What Kind Of Paint To Use On A Jeep Hardtop?

Customizing a car to change its looks can easily be done with your choice of paint. If you've got a Jeep, chances are you've looked into custom painting the hardtop, and wondering what kind of paint to use. We've looked into this topic, and we found the paint you should use on a Jeep hardtop.

The best kinds of paint to use on a Jeep hardtop are urethane or acrylic urethane automotive paints. These two  are both easy to apply and fast drying. They also give a long-lasting quality to the paint job, plus are highly resistant to weather and UV rays. 

Choosing the right kind of paint for your Jeep hardtop is important because it will keep the beauty of your automotive paint at its best. In this post, we will talk about the best paints you can use for your Jeep hardtop. We'll also talk about paints you can use for small jobs like retouching the hardtop, so keep scrolling and enjoy this post!

What Kind Of Paint To Use On A Jeep Hardtop?

Known as one of the most popular general-purpose vehicles worldwide, the Jeep is a fantastic vehicle to have for any kind of adventure you have in mind. Whether it's down for a city drive or you're planning a hike up the mountains, the Jeep is a great companion vehicle to have.

Jeep Wrangler JL Sahara off-road with mountains in the background

There are different makes and models of Jeeps available on the market. Some of them have a soft top, which uses a high-quality fabric material that latches on the Jeep's body to cover the cabin. Some Jeeps, particularly the newer ones, come with hardtops, which is an entire panel that can be placed and removed on the Jeep's body.

The Jeep Wrangler model comes with the option to add a hardtop to the vehicle. Black is the typical color choice for Jeep's hardtop because it matches any vehicle color. However, some people would like to customize their hardtops to make their Jeep unique.

For those looking for a new hardtop color, you can always request that a local dealer find that color top. Otherwise, you might prefer customizing yourself. To do this, you'll have to repaint the entire hardtop using quality automotive paint.

To make the repainted hardtop last long, the best paint to use is urethane or acrylic urethane automotive paint. These paints are easy to apply and they dry fairly quickly, which is great if you'll be doing this project in your own garage. These high-quality materials are also weather and UV resistant, so you'll be sure to have a beautiful hardtop all the time.

However, there are other automotive paints that you can use for the hardtop, although they are not as durable as urethane. Another kind of automotive paint that can be used on the Jeep hardtop is automotive lacquer paint. This paint provides a glossy effect to the hardtop, but it does have the tendency to fade faster than urethane paints.

How To Paint Jeep Hardtop

How To Paint Jeep Hardtop

Most people believe that custom painting their cars (or at least parts) takes a lot of hard work. Well, it does take quite a bit of work and a lot of time must be put into this project, but the result is definitely worth it.

Check out this video on how to paint a Jeep hardtop:

1. Remove the Hardtop

To begin with this project, you'll have to remove the hardtop completely from the body of the Jeep. Ask an extra helping hand to help you lift the hardtop from the Jeep after carefully removing all of the nuts and bolts from the hardtop. Make sure to keep the back glass panel safe by removing it carefully.

Remove the rubber seals from the hardtop to ensure that they won't be painted over during the process. Remember to remove all small pieces that you don't want to get paint on and keep them for reinstallation.

2. Sand the Hardtop

Auto mechanic polishing the jeep for painting

Using some 120-180 grit sandpaper or sanding block, sand down the entire hardtop to prepare for priming. Make sure to sand every available surface where you want to prime and paint the hardtop. This includes the sides and all the painted ends of the hardtop.

3. Seal the Interiors

Before priming and painting the hardtop, it's important to seal and tape all the interior parts that you want to keep clean. This means laying over a layer of plastic and securely taping them to seal the interiors properly. Make sure that there are no gaps or unsealed edges where paint can get into once the process begins. 

4. Prime the Hardtop

Begin by priming the hardtop with the right automotive primer. You'll need an automotive air spray gun that has different nozzles to help you lay down the layer of primer properly.

Check out this air spray gun on Amazon.

When putting the primer, make sure to get primer paint on the entire surface and all the corners and edges of the hardtop. Spray the primer on evenly and wipe down the surface after the paint is completely dry and cured.

5. Lay Down the Base Coat

Painting a black jeep in special garage and wearing protective gear

Once you've laid down a good layer of automotive paint primer, it's time for the base coat. Depending on the paint color you'll be using, you might need to put on a white base coat layer before laying down the actual color that you like. You might also want to spray the paint color directly on the hardtop.

Whichever it is, always remember to evenly spray and lay down the layer of base coat paint on the hardtop. Allow the base coat to dry and wait until it settles to your preferred color.

6. Add Clear Coat

After painting the hardtop with the color of your choice, it's time to add a clear coat. This clear coat will protect the hardtop's paint from fading and scratches. It will also give your hardtop that distinctive glossy or matte look that you're going for. 

7. Reinstall the Hardtop

Once everything is painted and coated, it's time to reinstall the hardtop back on the Jeep. Remember to put back all the rubber seals that you have removed and install the glass panels properly to avoid any accidents from happening. Reinstall the wiring and other connections to the hardtop and enjoy your new ride!

Best Automotive Paint For Jeep Hardtop

Man choosing color for car painting on palette at service station

When you go to the automotive store, there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of automotive paints that you can choose from. Depending on the kind of paint you'll want to use, make sure to choose a color that exactly matches your vehicle or complements it well.

Here are some of the best automotive paints you might want to try:

Acrylic Urethane

This acrylic urethane paint comes in a complete set, which is great for those who are looking to have everything they need in one go. With a multitude of colors to choose from, this paint is definitely a good choice for hardtop repainting.  

Check out this acrylic urethane auto paint on Amazon.


This urethane automotive paint also comes in a set that comes with the paint color and hardener. A fast-drying automotive paint, Custom Shop provides high-gloss, easy-flow paint that is easy to lay down on your hardtop.

Get this urethane auto paint on Amazon.

Can Jeep Hardtop Paint Be Retouched?

Red TJ 1997 Jeep Wrangler hardtop on street

Jeeps are one of those vehicles that take a lot of beating. As an all-terrain vehicle, it will definitely get a lot of scratches and dents throughout its lifetime. While this is a sign of adventure for many owners, some people are not comfortable seeing scratches, especially on the hardtop's surface.

If you're not into painting the entire hardtop to make it look brand new, owners can simply retouch and patch on the scratches using touch-up paint. These paints come in small bottles as they are meant to go over minor scratches and dings without repainting the entire hardtop.

Get the Mopar Touch-up Paint on Amazon.

The Mopar touch-up paint is the standard touch-up paint that is also used by the manufacturer. It is easy to use and it can cover minor cosmetic scratches on the hardtop without any difference in color.

Final Thoughts

Make your Jeep stand out or refresh the look of your trusty vehicle by changing the hardtop color . It's an easy way to update your Jeep and you can do it by painting the vehicle yourself. If you prefer not to put in that much work, you can opt to check out your local automotive shop to help you change the color of your Jeep's hardtop.

Are you looking to do some paint upgrades for your car? We have articles that might be interesting for you:

Can You Spray Paint A Car? [With Pros And Cons]

What Car Paint Color Lasts The Longest?


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