Best Paint for Guns: Firearms Paint Reviewed & Rated

Best Kit
duracoat metal colors

Duracoat Aerosol Kit - Metal Collection Colors

  • 12 oz Can + 6 oz Trustrip
Best Gun Sight Paint
GLOW-ON ORIGINAL Color Super Phosphorescent Gun Night Sights Paint Small 2.3 ml vial

GLOW-ON Color Super Phosphorescent 

  • 2.3 ml Vial

Using the best paint for your gun is essential to keep it looking great and lasting along time.

Peeling or cracking paint is a nightmare on any surface and especially guns as it can get into unwanted areas. We have reviewed some of the best brands for a variety of firearm painting needs.

Paint For Guns - Comparison Guide

IMAGE ​&
RATING

Model

Buy Now

Colors available

Price

DuraCoat Ultimate DIY Firearms Finish - Can Only (Matte Black)

DuraCoat Ultimate 

1

$

duracoat metal colors

Duracoat Aerosol Kit 

12

$

LCW DC44 DuraCoat 4oz Matte Black

LCW DC44 DuraCoat

1

$

Wheeler Cerama Coat-Spray On Ceramic Coating

Wheeler Cerama Coat

4

$

Dupli-Color EDE161307 Ceramic Gloss Black Engine Paint

Dupli-Color EDE161307 

30+

$

Krylon 51601 Gloss Black Interior and Exterior Decorator Paint

Krylon 51601 

40+

$

Rust-Oleum 269038 Specialty Camouflage Spray Pack

Rust-Oleum 269038 

4

$$

Duracoat Aerosol Kit

Duracoat Aerosol Kit

1

$$$

Cerakote C-Series - FACTORY BOTTLED - Air Cure Firearm Coating - (ALL COLORS AVAILABLE) - 118 ml (4 OZ BOTTLE)

Cerakote C-Series 


37

$$

GLOW-ON ORIGINAL Color Super Phosphorescent Gun Night Sights Paint Small 2.3 ml vial

GLOW-ON 

Gun Sight Paint

1

$

What Makes A Good Gun Paint

When it comes to painting your gun, you want to look for a great paint. You want your paint to be durable so to withstand high heat, and harsh conditions.

You want a paint that is a flexible option. A paint that can be used on different surfaces. Another thing to look for is flexibility in colors. You want to look for a fast-drying paint, so you won’t have the runs and drips. 

Lastly, you want the experience of painting your gun, to inexpensive. There are a wide variety of paints out there. Some of the favorite paints are Tractor or machine based paint, these are durable.


Tips and Tricks for Painting Your Firearm

Here are some tips for you on painting your firearm. 

First you want to disassemble your gun. Second you want to prep the gun for painting.

You want to remove all oils, rust, paint, or varnish from your gun. You can do this by using sandpaper, to remove any varnish.  

Using the steel wool take off any rust the best you can. This will save you time and money down the road. You don’t want the rust to eat through your gun. 

The next step is to tape of your gun, tape anywhere you don’t want to be painted. Once you have that done, you take the acetone to remove any oil. You will also want to have on hand paper towels to wipe down your gun. 

You want to hang your gun up or suspend it. Now you are ready to paint. Make sure to use even motions, as you paint. You want to wait 15-30 minutes between coats, to ensure the last coat of paint is dry.

If you are using multiple colors, the second and third paintings are these. When all your pieces are dry, you can put the gun back together again. It is recommended to wait a few hours or overnight.


10 Best Firearms & Gun Sight Paint Reviewed

These are the top painting brands for firearms currently on the market. These products cover all aspects of guns so read below to find out the best option for you. 


1. DuraCoat Ultimate Do It Yourself Firearms Finish - Can Only (Matte Black)

My number one choice of paint for guns is the DuraCoat Ultimate Do It Yourself Firearms Finish. It scores highly on the main three factors that you should be looking for in your firearms paint: flexibility, durability, and ease-of-use.

It’s versatile enough that you can use it on metal, plastic, and wood. The glossy matte black finish is professional-looking and slick. If you’re not looking for any fancy colors or camouflage paint and just want a simple black coating, this product does the job.

It’s highly durable and offers unparalleled protection against rust and corrosion. It also holds up well in extreme heat, making it perfect for firearms.

The thing I love most, though, is how easy this can is to use. Thanks to the unique ‘can within a can’ technology, all you have to do is push the plunger down to release the hardener. It then sprays really evenly so, even if you have no experience using paint sprays, you can get a professional, uniform finish.

There isn’t really anything at all to dislike about this product but, if I had to pick something, it would be the fact that it doesn’t last very long once you start using it.

The shelf life of this can once you’ve opened the hardener is around 48 hours, but it really depends on the humidity and temperature. I’d personally recommend discarding it after 24 hours as it might start to harden after that.

Still, this should be plenty of time to get the job done. You can spray 2-3 thin coats, leaving 2 hours in between each coating for it to cure (it dries fast), and you’ll have time to spare.

Pros

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    Dries quickly
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    Easy to use
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    Versatile
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    Durable

Cons

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    Short shelf life after use
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    Works better with several thin coats

2. Duracoat Aerosol Kit - Metal Collection Colors

The Duracoat Aerosol Kit firearms paint gets top marks for durability. The coating (which provides UV, rust, and corrosion protection) holds up well both in the short and long term.

I found that just a few hours after using it on a handguard, it was already tough enough that it didn’t flake or break off when scrubbed with a wire brush. A few months down the line (and after a ton of use), the paint job is as good as new.

It’s available in 12 colors but I’d personally recommend the aged bronze for a classic, timeless look. It’s also versatile and can be used on plastic, wood, and different types of metal.

As this is a full aerosol kit, you don’t just get the paint can - you get a 6oz degreaser and a scrubbing pad too. These are welcome additions that will help you to prepare your gun for the coating and keep it in top condition after you’re finished.

Another thing I like about this product is that the paint has a long shelf life. Officially, it should last up to 4 weeks but to be frank, this might be a little optimistic. At the very least, it should still last a week or so, which is plenty of time to use it.

It’s worth mentioning that if you plan on using the Gold, Stainless Steel, or Titanium colors, you’ll need to apply a clear top coat first otherwise it won’t look right when it’s cured, and it works better if you apply several thin coats while leaving time to dry in between.

Pros

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    Lots of color options
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    Comes with a degreaser and scrubbing pad
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    Super durable
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    Long shelf life

Cons

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    Not as quick to dry
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    Comes out thick (don’t stand too close or it will run)

3. LCW DC44 DuraCoat 4oz Matte Black

The LCW DC44 DuraCoat 4oz Matte Black is a professional-looking finish that will guard your guns against rust even in the most humid and damp climates.

Unlike some of the other coats on this list, this coat doesn’t come in a spray can - it’s just a regular bottle. You’ll need to use it with your own airbrush as a paintbrush won’t work.

It comes with a separate hardener that can be mixed in, giving you more control over the end result. The more you apply, the more sheen the coating will have. You’re in control of the mixture, which gives you the artistic flexibility to opt for more matte or more gloss.

If you’re looking for a standard black finish, I’d recommend a ratio of 12:1. Feel free to adjust that to your preference but, based on personal experience,  you probably shouldn’t go lower than 10:1 or higher than 14:1 as it might reduce the durability.

Pros

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    More artistic flexibility
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    Solid anti-rust finish
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    Durable

Cons

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    Have to purchase airbrush separately to apply
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    Less easy to use than cans

4. Wheeler Cerama Coat-Spray On Ceramic Coating

If you’re looking for an alternative to Duracoat that provides a beautiful, weather-proof finish, this is it. The Wheeler Cerama Coat Spray-On Ceramic Coating can be used on metals, alloys, stainless steels, and more.

It can also adhere to plastic but needs to be baked in order to properly cure and adhere to the gun, which isn’t always possible depending on the type of plastic.

Metals should be baked at 300 degrees for around 30 minutes. That can be reduced to 200 degrees for 2 hours for plastics, but make sure to check with the manufacturer that it won’t deform under these temperatures.

The only bad thing I have to say about this coating is that it scratches off easier than some other coatings on this list. On the other hand, while it might not be as strong as Duracoat, it sure looks incredible.

Pros

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    Attractive finish
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    Versatile
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    Weatherproof
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    Affordable

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Needs to be baked at high temperatures
  • thumbs-o-down
    Scratches easily

5. Dupli-Color EDE161307 Ceramic Gloss Black Engine Paint

For those who are about to re-paint their firearms, the Dupli-Color High Heat 1200 is another high-quality paint to use. This is actually an engine paint used in painting car engines.

This can only mean one thing – it can withstand intense heat and other harsh conditions. It works best on repainting a rifle’s barrel and receivers. The black matte paint will not only look good on your gun, but it also gives it some toughness and durability as well. It cures to a very hard state that can easily resist grease, corrosion, salinity, moisture, chemicals, and oil.

Applying the Dupli-Color High Heat 1200 will make your gun look like it just came out of the manufacturing plant. It is also relatively cheaper than other brands that go well with guns while creating that sophisticated matte black color finish.

It’s a versatile coating that will look good on pretty much anything. I used it on top of a dark color and it still looked great as the finish is super opaque. It’s marketed as a high gloss finish but personally, I’d describe it as more of a satin finish.

The EZ touch nozzle makes it super-easy to apply. The only thing you need to do is to apply two coats of the paint with about a 10-minute interval to let the first coat dry. Then after the second coat, the drying time goes up to 20 minutes. Baking the re-painted gun will take about one hour and thirty minutes.

Pros

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    Resists high temperatures
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    Easy touch nozzle
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    High gloss finish

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Occasional orange peel
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    Follow Instructions closely

6. Krylon 51601 Gloss Black Interior and Exterior Decorator Paint

If you want that professional type of re-paint job on your gun, then you have to choose the Krylon-Black spray, as it is the best color paint for guns.

This type and brand of paint will surely give your gun that professional look. It can be applied to any type of metal. It can even be applied to plastics, wood, glass, PVC, vinyl, and wicker and it gives a matte black flat paint job on your gun.

I’ve used this paint on a firearm and then used what was left on a plastic chair, and both looked great! If you’re using it on metal, I’d recommend baking it to help the coating to properly adhere and make it more durable. It’s also important to do proper surface preparation and multiple thin coats for a smooth finish.

The Krylon-Black is just one of Krylon’s series of paints called camouflage. Upon applying this paint, you can now proceed to paint your rifle or pistol in different camouflage designs.

All you need to do is to hold the sprayer about 8 to 12 inches away from the gun and simply spray paint it in a sweeping side-to-side motion. The paint dries up within fifteen minutes and is safe to handle after an hour.

With over 50 color varieties available, this provides endless options when black is not your style.

Pros

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    Easy touch spray tip
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    Quick dry
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    Work on a variety of surface

Cons

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    Highly Flammable
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    Follow instructions closely

7. Rust-Oleum 269038 Specialty Camouflage Spray Paint

This paint is a great overall set. You receive 6 cans that include: 2 Forest Green, 2 Earth Browns, 1 Army Green, and 1 Khaki.

This set shows to be very durable and can be used on wood, metal, and plastic. This is an oil based paint, providing non-reflective, and ultra-flat finish. Makes for great camouflaged paint.

It dries quickly and can adhere to almost anything. I’ve personally used it on a small boat and it looked great. As it’s a standard spray paint, it’s not as heat resistant as some of the other specially-designed coatings on this list and won’t hold up well in extreme heats, so bear that in mind.

Rustoleum is a known brand and has stood up over time. They create world-class paints for many purposes and this range of spray cans works well with handguns, rifles and more.

Pros

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    Durable Finish
  • thumbs-o-up
    Price is Great

Cons

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    Make sure gun is clean, to prevent chipping.
  • thumbs-o-down
    Make sure you let it dry between coats

8. Duracoat Aerosol Kit

This paint is a higher price point as it comes with a unique design that is specific to firearms. The hardener has been set up inside of the can which means it is ready to go and easy to use. No more mixing and measuring, just release, shake and apply.

This paint can also be applied to wood finishes, metals, or even plastic. It comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes and is extremely durable. The longer it cures, the harder it gets - but it still retains elasticity.

A great product and one I regularly use. Make sure you use it as soon as possible once you’ve opened the can as it will dry out quickly, especially in hot and dry climates.

Pros

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    No mixing or measuring
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    Versatile
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    You can use it on pretty much any type of gun

Cons

  • thumbs-o-down
    Less Durable
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    Short time frame to use it before it dries out

9. Cerakote C-Series - Air Cure Firearm Coating 

What I love about this Cerakote C-Series Firearm coating is the fact that it air dries, but is still durable enough to hold up well after heavy use. You don’t have to bake the coating once you’ve applied it for it to adhere, which is great for those of us that don’t have a big enough oven!

Usually, though, not baking a coating results in a less durable paint finish that scratches easily. After having used this product, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case. The finish hasn’t scratched or flaked off a few months after use, despite not having baked it.

As long as you don’t skimp on the preparation, this coat goes on easy and looks great.

Pros

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    Air cures
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    Easy to use
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    Highly durable
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    Lots of colors available

Cons

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    Make sure you do adequate prep work so that it adheres properly and evenly
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    Follow instructions carefully

Gun Sight Paints


10. GLOW-ON Super Phosphorescent Gun Sight Paint

If you’re a serious hobbyist looking for something that will keep your sights visible in low light conditions, but you don’t want to pay through the nose for an overpriced paint, this is the product for you.

The Glow-On Original Phosphorescent Gun Sight Paint produces one of the brightest glows I’ve ever seen, which is pretty amazing considering how affordable it is. It’s super opaque for perfect coverage and comes with its own primer.

It also uses a water-based formula which means it’s easy and safe to apply. It’s non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-radioactive.

The catch is that the intense brightness you get when you first apply it doesn’t last long. I found that, after a few weeks of use, it starts to fade a little. This isn’t a problem if you use an LED light charge for a few minutes on it before you go out, though, which is something I’d recommend doing.

As far as Glow-on paints for gun sights go, this is a great product.

Pros

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    Water-based formula
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    Easy to apply
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    Super bright glow
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    Professional grade
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    Affordable

Cons

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    Brightness fades after a while
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    Small vial (not much paint)

Gun Sight Paint – Everything you need to know

Gun sight paint enables you to have an easier flash sighting. Whether you are in low light or no light situation, it’s practical and easy to accomplish.

Many people use it for hunting during dusk or dawn plus for law enforcement. In fact, studies show that the majority of crimes where people need to defend themselves happen in low light situations.

You can choose a variety of colors for your gun sight paint; there is even some glow in the dark options on the market. Here are the steps to take when you are ready.

  • 1
    Start with a well-ventilated, well-lit and clean workplace.
  • 2
    Dip a cotton swab in alcohol and clean your sights.
  • 3
    Allow it to dry.
  • 4
    Secure your slide assembly with a clamp or padded gun vice until the sights are level.
  • 5
    Dip your toothpick into the paint slightly.
  • 6
    Remove excess paint by rolling the toothpick against the jar.
  • 7
    Dot some paint in the center of your sight cup.
  • 8
    Allow this to dry for a few minutes and reapply if needed.
  • 9
    Do the same steps for all the sights you want to paint.
  • 10
    The paint should cure for a minimum of four hours, but overnight is preferred.

Conclusion

The bottom line here is that you can choose the right brand and type of paint that will suit your needs and wants on the looks of your gun or rifle.

The types and brands of paint that can be used on guns might have some slight differences in their characteristics that may vary the end result you have visualized. Some of them dry faster than others. Some are easier to clean off with the solvent.

A little research will certainly go a long way. So go give your gun a refreshing coat of paint with these paints.


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