So I decided the YJ needs a new coat of paint. The hood, windshield and left front fender were replaced with used parts some time before I bought it. The paint job was failing on the nose. The clear coat was peeling real bad and light rust was showing up on the hood. The windshield had a lot of chips and rust spots on it also.
The paint job was decent from the front doors back until I started making some changes. I did a tire carrier move off of the tailgate and it ended up where the rear fold and tumble seat used to be before I removed that. Then I added a new third brake light and moved the license plate to the tailgate. I also moved the gas tank filler to where the TJ has their gas filler. I also did a LED flush tail light and reverse light modification. I swapped out the stock tail lights for 4” LED light and I added small led rear side markers.
So I next looked at my options concerning paint. Get a professional to paint it or paint it myself. I did some thinking on that subject while additional clear coat fell off the hood of the YJ.
Finally I decided that that the roll on paint job option was the way I was going.
I bought several packages of different sized real fine wet sandpaper (which a never used), one package each of 4” and 6” dense foam rollers along with the plastic roller pans and half dozen each of 1” and 2” foam brushes. Now I decided on what paint to use. I decided on Rustoleum Marine Coatings Topside Paint. I went with the Sand Beige. I bought three quarts and I bought one gallon of odorless mineral spirits.
I had done some extensive renovations on the full doors and they were removed for that beforehand. So I removed the tail gate and windshield frame also. That left the body with nothing hanging off of it except for the lower windshield hinges where they attach to the body. If it wasn’t getting painted it got removed. I removed what was left of the clear coat on the hood with a single edge razor. That took 30 minutes. The hood was in the worst shape.
Next I washed everything with a little soap and much water. Then it got blow dried using my leaf blower. Then it sat out in the sun for the rest of the day. Later that day it went into the garage. Next day I wiped it down with odorless paint thinner before sanding.
Sanding……Here is where this paint is so forgiving. I used my 5” RO sander used for woodworking with 220 grit sand discs and did the hood. I used very little pressure and let the sand paper do the work. I did not want to go to the metal. I just wanted to ‘break’ the paint gloss. Unfortunately it went to the primer in some spots. The hood was a mess so it got lightly block sanded with 320 grit wet paper. It came out good. I decided to do the same to the rest of the YJ.
Paint to thinner ratio…… Many go with a 50/50 ratio. I got to do some experimenting on the windshield frame which is all angles then the doors/tailgate. I had some issues with how thin the paint was. So I ended up with a paint thinned by about 33%. Everything got three coats except the hood which needed four coats. I did not sand anything in between coats.
Final analysis: I cleaned the garage before I started the painting but this garage is dusty since it is used for everything I do. And there is an overhead rack that my ladders, fishing rods, floor cardboard, etc are stored, sitting over the YJ. The finish is clear and quite shiny but has some ‘dusticles’ stuck in it but I am quite pleased with the overall outcome.
Note: those round edged rollers can get into many of the contours like the windshield, door frames and tailgate. The foam brushes worked real well in the areas like where the lower windshield meets the cowl.
The problem is now the interior has too many colors and clashes with the exterior. I have the green/orangy-tan Sahara interior. The upper dash pad and door panels along with the steering column and steerring wheel are orangy-tan also. I cleaned the dash pad and steering column then masked everything off. Next I sprayed everything with Rustoleum primer then black Rustoleum paint for plastic. I even did the door panels while they were off the doors. They all came out really nice. I bought a Stock YJ steering wheel that is kind of gray in color with a black horn button. That is my next swap-out.
Finally the YJ got assembled, and adjusted. I replaced the stock Sahara flare with 6” TAG flares. I’m happy with the results. Now I have to paint the bumpers because they look crappy!