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Old 04-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Painting a Hard Top and Fender

Has anyone tried buying, ordering, painting ect their tops and fenders on a JK to match their body??? Or if you got it painted professionally how much it will cost?

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:35 PM   #2
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Probably cheaper to have a shop paint them. Painting plastic fenders can be tricky as they have to be prepped correctly so there is no lifting over time. The JK fenders will leak the mold release agent over time lifting your paint job all the way down to the primer.

We tested some that we wanted to dip. We tried a liquid cleaning agent that is suppose to get the mold release agent out of the plastic but we had to "flame treat" them in order to get good adhesion.

With just the chemical cleaning the paint job lasted about 3 weeks before it started to lift. Flame treating was the only way we got it to last.

With that said I dont know what the factory does when they come painted from the factory...different plastic or what prep process they use.

Just be sure whoever paints them as some expierence in painting plastic. Most shops should be ok as they paint plastic bumpers etc everyday.

As for cost...

If I did it...

$1900 for the hard top and fenders.

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Old 04-22-2014, 09:39 PM   #3
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I painted my top white to match and it was a ton of work. A crap load of sanding. What helped is my dad has a body shop with a spray booth.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gorillahydrographics View Post
Probably cheaper to have a shop paint them. Painting plastic fenders can be tricky as they have to be prepped correctly so there is no lifting over time. The JK fenders will leak the mold release agent over time lifting your paint job all the way down to the primer.

We tested some that we wanted to dip. We tried a liquid cleaning agent that is suppose to get the mold release agent out of the plastic but we had to "flame treat" them in order to get good adhesion.

With just the chemical cleaning the paint job lasted about 3 weeks before it started to lift. Flame treating was the only way we got it to last.

With that said I dont know what the factory does when they come painted from the factory...different plastic or what prep process they use.

Just be sure whoever paints them as some expierence in painting plastic. Most shops should be ok as they paint plastic bumpers etc everyday.

As for cost...

If I did it...

$1900 for the hard top and fenders.
Body colored fenders are made out of a much different plastic than the stock black ones. They feel much thinner and smooth like glass. No texture at all.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:59 PM   #5
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Body colored fenders are made out of a much different plastic than the stock black ones. They feel much thinner and smooth like glass. No texture at all.

Ya you can "knock down" the texture using high fill primers which is what any reputable shop should do to get that smooth finish.

My guess is they use the same fenders so they dont have to have 2 runs of fenders but have them prepped accordingly to be painted.

I am guessing they have some automated flame treating setup like this:



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Old 04-22-2014, 10:03 PM   #6
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When they are flame treating the dash - you can see it get a wet look to it....thats the mold release agent coming out of the plastic.

That will ruin your day if you dont get it out and paint the plastic part. After a few weeks the mold release agent will leach out lifting the primer, paint and clear right off in chunks.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:39 AM   #7
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I'm actually in process of painting my khaki top black myself. I called body shop they wanted 650 to paint top only.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #8
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I was quoted under $500 to have a hard top painted flame red and for it to be smooth as silk.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Professional job, they did the top, freedom panels, 4 fenders and 2 bumpers for $450. Has been on for 6 months and looks perfect. ( I should probably mention a friend runs the paint shop!!)

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Old 04-23-2014, 09:53 AM   #10
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I'm actually in process of painting my khaki top black myself. I called body shop they wanted 650 to paint top only.
Thats pretty cheap...I would ask what kind of paint they are using as well as the tpe of clear.

If its a single stage paint..meaning it has the clear in the paint, the clear wont matter.

But you want a PPG or chromabase basecoat.

The clear needs to be a high solids clear if they are doing a 2 stage paint...meaning he paint and clear are seperate apllications.(UV resistant).
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:55 AM   #11
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Professional job, they did the top, freedom panels, 4 fenders and 2 bumpers for $450. Has been on for 6 months and looks perfect. ( I should probably mention a friend runs the paint shop!!)


Wow..thats got to be at cost of materials.

A QT of good paint is gonna run you at leat $60.00....and thats more than a QT of paint..plus primer, and looks like a flat clear.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #12
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I was quoted under $500 to have a hard top painted flame red and for it to be smooth as silk.

I would be all over that(if its a good job).

Red, yellow, Orange, and some greens are expensive paint.

I QT of red chromabase costs me $120.00. You will need maybe 2. Add in primer, sand paper, clear, labor...

Thats a smokin deal. I would get some feedback from past customers to ensure they do good work. It may look good when you get it but months down the road you dont want it looking like crap.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #13
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Wow..thats got to be at cost of materials.

A QT of good paint is gonna run you at leat $60.00....and thats more than a QT of paint..plus primer, and looks like a flat clear.
yea, it's flat. He is a friend and I traded a used Glock for the job!!
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #14
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yea, it's flat. He is a friend and I traded a used Glock for the job!!

Awesome deal!
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:59 PM   #15
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i found a good deal on a crush hard top and had it painted sahara tan to match my jku. $500, perfect match and very well done.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:55 PM   #16
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The least expensive way is to look on Craigslist. It took me 6 months stalking CL to find a set of Billet Silver fenders, but it was worth the wait. I got all 4 for $100. Finding a painted top is more of a challenge,
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:36 PM   #17
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I have been looking for a painted crush hard top for two years!

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i found a good deal on a crush hard top and had it painted sahara tan to match my jku. $500, perfect match and very well done.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:06 AM   #18
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If anyone is interested in unusual color combinations, I just started a new thread called Free Color Mock-ups.

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