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Jeep Wrangler - Restoration & Custom Outfitting
All photos, diagrams, and text on this page Copyright 2013 - David Todeschini - all rights reserved - see Copyright Terms

 

Decal Work

 

The 22-inch gold star decal in the photos below came on a single sheet purchased from Sticker*Pimp on eBay. These Vinyl decals have 3 layers; a backing (top), decal material (in the middle), and protective sheet (bottom). You are supposed to remove the protective sheet (the decal remains on the backing, preserving the element spacing) and apply the decal all at once. Easier said than done. Easy for small decals; orders of magnitude more difficult for something this big.

 

After assessing the situation, I decided it would be easier to apply this decal in pieces. I measured the hood, and marked the center, and the position of where the "arms" of the star would have to be in order to be centered perfectly with a purple watercolor marker (not visible in the photos). I cut the star out of the center and applied it first, followed by the five sections of the surrounding ring. Although most people apply these decals over an existing paint job, I applied them on a freshly painted surface (24 hours later), and applied several layers of clear enamel after the paint had time to fully cure (4 days).

 

The first coat of clear coat over a decal has to be a mere dusting, since wet paint will easily run on such a smooth surface. If you apply ANY clear coat over paint that has not fully cured, the uncured paint will wrinkle, causing a MAJOR job to fix. The most important thing to observe is patience. After the "dusting" coat had cured completely, light buffing with extra fine steel wool, washing (to remove steel particles and dust) and 2 more coats of clear 24 hours apart. Finish with hand compounding, washing with a good car wash soap, and waxing.

22-inch star decal centered between windshield tie-down hood loop (removed for this procedure).

Placement of the star decal halo bars in five separate sections.

The 22" star on the hood gives the Jeep a "military" look.

The American flag motif on the grille is KICK-ASS. The "stars" were made from silver / white reflective tape with a hand-held paper punch.

The Jedi Knight emblem (from Star Wars) looks great on the tinted rear windows.

Reflective tape is applied to the door handle so you can find it in minimal light, and to the roll bar and tub edge (red stripe) for when the top is down.

Note how the color of these decals match the "Spice" color I chose for the new Soft Top.

Custom ("Ninja") decal from Sticky_Situation on eBay
"Infidel" and 5.75" Star decals on the doors are from
Sticker*Pimp on eBay

 

The following custom-made decals are Metallic Gold from jzyjack on eBay. Available in a variety of fonts, sizes, and colors, any text you want can be custom-made. These particular are applied in the same manner as all the other decals, except that they cannot be coated over with clear enamel; they get applied AFTER the last coat of clear completely cures. Non-metallic (vinyl) decals (which CAN be coated with clear enamel) are also available.

Decals are placed with front backing paper in place

Finished hood decal for Net4TruthUSA on hood of 97 Jeep Wrangler

Large, contrasting lettering is highly visible at night

You can even apply these decals to the outside of Vinyl windows on your Soft Top.

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