How to Paint Wooden Fishing Lures

How to Paint Wooden Fishing Lures
Anglers who choose wooden lures do so because of the buoyancy that wood offers over metal ones. Wooden lures are designed to copy the shape, size and motion of a small bait fish. It is important to paint your lure the same colors and pattern as the fish it is designed to imitate; otherwise predatory fish won't take the bait. There are many types of wooden lures, but the same generic steps apply to almost all of them.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Unfinished fishing lure
  • Dish soap
  • Pliers
  • Non-smoking candle
  • Powder lure paint, colors vary depending on lure
  • Petri dish or small saucer
  • Cotton swab
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Strip of wire
  • Tin foil
  • Oven
Step 1
Clean the lure using hot water and dish soap. You must remove any oil or sawdust to properly apply the paint.
Step 2
Heat the lure by holding it 1 inch above a lit candle. Grip the lure with pliers to prevent your fingers from getting burned. Make sure each side of the lure is exposed to the heat for 2 or 3 minutes.
Step 3
Pour the base color of powder paint into the Petri dish. Usually this will be a dark color in reflective paint such as green, blue or brown. Still holding the lure by the pliers, swish the lure through the powder until the entire body is covered. The heated lure will melt the paint, forcing it to adhere to the body. Any excess powder can be shaken or tapped away.
Step 4
Paint the rest of the design onto the body using a paintbrush. A silver stripe along the underbelly of the lure is a common design, as well as brown, blue, black and copper spots on the sides of the body.
Step 5
Dip a cotton swab into black powder paint and create dots on both sides of the body at the front of the lure to form eyes.
Step 6
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and then bend both ends of the wire to form hooks. Slide the wire through the eye hook at the nose of the lure and hang it from the top rack of the oven. Put a square of tinfoil directly under the lure to catch any paint that may drip. After 10 minutes of baking the lure, remove it from the oven and let it cool to finish setting the paint.

Tips & Warnings

Reheat the lure at any point if it cools down and is not melting the paint properly.

Article Written By Jacob Hendriks

Jacob Hendriks' work has appeared in "The Western Front," "The Planet Magazine" and He graduated from Western Washington University with a major in international business management and a minor in Community Health. Hendriks' passion for sports nutrition and fitness, combined with experience as a personal trainer, has led him to pursue health-oriented journalism.

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