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How to Paint a Cosplay Sword

Updated on January 17, 2016

You will need:

Wooden sword (this is a Chinese sword)

Spray paints for the blade, hilt, handle, and base.

Painter's tape

Newspaper

2-4 heavy things

You can find spray paint in any color/texture. I went with a "hammered" look to replicate the metal parts of the sword. Try to get the same brand and do not be afraid to ask for help.


It needs to be about 50-90 degrees out for some spray paints to cure. We had to bring the sword in for the handle to completely dry.

Make sure you sword is clean. You might want to sand it a little to get the paint to stick if there is a glossy finish on the wood. Spread out enough newspaper for the sword to sit on. Weigh the paper down with heavy things.

Place painters tape on the parts of the sword you are not spraying first. I am doing the blade and the handle at the same time since the hilt and base will be the same color and I want the colors to blend a little.

Follow the instructions of the spray paint. Spray in thin layers and allow to dry. The brown went on a bit thick and takes longer to dry. It gave me a ton of trouble.

The paint needs to be dry to the touch and not sticky in any way before you can flip it over and do the other side. Walk the dog while you wait.

Not done yet!

This is what happens when you rush. The paper sticks to the newspaper. But that is okay, scrape it off and touch up the paint. It can be war damage!

Once the paint is completely dry and cured (this could take hours or days) gently peel off the painter's tape and place new painter's tape on the parts you have painted. Paint the other areas.

Here is where you can get creative. To get a worn/rusted look on this sword, I sprayed the brown color on the gold and immediately wiped it off with newspaper. This is why you have to wait for the gold paint to completely set. If you mess up, it is okay. Add a bit more gold and dab lightly on spots. If you want to wear to be on the outer parts of the "metal" areas, reverse the colors so the gold is more prominent in the cracks. If you want your sword to have a more brass look, you need to buy a brass colored spray paint.

Finished product!

Do you prefer to buy cosplay items, make them, or both?

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