How to Paint Synthetic Rifle Stocks

by Peter Timm

Synthetic stocks are very popular among modern rifles because of their durability and affordability. Unfortunately, they’re not as attractive as traditional wooden stocks. However you can easily customize your rifle stock by painting it to your liking. Epoxy-based primers and paints are particularly well suited for synthetic stocks. Before preparing your rifle for painting, verify that your rifle is unloaded. Additionally, remember to wear eye protection and a respirator while painting your rifle stock.

1. Separate the synthetic stock from the rifle. Since the process may vary slightly by manufacturer, consult your operator’s manual for dis-assembly instructions. If possible remove the stock’s butt plate.

2. Use 180-grit sandpaper and sand down the stock surface by hand. Many synthetic stocks have parting lines running down the length of the stock, sand them down until they are flush with the surface. When preparing your stock do not use a mechanical sander since you can easily damage your stock.

3. Apply masking tape to the interior bedding of the stock and over the butt plate (if attached). Use a razor blade to carefully trim the tape to contour with the exposed surface of the stock.

4. Spray an even, thin coat of epoxy-based primer onto the stock and let the primer dry. Repeat the process until you have applied three coats. Let dry for 24 hours.

5. Remove and replace the masking tape over the interior of the stock and butt plate.

6. Spray the stock with an even coat of epoxy-based paint. Let dry and apply a second coat. Allow an additional 24 hours for drying.

7. Evenly spray the stock with automotive clear-coat. Allow the stock to dry for a few days.

8. Remove the masking tape and reassemble the rifle.

Items you will need

  • Synthetic rifle stock
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Razor blade
  • Spray can of epoxy-based primer
  • Spray can of epoxy-based paint
  • Spray can of automotive clear-coat


  • Ensure that your rifle is unloaded before you take it apart. Use eye protection and a respirator while using aerosol products.

About the Author

Peter Timm has been writing since 2002 for both print and online publications. Timm earned a Bachelor of Arts from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and emerged a technically astute writer.