You can easily change the color of any rifle or pistol simply by painting it completely or by painting individual parts. However, it is important that you have a full understanding of the weapon first, as you may have to disassemble and reassemble it to complete this project. Be sure to follow all laws and regulations regarding gun ownership and use in your area, and never paint a fake gun to make it look real.
Part 1 of 2: Prepare the Weapon
Step 1. Disassemble the weapon in case you only want to paint certain parts
The procedure for disassembling a weapon will vary depending on the model. In case you haven't done it before, follow the instructions in the owner's manual or look for instructional videos on the internet. Take photos throughout the process so you can review them when you reassemble the weapon.
Step 2. Polish the parts you want to paint
The best way to polish these parts is to use a polisher to remove any existing paint or coating on the metal. Use a 120-grit aluminum polisher. If you don't have access to a polisher, buff the existing paint with sandpaper. This process will prepare the pieces so that the new paint will adhere evenly across the entire surface.
You can rent a polisher from a local DIY store
Step 3. Clean the metal parts with a degreaser spray
You will need a degreaser spray that dries without residue, such as Brakleen, TruStrip Solvent, or similar. Put on gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and eye protection, such as a face mask. Make sure you are working in a well ventilated area. Spray each metal part with the degreasing spray and clean it with a fabric with an anti-lint treatment.
- Clean plastic parts with 91% isopropyl alcohol instead of degreasing spray.
- Wear clean gloves to hold the clean pieces as the grease from your fingers will mark the surface and prevent the paint from adhering properly.
Step 4. Cover any areas you want to paint and cover all the holes
Use masking tape to cover all moving parts as well as any areas you don't want to paint, such as the trigger and trigger safety. Use clay or foam earplugs to plug holes in parts like the barrel so that no paint gets into them.
Part 2 of 2: Change the color
Step 1. Choose metallic paint designed for use on weapons
Some products, such as DuraCoat, are allowed to air dry to adhere. Other products, such as DuraBake, must be heated to adhere. You can heat small pieces of metal in an electric oven. However, in case you want to keep the weapon intact or the parts are too large to fit in the electric oven, be sure to choose a paint that dries in the open and does not need to be heated.
Step 2. Keep the weapon or its parts suspended in the air
Use wire, such as from a hanger, to hang the parts or weapon so that you can access them from any angle. Put a plastic cover on the area where you will be working and put on a mask, safety glasses and gloves.
Step 3. Paint the pieces with whatever paint you want
You can buy finishing kits that come with spray paint cans, or use a vaporizer that runs on compressed air. Hold the canister or vaporizer 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) away from the surface and paint each part of the entire weapon in smooth strokes, from front to back until all parts are equally covered. Let the paint dry, and apply a second coat, if you want.
Use paint-soaked sponges to lightly touch different colors in case you want to give your weapon a camouflage look
Step 4. Remove the tape and clay or plugs when the paint has dried
Take a look at the paint's instructions to find out how long it will take to dry. Typically, paint will dry to the touch within 30 minutes to 2 hours after application. Carefully remove the duct tape and any clay or foam rubber earplugs from the holes.
Step 5. Heat the metal parts if necessary
It should only be done on parts that have been disassembled from the weapon, not on intact weapons. You can use an electric oven to heat the pieces if necessary. Use wire to suspend the pieces from the ceiling of the oven, and heat them for 30 minutes at 177ºC (350ºF), or as directed.
Use an oven-safe thermometer to make sure your electric oven is operating at the correct temperature
Step 6. Reassemble the weapon if necessary
In case you haven't done this before, it helps to take a look at an enlarged image of the weapon, which you can find in your owner's manual or on the internet. You can also look at the photos you took when disassembling the weapon, or watch videos online to help you correctly put all the parts in place.