Capt. Steve Chaconas shows you how to powder paint your own fishing lures.

BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department

Painting by Powder

by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff

Powder paints to useon fishing luresDo-It-Yourselfers pour their own lead weights, jigs and spinnerbaits. This not only saves money, but also will allow for customizing hooks, style and other variances for specific situations. But once poured, lead is shiny and not very lifelike. Choices for lure painting are either paint or powder!

Painting can be messy, and requires an airbrush or small paintbrushes to coat the lead. Then some type of coating to protect the paint from chipping. But with powder coating, a dip and it’s done! In addition, the finish of powder coating is very hard and will stand up to most of what a lure goes through. Powder Paints were designed with ease of use in mind to create beautiful, high-gloss, fluorescent lures quickly and easily.

Open bottle of yellow powder paintOne of the leaders in supplying all things for DIY enthusiasts for decades has been Barlow’s Tackle! They supply and assist in just about every lure-making category! Barlow’s Tackle website features helpful articles showing how to build lures.

For powder painting, supplies are simple! Powder coat comes in many colors and even some with glitter and transparent colors. There is even a UV Blast Lure Spray! A small flaming heating source can be as simple as a lighter, a gas stove or an alcohol burner. A heat gun will suffice!

Heating the lead part of a fishing lure before paintingSteps are simple. Hold the item to be heated with needle nose pliers. Heat the leaded portion rotating through the heat source. The hook will stay cool. Preheat jigs by rotating lead in the blue part of flame for 2 seconds for 1/16 oz. jigs, 4 seconds for 1/4 oz. jigs, and so on. You may also preheat jigs in a 325 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Once hot, quickly swish lead through light powder with a side-to-side motion covering the entire surface. Do not dip or push lead into powder. Remove IMMEDIATELY. The surface will melt and then gloss over. Tap to remove excess. If the finished lead smokes, reduce preheat time slightly. If the lead finish appears powdery and dry, increase the preheat time. Sprinkling powder paint on heated lureContinue to keep the powder loose between painting by stirring settled powder to make it fluffy and light. Small round bowls allow for easier application.

Hang and allow to totally cool. That’s it! You can add stick on eyes, which Barlow’s has many to choose, from adhesive rounded eyes to adhesive flat eyes, all baits can be customized!

But, dipping larger heated lead lures is sometimes difficult and often not all that efficient! So, using small saltshakers, fill with desired colors and sprinkle onto the heated lead. For a variation, use several colors and either mix or sprinkle a top portion of a head with one color and the rest with another! There really is no end to customization.

Lead lures before applying powder paint     Swim jigs after painting     Finished powder painted jigs

Your jigs are now ready for use. However, curing the lure will produce an extremely durable, chip resistant finish. For a finish that's five times as tough, jigs may be "cured' by hanging them in an oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Allow a few minutes for your jigs to get up to temperature. Lures with weed guards should be cured at 250 degrees F for 25 minutes. Always open the eye of the hook with a sharp object before curing.

Powder Coating Supplies:




- Super high gloss
- One-coat coverage with no white primer needed
- No drying time
- Non-flammable and environmentally safe
- Will not dry out
- No mixing or settling
- No odor
- Easy cleanup

Available in 2 oz bottles

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