I have not done any painting before. When you paint and AR, what do you do with things like the safety selector, mag release and dust cover? Basically the moving parts. All I seem to read about is the prep work and then right to painting. It seems that these parts would be frozen if you just painted them?
Also, is Krylon the best, cheapest thing to use? Is it relatively durable?
I haven't painted mine yet but did one for a buddy.
From what a lot of the ones I see on here look like I don't think many do any masking off.
This is OK as long as you're keeping the coats thin; won't look cool for very long.
I used just plain OD krylon for the base coats and did mask off anything I couldn't remove.
Made sure to degrease everything well with some gun scrub and denatured alcohol.
Any thing small that needs to move such as a front sight post I removed and made sure to mask or plug the hole it came out of with a dowel.
I did everything separate such as rings, scope, rear sights etc.; then later assembled before laying down the pattern.
He didn't want a matte clear coat on top of it but I will do so if I ever decide to do mine.
A few months later some of the pattern has rubbed off but the base coat hasn't been affected.
The new red dot sight he has on it now sticks out like a sore thumb.
Make sure to use a sharp hobby knife to trim any masking tape and warm up the spray can in a bucket of hot water.
You can buy some cool stencils in the R/C car area of most hobby shops. We used a tiger stripe pattern that cost about $5.
Here is a link to an article I wrote up about refinishing AR15s, the information is geared towards using Norrells Moly Resin, and shows how to refinish several AR15s for under $50 while getting professional results. If you use Krylon or something different, the process will be the same, but your results obviously won't he as long lasting.
Heres a pic of a light weight AR15 that I built and refinished with two different colors.
Good luck, let me know if I can help with any questions you may have.