Desert Tan Paint Job on a budget

Part 2: Paint
As you may have guessed by the title, yes I am going to "rattlecan" it with Krylon spray paint. Why would I want to do this? For one, there is a cost advantage as I don't have an air compressor capable of using a HVLP spray gun, but thats not the only reason. Not having the equipment, I could take it down and have it professionally done. But I didn't want a shiny new paint job that I would be worried about scratching. If I used spray paint, I could always touch it up whenever I wanted. I admit I've seen some horrible rattlecan paint jobs, and I figured if it turns out that bad, I could always sand it again and do something different or take it to a paint shop.

So why Desert Tan? Honestly, I almost did a full camo job as I've always liked that as well as other military themes. I chose Desert Tan (or Khaki) as it will be a much lighter color than dark blue. It will hide scratches much better and won't look as dirty as its close to the same color as the dust around here. And to add to that, I simply like tan and black as a color combination.

Here's the paint I used:

15 cans later (costs roughly $75 and did about two good coats) and I ended up with this.

In the above photo it even blends in with the dry lakebed in the background ; )

Now I'll be honest. I like the new paint job, but it is far from perfect. Depending on how the light hits it, it either looks good, or looks "not so good". The hood and roof were the hardest, being flat surfaces. After a few attempts I'm still not fully satisfied with the hood. You can see some striping in the paint in the photo below. I may wet sand it with 400 grit or so which will probably even it out but we'll see.

My bodywork turned out good and you can only notice the repairs if you are really looking for it.

Ultimately I am just glad to get rid of the Patriot Blue!

If you are considering doing a similar rattlecan paint job yourself, here is my advice:
- Don't expect it to be perfect because it won't be. You basically will get what you pay for.
- Notice I did a lot of prep work. Even with spray paint, the better the prep, the better it will turn out.
- This paint puts down a lot of dust. Clean each panel before you paint so you don't paint over dust.
- Wear a respirator and turn off your pilot lights if you have any water heaters or appliances near where you are spraying. main page