once again, thanks guys. for those who want to try painting but are afraid to, try spraying a piece of cardboard first. it takes practice, easy on the nozzle - don't spray too much in one go. try light mists first and keep misting to get the color depth you are looking for. remember, if you really mess up, many things can take off paint without harming your rifle. automotive brake cleaner or acetone is what i use.
the best thing about painting these things is that it completely changes the look of your rifle and it is reversible. another perk is that if you are building on a budget and getting everything used, you don't have to worry about buying matching furniture! this is a pic of my first paint job, stripped with brake cleaner, and the second paint job.
First Paint Job:
Stripped with Brake Cleaner: (only took 1 hour to strip - didn't do a clean job since i was going to repaint it anyway)
i added this note about paint to the original post:
a quick word about paints. I'm using the Brownell's paint because I already have a stash of it. I've been using Aluma-Hyde II for a while now and have realized that yes while it is a very durable paint (it is epoxy based) that it is expensive and a pain to get since it is only available at Brownells which means 7 day UPS ground shipping to us Californians - and again, it is expensive. for one of my previous paint jobs, I tried using Rust-Oleum flat paints and those actually worked out just as well. BUT the only way you can really keep that kind of paint on your rifle is to go over it with a clear coat after your done painting. for that I still choose to use Aluma-Hyde II, luckily the two paints interact very well with each other.