when this one starts looking shabby I'll repaint it with a different pattern- that's half the fun of having a camo gun.

I have flip-up lens caps on my scope, and it kept the paint off of the lenses very well. This is the only place the paint isn't sticking to. When the lens caps flex, it loosens the paint up, and it can be scraped off. It probably needed some type of primer, such as a plastic model primer, on it. I did use auto primer on the metal, but didn't think about it on the plastic.

Oh, and no rust yet, but it only has a few small dings. You'll love that.

Oh, one more thing. Put a foam earplug in the muzzle to keep paint out of the barrel.

April 23, 2004, 07:45 PM
For those plastic areas that do not hold paint well, try Krylon Fussion spray paint. I hear it bonds to all plastics. You can find it at WallyWorld. The one near me carries only bright colors, but I've been told they offer this paint in flat black and O.D.

April 24, 2004, 02:29 PM
Red_SC. Judging by the trees in the background, it looks like a bit too much sand colored paint on that evil truck. But then it is SC, so maybe not. :D

April 24, 2004, 03:43 PM
I hung my FAL barrel and upper receiver by a coat-hanger wire hook in a maple tree and sprayed it with black grill paint (after de-greasing with carb cleaner). It came out gorgeous.

Experiment - I don't think you can do anything with paint that isn't reversible.

April 26, 2004, 11:01 AM
Red_SC. Judging by the trees in the background, it looks like a bit too much sand colored paint on that evil truck. But then it is SC, so maybe not.

Actually, the paint job works perfectly. It conceals exactly what it's supposed to conceal- the rust spots.:D

April 26, 2004, 12:42 PM
I completely dis-assembled all the metal, even took all screws and pins out. Then I degreased all the metal. After that I put the metal in the oven on 250 deg. for 30 min.

Took it out of the oven hot and immediately sprayed a metal primer coat on it.

Let it cool and dry, then put it back in the oven just to slightly reheat the metal, took it out then sprayed flat metal paint on it.

I did not do the stock. I just went over it with 400 grit sand paper then applied several coats of Johnson's wood floor wax on it.

This was several years ago and so far not wear or scratches on the metal.

Oh, this was my Mossberg 44, .22 LR. I use it for plinking in my backyard and keeping the hawks away from my wife's chickens.

April 26, 2004, 12:44 PM
Red--how do you avoid losing track of that rifle everytime you set it against a tree! I'd need a radio tracking device to keep tabs on it.

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