Some time ago, I watched a YouTube video by TheProRancher in which he instructed the viewer on one way to do a cheap, effective camouflage job using Krylon spray paints. I followed his method, and though I don’t think I did as good of a job as he did, I’m happy with the way mine turned out. I took pictures of the rifle in front of several different backdrops in order to get a better idea of how it would perform.
First of all, here is the video which inspired my efforts:
I used the same paints he did**, and followed the same procedure:
- Rust-Oleum Camouflage Spray, Khaki
- Rust-Oleum Camouflage Spray, Deep Forest Green
- Rust-Oleum Camouflage Spray, Earth Brown
- Krylon Flat Acrylic Crystal Clear Coat
- Rust-Oleum Satin Nutmeg**
Here’s how mine turned out:
The paint job seems to get darker in shadows than one might expect, and brighter in sunlight. In most cases, the camo does a good job of blending in – at least, in comparison to the typical black which usually sticks out like a sore thumb. I think that if I had just went with a uniform FDE paint job, it would be a big improvement.
**UPDATE: Dissatisfied with the way the rifle sometimes “glows” in direct sun or against dark backgrounds, I decided to touch up the parts where the “khaki” color dominated. I bought some Krylon “Satin Nutmeg” and used it as-is to create splotches over the brightest parts. Then went over it again with a darker shade consisting of three parts nutmeg and one part “Earth Brown”. This mix comes rather close to Flat Dark Earth. I think the rifle’s paint job has lost some of its artistic appeal, but has gained effectiveness as a camouflage.
A few lessons:
- TheProRancher did a better job making contrast between the different colors on his rifle, and in creating more detail with smaller sponges and more brown spots. I think his will probably work better in a larger variety of environments.
- Flat Dark Earth would have probably made a better base than the khaki.
- Put a light coat on AR-15 buffer tubes. You can see where mine started scratching, because I made the coat too thick and the stock fit is too tight.
- Tape up your sight/scope rails before painting, if you have any. I originally did not do this, and it shifted my scope (not pictured) zero too much for comfort. Cheap rubber rail covers will help break up the black, if necessary.
- Goof Off does wonders for mistakes or changed minds.
As a reminder to myself, here some backgrounds I want to try when it gets a little greener, or when I get around to finding it:
- Standing fall foliage
Here some old pictures, before the color additions: