Best Spray Paint for AR15

Top 5 Best Spray Paint for AR15 Reviews – Buying Guide in 2022

Rifles need a good coat of paint from time to time to keep them looking sleek. However, they’re not like car parts or furniture, so the type of paint you use has to be well thought out. So, what paint do you use on a rifle to maintain its quality?

The best spray paint for ar15 has to be of outstanding durability, strong adhesiveness, and of course, excellent color. These can be a pain to look for in a local store or online, as you never know if the paint is worth it.

That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of our top 5 picks for spray painting your AR15. We’ve made sure only to include the products we’ve found that have the most benefits, so rest assured you’ll find something that piques your interest by the end.

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What Kind of Paint Can I Use on My AR-15?

As we’ve already mentioned before, any type of paint lying around the house isn’t fit for an AR-15. Most stains that tend to be in typical households are colors intended for walls, furniture, car parts, fabric, or regular arts and crafts.

Although these paints can look okay on your rifle initially, they can cause an increased corrosion rate, chipping, and peeling. That is why we recommend using spray paints formulated for the material of rifles.

Whether it be regular gunmetal or steel, spray painting is the best way to refresh the worn-out appearance of your rifle. Spray paints, especially the ones on our list, ensure the quality of guns always stay protected and prevents rapid corrosion development.

Best AR-15 Color Combinations

ar 15 color combinations

Now that you know what paint to use, it’s time to prepare your palette.

It’s tempting to choose the flashiest and cool colors like gold or silver to make your rifle unique, but when you take it out in the open, you would prefer a color that attracts the least attention. So, you’ll need to keep in mind the locations you would be using your AR-15 in.

To make the selection process easier, here are some ar15 paint ideas that are most popular among carriers –

1. Black on Black

You can never go wrong with this classic. A solid black color style doesn’t bring too much attention to your rifle while also making it look sleek.

2. Sage and Chive

The combination of pale sage and deep chive are the perfect blends of greens if you want a pop of color, as well as the classic military-style rifle.

3. Cool Grey and Matte Black

If you’re more interested in a unique color combo, the best option would be a cool-toned grey with silver or matte black accents.

4. Khaki and Mud Brown

These two colors complement each other nicely and are a great choice if you want a neutral combo but don’t want to stick to solid black.

How to Paint Your AR-15 Easily? – The Process

Spray painting AR15

Before we get into our picks, it’s best to know how you should be dealing with the paint to get the most satisfying results. If you’re going to be painting your AR-15 at home, here’s how.

What You Will Need?

  • Spray paint
  • Masking tape
  • Rope or clamp stand

Before You Begin

  • Wear gloves
  • Make sure to choose a place where the paint fumes won’t disturb anyone
  • Clean your rifle if it has dirt, grime, or anything that might get in the way of the paint
  • Set newspaper or cardboard scraps on the ground and/or walls to minimize mess
  • Wear goggles or a mask if the paint irritates your eyes or breathing

First, cover the spots where you don’t want any color on with masking tape. That includes the muzzle device, optic, around the charging handle and the trigger, the bottom of the upper receiver, and the bottom of the magazine well. You also have the option of taping inside the barrel of the handguard.

Next, mount your rifle on a clamp stand or hang it by any rope or cord. Make sure the cord/rope is tight so that the gun doesn’t move around too much. You can begin spray painting the base coat as you like if it’s a solid color like black.

The coloring process is easy so that you can alternate between patterns and textures of your choice.

Let the rifle dry after each coat. Don’t lather on coat after coat, or else it will take forever to dry, and the color will leave residue for the next week or two.

Some firearm spray paints don’t air dry but instead have to be “baked” in the oven for some time. The specifications should be stated on the label of your spray can.

5 Best Spray Paint for AR-15 Reviews

spray paint ar15

Now that we’re done discussing the basics of AR 15 paint, it’s time we go into our top 5 picks for spray paints for your rifle. We’ve made sure to include a product for every budget so that you can expect an inexpensive yet expert quality color job.

1. Dupli-Color Engine Enamel with Ceramic

First on our list is this engine enamel spray paint from Dupli-Color. While it’s intended for cars, it does wonders for guns as well.

In just one can, you can get up to 12 ounces of product. That means you can keep the product aside and use it for another 3-4 times on your rifle. Considering how well the adhesion of this spray paint is, this is better than most paints, where you have to go over at least twice for a good coat.

Plus, this is one of the only types of spray paint that delivers an excellent gloss finish on a gun without looking flashy or too fake. It evenly sprays the paint and protects the surface with its protective heat formula. This means you won’t have to worry about the heat of the gunshots peeling the paint away.

Pros

  • Multipurpose, can be used on car parts and a variety of different gun types
  • Easy to build on more coats, solid color in less than 3 sprays
  • Superb adhesion does not peel, crack, or rub off
  • Heat protective formula, suitable for withstanding the heat of gunshots
  • It isn’t too flashy, classic appearance that’s easy on the eye

Cons

  • Nozzle gets clogged occasionally

2. Brownells Aluma-Hyde II Epoxy Based Firearms Finish

If you’re on the search for spray paint formulated strictly for guns, this product is bound to impress you. With its one-of-a-kind formula, it’s able to bring brilliant durability, heat resistance, and flawless color.

In just under 3 sprays, this spray paint is able to color your rifle seamlessly without the need for repainting ever again.

The color builds easily, so you can alternate your palette and incorporate more colors for a unique pattern, which in turn makes it the best spray paint for ar15 if you’re going for a classic and sleek style.

The best part about this product is that the painting process is straightforward. To activate the formula, you have to shake the can for a few minutes; then, the color will distribute smoothly for a professional quality matte finish at the end.

Pros

  • The easy painting process does not take a long time to bake
  • Buildable color can be used with a combination of other colors
  • Smooth and expert quality matte finish, no bumps or bubbles after drying
  • Highly durable with heat resistance to provide a long term effect
  • Sprays on adequate amounts of paint, not too thick or too thin
  • Blends can be incorporated with other paints and colors

Cons

  • Nozzle clogs easily
  • Emits fumes that can smell for some users

3. Krylon Camouflage Paint, Ultra Flat

Next on our list is this camo paint from Krylon. This brand is known for its versatility among spray paint types, so of course, it also has one that works incredibly well with firearms.

AR 15 camo painting is tricky when it comes to blending colors. Luckily with this product, you won’t have to worry about the color being difficult to work with, as it applies smoothly, can build on, and compliments other colors.

After your first layer, you don’t have to bake or wait for a long time for each coat to dry. Its quick-drying formula ensures a minimum waiting time of 15 minutes and rapid bonding to the material of your rifle.

Pros

  • Rapid bonding and drying formula to ensure minimum waiting time
  • Ideal for AR 15 camo painting, buildable color with a smooth finish
  • Versatile, can work on different surface types, suitable with rifles
  • Compliments other colors and won’t clash with products from other labels
  • Long-lasting, does not wear off easily
  • The simple application process does not need additional products

Cons

  • Color may be dull without a topcoat
  • It leaves a slight smell

4. Rust-Oleum High Heat Enamel Spray Paint

Regular and prolonged use of a rifle can really take a toll on the paint job. That’s why Rust-Oleum formulated this highly durable spray paint that protects your rifle from heat damage.

As we’ve explained before, heat from gunshots can make the paint of your rifle prone to peeling, cracking, or rubbing off. With this product, you can expect protection against temperatures up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plus, the formula also contains a corrosion-resistant element, which protects your rifle from rusting with age. This also comes in handy when you’re in humid or wet climates where your rifle easily corrodes from precipitation.

Due to its incredible durability, this spray paint only requires one use, and you’ll be set for a long time. It eliminates the need for repainting or applying multiple coats, which in turn saves a lot of money.

Pros

  • Resistance to corrosion doesn’t rust with age or in wet/humid climates
  • Heat protection against up to a whopping 1200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Unparalleled durability, protection from scratches, cracks, peels, etc.
  • It doesn’t need multiple coats or repainting, saves time and money
  • There is no residue or smell after application

Cons

  • The nozzle can cause issues while painting

5. Wheeler Cerama Coat-Spray on Ceramic Coating

Finally, we come to the best ceramic spray paint for guns on our list. This product from Wheeler is extraordinary for easy application and a smooth-to-the-touch finish.

With crosslink technology and ceramic infused in its formula, this spray paint is able to bring out the most impressive, long-lasting effects by applying a smooth yet highly damage-resistant coat. It is workable on a variety of metals, including stainless steel, synthetics, alloys, etc.

Moreover, to add to its incredible durability, this spray paint is completely weatherproof. This feature is convenient in spray paints specific to firearms, as wet/humid climates tend to make rifles prone to corrosion and damage. You can rest assured that this spray paint will bring you long-lasting effects only.

Pros

  • The easy application process sprays on smoothly and bakes quickly
  • Works on a variety of different metal types, including stainless steel
  • Weatherproof does not corrode and is resistant to damage
  • Provides added protection against wearing off with ceramic infused formula
  • It can be incorporated with other colors and paints
  • Seals all previous abrasion marks and stains and refreshes the surface

Cons

  • Very little product, 1 oz
  • Multiple cans need to be used to cover a large surface fully

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best AR 15 Spray Paint

Now that we’ve walked you through the basics of spray painting your rifle, you’re one step closer to beginning the process on your own. However, before you settle on the paint of your choice, it’s crucial you keep in mind the following factors for receiving the best product.

Durability

Rifles go through a lot of heavy-duty work. This is why the spray paint you use on it has to be as durable as possible to withstand harsh conditions.

Scratches, peeling, cracking, and other kinds of wear and tear are a few basic examples of what a good quality spray paint should be resistant to.

Spray paints that require multiple coats or long hours of baking are the ones that wear out the quickest, so steer clear of those.

Also, avoid paints that are formulated for miscellaneous metals instead of specific firearm metals; this will ensure maximum satisfaction with the results. 

Color Quality

Spray painting your AR15 means it has to enhance both the appearance and the outer texture. The color quality of the paint causes both.

A well-formulated product will produce a vibrant, solid color without the need for multiple coats. Poor quality spray paints will spray a thin layer that does not build and requires more than 5 to 6 coats.

If you’re skeptical of a spray paint’s color quality, you can do swatches before your purchase or choose from any of the amazing selections we’ve described above.

Application

The painting process will determine the results, so this step must be done as seamlessly as possible.

A good quality firearm spray paint should have an easy application process. This means that the nozzle should be fully functional with no clogging or misaligned sprays. Also, the paint should be distributed in a uniform fashion without coming on too thick or in splatters.

Bad spray paints also spray in thin coats, so make sure to avoid them as well.

Long Term Effect

Long-term performance and durability go hand in hand. If spray paint wears off too quickly, you will be forced into a never-ending loop of reapplying coats and stocking up on endless supplies of spray paint cans. This will waste time, effort, and a lot of money.

There’s no way to tell for sure if spray paint will last a long time since you have to see it in action to determine its performance. However, if you’re skeptical that your spray paint might have a poor long-term effect, go over it with a clear topcoat to make sure it stays on.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long does spray paint last on ar15?

It’s difficult to say how long a spray paint will last on an AR15 as it solely depends on the conditions of the location you live in, how your use habits are, and the formula of the paint. But on average, you should expect it to stay on for about two decades.

2. Can you paint an AR 15 barrel?

Yes, you can spray paint an AR15 barrel. Most carriers avoid painting the barrel as it can be seen as untraditional, but it’s your rifle, and you should paint it however you want. We recommend using spray paint strictly for firearms to avoid any mishaps.

3. Can you paint a gun with acrylic paint?

You should avoid using paints that are not intended for use on metals, especially gun materials. Acrylic paints can be a bad idea as they are high gloss, which means they are prone to peeling and/or chipping.

4. How do you prep metal for spray paint?

It’s simple. Clean off any rust with sandpaper, rust remover solution, or a wire brush, and make sure the surface of the metal is smooth, dull, and clean. Go over the metal with a rag to make sure there’s no grime or oil. For added durability, you can go over the surface with a primer. And with that, you’re all set for spray painting.

5. Is Rustoleum camo paint oil-based?

Yes, the Rust-Oleum Camo paint has an oil-based formula.

Conclusion

Now that we’re at the end, we hope we were able to successfully convince you that finding the best spray paint for ar15 isn’t that hard at all. With our picks, you’re bound to have stunning results that will last a long time. All that’s left to do is make your final choice.

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