Part of the fun of buying your own paintball gear is that you get to customize it with your distinctive style—and you don’t need to spend a fortune on a professional paint job, either. All you need is a good brand of spray paint, some time, and you can do it yourself!
- 1 How to Paint a Paintball Gun, Step-by-Step
- 2 Useful Tips For Painting Paintball Gun
How to Paint a Paintball Gun, Step-by-Step
1. Get All the Materials You’ll Need:
- Painter’s tape
- 300-grit sandpaper
- Spray paint
- A priming paint
- A clear paint to protect the design
- Paper towel
- Clean, soapy water
- String, yarn, or fishing gut
- Cardboard box, big enough for the gun to hang freely
- A paint mask and safety goggles
- Latex gloves (optional)
2. Take the Gun Apart
Disassemble the paintball gun. Remove as much of the internal mechanism as possible; set aside and out of the way of any possible overspray. If you like, use a grid to plot out where each screw or part goes. That way, reassembly will be simple.
3. Identify the Areas to be Painted
Figure out which areas you want to paint; these will need to be sanded in the next step.
4. It’s Time for the Sandman
Sand any area on the gun that you’re going to apply paint to. You don’t want to sand off the metal’s finish completely, but you do want to rough it up a bit. This will help the paint adhere properly, so be sure not to skip this step.
5. Clean Off the Surface
Carefully clean the gun with the warm, soapy water. It’s important to remove all grease, and any dust left over from sanding. If you don’t, the paint might fail to adhere or may not dry properly.
Wipe it down with a little clean water. Then, using a paper towel, dry off the gun carefully. Set it aside for at least an hour or two to make sure it’s completely dry. And if you have the time, it’s really best to let it dry overnight before painting; the surface and inside must be bone dry to receive the paint properly.
From this point on, it’s a good idea to use latex gloves or other hand protection. This will prevent the oils from your fingers from greasing up the gun again.
6. Mask off the Areas You Don’t Want To be Painted
Using the painter’s tape, mask off any areas of the gun that you want to remain unpainted, or that you may want to paint another color at a later date. Make sure that any moving parts are protected by the tape as well.
7. Hang the Gun
Lay the dowel rod over the top opening of your cardboard box; hang the gun from it with the string, making sure there is plenty of room around it, and then cut open one of the sides of the box. We know it’s an extra step, but we recommend taking your time to utilize this method; it’s a great way to get an even, flawless coat over the whole gun.
If you prefer, you can also lay the gun flat on the floor of the box. If you’re doing that, line the bottom with waxed paper. That will ensure that the gun doesn’t stick to the cardboard, and it will give you something to grab onto when you want to move it.
8. Prime the Area
Using the primer, cover the length of the gun with long, steady strokes. Aim for a constant spray and don’t go over the same area twice. This takes a little longer, but it will give you a cleaner finish.
Wait at least an hour—preferably two—for the primer to dry. Then apply another layer. Again, set it aside to dry for at least an hour or two.
Once it’s dry, sand lightly again to rough up the surface; the goal is to create a better surface for adherence without actually removing the primer.
Wipe down the surface with a moist cloth to remove any dust. Dry well before moving on to the next step.
9. Paint the Gun
Now you’re finally ready to paint the gun. If you’re using two or more colors, apply the colors one at a time, allowing each coat to dry fully. Consider using the painter’s tape to mask off areas that you want to reserve for a different color.
It’s best to keep the spray at least six inches from the surface. This allows you to apply a fine, even spray. One coat should be enough, but if you feel it needs more color, apply a second coat. As always, allow the first coat to dry before applying the next.
Set the gun aside overnight so that it can dry well. Once it’s completely dry, spray on the clear paint to provide a protective layer, and let it dry overnight again.
Once the paint is completely dry, remove any remaining masking tape and reassemble the gun.
Useful Tips For Painting Paintball Gun
- Take some time with the prep work to get flawless results
- If you have an air gun, you can use that to apply the paint
- Make sure that the area you’re working in is well-ventilated
- Don’t rush – take your time and you’ll only need to do this once
- If you want a particular design, draw it out on paper first. Consider cutting stencils; all you need is some paper and masking tape
- Use masking tape to protect the barrel, trigger mechanism, and any other moving parts that might be summed up by paint
- Protect your work surface well – this is messy
A custom paint job is a great way to really make the gun your own. Take things a bit further and create a ghillie version by adhering strips of string or yarn to the barrel. You can paint the yarn first by hanging it over the dowel rod and spray painting it; be sure to let it dry before attaching it.
OK! All that’s left for you to do now is enjoy the fruits of your labor. Have fun!