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Customs Paint and body folks, are you ever truly satisfied with a finished product?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RidingMechanic, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. I've never been 100 % satisfied with any finished product. I've tried to go in optimistic and even tried to lower my expectations, I always find some glaring issue. It's like the shop is trying to get away with something.
    Another thing, as costs have increased it's only likewise my expectations have increased.
    Good paint and body is just so outrageously expensive these days that I just won't bother buying a project. These days I'll only consider a car that needs mechanical work but not body and paint.
  2. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,233


    Wish I wasn't a perfectionist. It would make a lot easier.

  3. philly the greek
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,815

    philly the greek
    from so . cal.

    This thread reminds me of when I first met Art Chrisman many years ago . He was doing some work on his "Hustler 2" car and needed the air scoop repainted and pin striped . After doing the work I asked him how that looked to him . He replied " It's good enough for who it's for ". That was the start of a 25 year friendship , so I guess that good enough is relevant to who it's for .
  4. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 14,033

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i aim for the customer, being perfectly happy with the job and me being perfectly happy with the pay......tough balancing act.
    some customers are happy with a "d.a. and spray" some love the "multi block, shoot, cut and buff". knowing the difference is harder than the work.
  5. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,604


    I have been doing paint and body since going to work in my grandfather's restoration shop in 1964. There have been times that I have been the completely unsatisfied and many times, I have been totally satisfied. Overall though I have been satisfied because I tried to always hit the mark. I believe 31 Vicky got it pretty correct IMO. When I had my shop in San Diego County in the 80s and 90s, my work was done to Pebble Beach standards as my customers demanded it. It is not difficult necessarily but takes real attention to every detail. When you believe you have it pretty good, then you know you have to do it over again. You have to get it to the point where you critically say to yourself that it turned out "real nice"-"I like it"-IMO. I have two major projects in my home shop now (my own cars) and one is being done to Pebble Beach standards (and I will be using nitrocellulose black lacquer which I have saved for years-RM Double Deep black) and the other will be urethane for a drag car. Both started out as a real mess. I expect that both will be show quality when done but show quality takes on different meanings if you are talking the prestigious shows or local shows. I expect one to be a very high standard of detail and the other more utilitarian. I enjoy doing both but you almost have to switch hats when you go back and forth.

    I still remember back in the early 70s when I painted my 68 Z28 and I made a "mistake" on the passenger side door. I kept telling myself it was OK but it bothered me until I redid it. I believe it was a turning point in a sense that I needed to try and get it "really nice" from the get go. It almost made me forget the term that it is good enough. I strive for perfection at times, I suppose but the term is a bit hazy and difficult to achieve, if it is absolute perfection. The good deal about the HAMB though is I see some of the really nice builds and talented work here and it reminds me that I have to keep my standards up

    Funny that 31 Vicky mentions a dump truck. Back in the mid 80s I was asked by GM to doing some custom paint work on two of their trucks that led to more and more show work. They had a truck show in Las Vegas and asked that I paint 7 trucks to match in a real short span and Cars and Concepts who was also doing work for them turned them down as they did not have enough time. All 7 were work trucks in essence but they wanted top quality work and one was a 5 yard dump truck. I had to decide if I was also going to do show work inside the dump box and they said the truck was for promotional literature after the show and I figured if they elevated the box they would want it nice inside the box so I did that to a pretty high standard as well. Years later I joined a car club and one of my friends in the club who was in charge of maintenance at the GM Proving Grounds in Milford Michigan was stating how crazy GM was, that back in the 80s they dropped off a 5 yard dump for them to use with a really nice show paint job including in the box. Who in their right mind would do such a ridiculous thing-only GM he thought. We had a good laugh about it.

    By the way to the OP what is up with your avatar? I have a real passion for the cars from the early era in auto racing when they had riding mechanics.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  6. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,218


    Here's my take on bodywork and paint, no such thing as perfect paint/bodywork, damn good but never perfect, it's all relative to time/money spent and being realistic, if you spend the huge $$$, now you're not going to drive/use the car and IMO whats the point. I know a few people that have high dollar show cars and enjoy showing them/always in trailers, but they have nice driver type rods/cars to go with to enjoy the hobby. I have had cars/racers painted and painted stuff myself, just refreshed the front on my Mercury, turned out pretty good, show quality no, acceptable yes, difference being about $350/400 in mat'ls and my time, retired/more time than money, have the tools/garage/some experience, 1/2 a brain left, had 2 reputable local shops look at it, quotes of $2200/$2500 min if everything goes right and I did not request "show quality" (all my junk is driver quality that I take to shows) I only know 2 people that in fact spent 25K+ on paint, very nice jobs, but a few small imperfections here and there if really studied. I'm a Tool & Die Maker / Pattern Maker by trade, ran my own shop 36 years, makes me a perfectionist type person, but all the perfection in the world means nothing if theirs no money in checkbook, point being, everyone has to make a living/money. IF you go to premier builder/painter with open quote /no limit, I wonder how much that perfect car/paint job could be, beyond any number I can imagine ? (this type car, not my interest do not want or need a 1/2 million dollar car ) I learned when to run and when to stop/think twice in my trade/business, IMO VERY difficult to teach someone. YOU and anyone that takes pride in their craft has to understand/ back off some or you'll drive yourself nuts trying to obtain perfection in everything, you'll always be unhappy/dissatisfied/bitchy, IMO painters are breed of their own as the few I know well are a little different, (Goofy) I always joke with them its from the paint fumes.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  7. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 694

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Paint fumes?? Well I have not painted much the last couple years and the wife has said I am almost starting to act like a normal person. Well kind a normal is actually what she said. lol Larry
    wicarnut and CudaChick1968 like this.

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