The "right" way to color fill an AR-15

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Shopfox, May 9, 2020.

  1. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I watched a few videos and tried the different techniques. In short, everyone else's way sucks, and this is how to do it.

    First, the right materials. Use Testors model paint, 100% acetone nail polish remover, a razor blade, a supply of Q-tips, and some Hoppe's cleaning patches. A magnifying glass on a stand, and some clean rags are helpful.

    What not to use? Nail polish and alcohol.

    Assuming the lower is clean and dry, grab a q-tip, and cut the head of one end off at a 45 degree angle. Stir up your point, and apply as carefully as you can. Don't go crazy with it. Take care to fill everything in.

    Wait a minute or two till it gets a little tacky. Use the razor blade and scrape off the excess paint. Wipe the blade off and repeat. Don't scratch the finish...

    Let it dry for another minute or two. While the lettering is drying, grab the q-tip, dip it in acetone, and begin working under the magnifying glass. The goal is to remove the paint smear/film outside of the block text. Take care that you keep swapping out q-tips frequently. You don't need to be swabbing and pushing paint over to clean areas.

    This'll take a minute or two. By this time, the lettering should be setting up nicely. Here's the secret... dab a Hoppe's patch in Acetone. Grab a 2nd patch and wick the acetone off the first patch! Use this 2nd patch 1st. If you use the first patch straight away, it'll flood the lettering and lift the Testers paint.

    The 2nd patch is minimally coated. Use this patch LIGHTLY to clean up the remnants left behind after scraping, using LIGHT pressure (lighter than Joe Biden's nose on a woman's neck).

    At this point, the Acetone on the first patch will have evaporated to a large degree -assuming it's essentially dry/completely evaporated at this point - you can use it to LIGHTLY wipe the area between lettering for a 2nd pass.

    When done, let the Testor's fully dry, then apply some light oil to the lower to bring the shiny black back.

    Fwiw, nail polish lifts too easy. Light finger pressure and acetone removes your fill readily. Secondarily, I tried white and red nail polish. The color doesn't pop like the Testor's paint either.

    With lessons learned, I'll eventually re-do the logo. That said, I'm pleased with the lettering on the rest.

    2020-05-09_15.50.04.jpg 2020-05-09_15.49.39.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  2. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    As stated be careful not to scrape the Anodized Finish or other Finish on the Rifle
    Good job Shop!:)

    03
     
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  3. W.T. Sherman

    W.T. Sherman Well-Known Member

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    I use lacquer sticks

    it's fast with no fuss no muss, just go back and forth over the stamping to fill in the stamping, then take a rag soaked in BRAKE FREE or other gun oil and just wipe off the excess around the stamping, then when it cures in the stampings it's in there forever and will never come out. they come in all sorts of colors

    my P1 when I bought it back in 02 or so, still good to go

    [​IMG]

    my NAGANT revolver which I bought back in 95

    [​IMG]


    my P64, around 02 or so

    [​IMG]

    and on several other firearms. the deeper the stamping the better it will looks shallow stamping just doesn't make it "pop" out as much


    yours looks good :)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  4. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The basement smells terrible. I forgot the "empty the trashcan" step.

    The lacquer stick sounds a hell of a lot easier. Is it like a tattoo - when it's on, it's on - or is there a realistic way to get it off if you have regrets later?
     
  5. donthav1

    donthav1 Well-Known Member

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    I used some of the wifes nail polish as a test on my hi point carbine, brushed in the stamping & quickly wiped off the excess with a wet paper towel. 2 years later it's still holding up.

    Although the lacquer stick sounds like the way to go if i decide i need to redo it someday.
     
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  6. W.T. Sherman

    W.T. Sherman Well-Known Member

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    it is a hell of lot easier, it took me no time to do mine.... as fast as you rub it into the stamping then wipe off the excess around it, you're done

    and if want to take it out I suppose you will have to use acetone and a toothpick to dig it out, but I'm only speculating. I never needed to remove mine, I can tell you it won't come off using BREAK FREE after it cures and hardens
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  7. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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  8. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

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    20200514_191549.jpg Quick update... tried a different lower (Bushmaster). Same process, and the results weren't so good (excessive haze). I'll probably end up fiddling with it for another hour, and inhale a copious amount of acetone in the process. Meh. The colorfill is sounding better.
     
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  9. W.T. Sherman

    W.T. Sherman Well-Known Member

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