A CJ-3B Named Spud,
Part 2

by Barry Ogletree

This article on painting Spud, a 1954 CJ-3B, is the second in a series for CJ3B.info by Barry Ogletree in Texas, who has a lot of experience in Jeep customizing and conversion, and has recently been bringing that experience to some CJ-3B projects, including Fred the Stretched 3B. Barry described the updates he made to Spud prior to painting, in A CJ-3B Named Spud, Part 1 . -- Derek Redmond

Spud Goes Green

As we said in Part 1, we named him Spud because he came from Idaho, and potatoes are the only thing anyone thinks of when the State of Idaho is mentioned. But Idaho's nicnkame is actually "The Gem State", and now this little gem we found there is ready for a little polishing.

As we were driving him out to have him repainted in Flame Red clear coat, meeting us on the highway was a 2012 Gecko Green JK Wrangler. You could see it a mile away. Karen said "WOW!" That one word was all that it took to completely change the color from Flame Red to Gecko Green. He now gets a lot of compliments on his new color, and he is easy to find in a parking lot or car show.

Spud was in good shape, but needed about a day of sanding with dry machine paper.

Paper and tape, with the blue sharp-edge clean-release tape, prior to spraying a premium primer.

Primer is the key to a good long lasting job. Now the detail sanding starts.

The primer is smoked with black paint. This tells them where they have sanded. It also gives them a depth gauge.

First light coat of bedliner. The sanding crew at the body shop was way behind, and we opted to let the other crew go ahead and do the bedliner.

Second liner coat for texture. We are very opinionated with liners. The two-part polyurethane is the only way to go -- very easy to apply and repair. It can be retopped if worn, and repaired. Most of the hard liners cannot be repaired easily.

Side steps, tailgate and roll bar first coat. The polyurethane liners can also be painted over with the new paints that stick to plastics. Great selection on eBay, and reasonably priced. Can be sprayed or rolled.

Hand wet sanding took 1/2 day (3 men). The sanding crew finally caught up, and it did not hurt the bedliner by then. They just washed it out, dust and all.

A low rider. Driving over to the paint booth, without seat.

Light grey is the proper primer for the Gecko Green. No additional primer after the wet sanding unless a boo-boo shows up.

After being wet sanded with a fine paper, the front grille can be painted over the original paint (enamel) with clear coat. It will stick like a tick, as we say here in Texas. If the grille had needed any body work or filler at all, then it would require primer and more sanding.

Tape tape tape. This shop is Extreme Collision. The way to decide which shop to use, is to look at the work that is parked in their parking lot. The actual guy that paints is the key. Look at the recent work that they do, as painters come and go in the paint world. Many times the quality of the job moves with the spray guy.

Gecko Green base. Clear coat is 2 layers -- a paint color layer, and then a clear tough layer. The clear also allows for spot repair. Single stage enamel requires a complete panel repaint.

Hood, windshield and tailgate. With two coats, the spraying/drying, spraying/drying process takes about half a day.

Johnny pulling tape. A good tape man will only slightly mash the edge of the tape where it meets the paint line. Also, if you use a premium grade of tape, you avoid cheap tape problems. Tape cost is not a place to scrimp on money.

The paper on the dash/cowl is a second layer of paper that allows the painters and the bedliner guys to make a perfect match line of the paint and the bedlined dash.

Ready to head home to reload all of the stuff.

Nice no-ramp spot for unloading Will's farm trailer

Gradually filling up the holes. Round Bluetooth radio and player, marine grade. Small black cover is for a USB thumb drive. Gauge over the hand brake is a small tach.

Grab bars give a wind wing look, and the curve matches the windshield curve. We doubled the hood latches to keep the back of the hood from rattling.

Seats back in (with the original tan covers) and fender flares added. We built the side steps -- they work great. The Willys name on the hood was done with pinstripe tape.

Spud's new seat covers were the most beautiful green tweed top material, and expensive. In the sun they were Gecko Green, but in certain shadows and especially in photos they shimmered blue.

So we sent the seats back to the upholstery shop, and went with a matching Naugahyde. Here is Spud with his new seats at a car show.

Notice the 2,000-pound Gold's handcrank winch on the ground -- one of the items we plan to have in a future display for car shows.

The Graphics

I did the design of the letters and the spuds, full size in Paint Shop Pro. I used 288 dot pitch (dpi) with the exact color numbers as an addendum to correct for monitor color distortions. I had them print the layout on a vinyl product for auto sign and skins. In years past, you had to cut it all out with an X-acto knife. The newer printers cut it all out as a last step.

Get into a shady spot, and you will have more work time. You position it on the vehicle, with more of that blue tape on the top as a hinge. Get it where you want it, lift the letters back, peel the backing off carefully, then wet the letters and the vehicle with detergent water (4-5 drops per quart.) Fold down the paper with the letters and start working out from the middle to the edges. Once smooth, push straight down on all parts of each letter. Also move any air bubbles out from under each letter. A credit card works well.

Move the vehicle out into the sun for an hour or so, and the heat will finish evaporating the detergent water from under the vinyl. If you see any air bubbles that you missed, make a small hole with a straight pin, and push the water or air out. Sounds hard, but easy. -- Barry Ogletree

2021 Update

New wild indoor/outdoor mats for Spud at car shows. The wilder the better at shows.

We will snap it in when we arrive at a show. It looks to be easy to clean and is indoor/outdoor. I will never put my feet on it.

Thanks to Barry for the story and photos. -- Derek Redmond

Return to A CJ-3B Named Spud, Part 1.

See Spud win "Best in Class" in Another Trophy for Spud, alongside Fred the Stretched 3B.

See more Jeep CJ-3B Owners and Photos.

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Last updated 3 October 2021 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond