Director of Adventure Management Operations
how about .99 black spray paint? Won't leave stains down the side of your vehicle, on can will provide endless touch ups, and looks good if you actually take the time to prep it right.
I hate to bust your bubble but shovels, axes, and picks, mounted under HMMWVs in the pioneer rack, outside Strikers and LAV-25's, etc are all painted and have been for decades.Furniture paste wax on wood and both metal, or paint the metal. Wax blocks oxygen better than oil and won't attract and hold dust. This is what the old timers used on machine tools where that had bare, precision surfacse so they couldn't use paint on them. Wax coating lasts longer than oil, and blocks oxygen better and won't trap and hold gritty dust that can wear on the precision surface.
You're NEVER supposed to paint a wooden handle of a shovel or an axe. It hides cracks and someone can get hurt if the handle comes apart unexpectedly. Oil or wax the wood and they'll actually protect it better than paint will. This was all brought out in the old US Army TMs concerning shovels and axes when they were mounted on the early Jeeps.