How to Spray Paint your jeep and make an assault vehicle

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Picture of How to Spray Paint your jeep and make an assault vehicle

Ok since my jeep is a major beater and I take it offroading, what better way to paint a fading beaten up jeep than with spraypaint? I chose to paint it up like an Army assault vehicle and add some zombie stickers. So to start you need a vehicle you plan to paint. (I advise it to be something that you dont really care about getting beaten up) For me that would be my 1990 Jeep Cherokee that I drive offroad a lot. Heres a picture of what it should look like once it is done.
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Step 1: Find a vehicle

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Step one find a vehicle. You can use an existing vehicle or go buy one like me from craigslist for dirt cheap. :D Aw look at the lil jeep the day I bought it.

Step 2: Supplies

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Now drive to your nearest hardware store and buy the following:

-Spray paint (10 cans of Krylon Satin Italian Olive)
-220grit sandpaper
-a can of mineral spirits
-3 rolls of blue painters tape
-a sanding block

Other supplies you may need:
-newspaper or paper to tape up windows.

Step 3: Prep the Vehicle for Paint

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First I needed to remove the pinstripe from the vehicle. I used a heatgun and a razor to remove the pinstripe.

Now remove all the parts you dont want painted off. (lights, roofrack, spare tire, etc)

Next You need to wash the vehicle.

After washing the vehicle you need to sand it down with 220grit sandpaper as shown in picture.

Step 4: Wipe Down

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After finish sanding you need to wipe the entire vehicle down with some Acetone or mineral spirits to clean the surface.

I then Painted the door jams so that I wouldnt have to go back and mess with it and it looks cleaner. (This step may require removal of some interior panels depending on model of vehicle. In my case I didnt have any really so I didnt have to worry about it.

Step 5: Mask off the windows

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After prep and doing the door jams. I needed to mask off the windows and lights so that I wouldnt get paint all over them. I just used paper I had laying around.
farna2 months ago

Find a cheap paint shop like Maaco in your area. They start around $300 in most areas for a basic paint job. Do all the prep work mentioned here except the wipe-down and masking. Also take anything off that comes off easy that you don't want painted. They can spray it with automotive paint a lot better than anyone can at home. It's not a show car job, but that's not what a project like this calls for. I've ad a few of my classic cars painted like this. The paint is good (I always used the mid priced job, which has a longer lasting paint), it's the prep work that makes a paint job. I always did my own prep and body work -- at least most of it. A couple times I had them do some more complicated body work, but that's where they make their money.

My only question is; Where did you get your body mounted tire carrier?! I've been looking everywhere for one!!
sam24th (author)  dreminofscremin1 year ago
the carrier came off of a bronco II. There are also factory XJ carriers available aswell but those are rare and hard to come by. I had one awhile back that mounted to the bumper but I sold it.

lucky me that i noticed this cause ive been looking to.

dantribble1 year ago
Nice job, but you left out any instruction on basic spray fundamentals and technique - and a final coat of UV spray/sealer would have lessened the fading problems.
The Jeep looks great!
sam24th (author)  dantribble1 year ago
I would have used a sealer on top but wanted to keep the flat/satin look to the paint. I suppose I could have used a flattener to reduce the shine but it was really on my priority list. As far as spray techniques, not really sure what to say for that, I mean I just bought a ton of paint and sprayed the truck LOL.
I have an old in pretty good shape 1982 Chevy S10 durango. Its color now is brown and i want to change the color. How many coats would you recommend?
sam24th (author)  HollywoodSnooks1 year ago
Sorry for the late reply I took a bit of a leave from this site for a bit.

Depends on the color, but probably about 4 if you go with a darker color and 7-8 if you are going with a lighter color. You could primer it first and use less coats if you like.
arabic2 years ago
Some questions:
What year is your Jeep?
What are the lights on the roof basket called?
lastly, what are the lights installed on the bullguard called?

sam24th (author)  arabic1 year ago
Sorry for the late reply I took a bit of a leave from this site for a bit.

Jeep is a 1990 Jeep Cherokee Laredo
Lights on the basket are KC daylighters 6inch
Bullguard is a romik bullguard from Japan and the lights are PIAA 7inch lights.
kfield11 year ago
Hey there! Would you recommend auto paint as well?? Also where'd you get the bull bar?? :)
sam24th (author)  kfield11 year ago
Dont really see much difference in the auto paint in a can and regular spraypaint other than it being a bit more expensive. It might hold up a bit better in the long run though. Bull bar came from a Japanese Jeep Cherokee. Its made by a European company called Romik I think.
sam24th (author)  kfield11 year ago
Dont really see much difference in the auto paint in a can and regular spraypaint other than it being a bit more expensive. It might hold up a bit better in the long run though. Bull bar came from a Japanese Jeep Cherokee. Its made by a European company called Romik I think.
goodolejim1 year ago
If you have noticed older cars with stripes or lines in the paint it is because they didn't use enough paint. Spray can paint is very good quality, just use enough. when I had a business and not wanting the expense of a paint booth I started painting with cans. I usually would buy four cases, that is 48 cans for each machine. After several years of being outdoors all the time my equipment still looked great. the cost was about the same as if I had purchased 1.5 gallons of regular auto paint. The fire marshal was ok with spray cans in my shop.
mayej1 year ago
I have a 2008 FJ Cruiser and I'm secretly waiting for it to get old and faded enough to warrant a repaint.
The Jeep looks great.
Omg! I absolutely love th is! I'm getting ready to paint my Cherokee a matte tan to look like an old desert army vehicle! I might just do it myself now!
sam24th (author)  countrygirl0225921 year ago
Thanks! I really loved the color, but unfortunately the paint did fade after some time. I actually repainted the truck once again this time using tractor paint. It has held up much better and applies almost like auto paint. I am getting ready to write a tutorial on that aswell if you would like to check it out sometime.
creynolds132 years ago
Looks great man. I have an 88 Comanche done up the same way. Cop told me he didn't even see me go by once. I used Krylon Camo, the Olive Drab. Thinking about using their sand color and painting it in the spring.
Awesome Instructable.
I have a couple questions.
I'm thinking about doing this to my Jeep.
I just wanted to know what you could do as far as a protective coating.
I saw somewhere that someone put a layer of clear coat on and sanded it down a little in order to give it a flat/ satin finish but still be protected.
Also, what would you suggest as far as painting the plastic bumpers.
sam24th (author)  Chocolate Moose3 years ago
If you want a good protective coating your gonna want to spray an automotive clear on top of it using a spray gun. Could be done for another $100 if you already have an air compressor. If you want a flat/satin finish you can add some flattening agent into the clear coat to give it a bit of a dull look. I really just wanted to paint my ol beatup jeep so its easy to touch up after a day of wheeling. I really havent had to though as the paint has stuck really well. Its all about the prep work you put into the paint. Ive done jsut about any ghetto rigged paintjob you can think of.

As for the plastic bumpers I would just lightly sand using very fine sandpaper or maybe even a scotchbrite pad and then spray it with some spraypaint.
they sell flat clear coat spray paint, i have been thinking about doing this too and thats what i planned on using as a protective layer
hairyyy03 years ago
Did you paint a white spot then tape the numbers on and paint over with the green and remove the tape to show the numbers? or did you paint on the white letters after the green paint had dried?
sam24th (author)  hairyyy03 years ago
I used stencils you get at like lowes or home depot and painted the numbers and letters on after the paint dried.
let the paint dry and then go to big box store of choice and get magnetic paper and cut out the numbers
hackmattr3 years ago
When we had to move, my dad and I were restoring a 1964 Mustang. We had it sanded down and ready for paint, but had to put a protective coat on because of moving. We used white spray paint. The only problem I see is that it needs to be wet sanded in order to blend because it is hard to spray paint a large surface with spray paint without some light and heavy areas.
sam24th (author)  hackmattr3 years ago
If you use some of the cheaper spraypaints it tends to have off color spots from what I have experienced. Rustoleum and Krylon have far been the best spray paints Ive used. The colors tend to fill in the areas quite evenly on the better paints.
I used Rustoleum
Wow, its crazy how close our jeeps are to one another! Mines a 1990 and I painted it last summer. I used krylon flat OD green and it ended up coming out really well. Heres a pic of it in the garage during painting. Nice looking XJ man :).

sam24th (author)  Confounded Machine3 years ago
Looking awesome. Im actually considering repainting my jeep in a desert tan color. Maybe after a proper lift kit and a rollcage I will.
heibert3 years ago
in Russia we need to re-register car in road police department if we changing color. it's not free and costs lot of time and documents :-/
We're supposed to do something similar here in the states, but it's a simple matter of changing the color field when we renew our vehicle registration (every 3 to 7 years depending on your state).
BtheBike3 years ago
awesome paint . a snorkel would look great
ctg4x43 years ago
nice, i panted my comanche like that!
nemhed3 years ago
Looks Great! I used the same paint on my commuter/suburban assault/TEOTWAWKI bike! It's my new "go to" color.
Blenderizer3 years ago
Whoaaa there, thats awesome!

My 91 wrangler was painted a year ago by the previous owner, but this looks pretty sweet....

sam24th (author)  Blenderizer3 years ago
I also had a 1993 Wrangler I painted using the same theme but a slightly different color. It turned out quite well. I still regret selling it.
maxhuey3 years ago
Some tips I have learned over the years...If you use wal-mart spray bomb at 99 cent each, you will save another 30 buck! they cover just as well as Krylon, no italian olive though, just black, white, red, green and blue...

I bought a Spray-It diaphram air pump with hose and spray gun from Craigslist for $15, I use no name brand "exterior" house paint, watered down to spraying consistency to paint a 69 ford custom (large surface areas are difficult to paint with spray bomb), after 10 years, the paint still looks good. I think its because this no name brand paint has a 15 years warranty...

I have also painted a small car with paint roller, just buy a small bottle of "Flow" to mix into the glossy paint and this will cause the paint to flow into a smooth shinny surface. The flow liquid actually delay the drying time of the paint.
sam24th (author)  maxhuey3 years ago
I have actually also painted a car with a paint roller. (the black firebird/camaro in this picture) It turned out awesome until I left it outside for a year and neglected it in which case random stuff like flower petals and pollen stuck to it like a magnet and ruined the paint.

Everlong3 years ago
Really nice job man, looks awesome!
Now, where to find me a Jeep...
jackfaciale3 years ago
you sand it all by hand ?? i
sam24th (author)  jackfaciale3 years ago
Yup everything is sanded by hand. I also sprayed the cans by hand also. I guess I should suggest get a spray can gun thingy that they sell for 3 bucks to spray cans easier. Unless you like cramped/numbed thumbs of course.
chapeau bas.... i started my motorbike tank i stoppped after three hours :p
Joemeza3 years ago
Do you live in Utah? i swear i saw a jeep just like that driving around today
sam24th (author)  Joemeza3 years ago
Nope, Im actually from NC. and go to school there.
Years ago I bought a former city pick-up truck for $75 and used 6 cans of KMart blue spray paint to paint it. Kept It for a year and a half untill the transmission went out and sold it for $50. It worked but didn't look as nice as your jeep.
kmatsushita3 years ago
nicely done
FiveEven3 years ago
Great instructable! I am planning on buying and customizing a meter maid like vehicle or a utility vehicle of some sort. The paint job looks great and professional. I'll be using this in the future! Thanks.
silveravnt3 years ago
The truck looks great. I'm thinking about doing this to my old VW.

When you wash before painting be sure to get ALL the wax off.
jackfaciale3 years ago
you didn put any varnish to protect it ?
I have a 95 Jeek Cherokee Sport that has the original paint still. It's super scratched. I recently installed my own camo headliner. I think this is amazing! I would love to give this a shot. Not to be a copy cat, but that color and your zombie stickers are just my style! Of course I will have to add my own personal touches, but this is now on my project list! Kudos for the awesome instructabe!
aussi0013 years ago
nice job dude! Looks real pro, and love the added numvers, etc.
Well done!
htmlinc3 years ago
Very Cool! Do a search in google images for "F-Bomb", another cool olive ride. I am (_) this close to doing this but I have a nice paint job. Thanks for sharing!
martzsam3 years ago
Next step...
radagast3 years ago
the 'umbrella' licence plate is a good touch haha, looks awesome
l8nite3 years ago
you took a plain jane/run of the mill. jeep and made it your own ^5. It looks bad to the bone ! I recently bought my 85 ranger 4x4 off craigslist for $600.00, I sold the extra set of tires and rims for $175, after buying a new hood, paint (for the hood) and a seatcover, Im in the truck for $500.00 ! I had originall intended to do something like you did but they had already given the truck a quickly paint job and it actually looks to nice to mess with = ( Check out the funky tailgate ! I added a piece of wire shelving to keep stuff from flying out ..
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ac1D3 years ago
Add two or three coat of CLEAR on it, about five cans will do. You will have a paint just like any professional paint. It just wont last long.
l8nite ac1D3 years ago
I just got a replacement hood for my 85 ranger 4x4, after sanding over some rough spots and spray bombing scallops I thought it would look shinier if I clear coated it, spray bomb clear does NOT give the same results as a clear sprayed from a gun, even after wet sanding and 3 coats but it still looks 100,000x better than the old hood!
sam24th (author)  ac1D3 years ago
Yea you can add clear on it and it will be shiney. I wanted the flat look though like the old army jeeps so I didnt use any. If you use clear Id suggest getting a cheap paint gun and spraying it on with some hardner. Would last a lot longer and look great.
siafulinux3 years ago
Nicely done! Inexpensive way to paint the car. Does it feel like a normal paint job though? I see the paint can says "exceptionally smooth" wondering how 'smooth' it really is? :-)
sam24th (author)  siafulinux3 years ago
The paint is actually VERY smooth. It feels like a normal flat paintjob like what most people do on ratrods etc. I can get a close up of the paint on the hood to show you but I dont really know how much good that will do. There is however almost no orange peel.
Fantastic! Thanks for the quick reply. Might look at doing something like this in the future.
wilgubeast3 years ago
That's awesome. The Cherokee looks great in a zombie-assault green.
mikeasaurus3 years ago
looking good!