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my cousin and i were talking about paint jobs yesterday and he freaked out when i told him 10,000 dollars for a nice paint job wasn't all that abnormal so i though i'd show him some high price paint jobs or some verification so i dont look crazy if you guys could show some pics of high dollar paints jobs and a range to what it would run if the price is too personal thanks guys
 

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I can assure you $10,000 for a decent paint job is NOT out of line. I have several street rod friends with paint jobs in the $40K range. I know my 33 3 window was well over $30K. I am talking about show quality done inside, outside, underneath, every part either painted show quality or plated etc. On my 33 the engine block & trans etc. were all ground smooth and painted body color. Doing a car like that is a ton of labor and labor = ****$ plus a lot of materials. Our ProMod race car was well over $10K as well. Everyone's idea of what a nice paint job is varies all over the map. What I thought was nice 10 years ago is far far different that what I think is nice today. You learn over time what to look for and what has to go into a laser straight, high quality paint job.



 

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This car was painted in California. January of this year. Cost was $14,000. The painter took six (6) months to complete.




Bryan
 

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When you break this down to labor and materials the cost makes more sense. My Camaro was painted a year ago. the cost for the materials alone was $3100. My car didn't need quarters or fenders, just a few patch panels. The labor for a complete job will at least approach 200 hours. Plug in a reasonable shop rate, do the math and the total cost makes more sense.

Tim
 

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Show-quality paint is expensive

Most people know that a good paint job is all in the prep so the price depends on how much body work is needed. In my case the car was Bback and it is critical that the thing is dead straight so there was hours of blocking prior to painting. That is where the price adds up. If you get into some of the exotic paints, the materials alone can be more than $3000. Not including some panel replacement I have nearly $20,000 in mine.
 

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Yep! $10,000 ain't nothing these days especially here in Cali!

With Cal/OSHA, EPA and whatever other agencies, body shops have on their back along with all the new equipment that they are required to have to comply it's a wonder it isn't more.

Most body shops can do a nice 10 footer for under $10,000 but when you are as meticulous as the aformentioned cars there is a lot more that is going on other than making sure it's straight.

Whenever I look at a car to see how good the body and paint work is I don't look at the hood, roof or trunk. That's the easy part. I look at how consistent the gaps are. I also look at the rocker area as this is usually a tell tale sign of how meticulous the shop was in getting it right. A below $10,000 paint job will show flaws usually in the areas I mentioned.

John
 

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mines at 6k so far and its not painted yet,its been a year.but progress is being made.
 

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$10K is definitley in line but you should only spend what the paint job is worth to you. If the car is a $100K show car then big bucks makes sense. If your car is a $10K driver then you would be NUTS to spend $10k on a paint job.. unless you just want to help out the economy or have plenty of money to burn. Personally, I decided to do it myself and spent less than $1K for materials (including the paint gun). I had never painted a car before and it took about a month to complete in my garage. With a base coat clear coat job you can wet sand and buff it to look unbelievable. If you don't want to try spraying it, pay someone to actually spray and then you wet sand and buff it. It takes time, but the results can really be amazing.
 

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What kind of hourly labor rate is everybody comparing? Iam paying $30 an hour. So far I have paid for 100 hours plus $1100 in materials. The paint is $300 a gallon and plan on buying 4 gallons just to have extra. It will be close to 10 grand. I was lucky to find a car that had very nice original sheetmetal.
Cory
 

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I think alot of people forget that it's not just getting panels straight and spraying the car!

Even though the panel is straight does it transition correctly from one to the other? As I mentioned before, did they pay attention to the lower part of the body? This area always seems to be an afterthought since most people don't bother to look at the lower 1/3 of the car so a lot of body shops don't put an emphasis on making it look as good and straight as the upper 2/3. Did the sprayer spray as thick a coat on the bottom half of the car as he did on the roof/trunk/hood areas of the car. Did they color sand that area of the car as nicely as they did the roof/trunk/hood areas? Did the polisher hit that area with as much care as he did the roof/trunk/hood area?

When you look at the car you should see a continous horizon line without any waves. The gaps should look like the sheetmetal was cut from one piece of sheetmetal.

All of these things take ALOT of time to get right!

I agree that ultimately the money you spend on your paint should reflect the environment that the car will be most used in so if you plan on dirt track racing the car may I suggest the $50 paint job thread! :D

John
 

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I think 10k for a driver quality paint job is excessive. It all depends on what your after. I drive my cars so when Im doing 70 mph on I-5 in my '62 hardtop I bet you cant tell the difference between my Maaco premium job and a 10k jober. I just dont stay parked long. :D

I guarantee I get just as much satisfaction out of my 50 dollar paint job on my wagon as someone else get out of their mega dollar job. It all depends on the person and what makes their boat row.

Ive decided on my Sedan when its ready for paint this fall its going to get the same level of paint job that it got when it left the factory, and that mean Shiny, good looking from a couple of feet, and plenty of flaws. I hate over done cars.
 

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I think alot of people forget that it's not just getting panels straight and spraying the car!

Even though the panel is straight does it transition correctly from one to the other? As I mentioned before, did they pay attention to the lower part of the body? This area always seems to be an afterthought since most people don't bother to look at the lower 1/3 of the car so a lot of body shops don't put an emphasis on making it look as good and straight as the upper 2/3. Did the sprayer spray as thick a coat on the bottom half of the car as he did on the roof/trunk/hood areas of the car. Did they color sand that area of the car as nicely as they did the roof/trunk/hood areas? Did the polisher hit that area with as much care as he did the roof/trunk/hood area?
Great points!!! When they spend the time and effort on the hard to reach areas, the lowest roll in the rear quarter, spend as much time on the rolled area under the rocker, like it was the only part of the car anyone will see. Then thats a good paint shop. Got a feeling unless you specify that you want all that attention to detail they will make the more visible surfaces look good but dont treat the hidden areas with the same attention. Unless you specify it all up front, In writing I hope. Then the 5k paint job turns into the 15k job. I think it comes down to what you want, and a decent shop can cater to whatever your needs are. JR
 

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For these prices that are being quoted thats it actually being painted or painted + them doing body work?
The Black and Grey Cuda that I posted was NO body work.

It was spraying primer/sealer, sanding, spraying primer, then base coat/clear coat. Under the hood, under the trunk, door jambs and engine bay.

Door handles, doors, hood, front fenders, trunk lid, front grille section were sprayed OFF the car. The body shop assembled the car after painting.

Bryan
 

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The trouble is many painters want to bill you the big ****, but as Seattle Mike mentioned there is more to a high end paint job then most people know. With that said 10G's is not out of line at all.
 

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66nogo2

Four gallons of paint, wow. If you are using 2 stage paint that is way excessive. I hope your not paying big bucks for single stage paint. I work in a bodyshop and I am working on getting my 63 ss for paint and I am painting the inside dash, upper and lower doors and qtrs plus the entire outside , under the hood, under the trunk, engine compartment etc and I may use a gallon of base coat. The nice thing about 2 stage paint is that you can blend the color into the next panel for paint match problems and a little extra paint is nice but several extra gallons is excessive. Paint does have a shelf life and you would have an exact formula to make more paint later when needed.

Remember when you call a shop for a quote on a "paintjob" they are talking about the point after all the body work and imperfections have been worked out.
 

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I guess it all depend on what you want to do with your car ....I myself want to drive it and have fun....I don't have ten's of thousands of dollars to invest in paint....nor anything else...So if you have thousands laying around you don't have anything better to do with...Sure..spend it on labor and materials....but after you spend all that money...and wait month after month........I'll be driving around with my Two thousand dollar paint job..most of you might think as cheap......Cheap.....I'll still have time on my side....I don't want to die waiting for a car to get painted......then again...I'm broke ...I'll post a pick of my cheap paint job soon....
 

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$5K is my upper tolerance for a paint job. Anything more than that, and I wouldn't want to drive the car. And what fun would that be? :)
I agree to no end on that one....Guys wait for years before they can drive down the road enjoying there cars. Even better than that, I've seen cars with a sign posted in the windshields....DO NOT TOUCH..Not that I'd want to anyway...I'd hate to wait for months..even years...not only that..but the money.....Damn I wish I had thousands laying around.....I think I'd buy a few Nova's..Just to enjoy something different every once in a while
 

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We actually kept tab on every hour we spent on the paintjob of my 77 just so that we could answer these types of questions. My total "receipt" on the job, from stripping to priming to block sanding, painting, buffing, and panel alignment came to 228 hours. I did not have to replace any sheetmetal, as we were fortunate enough to have a rust free car to begin with.

Going shop rate around the greater Indy area is give or take $65 an hour for good quality work, but we figured my "rate" at $50/hour because I'm an amateur.

All materials (House of Kolor) were purchased at G & M Paint Supply in Indianapolis = $2100 all in.

So, the math:

228 hours X $50/hour = $11,400.00
Materials = $2100.00

Total = $13,500.00

Please note that this number does not include installation of all the "little" stuff, like emblems, tail/marker lights, installation of the drivetrain or interior. That's just paint job and out the door.

The results? I'm pretty happy with how it turned out:





J
 
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