I have gotten several questions about how I paint my Multicam-esque pattern on my rifles, so I've decided to go a bit more in-depth on how I do it.

Here is what I used:

  • Aervoe Desert Sand
  • Aervoe Black
  • Aervoe Earth Brown
  • Aervoe Dark Green
  • Aervoe Light Gren
  • Aervoe Earth Yellow
  • Aervoe Khaki
  • Aervoe Light Tan
  • 3M ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, Multi-use
  • Xacto razor
  • Reynolds Cut-Rite wax paper
  • Scissors
  • Ballpoint pen
  • SERT TCC Multicam rifle case

First, disassemble and tape off the parts of the rifle you don't want painted. Personally, I tape up the barrel, muzzle device, and the buttstock pad, while I remove the bolt catch, trigger, and safety. I also plug up the trigger pin holes, safety selector hole, and the magwell. I leave the stock on, but extended at the maximum length, though I also shoot with it in that position. I usually string the rifle up, and paint with it free hanging and also let it dry that way.

Second, I lay down a base layer of paint. I personally used Khaki, but only because I have a case of that. I then let it sit for 3 days, as Aervoe advises a 72 hour total cure time.

Third, I cover the entire rifle with the first visible color, with the Desert Sand. Once again, let it sit for 3 days.

After the paint cures, I then start tracing out the shapes off of the rifle case, using a big sheet of wax paper, and using the ballpoint pen. Note that the pen doesn't really need to lay down any ink, just need to scratch the wax paper to make the tracing noticeable.

Next, cover one side of the wax paper with the painter's tape.

Next, start cutting out the stencils, and apply it to the rifle. I like to cut out chunks of the paper, so that it's a smaller piece and easier to manage.

After it's an individual piece, I then use the Xacto razor to pick the wax paper off, and peel it off by hand once I get enough of it off.

Then, apply the stencil to the rifle, making sure to put it down nice and smooth, applying even pressure to maximize adhesion.

At the end, you'll end up a completely taped off rifle on the first layer.

Fourth, I cover the entire rifle with Black and mist it with Dark Brown, to generate a very dark chocolate color.

Again, after the paint cures, trace the rifle bag for stenciling.

Then, the painter's tape over the wax paper.

Cut out the stencils and apply to the rifle. Remember to press down hard for maximized adhesion, and press down on any of the stencils that might have come a little unstuck on the first layer.

Fifth, I cover the entire rifle with Dark Green.

After the paint cures, I then apply the stencils, which are a combination of freehand and traced; the difference here is that this layer has both hard transitions and soft transisions between the Dark Green layer and the Yellow Green layer. This is why I leave one end of the stencil poking up, to help with the soft transitioning of the colors. Again, check for any stencils that might have come loose and press them down before applying the next layer of paint.

Sixth, I apply patches of the Earth Yellow, and mist it with Light Green. I then remove the Dark Green hard transition stencils, and mist a bit of the Dark Green as necessary to soften some of the transitions.

However, if you're lazy, feel free to skip the whole hard transition step, and simply apply the patches and have only the soft transitions of colors. Either way, after the paint cures, I apply the next step of stencils, which are again a combination of freehand and traced.

Seventh, I cover the entire rifle with Earth Brown.

After the paint cures, I then apply the stencils, which are a combination of freehand and traced. Again, this is a layer with both hard and soft transitions, and can be skipped if you're feeling lazy.

Eighth, and on to the last layer; I apply patches of Khaki and patches of Light Tan, as the brown layer has three distinct colors. I then remove the Earth Brown hard transitions stencils and mist as need be.

Ninth, after the paint cures, start removing the stencils. Sometimes, you'll have to use the Exacto razor to pick at the tape until it comes off.

Once you finish picking off all of the stencils (and be thorough; sometimes I'll find a few stencils left on a day or two later during handling), reassemble your rifle, and then post to Instagram for mad likes.

And here she is mostly tarted up (just missing the sling and suppressor cover in this picture).

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.



Joined: 2008-07-16

Original Post

Paint looks good! I gave up on the whole stensil thing after my first few attempts. To me it just took too long and ad an issue with paint bleeding.  Sponge application all the way and it only takes me 20 min now vs hours. 


Originally Posted by DocGKR:

This is why LE in some areas would be better served with belt fed weapons and flame throwers...


Joined: 5.23.2009
Location: WA/ Canadian border

That’s pretty amazing.  I live in CenTex and we do have some juniper(cedar), our terrain here is mostly browns and desert tan, khaki.  I did move to Aervoe paints after my 2nd or 3rd AR paint job.  I found it to be a more durable paint than Krylon or Rustoleum, and their Coyote Brown is a spitting image of Magpul FDE.  But definitely an impressive paint job, and some serious dedication to perfection.  I just stripped down one of my pinned 14.5’s and think I may incorporate some of your ideas on my next paint job using it.


Thabks for taking time to post the instructions.  You should make a video and upload it to BoobTube, I mean YouTube.  I can imagine you’d get a lot of likes and maybe even people wanting to pay you.


“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word”. J. Steinbeck

"Blessed are those who, in the face of death, think only about the front sight."  LTC Jeff Cooper


Pat_E posted:

Nice job.

I wonder if anyone has come up with a sort of-urban gray scheme for rifles?

To make an urban colorway, I've considered replacing the green layer with foliage green and khaki, while the brown layer is reduced to light tan and urban tan, although I believe khaki and urban tan is no longer production items from Aervoe. Trying to emulate a straight MultiCam black seemed to be kinda dumb, as that seems to be more of a uniform pattern than actual camo.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.



Joined: 2008-07-16

I probably couldn't even get a job pushing a broom at NATICK, but 'Black Multicam' just looks...unconvincing.  Urban landscapes have much more angular features than nature, yet Black Multicam still goes with soft, curving forms, just darker.

Black multicam is just a way to spend money. Most of the "urban grey" colors out now are way too cool for realworld effectiveness, you want a very warm grey, on the border between grey and a very desaturated tan color.

Learn how to talk and how to fight, if you can't do one you'll be doing a lot of the other.

First, very nice work.  Second, for you and future posters of their work, in addition to the close up work, try taking some pics in a natural environment at 20-50 ft.  Up close, the borders look sharp and it becomes easy to say that it looks pretty, but I can see it.  The goal is not to make it invisible against the background, but to disrupt the outline enough that the eye doesn't recognize the shape as a rifle.  That is better perceived in the natural environment such as trees, brush, grass (wild, not manicured urban green), etc.  Make sure that you know exactly where you placed it when you walk off to take your pic.  It isn't uncommon to have done such a good job that you have difficulty finding it again.



Swear allegiance to the flag Whatever flag they offer

Never hint at what you really feel

Teach the children quietly For some day sons and daughters

Will rise up and fight while we stood still


Joined:  2/24/2003                          Location:  Nevada, USA

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