Painting the frame (Dexter Morgan Style)

In what is easily the largest single bit of restoration I’ve done so far, I finally have a frame that is fully painted and ready to start holding a Jeep together again. Ike’s got good bones 🙂

Last week, I built the contraption necessary to hold the frame in mid air for painting. For the actual paint process, the frame was lifted a few feet higher than last week. I also stapled up plastic sheeting to make a Dexter Morgan Paint Booth™ in the garage. With drop cloths on the floor, and 540 square feet of plastic hanging from the ceiling, it was time to start priming.

With a High Volume Low Pressure gravity-fed paint gun, and a quart of MasterSeries Silver primer, the old metal got a very even coat of primer. It looked so good after, I wasn’t sure it could look any better then it did at that point. All of the various areas of discoloration, surface rust, and other ugliness all disappeared under a silvery blanket.

One of the things I was rather wishy washy on, was how to deal with the front bumper and rear crossmember. They fit so tightly against the frame horns, that painting them separately and putting them on would result in the scraping of the paint as it went on. At one point, I figured I’d prime them and then when dry put them on the frame before painting. With the advice of my father-in-law who was instrumental in making this happen this weekend, we primed the inside of the bumper pieces and the outside of the frame horns, then put them together while wet. This meant that we got good coverage on the metal, without having to scrape anything up to put the pieces together.

With the silver primer dried, and with the Dexter room repaired as much as possible (the plastic started stretching and with the exhaust fan on was being pulled inward WAY too much), we started with the paint. Unlike the primer, and to be frank unlike anything I’ve ever painted with before, it was a two part paint. Having never painted with a paint system like this, I was really happy to have someone with me that’s done this more than a few times. After a few hours of work, here is what I ended up with:

Needless to say, I’m pretty damn happy. It looks great, and I can’t wait to take it down from the ceiling and start attaching pieces.


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