What Paint To Use On Gun Sights?

Almost every handgun has built-in iron sights that are important for targeting accurately. Although shooters nowadays are more into using external devices for aiming such as scopes, red dot sights, holographic sights, etc. the old tradition of using the classic iron sights is still in the game.

These sights are fairly usable and give enough support in times of need. However, sometimes shooters may find the existing iron sights’ color distracting or not useful in a particular situation. For that reason, changing the color of the iron sights and painting them into the color of their choice is very common among shooters.

With this concept of changing the color and using a new paint on the iron sights, it can become confusing as one remains unknown to the information on which type of color will suit the most.

What Paint To Use On Gun Sights

There are many brands in the market that are selling different types of paints for gun sights. You will find normal paints, acrylic paints, and glowing paints for night sights. Which one do you need among these paints and what kind of benefits you will get from them, we will be discussing everything here. So, without wasting another second let’s begin!

Reasons For Painting Gun Sights

Before we move on to the actual section of today’s topic, let’s talk about the reasons for painting gun sights. Normally, the iron sights of any pistol come with 3 dots that are painted in white for targeting. The white paint is universal and it is most commonly used in iron sights since white is easily visible both in dark and bright light conditions.

However, sometimes this white paint might not be best for a particular situation. The most common reason for wanting to change the color of iron sights is the worn-out condition of sights. After using it for a really long time, the dots can fade away hence needing a redo with some paints. Other than this, there are causes such as personal preference, upgrading the quality, etc.

The Common Colors To Use On Gun Sights

Now coming to the main part of the topic, there are several types of paints that you can use for your gun sights. Each and every paint has its own advantages and they can be used for specific purposes. We will be discussing what these benefits are and which of the paints will be better for you.

The very common type of paint you will find in the market is the tritium vial that extracts radioactive in order to glow during nighttime so that you can use them in a low light setting. Another similar type of paint is the phosphorus paint which will provide you with similar effects.

Other kinds of paints include premium acrylic paint and strontium aluminate glow powders. These are good for long-lasting and powerful effects. Moreover, there are new synthetic resins combined with latex paints which are more water-resistant and durable. You can easily find these kinds of paints everywhere. Some very common paints currently in the market are the Glow-on Phosphorescent Gun Night Sights Paints, Truglo Paint Kit, and Testors Enamel Paint Set.

All these paints have their own benefits along with some downsides. We will be addressing both sides of all the paints and then you can decide which one you want to use on your gun sights.

  • White: White is the most commonly used paint on gun sights. It is versatile and easy to notice which is great for using fast targeting. You can see this paint in both daylight and low light settings. The greatest downside of white paint is that it can easily get lost among other things when used in a compact area. Therefore, it is not the best option to use for any quick critical situation.
  • Green: Green paint is another commonly used paint for gun sights as it is the first color to catch the attention of human eyesight. This mostly comes as a tritium vial to glow in the dark setting. The green paint will work best for night sights to use in low lighting. However, the radioactive coming from the tritium can be harmful for using too long.
  • Yellow: Another color option is the yellow paint. You can use yellow paints for fast targeting since human eyesight picks the yellow color faster than other paints. The only downside of this paint is that it has a reflective nature which can strain the eyes when used for a long period of time.
  • Orange: After the visibility rate of yellow and green comes the orange color. This paint is extremely fast to capture human eyesight and works better than a tritium vial. The orange color is also not as reflective as the yellow paint and you can easily focus without straining your eyes.

From all the information above, we can say that green and orange are the two paints that stand out the most among other colors. Painting your gun sights with either of the colors will not only give you better accessibility but also allow you to use them in any light condition.

How To Paint The Sights?

There are multiple ways to paint gun sights. They are pretty simple and do not require too many instruments to work. We will discuss two alternative ways of painting your gun sights and make a list of the things you will need for them.

The first way is very simple and requires easily accessible products. Let’s see what they are-

  • Clean and bright workspace
  • Alcohol pads or rubbing alcohol
  • Toothpick
  • Cotton swabs
  • Aceton
  • Padded clamps or gun vise

Using this method you can very easily paint the gun sights within a few minutes. All you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below.

  • First, stand your gun in a comfortable position using a gun vise where you can paint the sights without any disturbance.
  • Then take some alcohol on a cotton swab and clean the surface of the iron sights to get rid of any external dirt or oil. Let the alcohol dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Now mix the paint you are using and use a toothpick to grab some paint on it. Using a round toothpick will give you a better finish than a sharp-edged one.
  • After that paint the iron sights starting from the edge and moving towards the end. Make sure you do not spill or use too much than necessary.
  • Let the paint dry and reapply if necessary. In case you need to reapply the paint a couple of times, use a new toothpick for every application so that you can avoid any clumpiness around the sights.

This way you can easily retouch the paints on your iron sights without going through so much trouble.

Another alternative way of painting your gun sights is by drilling the existing paints and then using synthetic resins to cover the hole. This way is good if you want brighter and long lasting colors. You can also look at the video below to understand the process better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does nail polish work for gun sights?

Yes, nail polish will also work for painting your gun sights. They are cheap and easily accessible. You can also change them by using acetone or nail polish remover whenever you want to repaint the sights.

What is phosphorescent paint?

The phosphorescent paint is a glow-in-the-dark paint that uses phosphors such as silver-activated sulfate and doped strontium illuminate. These types of paints glow in the dark setting and generally spread pale green or bluish-green light.

How long does glow paint last?

There is no specific timeframe for glow paints. They are not long-lasting and work after charging them with UV lights. Mostly, the glow paints last from 2 hours to 3 hours and fade away gradually with time.


To wrap up our discussion on the gun sight paints, we can say that having a certain paint on your iron sights helps you with more precise and faster targeting. There are many paints in the market with different finishes that you can use on your sights. These paints are durable and water-resistant.

Although all these paints have their own benefits, the green and orange colors are the most popular ones as they have better performance than other colors. You can also use phosphorescent paints that give better visibility at night time. In the end, the decision will depend on your personal preference. Therefore, choose a paint that will suit your gun sights and needs the most.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top