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Old 02-01-2015, 10:27 PM   #1
bumpshot
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Default Reasonable Paint Job

I just bought a 1956 Chevy Bel Air Sedan. The body is in excellent shape, as is the interior. It needs a paint job. Can anyone provide some advise or points of contact for a quality paint job for a reasonable price? Thus far quotes are in the neighborhood of $10K. Can I get a good quality paint job for half of that?
Thank you.
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
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It's so hard to say because of so many variables..... 10k is about the going rate at most good quality shops... u could maybe scuff,seal,and paint for a little cheaper
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:46 PM   #3
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"Quality paint job" and "reasonable price" don't belong in the same sentence. Ten thousand is probably the starting point. Anybody willing to do a quality job will want to do the required 20-30 hours of preparation and that's assuming no metal work is needed. On top of the current high prices for paint, there's the sanding, primer (multiple coats), more sanding, painting (multiple coats), some more sanding and buffing. Then finally there's the reassembly of everything that was removed. One guy full time plus a helper or two, all at $80-$125 per hour add up real quick. There's a LOT more to it than what you see on TV.

Or you could do all the preparation (remove trim, chrome and glass - filling in low spots - sanding - masking everything) and take it to Maaco for less than a grand.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:02 PM   #4
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X2 on that last statment... any idea of what type of paint your trying to cover? It's so hard to tell somtimes what your working with...might look ok to you but might open a can of worms when u take off all the molding and trim and windows and start finding rust holes... it's such a general question it's kind of hard to awnser....and yes expect 100-150 an hour for a top notch body and paint guy
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:04 AM   #5
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I just finished paint on my 56 210 sedan. materials was about $1500, I work fast as some on here can tell you. I have well over 250 hrs in labor and still have about 30 hrs of reassembly left. so at a shop rate of 95 /hr it would of been almost 25k for this face lift. all labor. now saying that it all depends on what you have to start with and what you are willing to accept. my car was solid and only needed rockers and door bottoms. the rest was stripping and bringing it back to paint ready.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:30 AM   #6
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Yep....it all adds up... if your really on a budget take it to a good shop and see if they can tell if u have decent base to work with... no bubbles, lifting,rust cancer ,cheap enamels....anything that will lift or not for a solid base...then take it home and prep it...remove all the trim and windows ...or leave windows on if your really on budget...then prep the paint for them with some 120 grit and take it to them .....might save u a small amount...if all the panels are super strait u could have them seal it and shoot it....if it need filler or metal work that will add up fast. Hate to see sombody on a budget not be able to get there car painted....but if your on a budget get ready to learn how to block sand and prep...
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:56 AM   #7
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Downunder the only way you can get cheaper is to do it yourself..
In a few years, with little to no professional teaching experience in the field doing a lot of reading, practicing on scrap metal, buying some appropriate tools i went from this

and recently to this

I am into it for a total of approx 2-2 1/2 thousand AUD and about ( cough splutter cough cough) an optimistic 1000 hours..and achieved a good 20 footer so far. Keep in mind in the time spent, i have had to do a lot of rust repairs and bodywork to get her close to being straight.
Maybe if time permits you to can do it yourself.. It can be done..
My "Alice" is a shoestring budget with a broken string.. Good luck David.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:02 AM   #8
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Folks who pay 10K plus for a driver paint job must be mad at their money!
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:33 AM   #9
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Old 02-02-2015, 09:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP&C View Post
Richard, if you're a gambling man, some areas have High-school Vo-tech courses where you may be able to offer it as a "test subject" for the class. Most programs of this nature have a minimal cost associated, mainly to pay for materials as the students learn the processes. Another option is that some of these same programs are offered in a continuing education program, and allow students to bring their own "homework". This would allow you to do much of the work yourself, limit expenses, and also have a facility to perform the work safely and correctly. If you had to purchase all the tools to do this yourself, it's a safe assumption you will likely exceed your budget of 5K.


Most body shops will shy away from work like this as they have less headaches, less time, and more profit from doing a one or two panel fender bender repair. In talking to many of the body shops here locally, they will get a customer such as yourself, limited budget, and once the work is done in a limited fashion to meet that budget, the customer will complain and nitpick over the entire job as to why it isn't perfect. You get what you pay for and also what you don't pay for. So needless to say, unless you can find a local body man who sprays on the side, you are not very likely to find a shop to meet all of your objectives..


WI is a good distance away from VA, but a quite a few of the members have taken their cars to Fuzzy for paint work. You would have transportation costs, and I don't know what his paint jobs run, but it may be worth sending him a PM...
Robert makes some good points. I spent about 15 years as an adjunct instructor teaching auto body/restoration at a local community college. The days are gone when students were allowed to work on 3rd party vehicles. Insurance and body shop owner complaints about competition eliminated that many years ago. I had many students who started out with no experience and a decent project that came out with great looking results. The problem is usually time. Our evening class met twice a week for 4 hours. Getting started and cleaning up took about 1 hour so you ended up with about 6 hours a week, hands on. Most of my students took about 2 years to complete their projects. Also transporting the project back and forth is a problem too. After you get started you find out how hard it is to work on a car and drive it back and forth too. We tried to work with students but limited space and insurance made it a problem for projects left on campus. One more thing, there are day classes and other evening classes using the same shop, so that eliminated projects being left in the shop until the next class. Having said all this, I think classes like the one I taught are a good deal. You have access to state of art equipment and expertise you can't get anywhere else. I would recommend signing up and breaking the project down into manageable parts. Start off with the trunk lid. You can take it off, take it to school, do necessary work and prime then move on to another part. That works until near the end. If managed properly, you'll have a limited amount of vehicle down time. As you learn, you will find some things can be done off campus. Paint stripping and block standing can be done in the driveway at home without any expensive tools. Harbor Freight is you friend if you are on a limited budget. JMHO

One more thing: Post some pics of your car. If it is an original paint car with great patina, maybe the best bet is leave it alone. They are only original once. I like seeing old paint on good cars.
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