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Old 05-28-2002, 06:24 AM
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Advise on a repaint..

I've decided to get my 300SDL repainted due to a failed clearcoat. It has zero rust, but a couple of very clean (no wrinkle) indentations and door dings that I would also want fixed.

I want a good quality paint job, with no overspray or orangepeel or runs.

Would a body shop object to me taking off all of the trim, moulding, mirrors and lights to prepare it for painting to cut down on cost?

I have been advised that the best bet to find a good body shop that knows how to paint these cars is to ask my local benz dealer who does thier work..

How much do you expect it to cost for a good qualiy repaint? Any other suggestions?

Thank you
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Old 05-28-2002, 07:37 AM
jcd jcd is offline
village idiot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,102
I used Unicar in Sparta for some body work

Can't help you on the price, but they paint all of the Mercedes referred to them by the Mercedes dealer in Newton NJ. They do a nice job.

As it relates to the trim. That 's what my dad did when he had is car repainted. It held the cost down and also prevented overspray. He said it took him a while, but what the heck, he's retired and has plenty of time.

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Old 05-28-2002, 07:39 AM
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I can't think of anything, most especially something in the way of what would be considered "service," rather than "product," that has a more widely varying price than a paint job. What you are buying when you buy a paint job is labor and skill.

Just because you are paying more, does not always mean you are getting more skill OR more labor. The price range runs the gamut.

You are on the right track in thinking of stripping the trim from the car yourself. Keep in mind, though, that much of the trim on an MB is such that you have to know where the tabs are and just how to release them to keep from destroying the trim. If you are taking it to a shop that has never stripped MB trim, you have just as much chance of doing it without destroying it as they do. That said, you probably have a better chance of preserving the trim because it is your car. Most shops probably actually prefer that you remove trim. Their talent and skill is in sanding, preparing and painting.

Overspray, orangepeel or runs will probably be no problem with a quality shop. These are the problems you run into with the cheap and quick enamel jobs done by the national chains. Most any decent shop has someone that can properly "shoot" the paint, even on their worst day. 90% of the quality of a paintjob is determined by the preparation. Probably 90% of the labor hours you pay for are also for preparation. The most common mistake by an amateur or beginning painter is thinking that the paint will cover up whatever flaws they have in the preparation. Just the opposite occurs, the sanding or bodywork flaws are "brought out" by the paint. The good news is that a decent painter will probably refuse to shoot paint over an improperly prepared surface.

You usually can spot an amateur paint job by the craters. Craters are the low spots made by feather edging chips away with sandpaper. When you do this, you should evenly distribute the sanding over a large area, or fill the chip rather than sanding it away.

I would expect that a decent paint job would cost a minimum of $2,000. I doubt that you will get much from your Benz dealer besides the offer of a high rate. You need to talk to the car enthusiasts in your area to find a quality paint shop. It doesn't matter what kind of car they are enthusiastic about. Talk to the street rodders, the Mustang club, the Corvette club, etc.

Good luck,
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Old 05-28-2002, 09:04 AM
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First step in selecting a good paint shop is to take a look at some of the cars they have done to see if it up to your standards. I found a great guy up here for my 560sel. We stripped it down except for the front and rear glass - we let him do it. He replaced any rusted areas with new metal ( the area around the rear window had rust as well as some lower areas). He did a fabulous paint job and hand polished it to a mirror shine. He had the car for 4 months. He repainted the lower plastic trim and bumpers separately and we re-installed. I was very happy with the results. The cost $4700CDN or about $3000 US. We even removed the weather strip around the doors as well as all interior trim around doors and openings. You would be hard pressed to know that this car was repainted. - You get out what you put in. Hope this helps you in your decision.
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