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.
What Makes A Good Gun Paint
Good gun paint is something that will be debated as long as we own guns. However, there are a few factors that go into gun paint that make a difference between good and just “okay” paint.
Resistance (moisture, oil, salinity, corrosion, grease)
Gun paint needs to be resistant to the elements, handling, and firing. This will include protection or resistance to things like humidity and moisture, oil and grease, and corrosion. Don’t forget that your hands will leave oils behind, too.
The higher-quality paints will have a better mixture quality. The pigments need to be smaller to help the color last. The finish is also important since you don’t want your paint to chip, flake or peel. Better mixtures will produce better, longer-lasting finishes.
If patience isn’t a virtue, you will want to find a paint that has a faster cure time. Because you will need to do a few coats, including the site lines and clear coats, you will want to have a paint that dries as quickly as possible. The general rule, though, for a professional finish, is to wait at least 48 hours between coats.
When spraying from a can, you will want to use a brand that doesn’t have skimpy cans. Shelf-life of the paint can be long, but if the can is corrosive, rusts, or allows moisture in, the next time you go to spray, it may affect the paint.
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
- Unique can within a can technology allows...
- Listing is for the color MATTE BLACK - in a...
- Once activated the formula remains usable for...
- Useable on all types of metal, plastic and...
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.
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.
3. LCW DC44 DuraCoat
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.
4. Wheeler Cerama Coat
- Ceramic infused formulation that crosslinks...
- Compatible with ferrous metals, alloys,...
- Highly resistant to scratching, chipping and...
- Weatherproof any gun's finish
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.
5. Dupli-Color EDE161307
- Features EZ Touch Conical Nozzle
- Maximum heat dissipation and high-gloss...
- Dry to touch in 30 minutes / handle in one...
- Resistant to oil and other automotive fluids....
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.
6. Krylon 51601 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.
7. Rust-Oleum 269038 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.
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.
9. CERAKOTE H-Series Ceramic Coating
- CERAKOTE Sniper Grey is a very dark grey with...
- You are buying this product directly from...
- Our H-Series oven cured coating comes with...
- Coating instructions and other resources can...
What I love about this CERAKOTE H-Series Ceramic 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.
10. GLOW-ON Super Phosphorescent - Gun Sight Paints
- Our most popular, Glow-On Original*Gun Sights...
- First-time buyer? Get the GLOW-ON ORIGINAL...
- Super Concentrated: Twice the glow particles...
- 'No mess' water-based formula, non-toxic,...
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.
Top Brands of Firearm Paint
Some of the best firearm paint brands are common or house-hold names. While every person will have their own preference, if you haven’t picked your favorite yet, you can choose from the following list:
Safety Precautions When Painting One’s Firearms
As with any painting project, you will want to protect yourself. With the detail level that gun painting can incur, you will want to wear full protective gear. This will include goggles, gloves, a respirator, coveralls, and even booties if you are painting indoors.
You will also need to take precautions with your firearm. Ensure it isn’t loaded, that there isn’t a round in the chamber and that the entire piece has been correctly disassembled. You don’t want to set the ammunition to the side, either. Static electricity build-up is possible and is a fire hazard, as well as a potential ammo ignition source.
Tips Maintaining One’s Firearm
Maintaining your firearm is a crucial aspect of gun ownership. Proper care, maintenance, and security are essential to any gun owner. The following guides will help make sure your firearm is safe and well maintained.
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.
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.
- 1Start with a well-ventilated, well-lit and clean workplace.
- 2Dip a cotton swab in alcohol and clean your sights.
- 3Allow it to dry.
- 4Secure your slide assembly with a clamp or padded gun vice until the sights are level.
- 5Dip your toothpick into the paint slightly.
- 6Remove excess paint by rolling the toothpick against the jar.
- 7Dot some paint in the center of your sight cup.
- 8Allow this to dry for a few minutes and reapply if needed.
- 9Do the same steps for all the sights you want to paint.
- 10The paint should cure for a minimum of four hours, but overnight is preferred.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How long does gun paint take to dry?
Most premium gun paints will fully cure in 48 hours. After that time, you can apply a clear coat, which will take another 48 hours to dry.
How long does spray paint last on a firearm?
The duration and longevity of the paint on your gun will be factored by how often you use it. For example, if you paint the gun and put it in your gun cabinet without ever using it, the paint will last a couple of decades. On the other hand, if you frequently handle and shoot the gun, the paint may only last a couple of years.
How much should I spend for gun paint?
The overall cost will depend greatly on how many colors you are going to use if patterns are involved and the quality of the paint you use. On average, enough paint for an air rifle will cost between $10 and $40 per color.
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.