100_7025Some 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:

Here’s how mine turned out:

Good color and pattern

Sticks out a little in this light.

Blends well here.

Straw and logs.

Sticks and logs, in full sun.

Leaning on a fence in full sun.

Can’t take it if they can’t find it.

Underneath a bush.

Against the wall of my house.

On a pile of cut sycamore branches.

Amongst some leaves and branches. Melts right in.

Leaning against a bush.

On top of some dark logs, in bright shade.

In the green grassy weeds.

Leaning up against a crepe myrtle.

Ground with a good mix of elements. The grey magazine stands out more than anything.

Living room bookshelf.

Bedroom wall.


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.

In case you’re wondering, that’s a Strike Industries Guardian on the muzzle of my rifle, and a Fire Force 2-point sling.


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
  • Sand
  • Gravel


Here some old pictures, before the color additions:

There is nothing here that this paint job blends with.

Leaning against some logs.

Early summer, against some dead branches.


Partial snow cover on grass, some shadows. Works very nicely here.


Blends well in the snow, sticks out a bit in the shadows with a darker background.


A little too light to blend in with the evergreen, but not terrible, either.


Against a tree. Here, you can see that the color scheme is a compromise between the snow and the trunk.


In some taller dead grasses.


Partial snow cover, a little bit of green, a little shadow.


Trampled grass that’s growing back, full sunlight.


On top of a pile of wood mulch.


Same fall foliage, with a few leaves breaking the outline.

stuff here

Stood up among some branches.


Among some new growth.


Spring Grass.


More spring grass.


More spring vegetation.


Patchy grass.