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Jeep Grill Herculiner Project

Author: WhatWasIThinkin

Damaged GrillLast fall something happened during a ride that got me to thinking about Herculiner for my grill. After getting myself stuck to the point were I had to call in reinforcements, my rescue team showed up with only a cheap strap with hooks on both ends. I found out quickly why you don't ever wheel alone, and never, never use straps with hooks. I know well not to do both, but stupidity was ruling my world that

A nice big dinger in the grill. That didn't bother me at all, I was happy that the hook stopped there and didn't get into the A/C unit.

The Install

Mask the grill to keep the Herculiner where it's supposed to bePrep is the key to success. First thing I did was remove the swaybar trim cover and headlight bezels, and start masking the stuff that I didn't want to get the Herculiner on.

The instructions say to use a 3M scrub pad or 80 grit sandpaper along with Xylene to scuff and clean the finish prior to applying the Herculiner. None of my local hardware stores carry Xylene or Xylene substitutes which are Xylol, Tolulol, or Tolulene. I didn't think I would need to thin the Herculiner, so I really didn't need the Xylol for that. I ended up using lacquer thinner to wash the surface after scuffing it up. Nobody carries 80 grit sandpaper around here either so 100 grit would have to do.
Use a 3M pad and sandpaper to scuff the paint
I tried the red 3M scuff pad first. It did okay for a light scuff and gets into the round corners very well. After scuffing it and washing it down with the lacquer thinner, I found that there was still a lot of the gloss left. The instructions are clear about not applying over any kind of gloss finish, so I broke out the 100 grit sandpaper and that really did the job. After knocking off the gloss finish, I spent some extra time cleaning the rust out of the ding in the grill.

First coat of the HerculinerI washed everything again twice and hit any raw steel spots with rattle can primer. Once everything was clean and dry, I used a 2" paint brush to apply the first coat. This is cool stuff. It covers great. It looks like watery black paint with sand in it. As it goes on the rubber starts to clump together and gives its unique texture.

The instructions say to wait 1-2 hours or until it is no longer tacky before applying the second coat. It did take 2 hours until it was tack free. I applied the second coat with a mini-roller. This keeps it from getting brush lines and helps keep the texture consistent. It took less than 5 minutes to roll on the second coat.Damaged grill with HerculinerThe photo to the left is the damaged area after applying the second coat of Herculiner. You can barely see it anymore.

I'm happy with the results.

This was a very simple project. I spent maybe 30-45 minutes sanding and cleaning. The first coat painted on in 15 minutes and the second rolled coat only took five minutes. My only disappointment was with the Herculiner can itself. I bought a quart size container. I have opened about a zillion cans of paint before this one and kinda know how to do it properly, but the can's lid was impossible to remove so that it could go back on and allow me to save the leftover half of the quart. I didn't have anything to pour the leftovers into, so $15 worth of it went bad. Their lid is paper thin and it tore before it came off. I'll be better prepared next time.

Grill with HerculinerGrill with Herculiner
Disclaimer: You can use these instructions however you choose, but I am not liable for anything you do Please feel free to link to them from other sites, but you must get my permission first before copying them off of this site to elsewhere.

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