Painting the TJ

mattoxnc85

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This one’s for the auto body guys out there. So while I’m waiting motor and other things I’m painting the TJ. I went with a single stage urethane from restoration shop. Body is in great shape, other than hood and one fender the paint is actually in good shape. Question is can I scuff the original paint and spray over it? I did an old dodge Dakota years ago with the help of a family member that had some experience painting cars. I know for a fact we didn’t strip to bare metal and I’m almost positive we didn’t prime or anything before spraying. Paint turned out pretty good for having doing it in a garage without no floor other than the dirt. Only spots I had issues with was around rocker panels where I imagine didn’t get sanded well enough. What are your suggestions on getting a decent paint job without stripping down to bare metal? Can it be done? What steps do I need to take if so? Thanks in advance. Oh not going factory color if that makes any difference. Dakota was two tone grey and we painting it red. TJ is gunmetal and I’m painting it orange.
 
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Question is can I scuff the original paint and spray over it?
You can if you want it to peel off at the carwash.
What are your suggestions on getting a decent paint job without stripping down to bare metal?

It's called a vinyl wrap. The 3M vinyl is way cheaper than a new paint job and lasts longer than a cheap paint job. MY $50 vinyl on my car has held up for over 4 years. I cheaped out and didn't even buy the good 3M 2080 stuff that auto wrap shops use. I have some for my current Jeep to do.
 
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You can if you want it to peel off at the carwash.


It's called a vinyl wrap. The 3M vinyl is way cheaper than a new paint job and lasts longer than a cheap paint job. MY $50 vinyl on my car has held up for over 4 years. I cheaped out and didn't even buy the good 3M 2080 stuff that auto wrap shops use. I have some for my current Jeep to do.

This is bad info. You can for sure sand the paint and just go over it, no need to take it down to bare metal and prime it.

I would sand it with 220 first, then 320 and spray away. This is common practice and no way a short cut and won’t peel off in the car wash….

Only reason to take it to bare metal would be to fix rust issues.

Edit: as far as the wrap, if you can install it yourself great. But I wrap vehicles and other things for a living. Shooting from the hip I would charge $3,000 just for the install not counting media.

With a wrap, unless it’s just street driven I would not recommend, tree branches alone will do damage to the wrap over time, only way to fix it is to replace.

Coming from a guy that has painted vehicles and have wrapped vehicles I would personally paint.

I do plan on partially wrapping my jeep soon, but I have the luxury of changing out the wrap on a weekly basis if need be
 
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This one’s for the auto body guys out there. So while I’m waiting motor and other things I’m painting the TJ. I went with a single stage urethane from restoration shop. Body is in great shape, other than hood and one fender the paint is actually in good shape. Question is can I scuff the original paint and spray over it? I did an old dodge Dakota years ago with the help of a family member that had some experience painting cars. I know for a fact we didn’t strip to bare metal and I’m almost positive we didn’t prime or anything before spraying. Paint turned out pretty good for having doing it in a garage without no floor other than the dirt. Only spots I had issues with was around rocker panels where I imagine didn’t get sanded well enough. What are your suggestions on getting a decent paint job without stripping down to bare metal? Can it be done? What steps do I need to take if so? Thanks in advance. Oh not going factory color if that makes any difference. Dakota was two tone grey and we painting it red. TJ is gunmetal and I’m painting it orange.

Which orange? I REALLY want to sand down my Black '97 and paint it Impact Orange... best color EVER.. IMHO.
 
i appreciate the replies. I thought about doing a wrap but I like painting for one and didn’t want to spend the $ on a wrap. I completely understand to processes involved in painting. Prep is everything. I have painted boats in the past but I was always working with bare fiberglass. Or gel coat which I did fine painting over after proper prep of course. I’d hate to think I had to strip the entire thing down to bare metal just to get a decent paint job.
 
You can but there's no need. I would just make sure the surface is prepped, specifically rust free. Last thing you would want is for the paint to bubble a few years down the line if there's rust underneath

I'm personally team wrap, it's easier but if you have all the equipment and gear, paint should hold up better, especially with a good clear coat
 
You can but there's no need. I would just make sure the surface is prepped, specifically rust free. Last thing you would want is for the paint to bubble a few years down the line if there's rust underneath

I'm personally team wrap, it's easier but if you have all the equipment and gear, paint should hold up better, especially with a good clear coat

How many vehicles have you painted? How many vehicles have your wrapped to make that statement?

As painting a vehicle with no needed body work would be way faster and easier then a wrap, and a better final product.
 
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Can't really say anything about painting but I've seen the process multiple times and I've wrapped a few vehicles with weird shapes (bumpers specifically) and internal trims.

The reason why I say a wrap is easier is the level of finish you need to prep the surface before painting compared to wrapping is a lot more. Not to mention the prep of the surrounding environment (clean, proper PPE, etc, masking).

I'm not arguing that the painting itself is slower than a wrap but the prep work before hand makes the entire process feel a lot longer. I mean how often does a vehicle come in perfectly? And also the cost to wrap (vinyl, rubber card/scrape, heat gun, knife) is a lower barrier cost compared to paint (paint, paint gun, compressor, etc).

If all we're talking about is spraying and praying, sure painting is a lot faster but I feel like it would be remiss to not also take into consideration tools and prep needed


Also good lord, 3000 for a wrap? I've been quoted 2K for paint around here, props to you for being able to get 3000 wrap jobs on something like a TJ

For the record:

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/vinyl-wrap.4379/


About $1500 quoted and I feel if I were to do it on my own, much less than that, materials cost included
 
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@mattoxnc85 - You're on the right track. I painted my LJ recently with single stage enamel. Most of the original paint was in good condition. I scuffed it with 3M pads; use dark red - not green or grey. I'm sure the shop you bought your paint from will have them The only areas I took down to bare metal were where had to cut out rust and weld in new panels. These were also the only areas I applied primer to before spraying the top coat.

Good luck with it! (y)
 
Can't really say anything about painting but I've seen the process multiple times and I've wrapped a few vehicles with weird shapes (bumpers specifically) and internal trims.

The reason why I say a wrap is easier is the level of finish you need to prep the surface before painting compared to wrapping is a lot more. Not to mention the prep of the surrounding environment (clean, proper PPE, etc, masking).

I'm not arguing that the painting itself is slower than a wrap but the prep work before hand makes the entire process feel a lot longer. I mean how often does a vehicle come in perfectly? And also the cost to wrap (vinyl, rubber card/scrape, heat gun, knife) is a lower barrier cost compared to paint (paint, paint gun, compressor, etc).

If all we're talking about is spraying and praying, sure painting is a lot faster but I feel like it would be remiss to not also take into consideration tools and prep needed


Also good lord, 3000 for a wrap? I've been quoted 2K for paint around here, props to you for being able to get 3000 wrap jobs on something like a TJ

For the record:

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/vinyl-wrap.4379/


About $1500 quoted and I feel if I were to do it on my own, much less than that, materials cost included

3,000 all day long. I do get a lot of people that get sticker shock and balk, but I don’t want those people as clients.

I’ve been doing vehicle graphics and the like for 30 years. I’m pretty damn good at it and often I’m more picky then my clients.

If I can’t do it right, I don’t wanna do it.

With wrapping a it TJ seem pretty easy at first, it pretty damn flat for the most part.
To do it right, a lot like paint, parts needs to be pulled. Fender flares, door handles, cowl, tail lights, etc.

Then what do you do with all the exposed torx heads, I personally can’t handle the thought of just wrapping over those… seems way to hackery to me. Have the hinges and windshield frame torx, which is well over 20 torx. Even the hinges would be a pain to wrap, and honestly they will fail! Unless you have a black jeep and l leave the hinges exposed.

Then you have the tub rail, I can wrap it, But if you use it for a soft top the vinyl will take a beating in sort order from taking on and off the top.

I do it right, as right as I can to justify my cost. I have no issue turning down work if it doesn’t make sense to me.

And I’ll mention it again. There is no easy way to replace a wrap if it gets a scratch! With paint you can buff it out, not with vinyl.

I think wraps are great if are promoting a business. If you are just color changing. Leave it to a car that only sees the road.
 
Not saying your prices are wrong; I also subscribe to the thought that quality work should be compensated adequately and also to the idea you cater to the crowd you want to cater to. I'm just surprised as areas around here are typically lower on average although I'm sure there are high end shops that charge that or more

The TJ being flat is what I attribute to it being an easier wrap job. I also do agree that most parts need to be taken off, just like paint, to be properly wrapped. What I do think takes additional time is the prepping and scuffing the surface. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but a thorough cleaning of the surface is enough for me to wrap.

As for things like torx heads, I'd leave them as is, unwrapped. It's a matter of personal taste I suppose but I don't mind having those parts be exposed or spot painted over. I agree that it shouldn't be wrapped, doesn't make sense. For me, I'd probably remove the torx head, lay the wrap, and then cut the hole as needed. I have had issues where the tightening of the bolt creased the surrounding area so I would be a little wary of that.

For hinges, same with the torx head, leave as is or paint, I wouldn't wrap.

You're not wrong about the tub rail although I think I would personally just try my best to be careful. I have realistic expectations and I know what the pros and cons are with wrap vs paint

Not trying to argue with you; most of our viewpoints aligns so I'm confused if you are but I just think in broad terms, wraps are usually easier and cheaper compared to a paint job if all the prep work is included. It won't be as durable and more apparent when damaged but as with all things in life, it's a compromise/trade off. For me, since I lack the equipment and environment, wrapping is the better option.
 
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Can't really say anything about painting but I've seen the process multiple times and I've wrapped a few vehicles with weird shapes (bumpers specifically) and internal trims.

The reason why I say a wrap is easier is the level of finish you need to prep the surface before painting compared to wrapping is a lot more. Not to mention the prep of the surrounding environment (clean, proper PPE, etc, masking).

I'm not arguing that the painting itself is slower than a wrap but the prep work before hand makes the entire process feel a lot longer. I mean how often does a vehicle come in perfectly? And also the cost to wrap (vinyl, rubber card/scrape, heat gun, knife) is a lower barrier cost compared to paint (paint, paint gun, compressor, etc).

If all we're talking about is spraying and praying, sure painting is a lot faster but I feel like it would be remiss to not also take into consideration tools and prep needed


Also good lord, 3000 for a wrap? I've been quoted 2K for paint around here, props to you for being able to get 3000 wrap jobs on something like a TJ

For the record:

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/vinyl-wrap.4379/


About $1500 quoted and I feel if I were to do it on my own, much less than that, materials cost included
Not saying your prices are wrong; I also subscribe to the thought that quality work should be compensated adequately and also to the idea you cater to the crowd you want to cater to. I'm just surprised as areas around here are typically lower on average although I'm sure there are high end shops that charge that or more

The TJ being flat is what I attribute to it being an easier wrap job. I also do agree that most parts need to be taken off, just like paint, to be properly wrapped. What I do think takes additional time is the prepping and scuffing the surface. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but a thorough cleaning of the surface is enough for me to wrap.

As for things like torx heads, I'd leave them as is, unwrapped. It's a matter of personal taste I suppose but I don't mind having those parts be exposed or spot painted over. I agree that it shouldn't be wrapped, doesn't make sense. For me, I'd probably remove the torx head, lay the wrap, and then cut the hole as needed. I have had issues where the tightening of the bolt creased the surrounding area so I would be a little wary of that.

For hinges, same with the torx head, leave as is or paint, I wouldn't wrap.

You're not wrong about the tub rail although I think I would personally just try my best to be careful. I have realistic expectations and I know what the pros and cons are with wrap vs paint

Not trying to argue with you; most of our viewpoints aligns so I'm confused if you are but I just think in broad terms, wraps are usually easier and cheaper compared to a paint job. It won't be as durable and more apparent when damaged but as with all things in life, it's a compromise/trade off. For me, since I lack the equipment and environment, wrapping is the better option.

I have both painted and wrapped vehicles, so I have the skill set for both. For me I would rather paint if I’m going through all the trouble. My TJ is twenty years old and the paint still is in pretty good shape for what I dragged it thru. A wrap would be torn to shreds in short order. I guess that is my point. If you want to put in the effort, go with the long term solution.

For me I could paint a TJ in a weekend, or I could wrap it in a weekend. My cost would be similar…. So I would go paint 100%.
 
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Body is in great shape, other than hood and one fender the paint is actually in good shape. Question is can I scuff the original paint and spray over it?

That depends. If the paint/clear is letting go mechanically, then that area will have to be taken to bare metal. If your paint is in good condition, then a scuff-and-shoot is possible. You will still need to do body work, prime and seal before shooting color.

I went with a single stage urethane from restoration shop.

Why single stage?
 
Which orange? I REALLY want to sand down my Black '97 and paint it Impact Orange... best color EVER.. IMHO.

Inferno orange pearl metallic
@mattoxnc85 - You're on the right track. I painted my LJ recently with single stage enamel. Most of the original paint was in good condition. I scuffed it with 3M pads; use dark red - not green or grey. I'm sure the shop you bought your paint from will have them The only areas I took down to bare metal were where had to cut out rust and weld in new panels. These were also the only areas I applied primer to before spraying the top coat.

Good luck with it! (y)

(y)
 
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1. Wash , wash , wash the vehicle

2. Call the paint mfr. technical dept and ask.

3. Proceed as directed.
 
I’m terrible at updating on forums. Wanted to post a few pics of the project. These are a couple months old. I’ll get some completed pics and upload as well. Paints not perfect but I’m happy with it given it was my first solo job like this.

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I’m terrible at updating on forums. Wanted to post a few pics of the project. These are a couple months old. I’ll get some completed pics and upload as well. Paints not perfect but I’m happy with it given it was my first solo job like this.
This is terrific! Awesome you just dove in and did it! I’m wanting to do the same but have zero experience or equipment for painting…. Would you be willing to share what specific equipment you used? Spray gun, nozzle size, compressor specs, any hose filters you utilized? I’m a bit overwhelmed at the range of information that’s out there.. I’ll probably only paint 2 vehicles in my lifetime so I don’t need to get crazy expensive stuff. Again, great job!
 
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