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Cost of Body/Paint Restoration?


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Benjamin, I think you have made a wise choice!!!   I have  Maaco job on mine. Kinda their mid priced job.  Painted in '09 and still looks good . Probably as good as came from the factory. If I had paid $10,000. for a paint job, I would have been nervous as hell every time some walked by it. As it is, I enjoy folks looking. And for the price, if it fades after a few years, do it again. And STILL be money ahead.

 

  Good luck.

 

  Ben

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… our quick flow sheet above was prepared to illustrate one does not have to spend 6k to 12k for a paint job, IF you eliminate having "others" doing & holding your hand … many of the items included are reusable tools & equipment.  If the compressor is 2-stage and the electric motor on it is a true i.e.. Baldwin 5 h.p. motor and with at least a 55 gallon tank you will have absolutely no worries with running out of cfm capacity … our mantra is if you are gonna do and expend your time on anything, then do it right even if that means doing it in stages so you won't have to do it again, and that becomes more true as you get older and and are staring at having less time in which to do things.  believe me, I know what not having anything means, been there - done that more than just a few times … Epoxy based primers will not allow oxidation to occur where the epoxy is covering the substrate.  The hard polyester primers and softer urethane high build primers will cover and protect the epoxy from U.V. damage while the on the other hand, rattle can lacquer primers alone will allow not protect against moisture penetration as well by a much larger margin ...

 

Another approach is one can do one section or quarter area of the car at a time and still keep it a driver.  If having to store outside, purchase  a good 5-layer / 7-layer car cover then a good 9mil silver tarp.  The tarp will protect from outside contaminates and direct water while the layered cover will wick and breath trapped moisture away from the car surface to a considerable degree thus allowing a greater measure of preservation ….

 

 

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I am trying hard to remember any bad idea that someone talked me out of when I was in my late teens or early 20's. None come to mind. I don't even remember any of the "informed" suggestions.

 

Three cars came my way from my Grandmother. One was a '36 Chevy 2 door that she had been driving on the farm when they bought an old mansion in town. I think it is still floating around the area somewhere. I sold it. If it had been something special I would have expected her to keep it in a little better shape. It needed everything and the lower rear seat cushion was missing because you couldn't carry milk cans with it in the way.

 

It is hard to keep something as a monument to someone's life. My Mother tried to keep my Father's black '75 LTD after he passed away in '79. That was a long exercise in futility for all of us. I finally pried it out of her hands by showing up in a nice black Buick like her Mother would have owned. I baited her with memories of her Mother and disposed of my Dad's, by them, junker.

 

I talked my Dad into buying a 1960 T-Bird to restore in his retirement. He died early. I sold the car and bought a really good floor jack in his memory. He endlessly squawked about getting under jacked up cars. I figured it was appropriate. That got old and worn. I threw it out for a spring pick up a while ago.

 

My Great Grandfather died in 1956. He had drawers full of wooden cigar boxes full on hardware. My Dad saved all that stuff in a tool shed we had out in back. Then I got it. After 20 years of my custodianship I threw out the hardware and the shed they were in. I sold a couple of the cigar boxes.

 

I have a lifetime collection of my own stuff, chosen by me because I liked it, not some misplaced duty to create a monument to anyone. And I am divesting myself of a lot of that. I'll take the cash for what is worth something and toss the rest to avoid a misperceived burden on the heirs. just in case they feel that.

 

The point of all this is, if you are nominally 20 years old and have $20,000 you need to think long and hard before you sink it into a rolling liability of a monument. I know if my Grandmother found out I dropped $20,000 into that old Chevy she had she probably couldn't help but utter that word old women say when the person across from them shouts "Bingo".

 

Go back to the first sentence.

 

Bernie

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I don't have $20,000 to spend, it was a metaphor. This is my first car, my first classic car and the only property I own on top of being a family heirloom. If I had $20,000 to throw around, I wouldn't have spent the last 5 years working on a 3 year AS degree. The car is just a personal reward that I saved up for from 2010 to get on the road. The whole point of this thread was to confirm for myself whether or not I was being taken advantage of because I literally have no idea. Turns out I was given a fair price, I can't afford it so now I'm going with the inexpensive alternative. 

 

Buick man, thanks for the run down. I don't think it's impossible, but at this time I don't have the space to do it where the car currently sits. Technically I'm not supposed to do my own oil changes in the driveway, but I break that rule when the overseer is gone.

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It is OK to put more into a car than it is worth to others.  As long as you have a passion for that car/model.  When a cousin found out that I wanted a convertible to restore, she offered (free) a 58 Edsel convertible.  It had not run in 30 years, stored in shed in Wisconsin.  I had a buddy look at it and the report was that it was in fantastic condition.  I declined and he bought it at a fair price.  I did not have a passion for Edsels, not even a free one (except for shipping)...I ended up with what I wanted.

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1 hour ago, old-tank said:

It is OK to put more into a car than it is worth to others.  As long as you have a passion for that car/model.  When a cousin found out that I wanted a convertible to restore, she offered (free) a 58 Edsel convertible.  It had not run in 30 years, stored in shed in Wisconsin.  I had a buddy look at it and the report was that it was in fantastic condition.  I declined and he bought it at a fair price.  I did not have a passion for Edsels, not even a free one (except for shipping)...I ended up with what I wanted.

Amen to that!

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… Beemon, yes having and following your passion or perceived path is yours to make and the reason you make it is yours alone … One can follow the narrow and embrace the calculated  Ayn Rand trilogy of existence or on the other hand embrace that which benefits the whole as well as the heart .. the choice is yours.  The years ahead are for you so store the car as best you can in a safe place, change & protect when and where necessary, plan well, when it is time maneuver to make your quest of a proper restoration a reality and have something to hold for your heritage you will know and be able to do so ,,, 

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2016 at 7:35 AM, Tinindian said:

Have I been mislead.  I always believed that "primer" was not weatherproof.  It's sole purpose is to bind the paint to the metal.  It's not any protection from surface rust over an extended period of time.   ?????

 

Primer is somewhat porous, even after several coats and build thickness.  On bare metal, outside, about 2 weeks will find little rust spots peaking through.  It happened to me and a friend 40 years ago.  Best to put some sort of "sealer" on the primer.  There are "sealers" which are used to isolate the existing finish from what goes on top of it so any "things" underneath will not bleed through the primer into the top coats as the compounds of the top coat "bond" with the new primer.  The sealer is the boundary layer to stop that.  Might help "tighten" things enough to prevent moisture penetrations?

 

It seems that many experienced body/paint people have a refinish system where the sprayed components have sufficient controlled dry time between coats and it all happens quickly enough to prevent moisture intrusion/penetration . . . and later "rust" underneath.

 

I was at a customer's shop (a small, one-man operation).  He showed me a '70 Camaro that looked decent in pale yellow primer.  He also showed me where he started to finish sand the roof and found RUST underneath all of the primer and such, below the pale yellow coats.  The tops of the fenders and A-pillars went direct to shiny metal, but the top did not.  The car is being slowly restored by the owner, so it's just a rolling hull right now.  When the shop owner found it, he stopped, called the owner, sent him pictures via email, and they talked about it before going farther.  The shop owner doesn't want HIS name attached to a paint job that might flake off later!  So he's starting over, so to speak, to correct what's been done already so that HE will have something he can stand behind.

 

Thanks for the update on the epoxy primer, Matt.  I responded before I'd read that far.

 

NTX5467

 

 

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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Paint and materials costs have escalated significantly from when I was pricing them a good many years ago.  It seems that print systems change with newer OEM configurations.  Can't discount that!  BUT . . . and I might be wrong on this . . . it shouldn't take any more "labor operations" to paint a '50s car than a '90s car.  Surface prep has to be done, spray booths are needed for the newer paints, and spray times would probably be similar to modern vehicles with similar surface areas to cover.

 

Where the differences would be in what happened BEFORE the final surface prep and paint.  The reason that I mention this is that it sometimes seems that when the word "restoration" is mentioned, the $$$$ multiply somewhat.  Not unlike asking a salvage yard for a '70 Skylark GS part when the same part fits a normal "70 Skylark . . . the "muscle car" status can similarly increase the price.  No shame in them making money, but taking advantage of the situation could indicate their opportunistic orientations.

 

This is why when I do finally start getting some of my cars repainted, I'll ask for an "OEM-spec" paint job rather than "restoration" grade (which should be the same thing IF the restoration is to be "correct", rather than "better than production" as many seem to desire AND shops can charge more for).  AND, for me, that also means "single stage" acrylic enamel (maybe with "hardener") as that was what the cars came with.  Problem is that most newer shops have employees who have never painted "single stage" paint, only BC/CC paint systems.  But I'd say that if they can do well with the newer systems, they'll do just fine with the single-stage system, very possibly.  They'll already have the necessary infrastructure to do the later paint jobs, which were luxuries when the single stage systems were all we had.  These added things also allow for a better "production flow" of the jobs, which can also allow them to have better pricing, possibly.

 

As I recall, Earl Scheib paint jobs were more utilitarian than otherwise.. Trim and emblems not masked off, for example.  The possible high-point of monochrome paint jobs?  Masking operations cost more, if desired.  MAACO is a production shop chain that does decent work.  Their price advantage can be in their materials cost (i.e., paint) and where they come from.  There can be quality standards, but they can be variable from shop to shop.  I've seen some pretty decent jobs come from their shops.  One former customer (due to age and retirement) would take a car to them, let them look at it, make the deal, then provide it sans exterior trim.  Sid used to do his own paint and body work in acrylic lacquer, so he knew what was involved.  He had a relationship with the particular shop (now out of business due to other factors) and it seemed to work well for him.  This combination (owner strips the car, paint and body shop does the fixing and refinishing, then he gets the car back for reassembly) seems like a hybrid situation which many might agree with OR have done themselves.

 

A work associate, years ago, bought a used pickup.  It needed the bed repainted, so he called a contact with the regional used vehicle auction to see who they had do their paint work/reconditioning.  The bed came back looking "like new".  Paint texture and shine were as good as the vehicle had from the assembly plant.  It looked good for a year or so, which was agreeable, too.

 

I don't know we these shops get their paint, but it sometimes seems more brittle and less flexible than OEM-spec paints typically do.  That makes them more succeptible to flakes at the edge of panels (where surface prep might be minimal). 

 

ONCE you settle on the facility AND you desire to do some of the metal work, find out who services their paint system so that you can use the same materials they use for the shorter-term "recoats" before they get the vehicle.  OR you could just let them do the whole thing, once somewhat disassembled.

 

ONE word about "logs"!!  It all sounds good on the surface, but one friend was faced with what seemed to be excessive labor amounts for a restoration job on a known-good vehicle.  One where everybody agreed what needed to be done before-hand, allowing for some unforeseen situations.  It was all good going in, but when he got the final (escalated!) bill, he questioned it.  The shop owner produced a detailed log of how much time was spent on the vehicle.  That log suddenly became "admissible evidence" and "supporting documentation", so there was no further questioning of the escalated charges.  Charges which can be related to the efficiency of the worker and how much actual "work time" happened between the times the worker clocked onto and off of the job.  A double-edged sword, so to speak!  There has to be a level of trust and honesty in such situations--period.

 

The competency of the painter can be variable, unfortunately, but I suspect that if they can paint newer vehicles for a high-quality shop, your car SHOULD be similar.

 

As mentioned, doing "something" can be better than "nothing".  Chosing the items for the "something" job can be important in how long it lasts until "something" is needed again.  A "high-value minimalist approach", possibly.  A "satin black" color can work well, as mentioned in Fins54's comments a while back, can be fashionable enough to allow for several years worth of driving and enjoyment.

 

I might also suggest some serious networking with local car cruise/car club people.  You can see their cars which have been done and make your own decisions as to the quality, durability and such.

 

Your car, your money, your judgement call.  YOU know your situation and orientations better than anybody else!  Proceed accordingly.

 

NTX5467

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16 minutes ago, NTX5467 said:

 

Paint and materials costs have escalated significantly from when I was pricing them a good many years ago.

 

Directly related to the advent of HVLP paint systems where you use only 1/3 to 1/2 as much paint...double or triple the price of paint!

And if a shop is set up for BC-CC they cannot and will not do single stage acrylic enamel since all the tints, solvents, hardeners are different.

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1 hour ago, buick man said:

 

… and funnier still admit even reading it ...

 

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

 

The other, of course, involves orcs.

 

-John Rogers

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… we realize this is way off topic and hope Beemon does not mind but just for giggles …

 

… regarding the question of selecting one's guiding principles like perhaps for example as in the cruise liner H.M.S. Titanic's approach to build quality & equipment accessory / life boat "economics", and using that as one's guiding light approach to life in general, and like as in this acclaimed "Conservative Bible" by Ayn Rand, we find it fits this description too and is actually pretty accurate. It is like the Bible and the Titanic for that matter and both are full of holes … In it Atlas Shrugged, the protagonists are all flawless hero's in the mold of a capitalist superman. Everything that they touch generates profits, and they can solve problems that would take a team of mortals weeks and all before lunch. The antagonists are all, if you've ever watched the old cartoon "Wackey Races", pretty much a form of capitalist Dick Dastardlys. Everything that they do, is firstly for self serving reasons, even if being good would result in better fortunes for themselves, they choose the later, and of course this all backfires on them. Naturally the heroes are for a "certain class" of folk's economic ideas, and the bad guys are for … eek - socialism ! … So cast and clear the drift wood, make way by tossing the so called non-performers under the bus and clear the decks of anything and everybody that does not turn a selfish return to their makers …. :huh:

 

So Beemon what's the latest and greatest regarding the Buick ...

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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15 hours ago, Beemon said:

Must be a sign of the times. The last book I read that wasn't a text book was back in 2010 when we were forced to read in high school. 

 

I think it was "My Little Red Pony" back in 62 or 3 for me. Then spent my allowance on a subscription to Rod and Custom magazine and became the delinquent you all know today. I think I did read all of "Marine Recruit Training Manual" back in '69. Other than that, just a slew of "how to" books and magazines about building stuff. I am trying to make time to crack open "Without Getting Killed or Caught" though. Anybody having read that or not havin to google to know what it is, consider yourself in my class of folk.

Philosophy... I let the philosophers handle that. ✌️  I will say though that I am glad I spent my money on original low mileage cars that don't need all of what this topic is (or use to be) about. 

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19 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

 

The other, of course, involves orcs.

 

-John Rogers

I still have flashbacks from reading Catcher in the Rye in the 1960's.

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To get back to the original topic, if the car has to stay outside this winter, indeed, be used,  I would recommend sanding it on the top surfaces with 80 grit sandpaper then 180 grit.  Don't need to go all the way through to the base for this.  Just get the loose dirt and paint off and try not to go down to the metal. Use a sanding block of hard rubber.  Probably find it at the local hardware store and definitely at the parts store.

 

Then get a quart of clear coat and some reducer from your local auto paint supplier  ( some body shops will sell this separately to hobbiests). Then hand paint a coat of clear over the top of the car.  No overspray, and your mom may not even realize what your doing till it's over.  Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. 

 

That clear will last the winter, and maybe longer if it has a chance to grip some decent base surface.  It will provide the weather resistant surface on the top surfaces.  It will be easy to take it off when you are ready to go further.

 

BTW, get a roller for this job.  It will go faster and spread more evenly.  Do a web search for hand paint jobs.  Someone years ago painted a Corvair like this and after giving the paint a chance to harden, claimed it wet sanded and buffed up pretty good. All you really need is a half hour of sunshine for the clear to form a hard surface.  

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1 hour ago, JohnD1956 said:

To get back to the original topic, if the car has to stay outside this winter, indeed, be used,  I would recommend sanding it on the top surfaces with 80 grit sandpaper then 180 grit.  Don't need to go all the way through to the base for this.  Just get the loose dirt and paint off and try not to go down to the metal. Use a sanding block of hard rubber.  Probably find it at the local hardware store and definitely at the parts store.

 

Then get a quart of clear coat and some reducer from your local auto paint supplier  ( some body shops will sell this separately to hobbiests). Then hand paint a coat of clear over the top of the car.  No overspray, and your mom may not even realize what your doing till it's over.  Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. 

 

That clear will last the winter, and maybe longer if it has a chance to grip some decent base surface.  It will provide the weather resistant surface on the top surfaces.  It will be easy to take it off when you are ready to go further.

 

BTW, get a roller for this job.  It will go faster and spread more evenly.  Do a web search for hand paint jobs.  Someone years ago painted a Corvair like this and after giving the paint a chance to harden, claimed it wet sanded and buffed up pretty good. All you really need is a half hour of sunshine for the clear to form a hard surface.  

 

A friend of mine used a roller to paint his Freightliner.   I have to admit the paint job turned out nice.   

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KEY would be to get the mixing proportions right so that the humps and bumps from the texture of the roller end up flowing out as it dries.  Similar to the slight orange peel texture factory paint used to have.  Practice makes better?

 

NTX5467

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On 12/20/2016 at 1:43 PM, JohnD1956 said:

get a quart of clear coat and some reducer from your local auto paint supplier

Is this the same (catalyzed) clear used in BC-CC systems?  If so you will need ventilation and respiratory protection until it sets up.  And that stuff is expensive.  I would use a cheap utility paint like synthetic enamel with roller or brush.

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"Clear" spray paint is what many people used to "get high", so that availability has been restricted for years.  I know, this is spray paint rather than "quart" paint.

 

What Old-Tank refers to is the need for "respiration" when spraying the cat-clear paints PLUS a spray booth to do it in, with approved duct/venting to the atmosphere.  Might "satin black" be an alternative to the patina-enhancing clear?  Not sure if a foam roller might tolerate these high-chemistry solutions as it might normal house paint?  One of the "power painter" spray guns might work (with appropriate AREA preparations)?  Or one of the roller mechanisms which suck paint into the reservoir and then dispense it directly into the roller?

 

A friend and I used an airless spray gun from a pawn shop, once, with "C+" grade results.  It was a metallic paint, though.  Better techniques would have been better!  That was about 40 years ago and MUCH gasoline has flowed through the fuel lines since then.

 

NTX5467

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On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2016 at 11:27 AM, old-tank said:

Is this the same (catalyzed) clear used in BC-CC systems?  If so you will need ventilation and respiratory protection until it sets up.  And that stuff is expensive.  I would use a cheap utility paint like synthetic enamel with roller or brush.

 

I would concur with Willie.  If you are going to put the time in on this, may just as well put some color on it. 

 

I used the clear from a Nason BC_CC system on top of the self etching primer on my former 69 Electra.  It lasted about two winters. It was no more than two coats thick with my HLVP spray gun.  I did do some single stage painting on the wagon with a matching tint paint.  I used a paint brush and that paint lasted about one winter.  This may have been the inferior preparation that I did on the wagon.  I would note that the single stage paint did not require a catalyst to harden.  It may be that the clear coat does not need a catalyst hardener either.

 

While the paint shop would be the best source of information on the composition of the paint and while I would always recommend an appropriate respirator, it may be that lack of a hardener, and rolling the paint on, while outdoors, may result in the use of a more general application respirator. The one I'm thinking of can be purchased at my local paint supplier for about $25.00.  It has a use life based in # of hours, but I consider it to be a one time use only.

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The original acrylic enamels didn't use any hardener.  Until IMRON came out, there were no isocyanates in the paint.  That's what caused the need for respirators back then, when using IMRON.  The "fumes" were deadly.  Think "super glue for paint", I guess?  By the later 1970s, hardener was available for acrylic enamel, which enhanced an already "hard and slick" finish. 

 

NTX5467

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Now I understand why my dad loved the 60s in high school, one of his best friends is still a painter and they're still "painting" to get high. 

 

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. As always, greatly appreciated!  Painting weather won't come for another 5 months or so, so whatever Mr. Obama decides to give me on my school W2 will go into a hopefully $2000 paint job. 

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