A client from Jacksonville came to Audio Designs and Custom Graphics for a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee restyle project. He recently purchased this Diamond Black Crystal Pearl SUV and wanted us to black out all the chrome accents on the vehicle. After a thorough inspection of the vehicle, we provided the client with a quote, along with an explanation of how we were going to address different aspects of the project. He loved our plan and gave us the go-ahead to book an appointment.
Jeep Logos and Front Grill
When blacking-out a vehicle, we try to wrap as much of the chrome as possible with vinyl. This process works perfectly for relatively flat surfaces. When it came to the Jeep logo and the seven chrome inserts on the front grill, the complex shape wouldn’t allow us to use vinyl. Our solution was to paint these components. We carefully masked off the grill and prepped the chrome pieces to ensure the paint would adhere perfectly. To achieve a flawless finish on the badges, we removed them from the front and rear of the vehicle to paint them. After the paint had cured thoroughly on the badges, we reinstalled them on the vehicle using 3M adhesive tape.
Chrome Trim and Accents
We started the black-out process using 3M 1080 Gloss Black and prodigious quantities of Design Line knifeless tape. We have developed a unique process that allows us to cut the vinyl on the vehicle and wrap it neatly around the edges of accent panels to create a flawless look. We never cut vinyl on a vehicle. Even the smallest nick or scratch is unacceptable, especially on a brand new and expensive SUV like this Grand Cherokee.
We blacked out the chrome accents and the faux air inlet surrounds in the front bumper. We then moved on to the door handles, door moldings and the window trim. We also blacked out the chrome on the sideview mirrors. Masking everything and ensuring the vinyl is tucked perfectly into the seam between each trim piece and the vehicle takes a lot of time. However, the attention to detail pays off!
We applied vinyl to the chrome accents on the rear bumper, the hatch lip and the tail lights. The last step was to conceal the chrome on the roof-mounted luggage rack.
Tinted Reverse and Tail Lights
There are several options available when it comes to tinting taillights. We have seen several shops try to paint lights with a translucent paint. It’s very hard to create a perfectly uniform finish with paint, so we use Lamin-X tinted film. This heavy duty film is extremely pliable and offers perfectly even coverage. The film is 12 mil thick and includes a high-strength adhesive. We prepared the taillights and reverse lights by removing any foreign matter, silicones and waxes, then applied Lamin-X Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke is the second darkest film in their product line and offers a perfect balance of style without dramatically affecting the performance of the vehicle’s lighting systems.
Jeep Grand Cherokee Restyle Details
We removed the Grand Cherokee lettering from the front doors of the truck and cleaned up the remaining adhesive. The lettering looks nice, but removing it cleans up the appearance of the vehicle. We also removed the badges from the rear tailgate.
To complete the ‘murdered’ look of the Jeep, the 20- by 8-inch factory wheels and center caps have been powder-coated in gloss black to match the rest of the truck. The chrome lug nuts have also been replaced with black units to maintain the theme.
Chrome Delete Complete
It took some time, but the result is fantastic. The client returned to Audio Designs and Custom Graphics to see his Jeep Grand Cherokee restyle for the first time. He was thrilled with the results! His truck now has the same aggressive look as the SRT model. If you want to customize the look of your car, truck or SUV, then drop into our store. A member of our team would be happy to work with you to design something unique and creative. For more information about our products and services, you can call us at 904-333-2322 or send us an e-mail using our online contact FORM.