Custom Paint On Bulgarian and Romanian AK Rifles – Part 1

I’ve got a friend who was nice enough to write a post for me on how he did a custom paint job on his Bulgarian and Romanian AK. On one of them he did a camo snakeskin and the other was ghosted skulls. This first post covers preparing the guns for paint and applying the bake on Gun Kote finish. The second post will show how he did the custom paint for the AK rifles.

This is the first of hopefully more postings from him. I’m hoping he will share how he put together the small parts blasting cabinet.

The two AK’s I’ve decided to play with last weekend are a Bulgarian and a Romanian WASR 2. Both were painted with a glossy baked on paint before.

Bulgarian And Romanian Rifles
Bulgarian And Romanian Rifles

Warning
It is necessary to wear gloves, preferably disposable because they are clean coming out of the box. The chemicals involved in the process described below are VERY caustic.

What is described here involves disassembling a firearm, modifying it and reassembly. You should not undertake this unless you are completely familiar with the firearm. In addition, always follow gun safety, cleaning and maintenance.

Preparing For Painting

First Cleaning

The guns were stripped and degreased using brake cleaner. Brake cleaner was used because it is pressurized and will strip most paint. The plastic box below is my home made blasting cabinet.

Disassembled AK Rifles On Blasting Cabinet
Disassembled AK Rifles On Blasting Cabinet

Brake Cleaner
Brake Cleaner

Sand Blasting

Before sand blasting the barrels were plugged using blue shop towels and blue painters tape.

The sand blasting media used was Aluminum Oxide because the paint needs a rough surface to adhere to.

Getting Ready for Blasting with Aluminum Oxide.
Getting Ready for Blasting with Aluminum Oxide.

Final Cleaning Before Painting

It is imperative that all Aluminum Oxide, any residual oils and chemicals be cleaned from the surfaces that will be painted.

To do this brake cleaner is used one more time on all the gun parts and wiped clean with denatured alcohol. Make sure gloves are worn throughout this process to keep the oils from your hands from getting on the surfaces.

Bulgarian and Romanian AK Blasted And Degreased
Bulgarian and Romanian AK Blasted And Degreased

Painting the Guns

All painting was done with an airbrush at 50 PSI.

Painting the Stocks

The Romanian stocks were painted with KG Industries 1200 Series Stock Kote. This is an air cured water based ployurethane resin system.

The stocks needed to be baked at 150 to 200 degrees and then the Stock Kote was sprayed on. No need to bake afterwards.

Romanian Stock With Stock Kote
Romanian Stock With Stock Kote

Painting The Rifles

The metal parts were done with 2400 Series Gun Kote. When cured it has a pencil hardness of >9H and will flex with a 180 degree bend.

The parts were baked at 120 degrees, then painted with multiple thin coats.

  • Between the coats a heat gun was used to keep the metal warm.
  • Keep parts that aren’t being painted in the oven until you are ready to paint them.

They are in between coats here.

Bulgarian AK Gets A Flat Desert Sand Color
Bulgarian AK Gets A Flat Desert Sand Color

Romanian AK Gets A Satin Dark Earth Color
Romanian AK Gets A Satin Dark Earth Color

Baking The Rifles

After the last coat was applied, the parts hung until the paint wasn’t tacky. Then they were baked at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Parts Ready To Bake
Parts Ready To Bake

After taking the parts out of the oven, they were reassembled for the custom paint.

Parts Out Of The Oven
Parts Out Of The Oven

Notice the chrome pistons weren’t painted.

Different View Of Parts Out Of The Oven
Different View Of Parts Out Of The Oven

Reassembled

Romanian Reassembled For Next Step
Romanian Reassembled For Next Step

The next post will be the painting the camouflage and ghost skulls on the guns.

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