One of the hardest things to do is color match a rifle build. One such color is Magpul’s discontinued Foliage Green. Sure you can seek the help of a competent Cerakoter or similar weapons refinishing professional. But one of the joys of firearm ownership is making it your own by adding some personalized touches. I recently discovered a way to DIY Foliage Green with an off the shelf can of spray paint. The can is not what you think it is.
Cerakote Or Rattle Can?
There are debates whether to go Cerakote or your off the shelf rattle can to paint your firearm of choice. While Cerakote has its benefits in terms of color matching and robustness to wear, it does require specialized equipment, a bit of prep and a baking process to set the finish. Rattle can paint jobs are easy and provide instant gratification. However it does not hold up to wear and tear. But the beauty of rattle can is that it is easy to strip it and redo the paint job or just touch up with a little spray here and there.
One major problem with rattle can paint jobs is color matching. Rustoleum and Krylon have their own respective line of camouflage spray paints but they do not really match the colors we want. I made the mistake of using Army Green by Rustoleum back when I modified my M&P15-22. I was trying to clone a WarSport LVOA as a .22LR. The cap of the can seemed to look like Foliage Green but when it is actually applied it is brighter and more green that I would have liked.
DIY Foliage green Solution
Well recently I happened to stumble across a rattle can that is nearly a perfect color match to Magpul’s Foliage Green. I recently acquired a blemish mask to build my own Galac-Tac helmet. When I got the mask I asked the creator of the Galac-Tac helmet, Ryan Flowers, what is the best way to prep and paint the mask. He recommended Rustoleum Self Etching Primer. For those of you not familiar with Ryan’s work, you may recall the H&K/AR500 Boba Fett inspired armor.
Strangely I would not have expected a primer to have any tint of green in it. Usually primer comes in three basic monotone colors; black, gray or white. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out how well this primer matches Foliage Green as it was my intention to paint my DIY Galac-Tac helmet in FG.
Below are the results of the Rustoleum primer. The top helmet is gray but the other helmet and stock are molded in Foliage Green polymer.
The lighting in the photo below is not great but you can see the recently painted handguard with a factory FG RVG by Magpul.
And here is the result of the paint and DIY fabrication of my Galac-Tac helmet.
If you are looking to paint your gun or firearm accessory in DIY Foliage Green, then check out this Rustoleum Self Etching Primer. I found it at my local Home Depot. Just know that primer is not a very hard curing paint so you may want to cover it with a flat top coat. Or just let it be and let the paint slowly get worn and have your own “battle worn” look.