Have you ever seen a custom painted Jeep driving down the road and thought “I want my Wrangler to look that unique!”? With a custom paint job, you can transform your stock Jeep into a head-turning trail rig that perfectly matches your personality and style.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to give your Jeep Wrangler a custom paint job, from choosing the right paint colors and prepping the surface to spraying on base coats, adding details, and protecting the finish. With some planning, effort, and investment, you can have the custom Jeep of your dreams!
Table of Contents
Choosing Eye-Catching Paint Colors and Designs for Your Wrangler
One of the most exciting parts of a custom paint job is picking the colors and designs. When it comes to your Jeep, you have so many options to make it uniquely yours. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Match your Jeep’s paint to its generation – JK colors for JK models, JL for JL, etc. This can give it a cool retro or modern vibe.
- Use multiple colors like a grey base with red or blue accents on the hood, fenders, and tailgate.
- Look on Pinterest or Instagram hashtags like #jeep and #customjeeppaint for inspiration.
- Add custom graphics like stripes, splatters, landscapes, or lettering with your trail name.
- Paint certain exterior parts a contrasting color like the fenders, bumpers, or hard top.
- Consider a color shift or chameleon paint that changes based on lighting and viewing angle.
When selecting your custom paint colors, make sure they complement each other rather than clashing. Test out color combinations on photo editing apps. Also ensure your paint choices match the Jeep’s interior and other accessories like seat covers and graphics.
Prepping Your Jeep’s Body for a Flawless Paint Job
The preparation work is crucial for a professional looking and long lasting custom Jeep paint job. Here are the key steps:
- Wash and degrease the entire exterior then sand it smooth with 400 grit sandpaper. This helps the paint adhere.
- Carefully remove all exterior trim pieces like the grille, door handles, mirrors, etc. and label them. Also tape off windows and parts not being painted.
- Prime and seal any bare metal areas with automotive primer. This prevents rust.
- Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to completely mask off areas like the engine bay, inside cabin, lights, wheels, etc.
- One final wipe down with a tack cloth ensures the surface is free of dust right before spraying.
Taking the time to properly prep the Jeep will pay off with a paint job that withstands the trails and elements. Don’t skip corners here.
Spray Painting Your Jeep for Best Results
Once your prep work is complete, it’s time to start spraying on the color coats! Follow these steps for a flawless factory-like finish:
- Spray 2-3 thin base coats of your main color, allowing 15 minutes of drying time between coats. The light passes help the paint adhere and build coverage.
- Follow with 2-3 coats of your secondary or accent colors on select panels like the hood or fenders if doing a two-tone.
- Allow each coat to dry overnight before applying the next. This prevents runs or drips in the paint.
- Finish with 3-5 coats of high quality clear coat for gloss and protection. Wet sanding between clear coat layers gives a smooth finish.
- Remove the masking and re-install trim pieces after 7 days when paint has fully cured.
Spray painting equipment like a dual-action sander and HVLP spray gun are needed for a DIY paint job. Or you can leave it to the pros at a qualified custom paint shop.
Customizing Your Exterior Trim and Accessories
A cohesive custom Jeep paint job ties together the exterior trim and accessories with the body paintwork. Here are some options:
- Remove and paint plastic trim like fender flares, bumpers, and rock rails to match your base color. Use adhesion promoter first.
- Paint or wrap the Freedom Top hard top to match. Plasti Dip is an affordable option.
- Color match things like mirror caps, fuel door, and tail light guards.
- Swap out factory grill inserts for painted or aftermarket ones in accent colors.
- Get wheel inserts, tires, or halo kits painted or powder coated to complement the colors.
Tying all the exterior elements together really elevates the look of your custom paint job and makes your Jeep truly one-of-a-kind.
Custom Interior Paint Touches
Along with the exterior, custom painting certain interior trim and components can add a cool cohesive look:
- Paint dash and console trim panels in an accent color that complements your seats and exterior. Use automotive paint.
- Change the color of interior door handles, steering wheel bezels, HVAC vents, and other plastic pieces.
- Paint or plasti-dip the interior tub and cargo area with bed liner for rugged protection.
- Add custom painted inserts, logos, or designs to seat covers and headrests.
Even small interior paint accents make a big impact and impress passengers. And matching the interior and exterior theme gives a complete customized look.
Caring for and Protecting Your Custom Paint
You’ll want to properly maintain your Jeep’s custom paint job so it retains that flawless showroom sheen. Here are some tips:
- Hand wash only using automotive soap, microfiber mitts, and be gentle around edges and decals.
- Wax at least twice a year using carnauba or polymer wax to protect the clearcoat from sun damage.
- Keep the paint out of intense sun whenever possible and use a Jeep cover. The UV rays will fade the colors.
- Check routinely for chips and flaws in the paint and touch them up quickly with touch up pens.
- Consider getting a protective film like Clear Bra applied, especially on the hood, to prevent rock chips and trail damage.
- Avoid scraping branches or brushing up against rocks or other vehicles when off-roading.
Proper care will keep your custom paint job vibrant and protect your investment for years of adventure.
Is a Custom Paint Job on Your Jeep Worth the Investment?
There’s no doubt a professional custom paint job requires a serious investment, typically between $4,000-$20,000 for a full exterior respray. But many Jeep owners feel the cost is well worth it for these benefits:
- Your Jeep will stand out with a truly unique, head-turning look.
- A quality paint job significantly improves resale value if you ever want to sell or trade in.
- You’ll feel an immense sense of pride and satisfaction driving your custom creation.
- It adds monetary and sentimental value knowing your rig reflects your personality.
- You’ll turn heads and get compliments on trails and at Jeep meets.
The investment pays off in enjoyment and added value for your Wrangler. And you can’t put a price on having the exact Jeep of your dreams!
Final Thoughts on Jeep Wrangler Custom Paint
Creating a fully custom Jeep through personalized paint work allows you to dream and have fun making your ideal Wrangler a reality. While the process requires research, planning, and investment, the finished product will exceed your expectations and be a ride you cherish for years.
So explore all the amazing colors and paint job options out there for Wranglers. Put together inspiration boards, come up with creative designs, and don’t hold back! With some dedication your perfect, head-turning custom painted Jeep can cruise the highways and conquer the trails in unique style.