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Hot Rods Paint and labor cost how has that changed your perspective

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 41rodderz, May 26, 2019.

  1. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,460

    from Oregon

    Great replies hambers. This thread based on your personal thoughts and experiences already has given me valuable help and inspiration as I hope to others on here as well. Keep them coming. All of your years of experience is very much appreciated by me. :)
  2. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,039


    If you're willing to put in the time to pull all the trim and get the body as straight as you want it the Maaco and Earl Sheib like places work fine for cheap, decent daily driver paint jobs. If you spring for an extra coat of paint or clear you'll have enough to cut and rub it smooth as glass. As a bonus they'll go the extra mile on something that's not just another Civic or Taurus heading to a used car lot. When they run specials you can get a complete job for less than what you'd have in materials and a temporary tent, ppe, etc. ...just another option for somebody who wants color on the cheap.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,423


    ^^^ did this on a 65 Chevelle for my daughter--wife and I took all trim bumpers off etc-paid a bit extra for better paint and finish work then we cut and buffed and put back together--turned out very nice for her.
    Jalopy Joker and 47ragtop like this.
  4. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 515


    I am along the same thinking as Blue One that I can't afford to take it to someone else. There is another thing is my personal OCD that when I do it there are no short cuts and I know that it is right. I have painted my own and have been successful. I am self taught thanks to the great Petersen's books of old on how to do body work and paint. I also learned how to paint by doing the body work and panel repairs for a friend who was a good painter that showed me in return how to paint. Learning and getting experience with my friend set me on a path to do my own work. Like Blue One I live in the Great White North and am climate challenged as to when I can paint. The cost of the materials are stupid but part of it is my confidence in the paint that I use & that I am successful each time. I put a lot of effort into doing the body so that it looks smooth & original. The hours put into doing good work is a big investment even though it is not cash. So putting good paint that may cost a tad more that I have confidence in is worth it. A paint of a known quality costs a little more so the difference is pennies per hour for all the labour put into the work. We are hours between towns here so shopping at different auto paint suppliers is not an option and shipping paint to save money is lost with the shipping costs.

    Like everyone else I sometimes want to be done but once I have a panel in primer then the sanding is my zen or psychotherapy. I forget the world and have to concentrate on what I am doing for hours of mindless work. When it is perfect then I am happy.
    BigChief likes this.
  5. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,460

    from Oregon

    Doing panel work , I think in your mind you have to figure out how to enjoy the process. Then it becomes less like a chain gang feeling.
  6. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 1,823


    Single stage and sand it into submission.
    lewk, King ford, waxhead and 4 others like this.
  7. Arthur
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 960

    from NC

    I am not giving up my two rough project cars,but more because I actually love making plans,gathering parts,and working on them. Sometimes I think I like that more than I do driving them..
    Now I have some problems with minor things like breathing and bending over,so the work is going to go even slower,and my lift and my rotisserie are going to get used. Not sure how much,if any,sanding I will do,and pretty sure I won't be spraying any modern paints. Depends on how much luck I have breathing with a respirator on. If I can sand with respirator on,I will probably sand and do bodywork outside. Can't deal with the dust inside.

    I will also admit to lowering my ambitions considerably over the last decade. For example,my dead stock 33 Dodge 4dr sedan is going to stay dead stock other than the aluminum head,dual carbs,and split exhaust,and the same for my dead stock 38 Ford humpback tudor. It runs whisper quiet with the original engine in it,so if it ain't broke,don't fix it. Do the body work,get the upholstery work done,have it sprayed baby blue enamel,and drive the damn thing. Years ago it would have been all about big blocks and strong drive trains. Now I just want to drive them.

    I can tell you that any cars I might buy in the future will either be finished cars or cars close enough to be presentable as is. Besides health and mobility issues,I am too old to be taking on any more big projects,and am in the process of selling off some stuff now. The good news is selling them will give me the money I need to finish my project cars that I am keeping. Even working a deal with a local body shop to trade him some of the stuff for bodywork and paint in his booth. Works for him because he has a going business,and needs more project cars to park in his lot to attract buyers who will then pay him to work on the cars and trucks for him.

    I honestly have a hard time visualizing this hobby even existing at an amateur level 10 years from now. Most of the 50's and older cars worth fixing will have already been fixed,and it takes so many specialized tools and so much stuff is EPA sensitive that I just don't see guys at home doing this in their home garages as a hobby. If the prices don't get ya,the local zoning ordinances or the EPA will.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    jvo and dirty old man like this.
  8. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 2,460

    from Oregon

    The EPA has definitely taken a chunk out of the fun and cost that we used to enjoy back in the pre 70's. We just need to continue being rebels:)
  9. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,022

    a boner

    It's funny, as the cost of the materials and labor rose, the popularity of "PATINA" actually rose faster!
    Also, driveway paint jobs are almost as popular now, as they were "back in the day"!
    guitarguy and Gasser 57 like this.
  10. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 287

    leon bee
    from Arkansas!

    My perspective has changed in that I've been going through and checking out my paint brushes. Got some pretty good brushes and I used to be pretty good with them.
  11. Purdy?

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,702



    I don't charge enough...
  13. a boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,022

    a boner

    The average person and any car hobbiest who has not actually painted or tried to paint a car has no idea of how much work is involved! Especially a better than driver quality paint job!
  14. dcs13
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 91


    What he said. Its not cheap to bodywork and paint a car because it takes huge amounts of time. Quick example- I have a re-pop trunk lid for a 55 Chevy. Decent Golden Star part. I've got about 40 hours in just the trunk lid. That's properly stripping the EDP, 2 coats of SPI epoxy, panel gapping, body working it, 2 coats of 2k primer, blocking, and 2 additional coats of 2k. It needs a seal coat and is ready for paint..
    Get some patience and learn to do it yourself. Its possible.
    Joemama and s55mercury66 like this.
  15. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,551

    from Iowa

    Hasn't changed my thoughts a bit. Last car I painted was in 1976. Since then everything else has stayed as it came or ended up in primer. I don't mind doing the body work I just never get around to painting them before somebody else needs them worse than I do or I trade them for something different.

    My current project? I was told it had to have paint and interior before we ordered the first part. I told her she wanted paint and interior, she had to pay for them and she agreed (don't think she had a clue what it would cost). Got my interior quote and she blinked a few times but didn't back out. I'm doing 90% of the paint prep work on the body and small parts so that will save her a few bucks. Only thing the painter is doing is final prep of the body after I call it quits at 320 grit and he's doing all the prep on the frame. Everything else is on me to get ready. He's squirting the paint.

    Would I be able to turn a car over to somebody else to paint from beginning to end? No way. I was going to paint this one but with my health issues the doctors didn't want me to do it. They probably didn't know how much crap I would breath in doing prep!

    Paint is scary expensive. Good paint. Prep costs a all costs a lot these days.

  16. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 22,409

    Jalopy Joker

    another reason to spend more money on as straight & rust free ride as possible - on all of my rides that required shiny paint (to make it look good to me) have used MAACO & similar big chain shops - they can not afford people to come back for repaints so, they use quality paint and the guy with the spray guy has to be good to avoid runs, etc. - of course, if you are not willing to pay for the proper body work, sealer or good paint you will get what you pay for - before taking ride to a shop I do as much sanding as possible, remove trim, bumpers, etc - you have to be willing to give them plenty of time to work on your ride - they make money by getting customer cars/trucks in and out as fast as possible and you do not want them to rush work on your ride - my best deal ever was a Earl Scheib paint job advertised for $29.95, when I went to pick up my car the owner apologized because painter used the $39.95 paint - he only charged $29.95 _ I was only a teenager but, I bought some beer for the painter for "mistake" he made - no, did not pay for needed body work, etc -
  17. Arthur
    Joined: Mar 8, 2005
    Posts: 960

    from NC

    As expensive as it is to pay a pro to do it,it's even more expensive to do it yourself unless you already have all the equipment,a good place to work,the materials,and maybe most of all,the patience. Even then you have to know the technical aspects of painting,and if you have never done it,figure time spent at night in a local community college learning how to do it to be well-spent.

    Truth to tell most people would be money ahead to use those same hours working for minimum wage to pay a pro to get it right if all they are planning on painting is one or two cars.

    If all you plan on doing is sanding to the bare metal,then priming and painting in enamel,things are a lot simpler if you don't discover any ugly surprises when you get the old paint off. Especially if you are basically looking for an acceptable top coat to keep the rust away.

    Show quality paint jobs take an insane amount of time and work,though.
    Jalopy Joker likes this.
  18. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,222

    from Colorado


    1957....Earl Schieb $19.95....Pep Boy’s rattle can paint and masking tape $10.00.
    williebill likes this.
  19. I can't afford paint now days. Painted my Roadster with about 200 bucks worth of Rattle Cans.
  20. Pats55
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 188

    from NJ

    I would have to agree that paint prices are ridiculous. A gallon of paint goes through too many people before it gets to you and everybody gets a cut. Basecoat is one of the cheapest paints to make,they put a high price on it so it looks like the highest quality. The latest trend is the majors are going around buying up all the smaller independent manufacturers. Thereby eliminating any competition.I bought some paint from a company called Urechem and used it on the 3000 GT and it worked just fine it's been probably 4 years and the car was outside all winter 2 years ago..There are just so many resin manufacturers and mixing paint is not exactly rocket science. Some people want to spend $800 for something like Glassrit so they can sleep at night. You remember this was considered a rich man's hobby well it's going back to it
  21. 51box
    Joined: Aug 31, 2005
    Posts: 740

    from MA

    You can buy a gallon of Nason single stage with activator and reducer for around $160 off eBay. The materials are cheap in the grand scheme of things, it’s the labor involved to get to the paint stage that most people don’t want to dedicate their time to.
    chopped likes this.
  22. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,366

    from MN,USA

    My perception hasn't changed of what I want but it is costing me more.
  23. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,255

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Big money
    Ya could f done for 1/2 that with some straight enamel and a HF gun.
    (Car look great)

    I get to experiment with different material being a shop teacher
    We sprayed some test panels with an alk enamel. Bout the cheapest paint available. Around 30-40 bucks a gallon. Had the hardner and used it. Basic cheap equipment paint.
    We cut and buffed it after it dried for a week. Looked amazing.
    OldSchoolRodz likes this.
  24. hotrodrhp
    Joined: Sep 19, 2008
    Posts: 234

    from Wisconsin

    Had a buddy of mine that owned his own shop painted my wife's 66 Mustang about 20 years ago. Still looks great after all these years. Total cost was about $2000. Think the candy apple paint alone would be 3-4 x that now. The paint job on the 34 just four years ago was "WAY" more!!!!
    The new 30 AV8 project is in primer and probably will stay that way unless I find a pace to do it and get the motivation to do it myself. Kind of like not having to worry about scratches and dings on an expensive finish.

    Attached Files:

    anthony myrick likes this.
  25. I have posted to the thread about cars painted in the driveway, and I guess seeing this thread title interests me because back when I started the work on the 55 Ford Fairlane it was the paint and body work that scared me off the most. At the beginning I had a friend of mine who ran a very reputable high end body shop paint the interior garnish and the dash. I prepped the pieces roughly 75% of the way according to his liking. One of his employees shot the DuPont brand paint to match the original 55 colors. Color was all spot on but the finish was less than desirable. I paid $550 for that work. And he said he was cutting me a deal. Whether or not it was a deal I honestly have no idea. I took the pieces home, didn’t gripe about it, but also decided that I could not afford to continue that route. I also wanted a better finish... too many places where there was a speck of dust or two.

    Sooooooo..... I investigated hvlp and went the route of paint from a restoration supply company. The full process, both failures and successes, are all logged on this site by means of video, photos, and technical things I learned along the way:

    I even built a portable paint booth in the basement, with filters and custom duct work.

    I spent a few grand less than what I would have should someone else have done all of this for me, but in the end I am very satisfied with the results! The next project... 100% performed and painted by yours truly.


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  26. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,213


    The oil base paint at our local farm store has increased in price as well. Several years ago, it was just over $20 per gallon, now its almost doubled to around $36 per gallon.
    It looks good when its first applied, but history shows that after about 4 years it looks pretty rough. It gives me the chance to go back in and smooth out the body a little more. After 3 or 4 repaints, my body work doesn't look 1/2 bad.

    Not much has changed. Gene
  27. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 816


    I am using PPG ShopLine BC/CC and so far I've had to do everything twice because I didn't do it right the first time. I hadn't painted since the 70's and want to do as much as I can my self even though it won't be as good (or nearly as good) as a pro shop would do. Maybe by the time I get the Stude painted I will take a shot at redoing the Chevy since it was done in the 80's by a friend of mine and is really rough. IMG_2300.JPG
  28. Can't buy enamel in California or Lacquer either.
  29. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,255

    anthony myrick
    from al

    Road trip

    What can you guys buy
  30. 03GMCSonoma
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 177


    I have an OT Lightning that lost compression in #2. I rebuild would cost me $10k - $11k but could be more if there is more damage that a broken ring. Even at that, I may need to buy another block if it is gouged too deep. A new engine will run $11,900 plus change. This block will give me more hp with the head upgrade. Ford engines cost more that Chevy's. I just paid $16k for it 2 years ago. I have to bend over, grab my ankles. Sand and Vaseline not provided.

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