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  #1  
Old 08-05-2002, 04:52 PM
gmask's Avatar
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Question Paint Job Advice HELP! I'm confused

OK I've read as much as I can stand on the subject and now it's time for more opinions.

I want to get my car repainted. It has allready been paiting silver over brown and it was a bad paint job. Bad int hat there's overspray and they didn't do the door jams. The paint itself doesn't llook bad but I plan on replacing the hood and fender due to a proir accident.

Anyway I was planning on just getting a cheap paint job and trying ot do most of the prep work myself by removing as much chrome as possible and treating any problem arteas that I can before going to paint.

However I was taking to my neighbor has got me thinking that the cheap paint job at the chainpalces will be trashed in a year. We're in California and I can't park in a garage all the time. Is that true? Is it the paint itself? I know that the cheap paint job is not the same process as the original paint but we wont be painting on original paint.

If I take it to a pro place I know that I'm mainly paying for the time and effort to remove parts and mask it carefully. Are the materials/paint itself better? I've only read that modern paint is much better than what this car was originally painted with.

Or is it a matter of taking car of the paint that makes it last years and years.

In the end I'm trying to spend around $1000 but if it's not worth it and it will only lsat a few years then I may wait much longer to do this if at all.

I know many may wish to reply that you get what you pay for but if that's the case I need to know why ;-) I know a reputable place that gets business from Mercedes resellers will be at least $3000.

If the chain places are out of the question what questions do i need to ask when getting bids from smaller shops to make sure that they are going to do the job right? Types of paints and process etc.


Thanks in advance for the advice and for reading my long post.

Adrian

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  #2  
Old 08-05-2002, 08:57 PM
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Adrian:

What makes a good paint job expensive is the amount of time it takes to do the hand work -- to do this corretly, you need to sand the majority of both paint jobs off the car -- no need to remove the good factory primer, nor, in fact, all of the factory paint, but you simply cannot add more paint, expecially on a car this old, and expect anything but peeling and cracks.

I've had the miserable experience of hand sanding quite a bit of paint off my brother's 75 300D -- it was damaged, and repainted by an amateur (or cheap paint place) -- way too much primer and paint, probably not compatible with the original 2-part enamal, so it cracked and pitted, usually lifting the factory primer. Messy.

Now, for the choices -- I assume you don't want to learn to spray yourself, although this is the cheapest in terms of cash spent -- you will have to do all the work yourself, and believe me, you don't wan't to learn on a collectible car! Takes a couple jobs to get the hang of this!

What you need to do is find a paint shop that will work with you by allowing you to do the bulk of the boring and easy part -- prep. You will need to remove ALL the trim, and if you want the doors to match (and you are changing the color), strip the doors, remove all gaskets, and all the windows and trim. This is the state we are currently in -- body is almost complete (one fender left) and doors are mostly stirpped. The need for a cooperative shop comes here -- you will need to transport the car to them stripped down for painting, then transport it back. To get really obsessive, you will need to remove the interior as well. We were doing quite a bit of restoration work, so went ahead and stripped that, too, except for the dash.

If you leave the trim on and paint, the paint will start to peel everywhere it was taped, and will almost always show tape marks. The gaskets will be damaged by the solvents, and show paint, and you will always find some overspray somewhere.

Once you get all the trim, etc off, you need to sand the paint, carefully, with the appropriate shape blocks, down to where you can see the orignial factory primer, but not through it. Lots of work and dust, but you can get a finish almost indistinguishable from factory paint this way.

Let the shop paint the car, let it sit a couple weeks, if possible, then reassemble.

Another alternative is to find a good independent shop that will allow you to do all the trim removal, etc, then do the sanding and other prep for you. Still expensive, especially if you find body work that need to be done.

The last, and the only chain I would recommend, is MAACO. They will limit you to the colors they use (they buy the stuff in 55 gal. drums), but it is good paint, not cheap stuff. They will do the very minimum of prep, no body work, but will allow you to do anything you want, I think, so long as you don't expect a warrenty on your work and accept responsibility for what anything you do does to the paint. I don't know if the use acceptable primer under the paint or not, you will have to ask.

One think I strongly recommend you DON'T do is get a cheap color only paint job -- I have the remains of one slowly wrecking the paint on the 280 -- it is peeling off, but adheres just enough to crack through the factory primer first, causing the factory paint to fail. Instead of having the paint polished and buffed, they had the car painted, so I can no longer just buff it out and be done with it....... I have to redo the whole car. With MB quality paint, this will cost nearly $900 for paint alone!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2002, 09:41 PM
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Thanks Peter,

>>>Now, for the choices -- I assume you don't want to learn to spray yourself, although this is the cheapest in terms of cash spent -- you will have to do all the work yourself, and believe me, you don't wan't to learn on a collectible car!

I would be interested but I don't think I can deal with it currently.. too many details... My car is not especailly collectable but I don't every want to have to do this again.. in other words this car better die before the paint does ;-)


>>>What you need to do is find a paint shop that will work with you by allowing you to do the bulk of the boring and easy part -- prep.

I'm looking.. seem to be plenty of shops here in LA and in my neighborhood. I'm hopin gsomebody can give a reccomendation over in the shop forum.


>>>You will need to remove ALL the trim, and if you want the doors to match (and you are changing the color), strip the doors, remove all gaskets, and all the windows and trim.

I think Ican get most of the trim off without any problem. I would consider stripping the doors doen. I have allready bought all the gaskets. I don't think I would go so far as to remove the interior.

>>>Once you get all the trim, etc off, you need to sand the paint, carefully, with the appropriate shape blocks, down to where you can see the orignial factory primer, but not through it.

What happens if you go through the factory primer.. what if the Previous owner removed some of the paint down to the metal?



>>>The last, and the only chain I would recommend, is MAACO. They will limit you to the colors they use (they buy the stuff in 55 gal. drums), but it is good paint, not cheap stuff. They will do the very minimum of prep, no body work,

Maaco you say.. I only want a Silver so they should have that.. Don't you mean that they woul dchrage extra to do bodywork or do they just avoid old cars? Hopefully no body work to be done that isn't being replaced with better panels. There's a few dents I'm going to work on myself since they are easy to get at.


>>>I don't know if the use acceptable primer under the paint or not, you will have to ask.
What is acceptable?

>>>One think I strongly recommend you DON'T do is get a cheap color only paint job -- I have the remains of one slowly wrecking the paint on the 280 -- it is peeling off, but adheres just enough to crack through the factory primer first, causing the factory paint to fail.

Well that sounds like what my neighbor described.. I think my budget covers more than just a coat of paint andI can sand and they can hopefuly shoot it right so everything will be OK.


I'd still like to get some specific info on what type of paint, system and primer is best.


Thanks again

Adrian
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2002, 10:09 PM
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If you sand through the factory primer to bare metal, it must be primed within an hour at the most to prevent rust -- it will show red dust by the next morning around here. Best to leave the primer -- if it is still stuck tight after 20 years or more, it will last forever with paint on it.

Maaco, as I understand, does not do body work, they spray paint. They will cheerfully paint over your body work, but they don't do any. Period. Rust spots get painted. If you have a car in decent shape and don't expect the paint job to last forever, they will give you the best "cheap" paint job in the business, since they use the best paint. However, they will NOT edge out door frames, paint under trim, behind trim panels, etc.! If this is what you don't like about the current paint, you will be dissapointed.

My brother has always used DuPont DelStar polyurethane enamel with hardner. This isn't quite what MB uses (theirs is more expensive) and red oxide primer. He isn't fond of the gray primer, thinks it fails more often. We had a bunch of bad gray primer some years (30) ago that didn't stick to the paint -- get a stone chip, and the paint would blow off the car in sheets, much like the "leopard" effect GM and Chrysler sport these days with while paint -- same deal, but the new problem is not enough pigment in the color coats to protect the primer from UV.

The DelStar costs about $200 a gallon these days, MB paint is more like $400 a gallon.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2002, 10:27 PM
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>>If you sand through the factory primer to bare metal, it must be primed within an hour at the most to prevent rust -- it will show red dust by the next morning around here.

OK so if this happens I should sand off the rust and primer the area shortly before being taken to get painted.


>>>Maaco, as I understand, does not do body work, they spray paint. They will cheerfully paint over your body work, but they don't do any. Period. Rust spots get painted. If you have a car in decent shape and don't expect the paint job to last forever, they will give you the best "cheap" paint job in the business, since they use the best paint. However, they will NOT edge out door frames, paint under trim, behind trim panels, etc.!


Not to split hairs but on their website it says"Welcome to MAACO Auto Painting & Bodyworks!". It does sound like their primary business is paint .. maybe each shop differs on offering body work?

Anyway I would have to talk to whoever and get a bid before any work gets done. So is a Maaco a palce you've taken a car to with the doors off and such or have you only used them for a coat of paint after sanding the outer body.


>>>My brother has always used DuPont DelStar polyurethane enamel with hardner. This isn't quite what MB uses (theirs is more expensive) and red oxide primer. He isn't fond of the gray primer, thinks it fails more often. We had a bunch of bad gray primer some years (30) ago that didn't stick to the paint --

Oh boy the never ending debate about primers.. good info though.
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Old 08-05-2002, 10:37 PM
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No, if you sand through the primer, you need to spray primer on it within an hour -- if you let the rust start, it pits the metal, and you leave some if you sand again later, unless you REALLY sand it hard. Then you have a dip in the metal, etc. Best not to cut through.

I'm not sure of the amount of body work Maaco does, my info is probably out of date and secondhand. They won't be much cheaper on body work than anyone else, their real strength is the quality of the paint they use.

You will get what you pay for, and body work/painting is one of those professions that really draws con artists -- go to a reputable shop that does good work (call a couple insurance companies, the better ones like State Farm and ask them who is on their prefered provider list, then go visit). You can often find a family type operation that really likes to do good work, and will do a good job for you just for the pride. Don't try to cheap them down.

I could recommend a superb shop here, but I'd reasonably certain you wouldn't want to make the trip just to get the car painted!

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2002, 10:50 PM
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>>No, if you sand through the primer, you need to spray primer on it within an hour -- if you let the rust start, it pits the metal, and you leave some if you sand again later, unless you REALLY sand it hard. Then you have a dip in the metal, etc. Best not to cut through.

I was hoping to use some of the panels off the "parts" car but the previous owner began his own low budget paint job and for some reason deciding to strip the paint off.. so now half the car has surface rust. So maybe I should just forget about that and get some good panels. What I meant was that I should sand and then primer one hour afterwards but a short time before getting it painted because I have also heard that if you leave just primer on for too long that it can trap moisture in it.


>>(call a couple insurance companies, the better ones like State Farm and ask them who is on their prefered provider list, then go visit). You can often find a family type operation that really likes to do good work, and will do a good job for you just for the pride. Don't try to cheap them down.


Those are some good suggestions... I'm not trying to cheap anybody down but if I can do most of the grunt work I'm fine with that.

I guess the main problem with the paint work is that you may not know how good or bad the work is until it's way too late to do anything about it.

Thanks
Adrian
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Old 08-05-2002, 10:57 PM
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Do you have an air compressor and do you have an indoor place to work on your car ?

The correct answer to what is an acceptable primer is ' one that is compatible with the paint which is being put over it '.....

I would never suggest that anyone sand a paint job on a car...( they almost all have lead in them) to take it off you should use a paint stripper and steel wool or something like it ....therefore you can not count on the factory primer being on it... and you can not really know how well the primer will work with your new paint.

Most of the books I have read agree on at least this item : Go to a pro auto paint seller and get all your paint products from the primer to the sealer coat from him.. get in writing the exact paint descriptions and numbers which he says are engineered to go together...

I would stick with the big names... PPG, Dupont, etc.... they have the RandD departments to get it right....

If you have any inclination in that direction I would encourage you to do your own painting.. paint guns are much better than in the old days.. and be sure to get a new HVLP... saves about 1/3 of the paint from going into the air...

If you think you might consider doing it all yourself I will get into greater details...

Are you fixated on using MB paint.. ? Or do you want it for a reasonable price and to last longer than you do...

Are you a patient person ? I don't know of any job which requires more self control... I also don't know of any project which will make you any more proud of the good results... I have painted three cars.. down to bare metal, fix the metal, then all the way to buff out... you can not imagine how much plain old arm work it is,,, even with air and sanders...

almost all the quality comes from the prep and after rubbing... the actual spraying is not very critical... as long as you get enough paint on the car.. even runs,,, with two part paints can usually be color sanded within four hours... so that is not a problem... just put lots of paint on as smooth as you are able... then buff until it is perfect...

The trick to that involves the tack coat.. you spray a coat on,, then let it dry ten or fifteen minutes ... then apply as much more paint as you can without it running....be sure to position lights so that you can tell when it gets smooth.. that is when you go to another spot... Greg
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Old 08-05-2002, 11:19 PM
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>>Do you have an air compressor and do you have an indoor place to work on your car ?

Unfortunately I don't.. I was thinking of trying to make an air tight room in the garage port using plastic sheets but it' s not practical and the idea started to freak out my girlfriend. That's out!

I guess there are rental paint booths but again it gets so complicated... arghhh!! Well I'm no where near doing this yet. I still have to finish the mechanical stuff on this car in order for this to be worth it. If I move before I'm done you can be sure I'll be looking for a house with a private garage!

On another note I'm trying to decide what to do with the "rusty" car. Like I sauid it's the parts car and I don't car a whole lot above it but it seems a shame to let this rust progress.. I've been thinking of sanding it and then spraying it with rust stop spraypaint and then just leave it at that. Or If I had the space I would use it to experiment on..

Thanks
Adrian
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Old 08-06-2002, 08:59 AM
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Unless you have an air compressor and an inside space to work on this at your leisure I would not suggest you try it yourself...to do it right, after each major stage of primering.. which is where you get the finish really smooth, you must leave it about a week to dry. Each time you spray the primer,,, the medium soaks into the primer you already have on the car... so small differences in the thickness of the primer on the car will absorb different amounts of the new spray medium.... AND SWELL. But they swell at a constant rate for the thickness ... thus,,,, a spot which was low... and you have applied more primer there... probably as a thick goo with a plastic squeegy... will swell to where IF YOU SAND IT QUICKLY when it lets go of that medium to the atmosphere (dries) IT WILL BE LOWER THAN THE REST OF YOUR PAINT. This is a very slow job to do it at home... but it is possible to get a custom car show finish with just elbow grease... You can actually put the paint on with a brush if you are willing to put in an extrodinary amount of sanding afterwards.... but you would have to be in dire straights, or a masochist to do that.. but the point is that it is the careful sanding all through this process, given that you are using good compatible paint, that is most important.
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Old 08-06-2002, 09:10 AM
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From the orginal post:

"Bad in that there's overspray and they didn't do the door jams. The paint itself doesn't llook bad but I plan on replacing the hood and fender due to a proir accident. "

STOP AND THINK!

Getting a new paint job is not going to help the overspray. You need to clean that up.

You can do the door jambs yourself. You can get matched paint in spray cans from paint suppliers. Or you can get a pint of paint and buy/rent a HVLP sprayer. Bunches on e-Bay. If you are careful in masking, you can leave the seals on.

I had the RF fender and hood replaced on my 280C, and they shot the new fender, the hood and the top of the LF fender to fix a key scratch. Cost $924 for labor. Not perfect, but neither is the rest of the car.

I had this done by a smaller local shop. Most of the big ones only want insurance work.

If your existing paint is OK, I would not undergo the pain and mess of an extensive prep job - just fix the problems.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2002, 09:46 AM
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If it is just the door jambs you could just use one of those deals which allows you to screw on the little pressurized container and spray it.. I can not think of the brand name, but they have been around for 30 years.. You could even spray them with the little touch up cans of matching paint.... much of the way it will come out is still in the prep and buff out...so plain ole spray cans from the autoparts store can do wonders for the smaller areas...

USE A PROPER MASK WHATEVER YOU SPRAY....

Go to an auto paint store and get some of their free handouts for sanding,painting and rub out products... go to several different stores and ask questions.... Look at the stuff from 3m for buffing out... and cleaning up that overspray..
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Old 08-06-2002, 11:55 AM
jobber
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General comment

Just a view on your objectives. I have driven old cars for years and never really cared about the paint. Recently I had some money and had my old truck repainted proffesionaly. It looks fantastic, I love to drive it, love to park it and have people admire it, it has just made a huge difference to my enjoyment of the thing.
My point is if you like the car and want to keep it, by all means remove all the chrome etc. yourself, but have a pro paint it. It's worth it, he can do in week what will take you months.
It you want to do it yourself take it on as a learning experience but not as a way of saving a few bucks.
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Old 08-06-2002, 12:35 PM
PaulC
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A tiny point. When replacing the hood, make sure all underhood insulation pads are present and in good condition to prevent engine heat from frying the hood paint.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2002, 12:37 PM
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It really is nice to have a nice looking paint job... it does make a huge difference on an old car to have people admiring it...and think of how much more proud you would be if you had put in the elbow grease to do it yourself... it is a huge job to prep and paint a car.... most people I suspect will only do it once ....

A pro can do it in a week because they have a temperature/humidity controlled spray area and banks of infrared lights to dry each stage fast...

And I do agree that most people will take months doing it themselves if they do it right...

My point is that it is more, and much more in some places to have a pro paint it.. and the quality Does not have to be less just because it is done at home and slowly...

" A Few Bucks Less "... perhaps the paint shops in Australia are more reasonable with their labor charges than some places here in the USA....

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