Repainting Nerf Guns


Repainted Nerf Maverick and Jolt

We’ve all seen them around: once bright and often gaudy toy guns turned into steampunk marvels that make for excellent side arms. And whilst Nerf seems to be the brand of choice for many ‘punks, it’s by far not the only option. This is post is by all means not the only way to go about it, it’s just how I did some basic painting modifications that I’d like to share to help you on your way. And it’s certainly not because I happen to have bought Nerf guns that you should too, just get what you like best.

Anyway: onwards to some repainting tips.

First of all, make sure that your gun is devoid of ammo.
If you have a larger gun, you may have to screw it apart. If you do, make sure to photograph it BEFORE you take bits out to store in a container so you don’t loose parts you’ll need to put back in in order to maintain a working gun. This photograph will aid you putting it back together. If you own a common gun such as a Jolt or Maverick you’ll find plenty of aids and resources on modding it online, but if you have a less “popular” model, you may find yourself on your own. Taking a photo is thus a good safety net when reassembling.

The Maverick was the first Nerf gun I modded, so I started this with far more enthusiasm than skill. I had previously painted several Warhammer models, and did a fair job of most of them so I just approached this as another wargaming piece, which worked out fine, but of course there was a fair amount of trying to find the colour scheme I wanted. Which I didn’t really figure out ‘till I modded my second gun: the Jolt. I mainly messed around a lot with the body, changing my mind and overhauling it a couple of times. In the end I ended up redoing it like my Jolt because I liked how that had come out better. With some slightly different details.
For the barrel I just sprayed it black with aforementioned basecoat from a can and then drybrushed it with Vallejo Hammered Copper and Brassy Brass. I mucked around with those on the orange parts I had left unsprayed to give them a more weathered look. Even though they’re not basecoat paints, it went alright and I got the effect I was going for.


Product photo of an unmodded Maverick Rev-6

Repainted Maverick

Now as for the Jolt.


Product photo of an unmodded Jolt

For starters I had the sense to get some photos of the process this time! Many thanks to Chantal van Rijt for helping me photo document this as sadly I fluked out after the base coat during the entire paintjob, oops.

Contrary to what you see online I did not take mine apart. I simply removed the dart and pulled out the well, pull part. I then just spray undercoated it with Citadel Chaos Black and left it to dry. You will need to do this in several turns though to be able to reach all sides of the gun properly. I put my gun in a cardboard box and took it outside to do this, but you can do it in any well ventilated room.

spray base

After the spray base had dried properly I basecoated it with Citadel Warlock Bronze


over which I drybrushed with Decoart Venetian Gold. Over that coat I drybrushed Vallejo Smoke and over some of the detail parts I first used Citadel Golden Griffon, which is an actual drybrush paint. For details like the name and brand I highlighted with Creall Gold.


Photo by Chantal van Rijt

And this is the result:

finished gun

Photo by Chantal van Rijt

Repainted Jolt

For both guns I used Citadel Purity Seal spray varnish, again I’m sure that other brands offer a valid alternative to Citadel, it’s just that I always use that one as I really like it so I can’t tell you about alternatives. Again I took it outside in a box, and again it needed a couple of goes so I could cover all areas appropriately. Make sure to really let it DRY after you have applied varnish, or you risk damaging your paint job if you pick it up too soon!


Photo by Chantal van Rijt

If you don’t know how to drybrush I’m sure there’s plenty of good tutorials on youtube. It’s kind of one of those things you have to see to get if you don’t know how so I’m sure you’d benefit more from looking it up yourself than me attempting to explain it in this post. It needs be said that I use actual drybrush pencils from Citadel (the small, medium and large one, depending on what needs to be done). You _can_ drybrush with other pencils, but be prepared for them to die the horrible death of the mistreated pencil. So best to buy some cheap ones you don’t mind dying if you don’t want to spend money on drybrushing pencils.

I hope that you, good reader, found this basic repaint mod practical.

And as an extra tip: when choosing your gun, consider the availability of holsters also if you can’t make your own. This was a big factor for me because I didn’t want to make a holster out of sturdy denim and didn’t feel like buying all the supplies necessary to work with leather. Mavericks and Jolts are pretty popular guns, so their holsters are easy enough to get (although often they don’t come cheap). It’s best to look into these things first before you actually purchase your weaponry so you don’t end up with a cool gun and no way to handily carry it with you. Stay tuned for Friday, when I will put up a product review about DarkBlade’s Maverick holster.


  1. I’ve been meaning to steampunk some nerfs for quite some time now. I need to do it when it’s sunny outside so i can go outside to sandpaper them. Oh and get some bronze paint! I have more crafts/ sewing on my to -do list than I can handle right now! 😛

  2. @Laura: you can sand indoors if you do it over a big enough cardboard box to catch the dust coming off. But you don’t really need to sand it with the right spray basecoat 🙂 I know the feeling about too many projects though 🙂

    @Mark: you’re very welcome! Thank you for the compliment 🙂

  3. Mademoisele, is it completely safe to spray a nerf gun with Chaos Black? I mean, won’t the paint glue the parts together and prevent the mechanism from operating properly?

  4. Hello Inle,
    I haven’t had any issues with any of my guns after I did a basecoat with black spraypaint (I’ve switched from Citadel’s Chaos Black to Vallejo’s basespray though, but that’s just a personal preference).
    Mind you, some guns, like a Maverick, need to be taken apart before you can spray the outside. I don’t know how well they’ll still work if you spray them without taking them apart first to be honest. Which gun are you looking into modding?

  5. Hello Kyle, you can buy acrylics in most art supply stores, hobby stores (the ones that sell model building kits), craft shops as well as Games Workshop stores.
    To find a dealer near you, simply google for “Games Workshop” and look on their website for stores/dealers.
    Google will also be able to tell you where to find the other brands of paint I’ve mentioned in this review.
    Good luck and happy painting/modding!

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