Do you want to give your paintball gun a new look? Are you bored with the standard black or camouflage design? Whatever your reason, spray paint can be a great way to add some personality and your unique style to the paintball marker.
This guide will walk you through all three painting ways and the steps involved. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get the best results. So grab your spray paint, and let’s get started!
Although there are three ways to give a new, cooler look to your paintball gun: anodizing, powder coating, and spray painting.
Types of Painting for Paintball Gun
Anodizing is one of the ways to give a fresh look to paintball markers. This method is mostly used on aluminum-based paintball guns. It is the process of dying the metal instead of painting it. Anodizing gives the most finished look because the paint thickness is only about .0005 to .0001.
There are a wide variety of colors and color combinations that you can choose for the marker. Anodizing is the most durable and reliable method and does not chip easily. The only drawback with anodizing is it’s pretty expensive. It will cost around $200 for a single color and $250 for color combinations. The customization option starts at $300, and the price ranges according to the style or design you came up with.
Other than this, you can’t do it yourself. If you want, you must first learn from a professional and get the essential tools. It’s a pretty hassle just painting one paintball marker.
Another thing we would like to shed some light on is that anodizing best works on aluminium material. If your paintball marker is made of other base materials like metal and nylon, we suggest using other painting methods like spray painting or powder coating.
Let’s bake! Powder coating is putting plastic powder paint onto the body of the paintball marker and then putting it in the oven for a nice bake. The heat distributes the paint evenly and gives a fine, smooth finish look.
Even though powder coating is considered one of the methods of painting paintball markers, it is more suited for car parts or other heavy industrial equipment. It is reliable but not as durable as anodizing. Many players also complained that their paint on the paintball marker didn’t turn out to be good. It’s a 50/50 chance of paint being good or bad.
Metallic, texture, river, and wrinkle are all part of powder coating’s wide range of colours. We tried a few options from here if you want to look at it.
It is a painting process in which paint is sprayed onto the surface through the pressure of air compressed in the cans. You will find a huge variety of colors in spray cans. This method is the cheapest and easiest to learn and apply.
What Is Anodizing?
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that creates a protective oxide layer on metal surfaces. This process involves immersing the metal in an electrolyte solution while applying an electric current. The result is a durable coating that protects against corrosion, wear and tear, and other forms of damage.
Anodizing is commonly used in various industries such as aerospace, automotive manufacturing, construction, and electronics because it offers several benefits over surface treatments like painting or powder coating.
- It provides excellent resistance to corrosion.
- It improves wear resistance.
- It enhances surface hardness.
- It adds colour options without compromising the durability of the underlying material.
Can Anodizing Damage Your Paintball Gun?
The short answer is no. anodizing cannot damage your paintball gun if done correctly. However, there are some factors you need to consider before having your marker anodized.
Firstly, not all metals can be anodized equally well. For example, aluminium alloys are one of the most common materials for making paintball guns because they are lightweight yet strong enough to withstand heavy use. However, not all aluminium alloys can be successfully anodized due to variations in composition and processing methods.
Secondly, the anodizing process involves immersing the metal in an electrolyte solution that can cause some metals to corrode if not handled correctly. For example, if the aluminium is not adequately cleaned before anodizing, it may contain impurities that can lead to corrosion or pitting.
Thirdly, improper handling of the paintball gun during or after anodizing can also cause damage. For instance, if the gun is dropped or scratched during processing, it may develop cracks or other defects that compromise its structural integrity.
Factors That Impact Anodizing
Several factors impact how well a paintball gun will withstand anodizing. These include
1. Metal Composition:
Not all aluminium alloys are suitable for anodizing. The composition and processing methods used to make the metal affect its ability to form a uniform oxide layer.
2. Surface Preparation:
Proper surface preparation is critical for achieving good metal and oxide layer adhesion. Any contaminants on the surface can interfere with this process and result in poor-quality coatings.
3. Anodizing Process Parameters:
The parameters used during anodizing, such as voltage, current density, temperature, and time, affect the thickness and quality of the oxide layer formed on the metal surface.
4. Post-Treatment Processes:
After anodizing, some post-treatment processes like sealing or dyeing may be necessary, depending on your desired outcome. These processes must be done correctly to avoid damaging your paintball gun.
Things Required for Spray Paint Your Paintball Guns
Since spray paint is the cheapest and most accessible method of painting the paintball marker, many players prefer to do it. To start painting, you might need the following things to get started:
- Regular Spray Paint of your choice
- Sand Paper, preferably 200-300 Grit
- Steel brush
- Painter or Masking Tape
- Exacto Knife
- Dish Soap & Water
- Paper & Pencil
- Matte Finish Spray (Clear Coat) (Optional)
After gathering all these essentials, it’s time to spray paint.
Steps to Spray Paint Your Paintball Gun
Just follow our simple step-by-step guide to get a paint job done correctly! So grab your spray paint, and let’s get started!
Remove Parts You Don’t Want to Spray
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove any parts you don’t want to paint and take the paintball marker apart with the help of the tool kit until you are left with only the parts you want to paint. We recommend putting the major components in a sealed plastic bag so you won’t misplace anything.
This includes the hopper, air tank, and any other accessories. If you’re unsure how to do this, consult your gun’s manual or look up a tutorial online. Once everything is removed, clean your entire gun well with soap and water. Or wipe down all surfaces with a degreaser or alcohol wipe. This will help the paint to adhere better and have even coats of paint later.
Thoroughly Clean the Paintball Marker Parts
After disassembling the paintball marker, wash each part thoroughly with dish soap and water. After rinsing, dry the parts with a dry cloth. Ensure all the parts are fully dried before sanding off the old paint.
Sand Off the Old Paint
If your paintball gun is already painted, you must sand off the old paint before applying the new one. This will help the new paint to adhere better and give you a smoother, realistic finish over the sanded textured surface. The steel brush works like a wonder and the paint comes off easily.
You can use sandpaper afterwards to get the residue. To ensure the neatness in the final look of your masterpiece, perfectly clean the marker again with a cloth to remove any residue particles.
Cover Paintball Gun Areas You Don’t Want to Spray
Next, you’ll need to mask any areas you don’t want to paint. This includes the sights, triggers, and anything else you want to keep the original color. Once everything is masked off, it’s time to start painting! Use painter’s tape or newspaper to protect areas like the barrel, sights, and grip
You need to be very precise in this specific step. Because if you get spray paint inside of your paintball marker, it could affect the performance of the paintball marker. So take your time with masking, and don’t rush.
Design a Stencil (Optional)
This step is for more advanced design. If you want to get creative with your marker with designs like leafy patterns, as most players prefer, you must make a stencil. Draw your design on the paper first, then cut out your stencil with the help of the Exacto knife.
Coating of Paint
Tip: Do a test coat on paper to know how much you need to put pressure on the nozzle. And how far does the spray need to be? That will minimize the chances of messing up on the actual piece.
Apply a base clear coat of primer spray paint. Choose a light color so that the final color will be more vibrant. Spray a thin layer of coats so that the paint doesn’t run or drip, or the finish will be ruined.
Apply the paint with even and steady strokes, holding the can about 12 inches from the surface. Let the base coat dry completely before moving on to the next coat.
If you want to add patterns to your paintball marker, place your stencil over the paintball gun where you want the design to be. After that, apply another coat of spray paint. Hold your stencil still for a few seconds before removing it so the paint can easily settle down.
Use Light, Even Strokes
When painting, it’s important to use light, even strokes. Heavy coats of paint can run and drip, ruining the finish. Start with the paintball gun upside down and work your way up. Apply the paint in thin layers, allowing each to dry before adding the next one.
Don’t Forget to Paint the Barrel
One common mistake people make when spraying paint on their paintball gun is to forget to paint the barrel. Remove the masking tape from the barrel and give it a few coats of paint.
Dry the Spray Paint
Let each coat of paint dry for at least 30 minutes or an hour before applying the next one. Depending on the spray paint you’re using, you may need to apply several coats before you’re happy with the results.
Once you’re satisfied with the paint job, you can even use a clear coat if you want to on the paintball marker to get that nice finish look. Our favourite is the clear matte finish. Let the gun dry for at least 24-48 hours before reassembling it. If you are in a hurry, use a fan heat lamp, or dryer to speed up the process.
Take Off the Masking Tape
Once the paintball marker is fully dried, peel off all the masking tape. But be sure the paintball gun dried up before you remove the masking or painter tape.
Putting Back The Paintball Marker
After the gun is dried and free from all the masking tape, it’s time to put it back together for action. And that’s it! You now have a unique and stylish paintball gun that will turn heads on the field.
Is Spray Paint Enough?
To answer the first query, spray paint is good enough because it is an economical option but paintball players do go for anodizing or powder coating for their expensive markers to avoid painting guns over and over again.
Even though spray paint is easy and cheap, it is the least reliable and durable method. Over time, the paint will start to chip or peel away. Still, many players do prefer this technique despite all of that.
Should You Spray Paint Your Paintball Marker?
For the second query, we won’t recommend you do any painting if you have thoughts of reselling your paintball marker. So before you custom paint your marker, be sure you won’t be reselling it. Because spray painting or other painting methods will lower its selling value.
If you are certain to keep your paintball marker as your battle companion for a long time, then go for it. But you also need to remember that spray paint wears off with time. You eventually have to redo the paint job once the paint starts to flake off.
We won’t recommend you spray paint if your paintball marker is expensive. For expensive markers, go for anodizing or powder coating methods. These two will give far better results in terms of reliability, durability, and finish look. Spray painting is more for a moderate or less expensive paintball marker or guns since it’s sensible not to spend too much on paint only for normal paintball markers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you spray paint a paintball marker?
Yes, you definitely can protect the paintball marker from corrosion and wear. It is also a simple way to customize your gun according to your style and liking. Because you won’t find much colour range in the online market, it also gives you room to go crazy with the camouflage designs.
Is it safe to spray paint a paintball gun?
It is safe to spray paint the paintball gun. However, as mentioned in the article, you need to be extra careful with the masking tape step for better results. Although spray paint is not a long-term solution, it will start to wear off after some time, and you have to redo it again with all the proper steps to avoid complications.
Is it okay to spray paint a pistol?
It is perfectly fine to spray paint any firearm as long as you follow the instructions and precautions carefully. Spray painting is an easy way of renovating your firearm, in this case, a pistol or paintball gun, according to your choice of style & color.
Can you spray paint a paintball barrel?
Yes, you can spray paint the paintball barrel. The procedure to spray paint a barrel is the same as spray painting a paintball gun. Many users often forget or don’t paint the barrel. However, you certainly can spray paint a barrel if you want to.
Can you hydro-dip a paintball gun?
You can also paint your gun with Hydro Dip as long as those aren’t inside chamber parts of the paintball marker gun.
Since this technique is done with water, be extra sure with the masking so your paintball marker remains safe and functions properly after the paint makeover. For those who don’t know Hydro Dip, it is a painting technique using water and spray paints. You spray paint on top of the water filled in the bucket.
Then, you submerge the thing you want to paint in the water. Paint gets stuck to the thing, and you get it out from the water. This technique creates mesmerizing and unique patterns with different colour options.
How long does anodizing last on a paintball gun?
Anodizing is a permanent surface treatment that lasts for the life of your paintball gun if done correctly.
Can I anodize my paintball gun at home?
Anodizing requires specialized equipment and expertise that most people cannot access at home. Therefore, it is best left to professionals with experience with this process.
Spray painting is the simplest way to learn to paint the paintball gun. Even though anodizing and powder coating are far more reliable, these methods are expensive. And you have to pay for these or learn from professionals and need a lot of tools and equipment for the finished look.
Among the three painting ways, anodizing is the best and provides more protection against corrosion & wear. Second in line is powder coating, and at last is spray painting. However, the cheapest, simple to learn & easiest method among them is spray painting.
Now that you know how to spray paint your paintball gun, go out and experiment with different colours and designs. Have fun!