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How to Paint Your Nerf Gun The Right Way

Painting your Nerf gun is a great way to complete that mod or turn it into a fiercer looking blaster. Few tutorials exist, so here is a complete guide on painting your Nerf gun.

Types of Paints

Not just any can of spray paint will do, in fact, it takes a special type to get this paint job done. So far, as far as paint goes, two types have been widely recommended by experienced modders. The most recommended spray paints are:

  • Krylon Fusion – For Plastics
  • Vinyl Dye – For Vinyl and Fabrics
spray paint for nerf guns

This spray paint works great on nerf guns

Both of which will bond to the plastic, ensuring a longer life to your sweet paint job.

What You Will Need

  • Black spray paint
  • Additional colors of your choice
  • Sandpaper
  • Long precision screwdriver
  • Painters tape

The Steps

If this is your first time, you should stick to just painting the shells. I highly advise that you do not paint the internals of any of your Nerf guns until you get some experience. You could easily gunk up the inner workings, right away or later on down the road when the paint starts wearing off. Until you get some experience painting Nerf guns, I’d recommend you stick to just painting the shell.

With that said, here are the steps:

  • Get your halves – Using a screw driver, disassemble your blaster to remove the pieces of the shell you wish to paint.
  • Start sanding – Sanding is an important step that should not be overlooked. It will give you a longer lasting paint job by providing more surface area for the paint to bond to. You want the shell to feel rough, so sand it till it feels that way (it doesn’t take long).
  • Wash the pieces – After a good sanding, wash the shell pieces. You want the paint to bond directly to the plastic, not the dust from sanding, or any other impurities.
  • Prime it – This is done by spray painting the shells with a thin coat of your black spray paint. Painting it black will allow your 2nd coat to stick out, much more than it would if you ONLY spray painted the shells with your color of choice.
  • Wait a bit – Let your base coat dry. This often takes 20 minutes or so.
  • Tape it up – If you want your Nerf gun to have black accented parts, then cover them with masking tape to keep your 2nd coat from covering them. If you just want one solid color, then forget this step.
  • Add some color – Using your color of choice, spray a thin coat over the part of the shell that hasn’t been taped.

Once the paint has dried, you can either use some model paint to touch it up for some extra accents, or put everything back together.

The last step of course is admiring your work 🙂

See The Steps in Action

This isn’t my video, but it covers the basic parts of painting a Nerf gun, and should give you a visual reference of everything that was covered above.

Painted any Nerf guns recently? If so, what color scheme did you go with?

Jakesmyname - May 23, 2014

i painted a longshot silver and black

James Murphy - May 14, 2014

This looks like a great tutorial! I’m thinking of doing two coats of black spray paint, and then, after the coats have dried, painting bits of the nerf gun white.

Nick - May 19, 2013

This may seem like a stupid question, but does it matter what type of paint the second coat is? Can it be any kind of spray paint? Also, does a clear coat greatly increase the durability, or is it a waste of time and money?

The BroFist Guy - December 6, 2012

Oh.. I just use acrylic paint with micro paint brushes for detail. Then, a clear matte coat. This gives my blasters like super detail..

Jake - February 27, 2012

I am thinking about painting a few different Nerf gun shells, but I don’t know how to take my guns apart. Could you add instructions on how to take apart different Nerf guns, or post a link to a trusted source?

Thanks for all help and information,

Camden - December 4, 2011

What would you recommend using to spray paint the Swords and Axes and Maces and other non-gun Nerf weapons??

    Someone - November 14, 2016

    I wouldn’t recommend painting the swords and axes or any other types of foam because it will likely wear off.

Callum - October 17, 2011

Love your work man, but i have to ask if i want a red base but the cover is black do i still go black, then red then black again because the red is a stencil that im adding to it.



P.S – Can i sand the Nerf Logo compeletly off?

Dr. Chang Wang - October 11, 2011

Can you paint your nerf guns with any other paint(other than spray paint)because im 11 im not allowed to buy spray paint till im 18?

    Jake - February 27, 2012

    I had my parents buy some spray paint for me. You can use model paint, but i recommend that for fine tuning your paint job.

Master Chief - October 11, 2011

any way to do it without taking it apart or just cheaper, i wanted to make my longshot look bad***

MDOG6910 - October 9, 2011

What kind of paint do you actually paint on the gun? Is it the Krylon Fusion?

    Jake - February 27, 2012

    Yes Krylon Fusion for plastic. It is pretty common at Hobby Lobby.

Gordon - October 1, 2011

More difficult than expected, but not hard. I have a Longshot CS-6 that doesn’t work anymore, and my birthday is coming up and I’ll get more guns, so it doesn’t matter if I screw up my Longshot.

KMNerfArt - September 17, 2011

Only if you want to paint the inside, really.

bob - July 18, 2011

do you need to sand the inside because i know you have to wash the inside

Allison - May 1, 2011

This makes more sense now XD
I attempted to spray my nerf guns with black.. and completely ruined two guns because it clogged the inside !
Thanks so much! I’m gonna test it on my last one..

Jay - April 11, 2011

so..will this paint scratch off after you use it alot?

james - January 29, 2011

Thats really useful,thanks. Althogh, I dont know where you get any sandpaper.

    ivan - November 11, 2016

    it’s available at homehardware, canadian tire or any hardware store

alec - December 25, 2010

What if you have a Sonic Blaster (Green/clear case) could you still do this?

mogo - December 7, 2010

where do u get the paint and clear coat???

mafa - November 7, 2010

looks good, i tried to do this b4 i saw the vid and i now understand that the whole gun needs to be painted over the base coat, however after it was all finished i gave mine a coat of clear to help protect it

Dave - August 14, 2010

Any recommendations for how to handle, say, the Vulcan? I mean, being as it’s got the wires holding the sides together, you can’t really separate it as fully as – apparently – any other gun, and the motor also means that the washing-off step is less good – right? :-\

Joseph - July 31, 2010

Wow, even though ths guide seems simple, I’m sure the actually painting isn’t. But this’ll be a great aid for me, thanks!

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