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I built my entire car except for the emblems, then removed everything and took the car to the paint shop.  They finished the prep and then painted it.   I thought I had done a good job prepping everything for paint, but the shop was far from satisfied and re-prepped it and found a few things to correct along the way.  This way, if you gently scratch the body surface along the way it can be easily corrected before final paint.

So put the car together, then find a paint shop and ask them how much of everything they want you to remove (photos are needed for this step) and do that before you deliver it to them for paint.

And try not to get “sticker shock” when they tell you what painting it will cost.  Good paint is expensive to buy and then you have to pay a true artist to put it on right.   Some painters are MUCH better than others.  The 3-part paint on my car, in 2000, was around $5,000.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Gordon is correct, you must fully assemble your car before paint. All the gaps have to be perfected,etc..  Paint cost has skyrocketed in the last year. My average material cost on a restoration/build is now over $6500.00. Sure there are cheaper options as every paint manufacturer has what I call used car lot paint. Looks good for a year, has no UV protection and then begins to die and after 3 years it starts coming off.  A simple complete respray in my shop is usually around $15k and that is with no rust repair or heavy damage repair. I will say that we dont tape things off, we remove them. Shops that tape off windows, door handles, trim will experience delamination of paint in the future years. One of my pet peeves is opening a door, hood, decklid and seeing or feeling tape lines, no reason for that other than laziness. Ask around at a local car gathering. Ask to see some references of the work that they have performed. Any national awards such as Pebbles Beach winners, Porsche Parade winners. Great bodywork and paint is a healthy investment into your project and you simply want the best that you can afford. If a shop is worth their salt, they will usually have a wait list as shops that can actually perform high end quality work are hard to find and will have a lot of customer work.

@Funboy we essentially build every car twice.  Everything is fit prior to paint and we try and have all of our cutting and drilling and fitment done first.  While things change and sometimes this doesn't fit our schedule, so we're very comfortable in drilling and cutting on painter car, I would not recommend that for anyone, especially someone who doesn't do it for a living.

Regarding the "prep" comment from others.  I cannot express just how true that is.  I get clients who get impatient waiting on paint and body and they always ask if it is painted yet.  95% of the paint job is the prep work.  The big payoff and the satisfaction comes in the very end with color/clear/buff but the dirty work in primer and sealer is what makes the paint job show quality vs. average.  I won't get into material quality, thats a whole added discussion, but it matters also.

I used a painter that was recommended by several of my Hot Rod friends.  The prep took f o r e v e r and the paint was done over a couple of days but the end result was/is  spectacular.  

Just don't do what "Stupid Gordon" did; Don't tell them you're not in any particular hurry because you've got a lot of other stuff going on.  I did that and it sat in the shop for over a year before they got to it.  

I was shocked at over $300/gallon paint cost, and I'm sure it's even more now for the good stuff, but it's lasted for 21 years and still looks great so it was worth it.



I was shocked at over $300/gallon paint cost, and I'm sure it's even more now for the good stuff, but it's lasted for 21 years and still looks great so it was worth it.

You can't buy a quart of our basecoat for $300... and it's gone up in addition to that in the last year.  In fact, I just about had a heart attack this morning when I started going through paint shop bills.  Our PRIMER has jumped from $60 a gallon to $175...  WTF  

Back in '70s I painted a TR Spritfire and a 356 Porsche.  I liked using acrylic lacquer paint because it dried quickly, and bugs/runs could be sanded/buffed out.  Even back then materials were over $300.  Seems it went thru a lot of costly thinner.  Some colors like red were more - they claimed it had traces of gold in it. In late 70's I had a '72 VW bus painted red at MAACO.  I did all the prep.  It came out pretty good for an old bus and cost about $400. 

@WOLFGANG in the 70's i painted my little brothers MG midget...pretty small car so kinda EZPZ prep... and a little orange peel , but it looked nice...i also had a 1968 VW type 2 bus in the "70's...i worked my BUTT off to prep ....LOTS of big panels...but to big to spray outside20220718_100130 and had a CHEAPO CAR PAINT shop spray it....it came out very nice....for a very good price as well....those days are long gone....but seems we both know the effort it takes for a car to look nice 

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@James posted:

About 4 years ago I had over $800 in PPG paint for my car.  That's crazy!  It makes you wonder if that is actually just material and technology costs, or is there a large portion to cover potential past and future litigation.  Sort of like the price of ladders.

I've always thought ladders were pretty fairly priced.

Boiler and burner controls are grossly expensive, and I'm willing to bet at least 75% of the cost of parts is liability protection.

Not exactly on point, but I got a pretty deep ding on my front end driving up to Carlisle this spring.  Whatever it was  also bent my headlight grill -- which is better than fractured glass . . . And I have accumulated a fair amount of road rash along the front.  So . . . some of the smarter folks at Carlisle suggested that such an obvious road hazard encounter must surely be an insurance claim.  And so it was.  I have a truly good paint shop nearby, thanks to the network connections of Cory Drake,, who introduced me.  Old hot rod guy, and knows what he's doing.  He repaired a huge gash in my fender a while back, and it came out perfect.  So I take it over to him for look-see.  There is a spot with exposed FG that is less than 1/4 in.  Plus the road rash.  He scratched his chin looked around, and says the whole front of the car (fenders, clip, hood) needs to be prepped down to the base coat. sprayed and clear coated up to the doors and windshield.  No shyt?!! Gonna run over $3K.  Insurance company (Erie, with whom my man has done much work over the years) bought it.  Scheduled for September.

Kelly flat tow it here to Elkins, West Virginia, my local painter here is a true Craftsman at blending I have used him three times for near impossible work and he pulled it off perfectly. This could only be done if your insurance cut a check in your name only, you pocket at least half if not more.  You could do the Tennessee run and swing through here on your way home and drop it off to be done  .

Hagerty tried cutting a check to me and the body shop back in 2006 when I was rear-ended. I told them that I may not use that shop and that there was no lien on the car, hence the money is MY money to use at whatever shop I please. They didn't like it but they immediately cut a check payable to me only.

They have to if you request it.

Well . . . that train has already left.  I like the guy here, its easy to reach, he is a craftsman, hes done flawless work for me previously, and the check has already been cut to both of us, and I have signed it.  I'd not look to be making anything off of this deal, so the money here is not really mine, its Erie's.  Unless you figure in my premium payments, and then . .   well, its just a pre-paid paint job.

Speaking of paint, I was just at Special Edition in Bremen Indiana this past Wednesday and had the great privilege to see my Speedster which was just painted this past weekend.  Porsche Aquamarine Metallic.  Simply stunning.  Still to come is the wet sanding.  So impressed with the craftsmanship and quality that I saw.  Big kudos to Carey Hines and the team at Special edition.



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@DannyP posted:

Hagerty tried cutting a check to me and the body shop back in 2006 when I was rear-ended. I told them that I may not use that shop and that there was no lien on the car, hence the money is MY money to use at whatever shop I please. They didn't like it but they immediately cut a check payable to me only.

They have to if you request it.

American Modern didn't even ask me. They just mailed the check to me in my name only.

USAA forced me to switch to American Modern from Hagerty in order to buy umbrella insurance. I was initially upset but American Modern was a couple hundred bucks cheaper than Hagerty. Someone ran a stop light and totaled my 2000 Bmw M Roadster. Had a check for $25k in a week, my stated value.
Btw doesn’t take much to total a 22 year old car. A passenger air bag deployed and that was that. Someone got a nice 3.2 L M engine with 32k miles.

https://www.speedsterowners.co...7#700375123577806927

@msjulie I decided on the "bamboo" leather interior (from the katzkin chart) and "oatmeal" carpet.   Blue top with beige inner liner and blue tonneau cover.  What color interior do you have?

Nice!  Seats etc are katzkin red (it's like a maroon I'd say) and a dark grey carpet - dogs sometimes shed and one might need a ride in the car    I hadn't thought about a blue top before but now maybe I should

Back to the insurance issue: I called my ins. company (Erie)  and asked about the replacement value payout, should the shyt really hit the fan.  Hmmm, not what I had thought.  When I first signed up with them a guy came out to look at the car, and we spoke about what I paid for it.  Clearly it was not a '72 Beetle anymore.  I thought I was in for that money at least.  However ... I Called the office today and they said they would pay KBB for '72 Beetle.  We had a discussion that ended with the gal suggesting I get Hagerty to cover.  So I have applied.  BTW: those with Hagerty, what all do you pay per year??

@El Frazoo posted:

Back to the insurance issue:  We had a discussion that ended with the gal suggesting I get Hagerty to cover.  So I have applied.  BTW: those with Hagerty, what all do you pay per year??

It really depends on your location, agreed upon value, amount of driving, garaged or not, etc.

We're on Maui where there are lots of accidents every day (and somehow, a rollover almost every day). Garaged, $40K agreed value, generous mileage, maxed out coverage and no deductible, we pay around $800 yearly.

Last edited by Michael Pickett
@El Frazoo posted:

ALB, that's the number I was looking for, Txs.  Although I think I might also ask Mr. Hines at SE to see what he says.  Right now I'm down for $40K with Hagerty.

@El Frazoo - Starting price for an AC Beck is 52k and Suby power is 60k, that is without ticking any option boxes. They have a handy dandy excel spreadsheet that you can play around with. I am biased but they have a great looking speedster on their home page as well

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