A New Look for Your Scope: A Beginner’s Guide to Painting Your Riflescope

Are you tired of the plain, boring look of your riflescope? Want to give it a unique and personalized touch? Painting your riflescope can be a fun and creative way to add some flair to your firearm. However, it’s important to approach this task with caution to ensure that you don’t damage your scope or compromise its functionality.

Riflescopes are an essential tool for hunters and shooting enthusiasts, providing accurate and precise aiming. While the functionality of a riflescope is paramount, there’s no harm in wanting to make it visually appealing as well. Painting a riflescope has become a popular trend among gun owners, but it’s crucial to follow the right techniques and guidelines to achieve the desired results.

If you’re considering painting your riflescope, it’s essential to understand the proper steps and techniques involved. From choosing the right materials to ensuring proper preparation and application, there are several factors to consider to ensure a successful and durable paint job. In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting a riflescope, providing tips and tricks to help you achieve a professional-looking finish without compromising the functionality of your scope.

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing the right type of paint is crucial for the success of this project. We recommend using a paint that is specially designed for metal surfaces. The paint should be able to resist heat and scratches, as well as adhere to the surface tightly.

How To Paint A Riflescope

Materials Needed

Before you start painting, you’ll need to gather your materials. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need:

  • Paint (Krylon Fusion for Plastic works well on scopes)
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rag or paper towel

Disassemble the Riflescope

The first step in painting a riflescope is to remove the scope from the firearm and disassemble it. This will give you easier access to all the parts that you want to paint. Make sure you keep all the screws, washers, and other small parts in a safe place so that you don’t lose them.

Sand the Scope

Next, you’ll want to use sandpaper (220 grit) to rough up the surface of the riflescope. This will help the paint adhere better to the surface. Once you’ve finished sanding, wipe down the scope with rubbing alcohol and a rag or paper towel to remove any dust or debris.

Mask the Lenses

Now it’s time to protect the lenses of your riflescope. Place masking tape over the lenses, making sure to cover them completely. You may also want to stuff paper or newspaper into the scope’s body to keep the paint out.

Tape Off Any Areas You Don’t Want to Paint

Carefully apply painter’s tape to any parts of the riflescope that you don’t want to paint. Make sure that the tape is applied evenly and that no parts are left unprotected. This will prevent paint from getting onto areas like lenses and knobs which could impact the scope’s functionality.

Paint the Scope

It’s finally time to paint the riflescope! Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area, and place the scope on the newspaper. Shake the can of paint well and hold it about 8-10 inches away from the scope. Spray the first thin coat of paint evenly over the scope. Wait 10-15 minutes for the first coat to dry, then apply a second coat. Repeat as necessary until you achieve the desired color.

Apply Clear Coat

Once you have applied the final layer of paint, apply a clear coat to the riflescope. This will help protect the paint from scratches and wear and tear. Allow the clear coat to dry for at least two hours before you reassemble the riflescope.

Let the Paint Dry

Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the masking tape from the lenses and reassembling the scope. This will ensure that the paint has enough time to dry and harden before it’s exposed to any undue stress.

Reassemble the Riflescope

Reassemble the riflescope by putting all the small parts back together correctly. Then, remount the riflescope onto the firearm, following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure to properly sight in the riflescope before heading to the range.

How To Paint A Riflescope

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Painting on the lens of the scope.
  • Rushing the process, not allowing enough time for each layer to dry before applying the next one.
  • Having too much paint on the brush or the spray can result in drips and an uneven finish.
  • Not cleaning and degreasing the surface before painting.


Painting a riflescope can be a fun and easy way to spruce up your firearm. Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to give your riflescope a new and exciting look that will make it stand out from the crowd.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I paint my riflescope with regular spray paint?

It’s not recommended. Krylon Fusion for Plastic is a great paint to use on riflescopes because it’s specifically designed to adhere to plastic.

Can I paint just a part of the riflescope?

Yes, you can paint just a part of the riflescope if you want to. However, we recommend painting the scope entirely for a uniform and seamless look.

Can I apply camo patterns to my riflescope?

Yes, you can use stencils or apply camo patterns by hand to create a unique and personalized look for your riflescope.

Is it necessary to disassemble the riflescope before painting it?

Yes, it is important to disassemble the riflescope before painting it. This will give you easier access to all the parts that you want to paint.

Can I remove the paint from my riflescope if I change my mind?

Yes, you can remove the paint from your riflescope with rubbing alcohol, paint thinner, or other solvents, but be careful not to damage any of the internal components or lenses.

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