Introduction: Painting a Vehicle Using Tractor Paint

So some of you guys may have seen my previous tutorial on how to spraypaint a jeep using krylon paint and make a zombie assault vehicle, well I'm back and pleased to present you guys with a new tutorial on how to use tractor and implement paint for a good budget paintjob that will hold up much better. Hope you guys enjoy!

Couple notes: the spraypaint method worked quite well and I have no regrets asfar as it holding up. I just beat on it wayyy too much and the paint was fading pretty bad on the roof and hood. A respray would have fixed it but I opted for a color change. In case anyone is wondering this was the original instructable on how to spray paint the truck.

So here is the Jeep in question that was repainted using this method when it was still rocking the krylon italian olive paint. As you can see in the forth and final picture, the jeep barely drove back home in one piece.

Step 1: Gathering Your Suplies

So here is a quick supply list that I came up with of what you will need to complete this paintjob. The cost of the supplies was quite a bit more than the original budget spraypaint job but the paint is much better quality and held up a lot better after a year. I did buy these productos a little over a year ago so the prices may have changed a bit. This process also requires a paintgun and an aircompressor with a water trap.

-1 gallon of Valspar Tractor/Implement paint $65  (I used MF grey)
-2 bottles of Valspar Enamel Hardener $10 each
-mixing cup with paint strainers $15
-1 gallon of naphtha paint thinner $20
-Masking tape $3 a roll
-Various Sanding paper grits $25  (I used mostly 220 for the initial sanding with a palm sander)
-Sharp X-acto knife
-measuring cup

-Palm Sander
-Air Compressor set to 110PSI  with a Water trap (I suggest at least a 10 gallon tank, and used a 30gallon CH compressor)
-Paintgun (I used a cheapo harbor freight paintgun that costed me a nifty 10 bucks.

Step 2: Prepping the Truck for Paint Bodywork/etc.

So because I beat the utter living hell out of this truck and it actually has been flopped on one side not to mention the multiple dents and dings in it I felt like it needed a bit of bodywork to get most of the panels semi straight. First thing is first though, you gotta remove everything you don't want painted and even certain things you want painted. As you can see from the pics I removed the trim pieces, bumpers, visor, and fender flares. I actually also removed the taillights and turnsignals also but those came later because I still drove the truck and wanted to leave the lights to keep it legal.

NOTE: Remove your weatherstripping ont he doors if you intend to do the jambs or you can leave them like me and get paint on it LOL.

Step 3: Washing the Truck and Starting Prep/bodywork

So heres the fun and most grueling part of the whole ordeal. I spent a cool 2 weeks on prep work alone. I replaced the front header panel hence why it is off of the truck, tried to straighten out the drivers side front fender, patch a hole on the rear quarter panel and sand down the entire thing. Don't forget to sand downt he door jambs also if you plan on doing a full color change correctly. I sanded the majority of the truck down using 220 grit and a palm sander. Gives it a relatively good surface for the paint to stick.

NOTE: Primer isnt really necessary if you plan on just doing a color change, I used it mainly to show where I needed to work on the body more and fill in with filler. Ignore the primer and body filler if you are not doing bodywork.

Step 4: Masking Off the Truck and Painting the Door Jambs.

So once you are happy with the bodywork its time to mask off all the windows and get it ready for paint. Unfortunately I didnt take very many pictures of this process and this aspect of the tutorial will be lacking a bit. I will try to explain it as best as I can. So for the sake of clarity I will dissect this portion into more steps yay right?

STEP 1 Washing the truck: First thing after body work is to mask off everything you don't want painted. Sounds easy right? but wait! before you pick up any tape and newspaper make sure you wash off the truck and allow it to dry, afterall you don't want any of the dust you created from the bodywork phase to get in the tape and into the base coat. After washing the truck and giving it a nice rinse to take off any residue allow it to dry COMPLETELY.

STEP 2 masking off the windows and anything else: As you can see in the picture I masked off all the windows using 3M Painters tape and some newspaper. It works wonders. If you are painting the door jambs I suggest taping the inside aswell to not get paint on the interior. This is where the x-acto knife comes in handy. It'll allow you to make nice clean cuts in the tape. Also I suggest you cover up your radiator/AC condenser. I didn't do it and I think it lessened the cooling ability of the radiator. I did eventually replace it though so no biggy.

STEP 3 wiping the truck down AGAIN: I cannot stress to you how much prep work will make paint look soo much better. I opted for wiping the entire truck down using a little bit of the naphtha so that the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to. And again make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying paint. Also make sure you use a nice clean towel or cloth that will not leave lint.

STEP 4 Wetting the ground: So in this step you will need to wet the ground around what you are painting. I used a spray bottle to wet the ground around the truck where I was painting aswell as the garage. This is to ensure no dust and trash get in the paint.

STEP 5 prepping the paint: Once everything is clean and masked off its time to lay down the paint. Now I made sure that day I chose to paint the truck on was perfect. Not beginning of spring where theres tons of pollen. Low humidity and no chance of rain and no breeze. I stuck the transmission in neutral to allow me to roll the truck in and out of the garage and used tire chocks to chock the tires. Anyways enough ranting, for the paint I set my aircompressor to 110PSI and made sure the water trap was working. I poured a bit of the naphtha in the gun and sprayed it out to clean out any residue. I allowed the tank to fill up, in the meantime I prepped the paint to spray.  So here is the mix that I used that I think yielded me the best results:

2 parts paint color, 1.25 parts naphtha, .75 parts hardener

So for example I used 10ounces of paint, 6.25 ounces naphtha, 3.75 ounces hardener.

It may seem like a ton of hardener and thinner, but I had to thin it down a lot to spray it correctly, and the hardener was to make the paint dry quicker. I found with this paint that it would take forever to dry without the hardener.

STEP 6 Spraying the truck: So once the paint is prepped and ready to lay down, hook up your paintgun and pour some paint in, make sure you use a paint strainer so that any big particles get caught. I highly suggest you spray a test panel first to make sure the gun is spraying the way you want it to. Now open all your doors and paint the door jambs first allowing it to tack up a bit and dry. Lay as many coats as you want until it is covered.

Step 5: Laying the Base Coat and Additional Paint Coats.

So after doing the door jambs its time to lay a base coat down and paint the entire truck! Close all of your doors and make sure your paintgun is filled. Lightly spray an initial base coat not completely covering it allowing it to tack up a little bit (about 10minutes or so). Now lay a heavier base coat down ensuring you cover everything you want painted. Put as many coats as you think is necessary, I layed down 3 on most of the body and 4 on the roof. Allow it to sit and dry, I actually pushed mines back into the garage and let it dry a whole 2 days.

Step 6: Removing the Masking Tape and Reinstalling Parts

So congrats if you made it that far, the truck is almost done! The paint will not fully cure for atleast a week but you should be able to handle it after a day or 2. I waited 2 days like previously stated. I used a razor and went around the edges of the masking tape to remove it. You can now reinstall all of your trim, bumpers lights etc. Here are some pics of the initial reassembly of the truck. As you can see the paint looks pretty damn good and has a nice shine to it. Its not show car quality but its a good 10 footer haha.

Step 7: Final Notes

So overall I am VERY with the way the paint turned out. It looks pretty amazing for the money spent and has held up great even after a year of me abusing it. Its kind of nice also because the paint also comes in spray can so touchups from brushing up on a tree is easy. If I could do it again I wouldnt change a thing besides maybe go with a different color. The paint shines up very nicely and after buffing it out a bit it shined really nice.

Any comments thoughts are welcome int he comments below. I will entertain any questions aswell.

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