BEST VEHICLE PAINT?

Peneumbra2

Badger Wrangler
Finally got my 1.5 ton Chev 4x4 flatbed w/12 valve Cummins transplant running and almost complete. I'm going to paint the cab (well, not me, but someone who knows what they're doing), and I'm soliciting opinions as to what the most durable, longest-lasting auto paint might be.

I've always been fond of Imron, likely the non-clearcoat variety. Most fire departments and many commercial outfits use it, and from what I've seen, it's good stuff.

But, maybe there's something better, and if there is, I'm all ears.
 

Kingsize24

Observer
I try to use the cheapest stuff that sticks to metal, and keeps the rust away. If it does that, you're golden! :sombrero:
 

nick disjunkt

Adventurer
Two part polyurethane paints are pretty much top of the pile for being tough and looking great, but you'll need an air fed respirator if you're planning on spraying them. Jotun Hardtop XP is pretty good value and polishes up nicely. Applied over a good epoxy primer, its about the most durable coating you put on a vehicle.
 

spot

New member
Imron and other urethane paints are tough but difficult to spray. They will kill you if you don't use the correct respirators. If you are going for shiny durability they are really good for that. If you are going for pure durability and ease of repair I would recommend implement paint. Some people call it tractor paint. It's tough and will shine. Easy to spray, forgiving and doesn't show scratches like other paints. That's why they use it on tractors, bull dozers and the like. I've used both and it all depends on what your finally use will be.


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Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
Sub'd, this is a really interesting discussion.
Yeah I agree, carbon60, so am giving this thread a bump. Hoping to hear more from others about their best experiences with vehicle paint.

I like the idea of implement paint being durable and hiding minor scratches more and had never really thought about using it before spot mentioned it above. I'll be getting lots of desert pinstriping as well as forest branch scratches in my wanderings and it'd be nice to be able to touch it up myself once a year. I looked at doing a line-x type job on my van but decided it against it, even though you can tame down the texture. How much weight does a full vehicle line-x type paint job add over a more conventional paint job?

I'm going from white to a light sand/tan if I do it at all. I don't care about it being super-shiny or showroom nice at all--I'll be beating it up regularly--though having something that looks halfway decent after a good wash and shine would be nice. Always feels like my van works better and is happier when she's clean.
 

eaneumann

Adventurer
Imron is very durable, but can't really be buffed and doesn't spray as nice as other paint. For me, being able to buff an expedition vehicle is important. Imron will still scratch. Our shop uses Standox, which is very high quality. We work on a lot of high end new cars. Never had issues with it.


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Paddy

Adventurer
I think bedliner would look dirty all the time unless it has some gloss.

There's always the vinyl wrap idea too. If I bought a new truck I'd be wrapping it immediately next time.
 

edlaffoon

Adventurer
This is interesting.

I'm in the same boat and had all but settled on a wrap (in part because it's what I know having done them for a few years). I don't know enough about paint to describe what I want, which is pretty much hat the OP is asking: I need the ability to buff scratches and have it look nice at 5 feet.

I need like a 'auto paint for dummies' resource.
 

Roaddude

Long time off-grid vanlife adventurist
I'd love to hear from more people with personal experience using paint meant more for farm and road equipment.

Went poking around and found some great links on tractor and fleet maintenance paints:

- DIY piece on using tractor paint to do a Jeep: http://www.instructables.com/id/Painting-a-vehicle-using-Tractor-Paint/ A lot of good tips in both the article and in the comments.

- Here's Majic Paints Tractor, Truck, & Implement Enamel Paint Tips: http://www.majicpaints.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Paint-Training_TSCWEB.pdf

I might just see if I can find a space in which to put my van for a couple weeks this fall and do this myself. I got mad skills painting, but haven't messed much with painting vehicles.
 
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Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
my experience with Majic implement paint

I used the Majic Implement paint when I re-did the Cummins 4BT/4L60E/Dana 300 for the Scout 800.
Really impressed with how well it flowed out, covered, and the durability has been excellent.

I'm pretty much a hack when it comes to painting anything, but some good surface prep was all it really needed.
I was at Tractor Supply Company, and just asked for a recommendation. They suggested this paint.
Hope this helps,

Picture 1: drive train assembled and ready for install. This is after about a year sitting in this cradle
Picture 2: Painted the case components while it was all apart, then reassembled. Looked just as clean after assembly
Picture 3: About a year after the drivetrain was installed, the pump started leaking. This is after I completely disassembled and resealed the pump. No refresh on the paint.
 

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Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Exactly, it was just spray paint in a can.
Which also reminds me, that the overspray wasn't too excessive either. Not near as much overspray as Rustoleum (another personal favorite :))
 

bknudtsen

Expedition Leader
Yeah. I've always used the hard hat enamel stuff for parts that are exposed to the elements. Holds up pretty well.
 
Wraps are expensive are not durable when it comes to abrasion. They will tear and also sometimes any exposed edge will start to release. While the body panel affected can be wrapped there is no guarantee it will match.

I have investigated heavily into dip paints. These range from the rubber looking plastidip that offers no depth appearance to professional dip paints that can not be distinguished from factory paint, sometimes even better. These are peelable just like wrap. If they surface becomes scratched a simple hot air blower causes the dip to reflow healing the scratch. None of the dip coverings are chemical and fuel resistant except for the professionally applied Flex Dip. If you do need to repair the affected area color match is not an issue.

The problem I am having in any of these types of covering is that they recommend a minimum of 9 months before applying to freshly painted vehicles. My Bronco is being stripped back to bare metal using dustless blasting. Considering just doing a plain white paint job and enjoy it before having it dipped. As long as the painted finish remains in good condition having a body dip coated is not overly expensive less than a grand.
 
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