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  1. #1
    Ronin's Avatar Community Member
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    Jul 2009
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    Denver, NC

    Default Painting an Airsoft Gun

    This is a general thread that will help to explore ways and techniques you can use in giving your paint job a custom paint job, as there always seem to be questions on the subject. If you want to see a fantastic method of giving your gun a great camo paint job, check out chad7881's thread here:
    http://ncairsoft.org/forum/showthread.php?t=3053

    I've included a number of general steps to help anyone starting out have to a good place to begin. Feel free to add any information you find helpful or useful.

    1) The first step in painting your gun is often the most overlooked: RESEARCH
    You need to have an idea of what you are hoping to accomplish, and there is more often than not some sort of image you have in your head. Google search your gun, save lots of pictures of it. Make a folder on your computer with nothing but images you really like of your weapon. The more quality images you can find, the more you can try and replicate or create your own look. A great place to look if you're going after a gun from a film or television show is the IMFDB's website: http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Main_Page They have more info than you can shake a stick at. Check around lots of different sites. The more inspiration you have, the better off your results will be.

    2) After you have the image of what you want in your mind, the next step is figuring out how to create it. Ask lots of questions on forums for specific details regarding colors and paint types. Odds are someone can help you out. Read guides like this one. Actively seek out help from the budding communities around you.

    3)Paint Types: With airsoft guns, you have two real options of paint: Spray paint and Duracoat. Duracoat is its own beast, and something I have no experience working with, so I couldn't help you out there. Duracoat is often applied to real steel weapons that get much more heated than any airsoft gun ever could, and they are a much thicker type of paint because of it. Spray paints are much more accessible and easier to work with, and what most people end up using anyways.

    As far as as paint colors, the sky's the limit. Make sure to use a Matte or Satin paint though, unless you want your gun to look shiny. If you were "gold plating" a gun, however, you would obviously want to go as shiny as possible. Krylon makes a group of "camouflage" colors that are quite nice, including my favorite matte black which I use for the majority of touchups. This is where the research comes in handy. Take in pictures with you of the way you want the gun to look when you buy paint. Visually compare them and see for yourself just how closely they match up.

    Also, ALWAYS use some form of clear coat, again matte finish for most projects, for when the paint job is complete. It will save your work, and will help protect your gun.

    4)Pre-Paint:
    Now that you have your paints selected and ready, you begin the long, arduous part. With any paint job, the key to results is patience, and this section here will make or break your custom paint job. The first step here is thorough cleaning the gun, however if there are rough edges or surfaces on the gun that are sticking out, use some sand paper to make an even finish before you start cleaning. Warm water, a towel for drying, and a sponge of some sort with a light soap will work wonders. Clean everything you plan on painting, making sure to get off all of the dust and dirt. Any residue left will affect the results of your paint job greatly.

    Disassemble any part of your gun that you need to, such as handguards, slides, receivers, barrels, etc. If you are doing a two-tone job, this is a MUST. Section off what you don't want painted by using painter's tape. Painter's tape is a low-adhesive tape that won't hurt your existing finish. You can find this anywhere you get your paints at, and it comes in a variety of different sizes and colors.

    5)Setup a good place to paint. The paint cans will list ideal painting and drying conditions that you can work in. Warm air, with moderate humidity and good ventilation is the absolute best. Avoid wind if at all possible. Use clothes hanger wires if possible to place individual pieces up to paint. This will help you pain the entire surface at once. If you aren't able to use hangers, take some wax paper and lay it out on your painting surface. Wax paper won't leave residue or peel off awkwardly like newspaper would. Also, you can buy a roll of it cheaply.

    6)Painting:
    For any can of spray paint, I recommend using a pistol grip spray adapter. It is much easier to get an even, clean finish using one of these than trying to keep a steady amount of pressure on the nozzle. For the $2 you spend on one, you will make this process much easier for yourself.

    Apply thin, light coats of paint. Be patient with this process. Do one coat, then let it dry for 24hours before you start the next coat. This will allow the coat to fully dry and seal onto the gun. Make at least 3-5 coats on your gun. Do not rush this process. The more thin coats, the better it will look. More than 5 is not recommended, and even 5 is quite a bit. Take a week to finish the paint job, working on it only about 5-10 minutes each day. You won't feel the need to rush, and you will get a nice set routine after a couple of days of how to do the process.

    Once the main paint job is done, you will need to clear coat the gun. Again, about 3 or 4 coats here should suffice. Do not put too many layers of clear coat on, or it will start to either yellow the surface or make it look "frosty". Paint the gun like you would using any other spray paint can. The only difference here is time between coats. You only need about 2 minutes of drying time between coats, so it takes much less time. After the last coat is applied, wait another 24 hours for it to bond and seal.

    After the 24 sealing time, take off the painters tape. If there are any places you need to go back and fix, you will notice them immediately. You may also want to add in some detailing bits here. For example on my Sig Pro, I went in with a red paint pen and painted the safety dot red again. After any detailing has been complete, seal it with a last coat of clear coat again, and wait another 24 hours.

    Reassemble the gun, and enjoy it. Show it to your friends, family, and take lots of pictures of us here online. We love to see custom guns!
    MANUS CELER DEI...NON TIMEBO MALA

    HK 416 "Hashshashin" project
    AK "Infidel" Project
    2 custom 1911's

  2. #2
    Cpt. Crazy's Avatar Community Member
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    Aug 2009
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    Wilkesboro, NC

    Default

    great advice, and help. but what would be a good method of just touching up some scrathes and such? I know at fulda I scratched the barrel while cutting the zip tie off.
    Vet of: Fulda Gap 09, Fulda Gap 2010, Op 2 state solution, Op: Phoenix, Fulda Gap 2011 several weekends at CC, and many hours preparing my guns and gear for sweet victory

  3. #3
    chadd7881's Avatar Junior Community Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Sylva, NC

    Default

    painting will be alot easier if it is the same color rather than a multi color camo pattern. Flat paint are really easy to blend just cover up what you dont want painted clean and paint should... got any pics of the damage?

  4. #4
    Ronin's Avatar Community Member
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    Denver, NC

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    If its torn metal to the point where it looks rough or uneven, you can try a light sandpaper over it until its smooth and flush again. However, you don't want to sand too much, or the metal will feel and look uneven. A lot of the china clones have light paint on them that does scratch fairly easily.

    If you wanted to safeguard and preserve the initial paint, a touch of flat clear paint would probably help the finish from coming off. You would have to obviously do this before it was ever used or fielded, but it may save you some headache down the road.

    When I got my 416 used on the forums here, it had some initial paint scratches from being fielded. It was nothing major, but I marked what I didn't want painted, in this case only the Safety, Semi, and Full Auto markings with a small piece of painters tape I cut. Then I painted the entire gun with a flat/matte Krylon camoflage black, using the methods and steps above.

    In these three pictures, you can see where I left the markings, which are a slightly different shade of black than the rest of the gun. The rest of the gun looks like its brand new from HK.


    MANUS CELER DEI...NON TIMEBO MALA

    HK 416 "Hashshashin" project
    AK "Infidel" Project
    2 custom 1911's

  5. #5
    Cpt. Crazy's Avatar Community Member
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wilkesboro, NC

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    No I dont have pictures of the damage, but overall its just scrathes and scrapes on the gun. I figured it was a cheap coat of paint put on it originally. one question: Where can I get Kryon paint. would Lowe's hardware have it or would I have to look at a hobby shop?
    Vet of: Fulda Gap 09, Fulda Gap 2010, Op 2 state solution, Op: Phoenix, Fulda Gap 2011 several weekends at CC, and many hours preparing my guns and gear for sweet victory

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Crazy View Post
    Where can I get Kryon paint. would Lowe's hardware have it or would I have to look at a hobby shop?
    automotive stores.


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    "We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill

  7. #7
    xghostmakerx's Avatar HPEN Member
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    Jul 2009
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    Fuquay-Varina, NC

    Default

    Walmart has Krylon paint
    Dan/maker

    My feedback thread. If you have bought something from me, post me a comment.

    http://ncairsoft.org/forum/itrader.php?u=60


  8. #8
    Prime
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    I got some Krylon medium grey primer that I painted my M4 mags in from Ace Hardware.

    It coated evenly, and dried quickly. I will need to get some flat black soon as well.

  9. #9
    Ronin's Avatar Community Member
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    Denver, NC

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    Walmart has the colors. They have them usually off to one side, and they are the Camouflage series paints. You can also use a satin black paint, but personally I like the look of the camouflage series black just a bit better. However, the satin black does dry MUCH faster.

    Any one looking for a fantastic Flat Dark Earth color, needs to buy Rustoleum Satin Dark Taupe (which I also got at a local Walmart)
    Here's what the can looks like:


    Here is what it looks like painted on my G36c, and the picture shows how it looks when compared to my Magpul Rail covers (99% identical for those wondering) It is just a shade darker than the rail covers, but that could only be because it is a metal surface instead of a polymer one.
    MANUS CELER DEI...NON TIMEBO MALA

    HK 416 "Hashshashin" project
    AK "Infidel" Project
    2 custom 1911's

  10. #10
    mshane
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    Default

    Let me quote a part of the article I just read which I think will be pretty useful to us " A*universal smart charger should be a standard part of any airsoft player's arsenal. By cutting the time it takes to charge batteries by perhaps over 80% it will make any player (and team, for that matter) incredibly more effective.*"
    I AM A SPAMMER!
    Last edited by Halo; 08-20-2010 at 03:25 PM.

 

 
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