I'm Cheap and Wanted Something to Do
Hey everyone it's the other guy again. So one of the project cars we have in the Never Done world is a 1993 Ford Bronco. Its nothing to special as far a specs or cool factor go. But it is the perfect rig for experimentation.
So Clint and I were looking at the Bronco one evening noticing all the bumps and mismatched and peeling paint and I said "I think the Bronco needs a paint job" Clint agreed but looking at professional paint jobs was out of the question for a Bronco that was going to see more dents, trails and scratches. We didn't want to put a ton of money into something that we could potentially beat up in not much time. So we started thinking of alternatives.
Our first though was a rattle can job. But the though of over spray, the amount of cans required and the prep just made it seem like less of an option and it was mid February so it was a bit chilly to be spraying paint in a can in an open shop.
Second though was a cheap "pro" paint job but that one faded quickly because we would get exactly what we paid for. A cheap paint job.
The third option was a little different but we had seen a few internet videos about it and Clint had tried it a little while earlier on another project with good results. Rustoleum! It seems dumb when you first say it. I'm gonna paint my truck with outdoor furniture paint. But the more you think about it its paint that has a tough finish that is maid to be applied to metal and used outdoors. So why the hell not rustoleum. We crunched the numbers and with paint supplies, (tape, bondo, lots of sand paper pans and rollers - Um hell yeah we rolled it.) we were looking at around $250 bucks. Not bad for a full coverage tough paint job!
So we jumped on the bandwagon with a little wrinkle in there. Literally, we decided that the hammered metal paint would give us a texture that would help cover most of the paint screw ups we might have plus it would look tough.
After we got the supplies we went to work and started the very long project of sanding the Bronco.
As we got going we found it started to resemble a dusty smurf and we found that the hood had about 3 layers of different paint in it. Probably why it was peeling off.
Then we sanded and sanded and sanded and cleaned and sanded and sanded and filled and sanded and sanded. That is when I learned that when it is all in the prep work. The paint will only look as good as the prep that you put in. New paint will show every imperfection in the body, every bump and roll and streak. The paint we picked will cover some of the stuff but if you want you paint to look good and last, you really have to bust your ass on the prep work. So that is what we did. We started prepping around 5 in the evening and at about midnight Clint did a final walk by and said "yep I think that will do. We don't want to too pretty it is a trail truck after all"
So we cleaned up taped and covered up and started to roll it on.
In retrospect we both though that we should have thinned the paint out a little bit more but it rolled on fairly smooth and covered well.
We kept on rolling and edging just like we were painting a little shed. It felt so odd to be doing this to a Bronco like we should not be doing this. It felt so wrong. But the pros outweighed the cons. We could easily touch up the paint after a rough ride and with it being a tough outdoor paint it was made to resist scratches and weather. And we could not beat the price so on we rolled and edged into the weeee small hours of the morning.
Looking good!!! and finally at 4:30 am we finished. It was done and so were we. So we went to bed to see how it would set up and look in the morning. We pulled up to the garage after a night of well deserved rest wondering what the Bronco would look like. Would it look as good as it did last night, would it be patchy and crappy looking, would it be rejected by the Bronco because it was a crazy ass idea and be covering the floor? We opened the door and were greeted by a clean, tough looking Bronco.
I was excited. It worked! We did it and it looks awesome! But Clint said a paint job that nice needs more. So we spent the next few hours buffing and polishing every inch of chrome we could and cleaning and buffing the headlights! When we were done we were looking at a great looking truck. Would it win any awards? No. But it was cheap, fun, a great experiment, easy to repair and awesome!
See she looks pretty damn good.
Now this isn't something I would recommend you do on an expensive car, this is a cheap solution for a car that doesn't need or isn't worth putting the money into for a quality paint job. But if you have a work truck, a beater car and want a new durable look on the cheap I would give this a shot.
If you are looking for a weekend project and want to give your rig an update, I would seriously consider doing this. But be warned. The prep is the number one thing that will effect the finished product and the longevity of the paint job. If you half ass the prepping it will be a half ass paint job. But if you spend the time and do it right you could see a pretty drastic change for not a whole bunch of money. Now its your call. Weight the pros and cons and see if this budget paint job if right for you. It was fully the right choice for us on this project!
From the Dusty Smurf to the bad ass Rhino!!!