View Full Version : Finishes: refinishing plastic
July 21, 2001, 16:19
A suggestion posted by
I'll tell you up front that I have spent years fussing over fingerprints on my rifles and carefully wiping down my shootin' irons after each time that they are handled. That being said, I can't make myself spend $$ to have a professional refinish them. Being cheap and being consciencious can pose a dilemna. For around $5 you get yourself some 150 grit sandpaper, and some fine ScotchBrite. Remove the stock and pistol grip from the rifle (and the handguards, if you don't have steel ones)and commence to sand furiously on both these items. Ensure that all nicks/gouges/deep scratches have been removed. As a bonus, you get to remove all those ugly plastic mold marks that were left by the manufacturer, Steyr (what a bunch of slackers :rolleyes . After this is done, go over it with the ScotchBrite. At this point the furniture will not even resemble being glossy, don't fret. Go to WalMart and get some Krylon CAMOUFLAGE brand ultra flat black. Impale the stock with a large screwdriver or whatever and commence to paint it with light strokes. Krylon is very forgiving; it is almost hard to get it to run. Do as many light coats as necessary to achieve a homogenous color and fill in all the spiderweb scratches in the plastic. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours, then reinstall on your rifle (ensure that it is not dripping with gun oil). The finished product looks VERY nice, and is as sturdy as peacetime use would require. How badly this reacts to bug repellent and sunscreen isn't known at this time, but chances are that if you have to cammie yourself up before you go shooting, the color of your stock isn't going to matter much at that point.
[ August 07, 2001: Message edited by: EMDII ]
July 21, 2001, 22:58
you can make shore all oil and dirt is removed.sand with 220 grit sandpaper to your taste. spray with beadliner paint found at auto parts store.put on several lite coats then one fairly heavy final coat.this works for me quite well
July 21, 2001, 23:12
I did just about the same thing on my first STG except instead of paint I went: sand paper, steel wool, car rubbing compound with electric buffer, and sprayed in WD-40. The stocks came out looking smooth and shiny, "like new". I didnt have any real deep gouges though. It took me about 2 hours on the buttstock, but since I dont do it for money time isnt any big deal.
July 22, 2001, 08:24
i had bad results with Krylon Camo paint (khaki) and general handling.
after one range session last fall, the furniture on the Century L1A1 i painted showed handling marks badly around the grip and HG's.
i then repainted, and added 2 coats of Krylon Satin Polyurethane Coat. this gave more durability but an unacceptable shine after the second coat.
i've just completed some AR refinishing projects using Brownell's Alumahyde II. (~$8/can) this stuff is nice. furniture done in OD green and allowed to cure for a week looks great. receivers done in flat black (after a second coat the flat becomes a semi-flat to semi-gloss on smoother surfaces) are nice also.
these rifles need to get out again and i'll post on how the stuff holds up. but for ~$8/can for an epoxy based paint, it's not bad costwise.
PS. i opted NOT to bake in the oven on this first go round, just let time do the curing. the surface is okay to touch after minutes, fine for handling lightly after 24hrs but still a bit tacky, then it hardens up and feels much more durable after a week.
Farmer from Hell
July 22, 2001, 12:15
I recently redone some R1 HGs with bedliner and cant say enough about it. They turned out better than I ever could have hoped for. It looks almost like the original finish when I compare it to HGs that I have that are in VG condition in another kit. I think for best results the parts should be blasted or sanded down.
July 22, 2001, 18:15
Farmer, did you spray to metal as well? How did that come out?
July 22, 2001, 22:15
I did a set of handguards, buttstock, and pistol grip with bedliner to see how it would look. I didn't prep anything, just started spraying. Got about 5 coats on everything, and all but the deepest gouges are gone, and it looks brand new, and matches perfectly. (The R1 handguards always looked like they didn't belong on
the rifle...darker, and a different texture from the buttstock and pistol grip.) Of course, it smells a little funny hehehe..probably take a couple of days for it to cure completely.
BTW, I took it to the range today...didn't do the usual 4 to 5 mags with no letup, but I think I did do about 60 rounds before I took a break...the barrel was too hot to grab, but the handguards were barely even warm. It's usually the next 20 rounds that get EVERYTHING hot, but I was impressed that the handguards were so cool after 60 rounds.
The next experiment will be to do the furniture on my buddy's SAR 2...if that looks good, KVAR is out $85 hehehe.
I'll be curious to see how this holds up, but lord knows it'll be easy to touch up if necessary. Ya know, I'm sure camo paint would stick REAL good to this stuff, too. (lightbulb goes off over head. :D
Farmer from Hell
July 22, 2001, 22:47
Originally posted by Batman:
<STRONG>Farmer, did you spray to metal as well? How did that come out?</STRONG>
No but I have seen ones that have had the metal done to and it didnt look bad. Tapeing the metal off and painting it with black paint would be the way to go though.
July 23, 2001, 23:45
I refinished my SAR-2 w/ Aluma-Hyde II over the winter. All parts were cleaned and degreased with lacquer thinner. The metal to be sprayed was hung from wire hangers and sprayed according to the directions on the can. After around an hour the parts were put in the oven and baked at 200 for 2 hours. The finish at this point was a little shiny but otherwise seemed to take well. I stuck the parts in the back of my closet and left them there for around two weeks before assembling. Sadly, after around 1K rounds it is starting to peel. Not sure if this is from the heat of occasional "bump firing" or if the finish is just failing. Either way, the rifle will probably be blasted and parked later. The finish is peeling around the sight post. Perhaps the paint pooled in that area and air pockets formed under the finish once it was heated up (shrug).
The handguards, PG and stock on my Imbel group buy rifle were done with Duplicolor truck bed liner. Everything was cleaned with lacquer thinner then bead blasted w/ glass beads. After that more lacquer thinner to clean (stuff dries almost instantly). Hung everything from wire and proceeded to spray on the liner. The first coat was applied maybe 10"-12" from the work surface with around 10 minutes between coats. The final (of three) coats was done at maybe 24" away. This really gave it texture and made the finish really dull which is good. They look great and are pretty much scratch proof. The only complaint is that the texture on the stock can really be rough on the cheek. After around 200 rounds the side of my face was pretty red. Not a big deal but this does detract from the boyish good looks of this particular operator. :rolleyes: Good stuff though and I will use it again. Looks way better than the original slick stuff IMHO.
July 24, 2001, 12:40
I gave my nephew a Century R1A1 (Imbel) for Christmas. When I get it back this Fall I'm considering a few mods to make it more 'interesting' for him. Besides a longer stock (he's 6') I'm thinking about sending the stock, pistol grip, and metal handguards out to be covered in Realtree Hardwood camo. See; http://www.trebark.com/second_skin/index.htm
I think a partial camo job would look better than having the whole rifle done. The intent is to have a look similar to the Limited Edition Bushmaster AR-15 that's presently available.
Think he'll like it?
:eek: :D :D
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