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DIY: Ways to Customize Your Bow

Winter is often a season for projects. When cold snaps keep you inside, that doesn’t mean you keep your bow in its case. You can still practice outside with the proper precautions or head to the local indoor range. And you can also use winter weather as an opportunity to give your equipment some attention. 

Most archers choose equipment based on performance and personal preference. But they also want to appreciate how their bow looks. Bows and accessories come in a variety of colors and patterns. If you’re dissatisfied or bored with the way your bow looks, that’s a simple fix. Ready for a refresh? Here are some ways to customize and personalize your bow. 

Painting Do’s and Don’ts 

Maybe you’re just not a fan of your bow’s overall appearance and would like to use paint to change things up. Perhaps you want a one-of-a-kind color scheme. But don’t grab a can of spray paint. A custom paint job requires the bow to be dipped, powder-coated, painted and anodized. This is best done by a professional or under the guidance of someone with experience painting bows. You’ll also need to look at the bow’s warranty information because painting may void the warranty. You can find this information by visiting the bow manufacturer’s website or checking the owner’s manual. 

Try Paint Markers

If a professional paint job is out of the question, there’s an easy and safe way to alter your bow’s appearance through paint markers. Once again, be sure to look at your bow’s warranty before altering it in this way. Sara Lopez is one of the world’s best compound-bow archers and she’s a big fan of making a statement with her equipment. She uses both oil-based and acrylic paint markers on her bow. 

What You Need 

  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Paper towels 
  • Q-tips 
  • Paint marker with medium point 

Prep the riser by cleaning it with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. Remove the paint pen’s cap and depress the tip. Put the cap back on and shake well. Remove the cap and depress the tip several times to get the paint flowing. Paint with even strokes and let it dry. Apply a second coat if necessary. If you make a mistake, use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol to clean up the wet paint. Dry paint requires more elbow grease to remove.

Paint markers aren’t a permanent solution. Paint will eventually fade. But you can add another coat or try a new color. 

Change the Bowstrings 

Bowstrings are small pieces of equipment that make a big impact. Manufacturers produce endless color options. Changing the bow’s string color is the easiest way to change the look of your bow without much effort. The primary options available are solid or two-tone color schemes. 

Swapping out your strings might seem like a waste of money, but it needs to be done eventually. Strings need to be changed once they’ve experienced enough wear and tear. This is typically every three years. Unless you own a bow press and have experience working on bows, it’s best to use a bow technician. Visit an archery shop. They will help you select new strings and put them on the bow.  

Add New Accessories 

Archery involves a lot of equipment, even if you’re shooting a recurve. Every accessory is an opportunity to showcase your style, from arm guards to quivers and wrist slings to stabilizers. You can also choose your favorite rests, sights, bow grips, noise dampeners and release aids. 

Arrows Make a Statement 

Arrows are easy to customize with fletchings and wraps. However, before making any adjustments to your arrows, you’ll want to be sure they won’t alter the arrow’s flight. Wraps can add weight. New fletchings need to be the same size and style as your previous ones. Here’s a step-by-step guide to fletching arrows.  

If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to get your bow a makeover, visit an archery shop. Experts will answer questions and help you find all the accessories you need to create your perfect bow. 



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