How to Paint With Real Tree Camo

••• baumrinde image by Peter Walenzyk from

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Painting your boat, rifle or even your truck Real Tree Camo is easy and economical when you do it yourself. All you need is a few cans of camouflage-type paint in various colors, a base color and some leaf stencils. You can even use real tree branches in place of stencils if you are trying to cut corners. Choose a leafy-type branch from a cedar hedge or pine tree to get the most realistic results.

Items you will need

  • Dark green camouflage spray paint

  • Brown camouflage spray paint

  • Khaki camouflage spray paint

  • Matte black, white or khaki spray paint

  • Stencils

Apply an all-over coat of your base color of matte black, matte khaki or matte white, depending upon which type of Real Tree effect you are going for, and allow it to dry.

A black base works well for hunting in woods and is the form of camouflage painting done by most DIYers, however, a desert khaki or snow white base are also options.

Hold your stencil up to the item you are painting and spray lightly in spots all over the stencil, using your lightest color of spray paint.

Move and overlap your stencil all over the item, spot-spraying with your lightest color, until the entire item has received some coverage.

Switch to your next lightest color and repeat the process. You may use the same or different stencils throughout your work. The idea is to mimic nature, where nothing is perfectly shaped.

Use your darkest color last, repeating Step 2. At this point, the item you have painted should have a camouflage look.


  • Make sure the type of paints you use are manufactured specifically for camouflage applications. These types of paints do not reflect light or create glare.


About the Author

Anne Goetz shares her parenting and career experience with North American Parent, Hagerstown Magazine,, and a variety of other online and print publications. A mother of two with a degree in communications and a long history in management, Goetz spends her spare time hiking, camping and blogging. She is the author of the site, An Unedited Life: The Ultimate Blog for Freelance Writers.

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