The Pros and Cons Of Painting Your Own Truck Grille

Are you trying to cover up some cosmetic issues on your grille? Are you deleting the chrome or want the grille to match your truck's color? Or, are you wanting a different paint color to give your truck a unique look? If so, you might be thinking about painting your plastic OEM truck grille.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of painting your own grille to see if it’s the right move for you!

The One Pro of Painting Your Grille

There’s only one pro to painting your truck grille, and it is cost. You just have to pay for the supplies. However, keep in mind that it’s a time-consuming project, so you’re basically paying with your time. Nonetheless, it's a good solution if you're on a strict budget, have a lot of patience, and have the prep, painting, and finishing skills.

The cons, however, are more extensive.

The Cons of Painting Your Grille

Painting the chrome and/or plastic on your OEM grille is not an easy job for the following reasons:

1. Quality

Quality automotive painting is a highly skilled trade. If you want a quality finish on a truck you can be proud of, don’t take this task lightly. Orange peel clear coat, runs, and poor color uniformity are all mistakes that professional painters overcome with a lot of practice over time.

2. Paint-Intolerant Surfaces

Painting grille

Image Credit: Skeptor

OEM grilles are largely made of chrome and plastic. Chrome is a difficult surface to prep for painting and even with a professional prep job, it will chip easily. In fact, most professional paint shops won’t warranty a painted chrome surface. Plastic can also be difficult to paint. Whether chrome or plastic, proper surface preparation is critical.

3. Curing & Correction of Irregularities

Do you have the climate controlled facility to properly cure the paint and clear coat? Do you have the skills, time, patience, and attention to detail to wet sand and buff any problem areas without ‘burning’ the clear coat?

If not, you may wind up spending a lot more time trying to get the perfect paint job.

Summing Up

RYC painted grille

It’s not magic, but it’s also not a skill that is learned overnight. Attempting to paint your own grille is hard work and time consuming, and you may not be thrilled with the outcome. We suggest you save yourself time and consider two other options. Either purchase an all stainless steel aftermarket grille from a quality brand (like Royalty Core) or have your grille painted by a reputable accessories dealer or paint shop. It may cost you more up front, but the difference in appearance and longevity versus a DIY paint job is significant.

Royalty Core’s all stainless grilles can be delivered completely finished, or sent ‘raw’ to one of our local dealers to paint or powdercoat. Not to mention, upgrading your grille to a custom design from Royalty Core offers a few benefits over the factory grille. These include more resistance to damage from road debris and better airflow. We will always recommend upgrading your grille instead of painting it!