Well, this "Camo" is turning out more popular than I ever thought it would. Axe and ye' shall recieve!
Of course the type of Camo you paint would be determined by your tools and the environment you want to disappear. The southeast is one big rain forest, so I painted a 4 color Woodland style camo.
When you're walking along, the landscape is a blur of the same colors, shapes, and sizes relative to the observer. Anything that looks out of place in the scenery will attract the attention to the degree it becomes obvious. The idea is to blend it in the landscape, not to hide it, but to make it become a part of. Take the box, put it in the woodline, and walk without peeking for 10 paces (50ft/15M) turn around and see how it looks.
Obviously anything colored differently will stand out, and colored brightly will stick out like that board on the deck you always vow to fix when you trip on it. The other problem is the lines offered. Nothing in nature has distinctly straight lines, so any box edges will also stand out.
The methods of painting camo are as varied as methods of keeping bees. I'm going to describe the old standard, "Woodland" camo. Famous for being the military standard for decades, it's basic color scheme is something like:
- FS 30257
- FS 30215
- FS 34151
- FS 27038
FS is "Federal Standard." If you are desperate to duplicate these colors I found these and a bunch of others at: http://www.fed-std-595.com/FS-595-Paint-Spec.html
, I tried to match what I painted with, but don't see any purpose. For all practical purposes, the colors I used are:
- Olive Green
The olive green is from some Oops paint, the label reads:
COLORANT 0Z 48 96
C YELLOW OXID 0 18 0
D THALO GREEN 0 36 0
F RED OXIDE 0 20 1
What all that means is beyond me.
The idea is to blend background with shadow. The general color of the landscape is a Khaki color. So I approximate this as the background. Browns would then be closer in the foreground, the greens would break the browns, and the shadows in the foreground. Since what we want to accomplish is to make a big wooden box look like it belongs there, the colors should fool your eye into missing the lines, the big squares of color, and such.
The size of the patches of color are also important. The reason the military is slowly retiring the old "M81 Woodland" is it's tendency to "blob" at distance. The further away the viewer is, the larger the patterns need to be. This is the reason the 21st century warrior is decked out in them funky gray swag, and covered with all them leetle squares.
I used a primer, and semi-gloss exterior latex enamel. I actually lose these in the woods, so have to make sure I put it on a map so I can find them again. The only real problem would be when the sunshine is shining at the right angle to reflect off the paint, removing all color due to glare, and glowing like a big shiny rectangle.
The first coat is the primer of course. Primer is thinnish paint with lots of binder and little pigment. Usually white so you can see what hasn't been painted. It's main purpose is to fill all the little cracks and pores. Not that it really does that, but it does it waaayyyyy better than not using primer. I make sure to work it into end grain "rill gud." That's where you're going to get the worst of the moisture invasion. (A primer, primer! Hee-Yuck!)
When dry, I then give it a good coat of the buckwheat as a solid color. Simple enough. If you see any streaks of white showing through, let the paint cure to what it says on the label, then give it a second coat.
Here use any shapes you want. The more random the shape, the less likely to be spotted. Stripes go well in grasses as the landscape is mostly vertical, but in the canopy of a tree the colors and shapes go all ways.
The browns just come out fuzzy, because I first used a 3 inch paint brush, then decided I would do better with an Artist's 1 inch "Filbert" brush. I would have used a Flat or Chisel Artist's brush, but didn't have one. I decided it gives the background the correct blurriness, though I did straighten up some of the lines in some of them.
I like to use sharp edges on the greens and blacks because these are in the foreground and usually the lines the eye sees. I lay the color down rotating the brush so it leaves a clean edge. Greens go on before the blacks. Obviously you would need to put lighter colors on first to avoid having to drown the darkness of the blacks with other hues.
Painting up to the edge and stopping leaves the evil, dreaded,
, something not seen in natural forms. You would want to carry the pattern around the edge to break up the outlines. Corners are the most fun you can have, because they have three straight lines coming to a point.
In general squirrels don't care much what colors you paint it. Birds, meese, roaches, and wasps wont look at the trouble you went to. They probably won't do more than set up camp in any hollow perched in a tree. However the "2-legged" non winged variety of pest is why to go to all this trouble. Humans probably wont see the box in the tree unless they're looking for one. If off the usual path, it may never be seen again.
Remember that a rope hanging your bait hive also makes a straight line. Latex paint works purt good on that aspect as well, further frustrating the erstwhile bee trapper, if not the "blue bears." Since the bestest places to position your traps are pretty much in the open, on the edge of the trees, or someplace where bees enjoy the same motile convenience Humans do, it's possible bears in blue jeans could raid and demolish one's efforts if one doesn't pay attention to those last little details.