I have only had my Jeep for a short time but I have had a blast making it my own. One of the things that I did not like about it was the all black interior. It's fine when you have the top off, but if you have the top on it is kind of dark in the cab and started to feel dreary. Who wants to drive the most fun vehicle on the road while sitting in a dark, boring black hole? Reminded me of a funeral too much.
After playing around on here and meeting a few people I came across Lilyeller and his Banana Blast inspired TJ. I knew that he and I shared the "a Jeep must be FUN" concept so I used his painted interior as inspiration.
Since posting pictures of it I have been asked by several people on how to paint the plastic pieces and I know Lilyeller has been asked the same... partially because I asked him myself. lol
So I will include in this thread what I did to prep and what products I used, as well as what I learned works or doesn't work.
Mine is all black with spice interior. Im a firefighter so im going with black and red. My hi lift handle on hood is red and front d rings will be red. Also thinking about doing something with my roll bar covers (spice) and sound bar ( faded black).
When experts panic, they call the fire dept.
I find it easier to remove the panels and paint them outside of the vehicle. Several reasons, 1. don't have to mask off the whole Jeep. 2. Paint is easier to control if you can control the orientation of the surface being painted. 3. It's easier to see the entire object if you have it out in the bright light of the day time sun and you can move it around.
Door panels: remove window crank with either a special tool
Or flathead screw driver and needle nose pliers.
The door panel has 4 screws around the outside edges, two screws in the pull handle and is otherwise just held on with Xmas tree plugs.
Use a plastic paint scraper or other non marring tool to pop them lose.
If you break the plugs don't worry, they are cheap and available at any auto parts store.
Speaker covers: Two screws, right inside the door.
Glove box: slide strap out of the right side of it and let go of it and you will find out real quick how it comes off. lol
On the back side of the glove box door you will find a bunch of screws. Remove them, it's pretty self explanatory. You will be left with just the front panel and have no need to mask anything on it.
Dash grab handle plate: there's two two nuts on the back of the grab handle, I think they are 10mm (you will need a deep socket), other than that just a few screws, you'll see them.
Panel under the steering wheel: just remove the screws that you see in it. They didn't bother to hide much. I think there is a total of 4 and the panel pops off.
CLEAN PARS TO BE PAINTED
My cleaning tools of choice.
1. 2 in 1 Scotch Brite pad and some Dawn.
Scrub with the green side, then the yellow side. Not too hard. You aren't sanding it, just cleaning it.
2. Dry parts
3. Wipe the parts down with Acetone and a clean rag. DO NOT USE NAIL POLISH REMOVER! It has oils in it.
Acetone is cheap and you can get it at any hard ware store or auto parts store.
You will be shocked at how dirty the rag will be after wiping it with acetone, even after scrubbing it with Dawn.
next, mask off what you don't want painted. I tried several types of tape and found that good old tan masking tape works best. The only thing I had to mask was the doors lines to create the stripe effect down the middle of the panels.
(Pay attention to the tape as you spray each coat. There are a couple of spots where it may lift from the panel while it is drying. Just push it back down before spraying next coat and keep an eye on it.)
Thats what is great about black or white, you can literally use any color you choose. I personally like the blue idea, maybe because blue hasnt been done yet? lol Do it then post it! I will wait till after the writeup is finished to post pics of my "Banana Blast" lol.
Random Guy: "Is there anywhere that thing cant go?"
Me: "Yea, past a gas station..."
Thanks for posting the Fusion color Lilyeller.... saved me a step. lol
With that.... paint
Before spraying your first coat ed paint wipe it down with acetone again if you handled any of the parts... i.e. masking with the tape.
The oils in your skin can kill the adhesion factor.
Rattle cans work best if the paint in them is warm. It sprays in a finer mist. Either leave it sitting in the sun for a bit or sit the cans in a pot of very hot water for a few minutes. (Grandpa taught me that one )
First I tried Krylon Fusion. Great stuff. Problem was it didn't match the body color very well. The Fusion was too orange.
But if you are ok with the color of the Fusion then go with it.
First two coats... very light. Kind of a mist. Don't try to coat it and block out the plastics color, you will get runs and a blotchy mess.
painting black parts with red Fusion took about 5 coats to get a good solid color. Allow it to dry between coats. You want it to be dry to the touch but not cured. If you feel better using the touch method to determine dryness just spray some on a similar object that you don't care about. Side of a milk jug might work pretty well.
Fusion is not the only plastic paint available, but it seems to work well so I keep using it. However, like I said, it didn't match my body paint so I found something that did.
Duplicolor makes a paint called Perfect Match. It's sold at auto parts stores as a touch up paint in rattle can form. I can't speak for the other colors, but Flame Red is dead on Chrysler Flame Red. Dupli-Color :: Perfect Match
I continued to paint all of the pieces with Fusion, using it as a sort of primer since it bonds to plastic. About 3-4 coats. Once it dried I used a green Scotch Brite sanding pad (Autozone has them) on the Fusion just enough to take the shine off of it. Then 2-3 light coats of the Perfect Match.
The end result looked pretty good.
The only thing that I wasn't happy with was the lines between the red and the original black (bare) plastic on the doors. Most of it was ok but I had tried using electrical tape for masking at one point because of it's strong adhesion.... DON"T use electrical take for masking. It allows the paint to flow under it.
So to clean up the lines I went to Office Depot and bought some 1/4" black tape that is commonly used to create division lines on dry erase boards.
Other tips: pull off masking tape before paint is fully dried and pull at an angle. And pull slowly. If you find that the paint is wanting to come off with the tape use something like a credit card held straight down to create a pressure right on the line or score it with an Exacto knife... or both.
FYI, if you get too much bleeding or paint where it shouldn't be... brake parts cleaner sprayed on a rag will take it off. It may eat your plastic if it stays too long so be quick. Regular mineral spirits or paint thinner should work too... apparently it take Fusion a while to fully bond.
thinking of doing this to mine, anyone paint their center console?
Getting to that.
Painting parts to bring back the nice clean black factory trim.
The downfall to paints like Fusion and Perfect Match is that it tends to have a shinier finish than the black plastic used in the trim parts. I don't find it too bad for the door panels but I don't want the trim around the radio to have that shine. The difference is that the door/dash panels are textured. That texture comes through the paint, the radio and gauge surrounds however are smoother plastic and have a real cheap "ricer" look if you paint them with a shiny finished paint. Fusion (and the others) make satin finished paint but years ago while working at Autozone I stumbled on this stuff.
Duplicolor Bumper Coating. They make a "trim paint" but I figured the bumper stuff should be a bit stronger. Bumper Coating is designed for plastic bumpers and exterior trim. It is formulated for plastic just like Fusion and made to flex.
Same prep as before: soap and water, acetone etc. I have heard some say that it didn't last, but I go back to "prep is everything".
Before the Jeep I had a 2001 Ford Ranger, it was 6 months old when the radio bezel started to peel. Ford would have replaced it but it was ridiculous how they wanted to handle it.
I stripped it and repainted it with DBC... it still looked perfect when I sold the truck, about 9 years later. I painted the front bumper with it about a year before selling the truck and it still looked perfect, and that truck went through an aggressive car wash every other Friday.
I have painted the radio surround, gauge surround, center console, center console lid and side mirrors with this stuff.
Heres how they look.
(trim around shift boot still needs to be done)
Both of these are easy to use, the DBC goes on smooth. I find it to be easier to use than any other spray paint I have ever used. It seems like no matter what you do it dries nice and smooth.
... and to give you an idea of how well the stuff sticks, I ran through a really bad patch of bugs/beetles a couple of weeks ago on a late night drive on the interstate. I didn't get a chance to clean it up until two days later. I went to one of those coin operated car washes to use the pressure washer and I had to get within about two inches of the mirrors to get the bugs off... didn't lose a speck of paint. The DBC held up to the bugs and the pressure washer just fine.
Thanks so much for taking the time doing this and all the help through PMs. Im going to try and get started on mine tomorrow. Will post pics during process!!
You're welcome and yes, please post pics. I would love to see this thread keep going with other ideas. Different designs, colors, problems, solutions, etc.
Painting the interior seems to be pretty popular and it would be great for people to have one place to go to get ideas and info.