Is It Illegal To Spray Paint A Toy Gun Black in 2023?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Airsoft guns or Nerf guns are cool toys to play with, but some limitations exist. It can threaten others if you use toy guns painted like the real ones.

Technically it is not illegal to spray toy guns with Black or other metallic colors. But Law enforcement authorities can charge you if they find a modified painted toy gun in your hand in public areas.

Though you can spray paint your toy guns to play indoors or use them as showpieces. You can get misunderstood playing with a painted gun outdoors.

That is why it is safer to know the rules before painting and using toy guns in your region. Continue reading if you want to know more about painting airsoft guns for entertainment purposes.

Is It Illegal To Spray Paint A Toy Gun Black?

There are different types of toy guns available on the market. You can find the Nerf Soft Guns, Airsoft Guns with bbs, or soft foam bullets.

The laws of toy gun painting are different in different states and countries. There are no by-book rules and regulations about spray painting toy guns black or other colors.

But in some other North American or European countries, it is a possibility that the law enforcement department will not entertain this idea.

Toy Gun Black

That is why it is better not to play or use black-painted guns outdoors to be safe on the side. Most importantly, you should not threaten pedestrians using a painted gun.

Police have the authority to open shots when they want to neutralize an intruder. Therefore, accidents can occur if you are misunderstood by a fake painted replica of a gun.

Moreover, the toy gun has an Orange-tip indicator that it is a replica, not a real gun. Thus you can safely paint your airsoft gun without painting the orange tip.

Lastly saying, you can paint Black your favorite collectible toy guns. Since it is not illegal, you can play with it as well. But, you should be careful and never take it outside to play or demonstrate anything.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use To Spray A Toy Gun?

The type of paint you want to apply to your toy gun depends upon some factors.

These are the materials used to construct the toy gun, paint binding, and the surface holding capacity of the toy gun. Besides, it also depends upon the default paint job of the toy gun.

Spray Paints

Spray paints are the best-suited paint type for toy guns. These are very easy to use and require no previous skills of handling. There are many types of spray paints available in the market.

Spray Paint Toy Gun

In general, you choose the All-surface spray paint for painting your toy gun. This is compatible with Plastic, Wood, and Metal surfaces.

If your gun is made of a metal housing, it is better to select metallic spray paint. These spray paints have a better binding capability with metallic surfaces.

Moreover, when applied, it gives a high gloss, light reflectivity, and a premium metallic texture. Another advantage of using spray paints is that most of the paint types of oil-based and do not require primer.

You can pick the General purpose or Acrylic spray paints for wood-made toy guns. There is no need to prime your wooden surface as the spray paints have a higher binding capability.

Acrylic Paints

General-purpose Acrylic paints are a good option for toy guns. It can be applied directly on metal surfaces using a standard paintbrush.

Acrylic Paints Toy Gun

Airsoft toy guns made of plastic can be problematic while painting with Acrylic paints because plastic coated with default paint is water-resistant.

And since, Acrylic paints are water-based, you cannot apply them directly on the plastic surface. First, you must remove the default paint coating from the plastic surface using sandpaper.

Finally, you can apply your favorite color shade of Acrylic paint to paint your toy gun.

Paints You Should Not Use On Toy Gun

Oil paints, Watercolors, and Plastic paints are incompatible with toy guns. They will not bind with the surface of the toy guns.

Moreover, you can not get the expected color shade and finish from these types of paints.

How To Spray Paint A Toy Gun?

Spray painting a toy gun is easy if you know how to do it properly. Following inappropriate procedures can damage your guns aesthetics permanently.

Spray Paint A Toy Gun

Therefore, carefully make up your mind before giving your toy gun a custom paint job. Follow this step-by-step guide to paint your toy gun effectively.

Step One: Getting The Right Type Of Paint And Color

Initially, you have to inspect and determine the type of surface you want to paint. Most airsoft guns and Nerf guns are entirely made of high-density plastic material.

Some high-end collectible and replica toy guns are made of metals. Besides, some toy guns also have wooden parts. Especially the gun and grip stock can be made of wood.

Depending on the material used to construct, you must select the spray paint type. It is recommended to get all-surface types of spray paints with pre-added primer.

Choose the spray paint brand and the color shades according to your preference. Here are some suggestions for getting spray paint.

Step Two: Getting Additional Tools

Spray painting can be hassling without getting some mandatory tools. You have to purchase some additional tools and accessories for convenient spray painting.

These are cardboard, tissue paper, masking tape, sandpaper, long-string gloves, and masks. Besides multiple usages of color shades, you may have to disassemble the toy gun. For this, you would require a screwdriver.

Step Three: Setting Up The Painting Area

There are two ways to spray paint your toy gun. The first way involves hanging the gun or its parts by a string. This one is a recommended way for spray painting your toy gun.

Select an empty room that is very well ventilated. You can also go outside and do this work in the garage or lawn of the house. Make sure you have no breathing or other medical issues regarding paint jobs.

Take a long string and tie up your toy gun in the air to spray it. This process can Make Spray Paint Dry Faster due to equally quick ventilation from all sides.

Another way is to spread the parts of the toy gun or the entire toy gun on flat cardboard. This is the best-suited procedure for new users because they wont need to be careful about overspraying.

Step Four: Clean Up Your Toy Gun

Before giving your toy gun a new look with spray paint, you must clean it up perfectly because spray paint cannot bind appropriately on the guns surface if it has specks of dirt.

You will get a poor and rough paint job on the surface of your toy gun. That is why use a basic soapy solution and microfiber towel wash and clean the gun before applying for the paint job.

Step Five: Disassembling Your Toy Gun

This is a very crucial step in painting your toy gun. You have to disassemble the housing parts of your toy gun for better exposure to the spray paint.

Moreover, the mechanical parts are to be kept away from the spray paint as it may damage the small internal components of the gun.

Giving a custom paint job with perfection requires the disassembly of your toy gun into different parts. If you have a bigger AR replica gun can be hassling because there are more parts than a smaller toy, such as a pistol.

Spread white paper or cardboard on a table. Then use a screwdriver to take the parts carefully snapped away from the main body of the toy gun.

You have to take the slider, grip, trigger, magazine, flash hider, and barrel away for painting for smaller toy guns.

And for bigger AR guns, you have to take apart the stock, grip, magazine, parallel, vertical grips, optical sights, flashlight, handguard, lower receiver, etc.

Making a video or taking pictures while disassembling your toy gun is highly recommended. Keep the screws, springs, and other sophisticated parts safely in a container.

Step Six: Sanding The Parts

Removing the default paint job from the parts of your toy gun is crucial. Otherwise, the spray paint cannot bind with the surface perfectly. This can result in low quality and short-time paint coating on your gun.

Use general-purpose sandpaper to scrub the parts of your toy gun. Do not over scrub the parts as it may decay the plastic material.

Step Seven: Masking The parts

You must apply masking on different parts to paint your toy gun without falling apart. The parts can be of your preference on which you want to do a custom paint job, such as the grip and magazine.

Step Eight: Painting Your Toy Gun

Before spraying the paint, wear safety goggles, a pair of silicone gloves, and a mask to avoid a mess. Tie up your gun in the air with a string or lay them in a pattern on cardboard.

Then take the base color spray paint and shake well. Press the nozzle by swinging smoothly by pointing directly at the toy gun. Keep in mind about over-spraying a part.

Keep on spraying for multiple coats on the toy gun for better results. Try to spray equally on every part of the toy gun. Be careful about paint bumps and clumps.

Step Nine: Allowing The Toy Gun To Dry

This step of spraying toy guns is also crucial. You must allow the painted parts to get dried before putting the second coating layer with a different shade.

Besides, while flipping part of the gun to spray the other side, you must ensure that the painted part is dried perfectly.

If you are using the hanging method of painting, leave it in the air for about 10-15 minutes to Make Spray Paint Dry Faster.

Step Ten: Applying Clear Coating On the New paint Job

It is an optional process. Applying a clear coat spray on your gun can enhance the longevity of the new paint job. Significantly it saves the high traffic areas such as the grip, trigger, and handguard.

Step Eleven: Reassembly

Before putting everything back together, perform a double and triple check to ensure all parts are painted. After finalizing, reassemble your toy gun step-by-step.

Check the videos or pictures you took while assembling the gun. After a perfect reassembly, you will have a newly painted toy gun.

Final Words

Nowadays, many advanced toy guns and replicas of real guns are in the marketplace. Manufacturers put an orange tip in the front for safety, but it is not enough. Painting a toy gun can be a high risk while using it in public because modified toy guns are often used for crimes.

That is why you must ensure from the locality and rules of the law enforcement department that it is illegal to spray paint a toy gun black. If you spray paint a toy gun, it is highly recommended to use it for indoor entertainment.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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