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ebeale 04-21-2010 07:03 AM

Paint for hardtop ?
I have a bestop two piece hardtop on my 2000 tj. Any ideas on what type of paint or coating i can put on it to freshen it up. It is several years old and has faded out and has whiteish streaks on the sides. Ive used armor all on it and it looks good for a few days or until it rains but im looking for a permanent fix. Ditto for the fender flares i plan to paint them at the same time.

2000 tj sport
i6 auto

Kate 04-21-2010 07:27 AM

Armor All is NOT your friend. Especially if you are planning to paint the top.
It contains silicone, one of a painter's worst nightmares.

Before you paint it you're going to have to clean it really, really, REALLY well.
I would set it on some 2x4s on the lawn, get a scotch brite and a good solution of Dawn dish soap and scrub it and rinse it really well about three times, then go back over it with wax and grease remover (automotive paint prep solution)

Once you get it all nice and clean, I'm (once again) going to recommend that you use SEM trim black on it.

SEM is a professional grade product (used primarily by body shops) that will produce a long lasting durable finish that will match the factory appearance.
You can purchase it in rattle cans or for use in a paint gun.

It also blends really well. When painting a large surface, such as a top, paints can dry quickly and leave streaks and valleys. SEM products seem to minimise those problems.

Choose a place to paint it where you are not in the direct sun and are up off of the ground. Dampen the ground below you before painting to keep the dust down.

When you get ready to paint it, if you can stand it up vertically it can make the job easier. It will help reduce any errors like a finger in front of your spray nozzle that can cause drips. The nature of rattle cans is that they DO drip sometimes.

Remember to use several light coats instead of one or two heavy coats and try to keep a wet edge as you go. Overlap your strokes so that you have good coverage all over.

Best of luck!

InfernoGirl 04-21-2010 08:04 AM

^^^^ What she said! :) That Kate is one smart cookie!

blkrubi88 04-21-2010 08:28 AM

If you want to try something before you paint, I would recommend you try Penetrol, you can get it at Lowe's for around $10. Here is a pic of a sample spot I did on mine last year before I got it out of storage and did the whole top!

It stayed looking like that all winter, even with a few trips of this!

It works good on flares as well!!

InfernoGirl 04-21-2010 08:31 AM

Just make sure they are clean, clean, clean before you use Penetrol... I did my flares this winter and they had some dirt on them...:( Gotta start over some day... Penetrol does work very well, and lasts a long time. And it's harder to goof up than paint.. :) (as long as your stuff is clean) Cheaper too. :)

Kate 04-21-2010 10:22 AM

Penetrol seems like it does some pretty amazing things. Just study up on it before you use it.
Hate to link to another site, but there's a good writeup on it here with very helpful tips & tricks:
Faded flares, Penetrol, Fusion rehashed -

ebeale 04-21-2010 11:37 AM

Thanks for the useful info. I,m on my way to lowes as we speak and im going to try the penetrol. I will get it nice and clean before i do it. Thanks for the link and all the info.

dasaffen 04-21-2010 01:19 PM

when painting the hardtop do you have to rough up the surface with a light grade sandpaper beforehand?

DontTellMeAboutCajun 04-21-2010 05:14 PM

Knowing nothing about Penetrol but taking a guess's only for black parts correct?

Damn tan top.....I actually wanna paint the top black though, so I suppose this stuff could do the trick for me?

Kate 04-21-2010 05:41 PM

Somehow, I doubt it. I think it will just put a glaze on the existing surface.

You might want to Google Penetrol, read some of the stuff out there from folks who have used it in a marine application.

I dunno... I'm a little skeptical of it myself, but it's not my Jeep!
Removing Penetrol - SailNet Community

InfernoGirl 04-21-2010 07:15 PM

Penetrol is a conditioner for alkyd paint. It makes it flow better. Not exactly sure what it's made of. It is a golden clear liquid, so you can use it on your tan top no problem. It can be used to condition fiberglass and a bunch of other stuff according to the can. It just happens that it also works well for bringing the life back to faded fenders and stuff. It lasts longer than anything else I've used on my flares, and the little bit that I got on the body, came off easy with nail polish remover...

I wouldn't use it on white or a light color, but tan should be fine.

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