How to Paint a Pistol

Painting your gun can help camouflage it, look tactically cool or protect against heat and harsh conditions – but before beginning this task you must prepare it thoroughly first.

First, acrylic paint must be made sprayable by mixing it with a medium. This will enable it to spray evenly and smoothly.


When painting your gun, there is an array of colors from which to choose. Some gun owners opt for darker hues that mimic the signature shining of steel guns while others prefer bolder tones for aesthetic reasons; many prefer using tan shades as this evokes natural camouflage in desert environments.

Though some in the gun community warn against brightly-colored firearms being too flashy or giving away your position, others recommend they help locate it easier when drawing from a holster in low light conditions. Furthermore, choosing an enjoyable gun makes the experience of carrying and using your weapon even more pleasurable!

Reholstering your pistol becomes significantly simpler when combined with a matching or complementary holster. For instance, if you choose to cerakote your pistol pink and pair it with such a holster that makes drawing it in low light conditions or upon awakening easier.

If you are still uncertain of making the commitment to purchasing a firearm with its own distinctive hue, Cerakote guns offer an alternative. Customization gives you more options and allows for creative expression when choosing colors or patterns for customization – this option may be particularly appealing to new gun owners who may need time before making up their minds about what type of firearm to purchase.

For instance, if you want a Cerakote gun in a MultiCam pattern, simply purchase either an existing firearm that already features this color and use tape to add custom camo patterns of your own design. Cerakote also comes in various tan shades so that you can customize its finish exactly how you see fit.

However, when carrying a gun for self-defence purposes it’s essential to remember its deadly nature first and foremost. Therefore, most top trainers and experts advise against coloring pistols intended for home defense use with any color that might draw unwanted attention from potential attackers. This is especially pertinent if they will be carried often or publically where it could potentially attract unwanted attention from potential threats.


For added visual impact at the range, or simply to make your pistol more impressive, a variety of finishes may help set it apart from its peers. Some can be purchased at gun shops while others require professional coating shops; to help narrow your choices further, first consider your needs and wants such as custom colors or corrosion protection; once this has been established then choose your finishing option accordingly.

Gun bluing is one of the least costly and most widely available finishes for firearms. This low-friction coating, resistant to corrosion and chipping, can be applied directly onto any metal without altering its shape or dimensions in any way. Bluing changes the iron in steel by changing its chemical makeup into black oxide that protects it against rust; regular oiling should prevent this form of finish rusting; it should only be considered temporary until more permanent solutions can be applied.

Cerakote is a ceramic-based finish available in hundreds of colors, which offers moderate flexibility and provides wear protection. Although not as durable as hard chrome, Cerakote can withstand harsh use better than most coatings while offering better chemical resistance than most. Because this coating requires meticulous prep work before application, Cerakote requires special consideration when applied flawlessly.

Parkerizing is an inexpensive corrosion-resistant finish using electrochemical phosphate conversion to coat iron parts with gray or black oxide layers, similar to gun bluing but less effective against rust than its counterpart.

Other coating options include KG Gun Kote, Lauer and Duracoat – depending on their brand they may serve both aesthetic and functional purposes, making application much simpler than canned spray paint. When selecting any coating option it’s important to first determine if your existing paint is oil or latex by touching its surface with denatured alcohol; if it rubs off easily then latex while remaining intact means oil-based. Whenever possible it’s wiser to choose gun-specific finishes for optimal results.


Painting a gun requires many considerations, and choosing the correct colors and finishes can have an enormous effect on how it looks. To achieve an exceptional-looking firearm, getting it professionally done is the best way to ensure even coverage and that no areas remain neglected.

Before applying paint to a gun, it is crucial that it is first degreased using gun cleaning solvent. Sandpaper of various grades or even sandblasting machines may help smoothen out its surface and ensure adhesion of coating material.

When selecting gun paint, it is crucial that it will withstand temperature extremes and other environmental factors that are experienced with guns. Automotive or engine enamel can withstand these challenges well and is available from most auto supply stores; other military-grade paint options such as Manasote or Cerakote provide higher levels of resistance than regular paint while protecting metal components on guns.

Some hunters decide to paint their guns with matte or dull finishes to help camouflage them for hunting, as these don’t reflect light and won’t give away where a shooter stands in relation to game. Others may prefer glossy surfaces; these can be achieved using clear coats or clear polyurethane over matte finishes.

When painting a gun, it is vital to apply two coats. This will extend its color’s longevity while protecting it from rust and other forms of damage. Apply one full coat first before spraying second one over any areas missed by initial one; allow paint time to dry fully between coats as this could take anywhere between a few hours and several days depending on product used.


Once your gun is ready for paint, it’s a good idea to test its performance on cardboard or wood to evaluate how well it performs and make any necessary adjustments to air, fluid or fan knobs. Testing also gives you an opportunity to observe whether its spray pattern provides an even coat of color; this step is especially important with water-based coatings which require lower air pressure than lacquer and enamel paints.

As with any firearm-related project, make sure that you have the appropriate tools at hand. A high-volume low-pressure (HVLP) spray gun is an excellent way to achieve even coverage with minimum bounceback or overspray; its fluid nozzle should match up well with whatever paint type is being used and be adjustable as desired for different tasks.

Essential tools when spraying guns include clean gloves, eye protection and a mask or respirator – this prevents paint or flake particles from getting into your throat and lungs and thus creating an unsafe working environment.

Find an appropriate workspace free from dust, dirt, or debris that could clog your gun during painting, such as a clean surface without dust particles or any dirt that could get in. And gather basic tools needed for gun preparation such as lint roller and sanding pad.

Once your gun is cleaned and sanded, it’s time to begin the painting process. Although this step takes more time than degreasing and wiping down, the end result should be an improved finish that lasts longer.

Before spraying, always read the instructions for your paint and gun to understand what the optimal air pressure setting should be – this is often measured in pounds per square inch pressure (PSI). An air pressure gauge can be purchased that attaches directly to a compressor or gun or you can simply use an online calculator to ascertain this amount.

Paint sprayers can either be rented or purchased, depending on your budget. When buying one, be sure to find one with various fluid nozzles and paint cups; additionally, purchase a gun cleaning mat to minimise clutter in your garage.

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