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You gotta remember where you live is also a big consideration on cost.
I’d guess quarter would be 1200 labor around me.

I’d guess your in 7500 to 10k for a average paint job in nj

I tried cheap options like Macco and like shops and as soon as they see it’s a classic car they tack on a extra 5k over the Honda price...
 

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This is probably why the "patina" look is in now. About 25 years ago I painted my Chevelle in laquer with a clear coat. The paint, primer, hardener clear etc only cost $700.
I bought a 77 3/4 4wd truck a few years ago with a fresh paint job, looked really nice. Now the clear is flaking off in sheets and patch panels are literally falling off because they put the patch panels over the rust with out cutting the old stuff off first.
I've decided to do everything I can myself on my projects and use the best I can afford and just be happy with what I end up with.
 

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Painting

Painting a car is one of the most time consuming & expensive parts of our hobby as anything you take on you have to know your limits i do all my own paint work and if you seen what possible with basic coaching your garage job could be great.

I am in the end part of my paint job on my 1964 Ranchero i have painted just about every car i have owned i understand what it takes and the investment in the right equipment.

Dont kid yourself paying a shop will cost more than expected i always say 10k to 15k its takes alot of time if you working alone and rust / metal work just adds to the cost.

It's one of the most reward things you will every do.

My Boss 302 Mustang was my last restoration i know it a Ford it took me 1 year and LOTS of $$ my wife believes i am crazy when i start a project but that what it takes unless you want a 5 year project


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I've gone to 3 reputable shops in my area who do classic cars and they all quoted $15,000 to $20,000 and that’s if I remove all the chrome, Window’s and weather stripping and basically give them a shell. I was also given a 1 to 2 year turn around time and my 72 is pretty solid. Fricken crazy!!! Everyone wants to do insurance work and nobody wants to mess with an old car anymore. For $15k I could buy a bad ass two stage compressor, high end HVLP turbine system and all the body working tools and materials I need to do it myself. Now if I only had skills lol. :rolleyes:
 

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While I have painted cars before, I knew I couldn't do the quality that I was looking for in my Nova. I used a quality shop that specializes in customs/ restoration and does not do any insurance or collision work. They charged for materials and used a timeslip and clock to track exactly how many hours are spent on a car. In an 8 hour day, I was typically charged for 6 hours max as they assume that there would always be some downtime, etc. I felt that this was extremely fair for both me and the shop. I stripped the car myself and had the body and panels dipped as well.

I've had cars painted where they underbid and then problems start occurring as they don't feel fairly compensated, etc. The reality is until the car is stripped they have no way of really knowing. Every dent is different, every part fits different.

Materials on my car alone were probably in the $3k range when I tried to price them myself.

On the C10 that we are building for my son, we have a guy that does sidework that comes over every 2-3 Saturdays and works for 6-8 hours and works with my son on what he needs to do in between sessions to help cut costs. He charges $40 an hour.
40 an hour is pretty pricey seeing the body shop rate in the Phoenix metro area is 50/hr.
 

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Others in this thread have hit the nail on the head but here's my experience:

I'm doing all the bodywork and paint on my car, and materials alone (sandpaper, degreaser, primer, sealer, base, clear, etc. etc. etc. etc.) I'm going to easily be $900 just into minimal materials.

My dad just got a bid to paint a 69 elcamino that was stripped then shot epoxy primer - needs very minimal bodywork - $10,000.

Despite the fact that I am absolutely HATING this phase of my project, I am forced to do the bodywork and paint myself because I refuse to spend $10,000 minimum for my paint job. Not to mention if I spent $10,000 on paint I'd have to sell the car anyways due to a likely divorce!:D
 

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I painted my car this year as I am a body guy by trade so I didn’t count my labour but just the paint and clear from Sherwin Williams was 2200 dollars and that’s not counting all the primers etc so just material cost is pretty expensive I figure 15 thousand to do quarters door skins and a good quality paint after stripping the car to bare steel to find all the hidden treasures of years past
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The more I'm reading about paint, I can honestly say I don't know anything about it. I have built my car pretty much alone, a complete new drive train, Mustang II front clip, 9" with 4 link,355 c.I., etc. I rattle canned all the interior and it turned out good, and now it's at upholstery shop getting all new interior installed.
My point is, it'll cost as much to paint as I have in the car already. I was lucky and got a really solid car and tons of parts cheap. I've really watched my money so far, so this is unsettling. I will get it done somehow. Thanks to all for the great comments and experience shared. Great information.
 

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If your painter lets you prime, block or influences your color choice by what can be matched later, RUN away.
 

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I've been thinking about the number of cars I see today that are simply not painted.......especially with younger builders.
The money is spent on powertrains and handling packages. Evidently, paint is no longer the priority that it used to be.
Coincidentally, the current edition of Hot Rod (August, '19) has an editorial titled "Does anyone paint anymore?".

I'm an old man, I don't think I will ever not paint a car but I do completely appreciate that you can get an LS, a Tremec and a 9 inch for the price of a descent paint job.
 

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paint

there is another option to think about back in the day there were trade schools where you could attend body and paint classes with that being said not sure of the status of those avenues anymore. I learned to do paint and body work through trial and error method and with some very good advice from a guy who painted those old Porsche's I painted a 79 Toyota Celica with Lacquer back in the day it turned out pretty decent. I spent pretty much a whole year doing my 63 hardtop I stripped it sealed it. the painter hung a GM quarter on the passenger side and fixed the four speed floor stamping. I sanded and sanded and blocked, primed over and over with k-200 which sands like talcum powder. the painter was a school teacher so he nibbled away on it for a couple months.
I am proud to say I did 90 percent of the work, in my own garage!! I think most car guys or gals can do all of the dirty work and with education and patience you could get your car close enough to where a professional type could take over and finish the car in a more economical fashion.
 

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Option

I'm going to be painting mine in the near future, after replacing the pan, mini tubbing, and maybe a few other things, so, hopefully by next spring.

I will be buying a used or new compressor, sufficient of supplying enough scfm.
I'll also be buying an air dryer, as well as air filters, and devilbis HVLP guns, blocks, and some body tools.


Compressor - up to 1000.00
air dryer, Harbor freight - 400.00
filter - 100.00
guns - 150.00
blocks - 100.00
D.A. sander - 200.00

total = around 2000.00
paint, primer, sealer 3000.00

I see it like this... I'll spend around 5 or 6 thousand, do all the work myself, and hopefully, it'll come out perfect. Most likely, it'll come out just okay.

In the end, I will have saved a minimum of 10000.00, and still have a pretty decent paint job. I can then sell the compressor and air dryer for 800.00 to 1000.00, recouping some there too. And worst case scenario??? Pay someone to re paint it. All the body work will be done, and there will be a good base. SO, if necessary, I need to find a painter, I'm sure they'd let me do the prep for them to spray too, bringing their cost down to maybe 5000.00...
In the end, it would cost a total of 10000.00, Still ahead of the game, acquired some tools, and gained experience. ;)

One more thing... If it's terrible, and before having a painter spray it, it'd be pretty quick and easy to spray it again, before assembly. Just wet sand, spray, repeat, until it comes out to your liking, or, you're sick and tired of trying.

AND... STILL LESS THAN HAVING IT DONE start to finish.

Thats just how I'm going to handle my project
 

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Paint Job

List of tools and cost:

  • Compressor - up to 1000.00
  • air dryer, Harbor freight - 400.00
  • filter - 100.00
  • guns - 150.00
  • blocks - 100.00
  • D.A. sander - 200.00
  • total = around 2000.00
  • paint, primer, sealer 3000.00
Your missing some real cost for your work list.
  • Sandblaster or cabinet to clean parts $
  • I have about 3 guns
  • Clear gun 1.4 tip ( I have a Iwata $450-500)
  • Primer gun 1.8 (Harbor Cheapo) or
  • Big Primer gun 2.4 (For Polyester primer Slick Sand G2) Dura Block cheap gun
  • buffer
 

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The painting is the easy part, anyone can paint with a little practice, and if the paint has flaws it can usually be wet sanded and buffed. What makes the paint job is everything that was done to the car to get it ready, the bodywork is the beauty that everyone sees and thinks that its the paint work that does it. Kindigit said he could teach a trained ape to paint. ( when you are talking about a complete paint job ). The real skill of a painter in a shop is matching colors and panel painting.
 

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I guess it depends on how much money you have, and how much your time is worth. If you are a professional knocking down $100K a year, $15 grand just isn’t that big a deal. And you likely are starting with a more valuable car in the first place.
In my situation, I have less than $1500 total in my 72, including a parts car and the tires, spare motor and assorted miscellaneous. It will get a amateur paint job, and probably not even the best one I’m capable of. I invest my best work in late-model rebuilders for myself and other family members. Then buy other toys ( bikes and racing projects) with any leftover money. 😁
 

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Mine is in the shop now, in SE Michigan and the total is going to be somewhere around 15K, new quarters, door skins, and fine detail in setting gaps. I have had the car since 79 and this is the 4th time I will be painting it, the last too. I am 63 now and I told the shop I wanted something they could be proud of and would last me another 20 years, by then it will be someone elses.
401234
 
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