DIY Guide


Let Graham take you through a step-by-step DIY guide to transform your vehicle's paint with a Raptor Coat makeover.

raptor coat spraying technique

DIY Nissan Patrol Makeover for under $1,000! Raptor coat IN THE SHED + How to fix and stop rust

We bought the cheapest factory Nissan Patrol Turbo Diesel GU coil cab Ute for just $11,500 and our mission is to build it into an insanely capable tourer on a proper budget. We are going to show you exactly what each modification or repairs costs us. Plus, we are going to give you tips on how you can do something similar.

In this episode guide we show you how to fix rust and give your old four-wheel drive a complete makeover on a tight budget.

The body on this 4WD has seen better days, and that is all about to change. You won’t believe the transformation!

We are taking apart this Patrol in the shed as this is exactly where we are going to spray it with the Raptor Coating. No need for a professional spray booth as we show you how nothing more than elbow grease and a Raptor Coat can make your 4WD look like a million bucks.


Before we get into Raptor Coating the Ute, we are going to treat and remove the rust that needs to be cut out. Although there isn’t a lot of rust, it is enough that it has to be dealt with.

The problem areas for rust is in the passenger footwell, a few small areas in the sills as well as surface rust on the chassis. We have stripped the 4WD back taking all accessories off it and we have discovered two specific types of rust; structural rust that needs attention and cosmetic rust.

Structural Rust

For the structural rust in the floor we are going to use a grinder to cut the rusted piece out of the floor and weld in a new metal replacement piece. The superficial surface rust we will clean up and put body filler onto it.

With the structural damage rusted hole in the floor, Robbie uses masking tape to section the area we want to remove. Robbie cuts out a rectangle larger than the area of rust to ensure complete removal of rust, and in doing so makes creating a replacement sheet of metal for the area is much easier and straightforward.

Once the rust is cut out, ensure you clean the area nicely so you can get a nice solid join when you stitch weld the new section.

rust removal raptor coat

Cosmetic Rust

First up, our expert, Robbie, uses a wire wheel on a drill, a palm sander and a grinder to clean up the loose rust on the body of the 4WD. Robbie strips back a fair bit of paint around the affected area to ensure all of the rust is treated, while still being gentle with the grinder to ensure no unnecessary steel is removed from the body.

rust repair treatment raptor

From here we use a rust converter and a primer that we put on and let that set. Once set we can put some body filler on the top. We used a Brunox all-in-one rust converter and primer to spray on top and leave that coat set for 24 hours.

Now that the side panel has been prepped, we mixed up some Iso Bond to fill up the hole. This product is as simple as mixing it up and filling the holes, making sure to smooth out the edges as you go. Putting tape behind the holes create a boundary to make sure it is in the shape you need.

When this body filled section is dry, we can sand that back a little and paint it with our chosen Raptor Coating colour and no one will know it was ever there. This exact technique can even be used to fix and fill a hole as big a snorkel hole.

Brunox fill rust raptor coat


Sanding and Body Fill

We do a light scuff on all panels that will be coated, and when doing so fine grade sandpaper is best. We aren’t stripping the vehicle to bare metal, so fine sandpaper lets us remove any imperfections of the paint without taking too much of the paint off.

Body filler can be used to fill up dents and bumps on the body, then sanded back and Raptor Coated to cover everything up.

sanding paint panel before raptor coating

Clean your 4WD

Once everything is buffed and sanded back, make sure to wash off all the dust, dirt and paint residue so it is clean and ready for the Raptor Primer Coat making sure of a nice and smooth finish with no imperfections.

The key to getting a long lasting finish is spending time in preparing and cleaning the vehicle properly and the Raptor Coat will adhere much better.

Adhesive Promoter

Graham uses some Raptor Adhesive Promoter on the edges of the panels and any other area that was hard to reach when sanding.

Primer Coat

Now it is time for the Raptor Epoxy Primer. First thing to do is to make sure you give the Primer a good mix. Then pour the Primer into a separate container and combine this with the Raptor Primer Hardener. This will set the primer so it dries and is ready for the final coat.

Once that's done, add your Raptor Primer mix to your spray gun and away you go. A handy. Tip when using a spray gun is to keep the gun parallel to the work surface and try spray in nice and steady movements without holding the spray gun too close. It is always better to use lots of light coats rather than one heavy coat. To get an even coating “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”.

Another tip is to spray a little way past the panel you are working on to assist with achieving a nice even coating.

raptor coat primer application spray


Tint-able Raptor

We used Tint-able Raptor here, which you can mix with any normal automotive two-pack paint to colour the paint however you want. We added 10% colour to the Tint-able Raptor Coat and once that's done you need to give it a good shake before testing the spray pattern.

Paint Texture

A tip for testing your paint consistency is to spray and adjust a few times on an upright piece of cardboard to find the desired paint texture and consistency of your liking.

Coating and Spraying

Once you have dialed in and found the texture you want, it is time to paint - remembering to spray the panels with lots of lighter coats, as it is always better than one thick coat.

You do however want to apply more layers of coat to be thicker in high traffic areas such as doors where you are most likely to get scratches out on the 4WD tracks.

Graham waited 30-45 minutes until the coat is a tacky dry, then performs one final coat from up high to create an even dusting of Raptor Coat over the top to take away any imperfections you may have gotten and leaves it looking clean, blended and “Mickey Mouse” in the words of Graham himself.

raptor coat spraying technique


While Graham waits for the body to dry, he recommends using aerosol cans of Black Raptor Coat to freshen up any accessories like bar work or flares. If any surface of these accessories you wish to Raptor Coat is plastic, it is important you do a pre coat of Raptor Adhesion Promoter, otherwise it will not stick properly.


A quick tip is to avoid the temptation to let your 4WD dry in the sun. The Raptor Coating drying process will be damaged in the sun so it is crucial after all this effort to leave the vehicle undercover in the shed for the next 24 hours to let it cure and harden the Raptor Coat.

24 hours later we can reattach our accessories and previously removed panels and see just how good your Raptor Coating looks.

budget gu patrol before raptor coat raptor coat after photo


It took us about a day to do all of the preparation work, and then about half a day to do the painting. It really was as quick as that, and of course we did the whole job in our shed at home.

We ended up using:

•   3 Litres of Tint-able Raptor Coat for the body, one two-pack of Black Aerosol Raptor Cans for the flares - $390

•   One can of Raptor Adhesion Promoter $38

•   Epoxy Primer and Hardener -$89

•   Brunox - $40

•   Isopon - $17

•   Vari Nozzle Gun - $180

TOTAL: $754


Now that Graham and the team at Raptor have transformed the outside of the vehicle and repair all the rust, it is now time for Jocko and the boys to continue this budget 4WD Nissan Patrol build!

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