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Thread: Dyeing AR15 Furniture (tutorial)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kilo1-1's Avatar
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    Default Dyeing AR15 Furniture (tutorial)

    I went ahead and dyed the Magpul furniture on my AR. In the past, AK owners dyed their wood furniture with red dye, and some ingenious person decided to dye AR parts using the same procedure. I used Rit Dye (from Walmart). It's pretty simple. You can dye your parts as a solid color, or use electrical tape to 'layer' colors/patterns on into a camouflage color. Rit Dye's dark brown (liquid form) ended up being a little purplish than I liked, oh well.

    The finish is smooth and tough (if done correctly). Acetone, break cleaner, and other solvents won't get it out because the dye goes into the pores of the material. I've read that you can use bleach to get most of it out, but it'll still be a little darker than the original color. And with dying, you can ONLY go progressively darker. Because of this, FDE or Larue's UDE makes the best base color to use. You can't take a stock black Pmag and dye it to FDE, nor can you bleach it to a lighter color.

    Steps:
    Tape it up. Make sure the pieces are cut precisely and well placed. This is important as it'll prevent bleeding of the dye.


    I heated the water right before it would start boiling (small bubbles forming at the bottom). I then poured the water into a heat-safe container and then added the dye. For the first shade, I used 1 teaspoon of dye and 6 cups of water.


    I stirred the solution before immersing the part. For the first shade, I submerged it for about 1-2 minutes. If you want it to be slightly darker, leave it in for 4-5 minutes.

    This is after the first submersion. Stock FDE color on left, darker stock on right. Let it air dry or use a hair dryer. I wouldn't wipe it down dry because you risk tearing the tape off by accident.


    Next step is the add more tape. For me, the darkest brown is the last color. I cover the areas where I don't want dyed.


    As I'm taping up the last pieces, I heat 6 cups of fresh water in the pot, then transfer it to my container again. This time, I add 6 tablespoon of the dye to the 6 cups of water. I stir the solution and submerge the piece. I leave it in the solution for 5-6 minutes this time, since this is the darkest color.


    This is after drying, and right before removing the the tape. You can see how much progressively darker it has gotten from the original FDE.


    I let it mostly air dry then pat it down with a paper towel. Finished result:


    I also finished the MIAD and RVG vert grip. I'll post more pictures up later.

    The MIAD grip turned out a little more 'plum' than the RVG and CTR. Each piece dyes a little differently, so this has to be taken into consideration. I might hit the MIAD with some bleach later to lighten it up.

  2. #2
    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
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    Lookin' Good, Kilo.

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    Senior Member T-5 Killer's Avatar
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    WOW looks great!

  4. #4
    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    How durable is the finish? in otherwords if some clp or bore cleaner gets on it will it lift the dye?

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    Senior Member Kilo1-1's Avatar
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    Linedoggie, CLP and other solvents won't ***** the finish off. I've tried using breakcleaner on it to see if it'll come off, it won't.

    Minion, no offense taken. I did a pseudo digital camo pattern because it was easiest to do. Duracoat is definitely more flexible in terms of color choice and pattern flexibility. Dyeing has so many variables that makes getting a consistent finish a lot more difficult. This is dirt cheap to do though, a bottle's like $2.

    I'm still thinking of bleaching the MIAD grip to tone down the brown/plum.








  6. #6
    Senior Member Sir Zach of R.'s Avatar
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    I went ahead and tried this on a couple FDE Magpul parts I had, in an attempt to match DD's SOCOM FDE scheme they use on their RIS II line. It came out doo doo brown, but I still like it! Pics to follow...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kilo1-1's Avatar
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    Zach, if you want to lighten it, dab a paper towel into some liquid bleach and gently swab over the dyed part, it'll lighten the color.

    I went ahead and bleached my MIAD grip. The dye came off, but there's a residual 'print' of where the pattern used to be at. The color is a lot lighter than FDE...I think because it's been stippled and sanded down in the past (so not the original texture).

    To those wanting to do this, the dye will fade with strong bleach. It won't come off from other solvents like brake cleaner though.

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    Senior Member KEEPER0311's Avatar
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    Pretty sweet work Kilo.


    How long until we see this stuff in the airsoft section?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sir Zach of R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo 1-1 View Post
    Zach, if you want to lighten it, dab a paper towel into some liquid bleach and gently swab over the dyed part, it'll lighten the color.

    I went ahead and bleached my MIAD grip. The dye came off, but there's a residual 'print' of where the pattern used to be at. The color is a lot lighter than FDE...I think because it's been stippled and sanded down in the past (so not the original texture).

    To those wanting to do this, the dye will fade with strong bleach. It won't come off from other solvents like brake cleaner though.
    I don't know I kind of like my doo doo brown / combat chocolate AR.



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  10. #10
    Member joeyl's Avatar
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    I'm so doing this when I get back stateside. I had no idea this could be done so I have been at the mercy of krylon

  11. #11
    Senior Member Death.'s Avatar
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    You're so stylish. lol

  12. #12
    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
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    Just a large Pixel...............

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sir Zach of R.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minions Ownage View Post
    Ugh, that Magpul stock is heavy, never picked one up due to that. Why is the magwell side that has zero serials or any rollmarks blacked out?
    It's where I had my SBR info engraved.

  14. #14
    Member Victory's Avatar
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    Looks good guys. (For more examples, there is a huge thread on M4c about this process.)

    I was thinking about dyeing my EMod to a bit of a darker brown, but I dunno', I don't feel confident enough. I'd probably screw it up.

    So, Aerove for me.

    -Vic

  15. #15
    Waywickedcool Federal Ninja Laconian's Avatar
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    Nice work, kilo and zach.

    Kilo, your HH6 let's you do that stuff using her stovetop?

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