Land Rover Defender Blog

DIY Painting Guide

Here's a DIY guide to paint your own Land Rover.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

March 30, 2011

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year


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In this guide, FunRover reader Steve Tyrrell gives us the low down on how he repainted his Land Rover in a friends work unit. For all those looking to respray their truck this summer, this article gives you an idea of the challenges you will face and how to go about it. Take it away Steve...

I've owned Doxy for just over a year now and when I got the old girl she was over due a paint job then, however with other jobs cropping up like replacing an old Nissan diesel for a V8 and money being a little short, the paint job had to wait until now. I have been spending the odd 15 minutes here and there sanding Doxy down ready for the new spray job however I've never got round to actually painting the old girl. Then I got a little nudge from the next door neighbour after a Saturday night curry and a few pints. The neighbour turned out to be a paint sprayer and offered to do the spraying for me. The following Monday night 6 litres of satin black paint appeared on the door step, however getting Doxy painted was another problem!

You can't just paint a car the size of a 110 Defender in you average family garage - you need some thing a lot bigger and higher! The hunt for a lock-up took an age and then one came along from a work college. Woody turned out to own several lock-up's, however they were all rented out so couldn't be used. About 3 months passed and still Doxy was unpainted then Woody told me that one of the lock-up's had became free due to an unpaid rent bill. Great! I had the use of a large garage, for only one weekend, to give Doxy a new paint job. In the end, it turned out that the weekend I could use the lock-up my painting neighbour wasn't free to help out so I was on my own. As the lock-up did not have an air compressor the only other option open to me was to use an electric spray gun borrowed from a friend.

Now I've never sprayed anything before let alone a 110 Defender van, so armed with 5 large rolls of masking tape and arms full of old news papers off Doxy went to the mates lock-up for the weekend, where along with help from my 18 year old son Ashley, I made an attempt at painting the old girl. Now I can hear you all thinking "he's never sprayed a car before and with an electric spray gun?? DISASTER WRITTEN ALL OVER IT". However, everything went fine. Now I'm not going to say that its the best spray job you've ever seen and that the finish is entirely run free but as a first attempt it's turned out OK (Editor: You're too humble Steve, it looks brilliant and very slightly mean!)

After masking the whole car off the first thing I did was spray the inside of the bonnet to get a feel for how the electric gun behaved, it came out great, not even a single run or blemish could be seen. So I thought "there's nothing to this spraying lark, lets get on with the rest of the car!!!". Famous last words!!! The Roof was next to be sprayed, with step ladders and again it came out ok!! So onto the drivers side rear body and that's when gravity took effect. The runs started. Ok so its not as easy as I first thought, time to stand back and have a rethink. Ashley and myself came to the conclusion that light, thin layers of paint were the way forward. And so we started again and this time it went much better, still got the odd little run here and there but it looked really good. The only other problem we soon came across was that with the paint being black and the paint holder on the electric gun being clear you couldnt see when you were running out of paint! Not a massive problem you would think, however as the paint ran out the spray gun would spit big blobs of paint all over the lovely, smooth fresh paint! (Thus causing it to run or just leaving a big blob!) So the cure was after just a few passes of the spray gun we had to stop to top up the paint.

Well despite all the set backs and a few minor melt downs in the lock-up that weekend Doxy got her new paint job in satin black (still with a few runs for now) and looks real good, now its time for a few of the other jobs on my list! However if you own one of the Solihull's finest then you will all know how long that list is.

Steve kindly spent the time writing this article for FunRover when we saw his tweet about the re-paint. We'd like to thank Steve for putting so much effort into it and we think his newly painted truck looks very suave! You should follow Steve T on Twitter here.

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