Painting plastic rifle stocks

Thread starter #1
I'm having a rough time. I used Krylon Fusion a couple of years ago, and it took 6 months to cure (not feel tacky). I recently painted another with Rustoleum Camo, and the instructions said it would cure in one week on plastic. It's been two and the oil from my hands and face are softening the finish. What is the answer?


Senior Member
I'd contact the mfg. and ask them


Senior Member
Did the stock have a rubbery finish to it before you painted? If so, that would be your problem.

If not, take gun apart, put your stock in the oven. Lay it on the middle rack. Set the oven temp to 100-105 degrees. Don't set it any higher, you could melt the stock. Let it sit for a few hours like that. It should bake it and set the paint.


Senior Member
My best guess is that you still had mold release on the plastic stock before you painted. [They spray lube on the metal dies before injection molding the synthetic stock so the molten plastic does not stick.] Surface prep is critical to any paint job; try isopropyl or denatured alcohol to thoroughly clean the stock before painting. Another option is the 'Green' plastic safe brake cleaner spray can but a bottle of 90%+ alcohol and a lint free rag will probably be fine.

I use Fusion as a base coat to adhere to the plastic and then topcoat with any paint. Once the 'primer' layer is down standard paints will work fine. I tend to go with a mottled look where the base coat shows thru anyway. This has worked for me even on the 'rubbery' stocks; the Fusion is formulated to work even on tires but surface prep is key.

Only other thought is very high humidity can hamper paint cure but I don't think this time of year that is a big concern even down South.

And yes - as above oven curing can work wonders especially if you have convection. Some modern kitchen ovens don't let you set the temp below 170 deg F [Thanks GE] due to food safety concerns so you might have to preheat the oven, turn it off, and then put the stock inside.


Senior Member
I'm going to say it was a prep issue or something on that stock. Never heard or seen fusion taking that long to cure and we've done a bunch of guns with rustoleum camo without issue.
Thread starter #6
I degreased the stock with acetone. I have lots of experience spraying professional bow finish, so I'm at a loss. I also put it under heat lamps for 12 hours, and no joy. Oh, and just plastic, no rubber coating.


Senior Member
Well - acetone is a great solvent for degreasing metal but might be too aggressive on some plastics. Any chance the acetone attacked the stock and left it 'gooey?' Gotta be careful with it on certain plastics. If not that then I must say I am at a loss.
Thread starter #8
Seemed fine after wipe down. That stuff is so volatile that it evaporates in seconds.
I've painted quite a few with both of the paints you mentioned.
I'd say it would have to be a reaction between the acetone and the stock material. I always just use denatured alcohol to degrease gun parts and no problems.

A quick google search reveals many who have melted synthetic stocks and plastic gun parts with acetone. Acetone is apparently made during the production of phenol. Phenol is mostly used to make polymers like plastics and is a paint, varnish, nail polish remover.
It may be too late for that stock.
Thread starter #11
Well, that stinks! I guess it may be the acetone. I'll keep ya'll posted. I really appreciate the responses.


Senior Member
For plastics I like 99% isopropanol [alcohol.]
Most pharmacies can order you a jug if they don't have it in stock; most of the time you can find 90% on the shelf which is a lot better than the 70% 'rubbing alcohol' [diluted with 30% water.]
Or use denatured alcohol from the paint thinner aisle at hardware stores but that stinks a bit.
Thread starter #13
Well, I stripped the stock with brake cleaner. After that dried, I cleaned it with denatured alcohol. I resprayed with the same Rustoleum Camo (new can). Hopefully, it will hold this time.


Senior Member
I have seen carburetor cleaner and acetone both "melt" certain plastics. Some can handle it others cannot.

Throttle bottle cleaner is supposed to be safer for plastics, that is the difference between it and carburetor cleaner.

I always use alcohol on plastic myself. I just use plain old clear rubbing alcohol to clean a gun before re-blueing. Always works like a champ.

Hopefully it works out for you this time.



Senior Member
I think the issue is you are trying to put the paint on too thick. If you spray too thick, the solvent/carrier in the paint doesn't get a chance to flash off before you cover it with more paint.

I've never had real good results with Rustoleum on plastic, but Brownell's Alumahyde II works great. Lightly sand surface, degrease with alcohol, then follow their instructional video. You basicaly mist on a coat, dry it off with a hairdryer to flash off the solvent, put on a light second coat, again use hairdryer to flash off, then a final cover coat.

After you flash off the final coat, you can let it cure, or spray on splatter paint for spider web accents. I've done 6 of these and they make a nice durable paint finish.

If you order AlumahydeII, buy extra spray nozzles at the same time. A can will last for awhile.

I rattle canned one last night

First I used rust-oleum flat black and It was tacky....

Re-sprayed over it with rust-oleum camo flat black with no problem.

I am thinking about a cover with polyurethane clear coat.

Cerakote the receiver and floor plate marine desert sand.

Did one with Fusion. 6 very, very light coats, 24 hours between each, then 3 even coats of clear satin acrylic. Did it on a spare to see how it would look, its been banging around in my closet for about a year without a scratch. Came off a Weatherby Vanguard with the black stock