DIY Camo

DIY Camo: How to Make Your Own Cheap and Easy Camouflage. Long before the days of dip-coating and silk-screening, outdoorsmen were using spray paint to dress their gear with custom camouflage. A Krylon paint job will give your gear a layer of additional protection from the elements, and your custom pattern can match the colors and shadows where you’ll hunt, all for a fraction of the price of production camo. It’s important that your base is a neutral color like a tan or dull green, shown here on the rifle that I’m dressing up in a foliage-pattern camouflage, which matches the rocks and mixed forest of the place I often hunt in interior Alaska. It’s important to use paint with a flat finish—glossy and satin finishes are too reflective. A shortcoming of many camo patterns is that they are painfully two-dimensional, with large swaths of unbroken solid colors and lines that are too crisp. Their foliage elements are often so realistic they can’t be used in a range of places. One of the oldest tricks of camouflage is to use natural foliage as an element of your pattern. Use twigs, leaves, clumps of grass, or even unnatural items like keys, rifle shells, or knives to give your work a distinctive look. I apply a base coat of green, lay down my green foliage, paint over it with brown, then lay down my brown sticks and paint over them with green.
The Author's finished product: A Savage Mark II .22 Rifle.
The author’s finished product: A Savage Mark II .22 Rifle.

Long before the days of dip-coating and silk-screening, outdoorsmen were using spray paint to dress their gear with custom camouflage. Nowadays, even though production camo application is durable and available in a number of proprietary designs, there are still a number of advantages to picking up a “rattle can” and applying your own camo pattern. A Krylon paint job will give your gear a layer of additional protection from the elements, and your custom pattern can match the colors and shadows where you’ll hunt, all for a fraction of the price of production camo.

Here are a few easy techniques you can use to make a pattern that suits your needs and the specific terrain and vegetation where you hunt.

Apply base layer

It’s important that your base is a neutral color like a tan or dull green, shown here on the rifle that I’m dressing up in a foliage-pattern camouflage, which matches the rocks and mixed forest of the place I often hunt in interior Alaska. It’s important to use paint with a flat finish—glossy and satin finishes are too reflective.

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