I’d been meaning to get around to painting the rifle for a while. I was waiting to get scope caps, but there don’t seem to be any that meet my criteria: 1. Don’t be Chinese junk, and 2. Don’t break. Oh well.
The method I use to paint my rifles is not meant to come out looking like a beautiful work of art. That’s why the article says “quick and dirty”. It’s just meant to be an expedient way to break up the outline of the rifle a bit.
The first thing I do is prep the surface. That means remove the grease and tape any areas that don’t need paint. I don’t like paint on or in the bolt body, the scope turrets and magnification ring, the lenses (I tested both ways, just trust me on this one), and the bore. You can go full exacto when applying tape, but I like to make it easy on myself and an asymmetric pattern will be more effective anyway. Here are some of the things I used. If you’re a real man, forego the cardboard and just do it on the living room floor. If you’re married, this could be dangerous (using the living room in the first place was questionable, but it was cold outside, and I didn't want to wait a long time for drying).
I thought that I had plenty of each Krylon camo color (there are only 3 colors for crying out loud), but it turns out that I only had multiple cans of 2 colors. I think that someone other than me really likes OD green. I would be tempted to say that there’s not much green in my environment this time of year, but we got this GLOBAL WARMING thing going on, which I guess means that there’s still some green and that we need to surrender total control to the Government to keep us SAFE.
The first thing I like to do after prep is to paint the entire thing with a uniform coat of tan, what Krylon calls “Khaki”. Fight the urge to make it look all tan in one pass. Keep the can at the recommended distance and make multiple passes to avoid runs.
Once I get that uniform tan coat, I would apply sparing amounts of brown and green (if I had green, did I mention that I don’t?) to break up the rifle’s outline. It’s important to avoid symmetry and uniformity. There are a few ways to keep the randomness of the pattern. Some use netting to give the colors a snakeskin look. I prefer to go outside and collect a few twigs and branches.
What seems to be a key, and what I tend to forget until I get going is to be very sparing with the colors. Decide on a spot, hold the template material close so that the paint won’t just go around it, and make a small pass with sufficient volume of paint on the small area to make effective use of the template. If you just mist it on, it won’t show the template, but if you make a large pass you’ll end up with huge ugly blotches.
The first pass. It was a little too big.
I don’t know how well the paint will adhere to the Hogue stock. I suspect it will come off pretty quickly. Then I will finally get some green in the pattern. The nice thing about Krylon is that it’s easy, quick, and adaptable to different seasons and terrain.
Have fun. I'll probably do my car next.