This is the article I read and followed to paint a rifle a few years ago. Ranger Man has kindly allowed me to share his article from his SHTF Blog. His site is full of useful stuff. Here’s my results from following his tutorial with spray cans of paint in hand. My photo is a Remington 710 in .300 Mag. I wish I still had it. Sellers remorse.
How to Paint Your Rifle Digital Camouflage
by Ranger Man on April 17, 2008
So you want to paint your rifle camouflage. I painted mine 2 years ago and this is how I did it. The information in this post could also apply to equipment you may want to paint. Chances are high you’ll have paint left over anyway.
The idea to paint my rifle came from a local gun dealer. The rifle is a bolt-action Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker in .308 caliber. It’s all stainless steel with a black synthetic stock. I hump the woods with this thing, so I wanted stainless and synthetic. I’ve had bad luck hunting shitty weather with a blued rifle, and I’m always cautious about banging up the wood stock.
On the rifle I mounted a Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8 x 36mm scope. The scope matched the stainless barrel. I took it to a local store for scope rings. The store owner looked at it and said, “Dude, why don’t you paint that thing?” I admit, it looked …. space-age-like. Here it is before I painted it:
And look – deer meat!
To read more about those sexy boots click here.
The guy then goes into the back and brings out a rifle that he painted. It was camo – sort of. It was a rough job, let’s just put it that way. But it certainly wouldn’t stand out in the woods. This set about my desire to eliminate the beacon of light reflecting off the shiny gray whenever the sun shone down. At first I was reluctant to painting it, so I thought I’d go temporary with some sort of camo tape, but then I figured it’d just collect moisture under the tape and the tape would become slippery in the hands when wet. Then I thought about sending the rifle to a professional to have it painted entirely in Real Tree. I eventually found a place, but the prices were totally outrageous, plus the shipping, and every part you added on bumped up the price big time. Screw that.
So I set about searching the web for good information on how to paint it. There were no perfect directions, so I blended the information from many and used the following approach. Leaf, twig, and grass stencils are readily available if you don’t want digital camo, but it was my view that digital would look the best. (Download a free digital camouflage stencil I made.) Let’s roll!
To replicate my approach you need the pictured paints:
From left to right is 220 grit fine sand paper, Dupli-Color “Adhesion Promoter”, Krylon 1318 All Purpose Primer Gray, Krylon 8141 Khaki Ultra-Flat, Krylon 8142 Brown Ultra-Flat, Krylon 8143 Olive Drab Ultra-Flat, Krylon 8140 Black Ultra-Flat, and Krylon 8149 Light Gray “Special Purpose” Camouflage. It was a little tricky assembling them all. If I remember correctly the 4 cans of Ultra-Flat came as a package purchased somewhere online. The Adhesion Promoter and Primer I purchased at a local auto parts store. The Krylon special purpose light gray I ordered as an individual can – somewhere online.
In addition to this you’ll need masking tape and stencil material. I made my own stencils (read here to learn how).
I took the gun apart, the scope, rings, bolt, trigger guard, stock, etc. I stripped some electrical wire to hang the stock and barrel with. I lightly scratched the surface of the stock and the scope with the sand paper. I carefully taped everything I didn’t want painted: internal parts exposed, sling studs, the scope lens (be careful with the scope), wicked cool Browning logo, etc.