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Paintjob went wrong - Need advice - Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ctfortner, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Dad
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 70

    from Lena Ill

    I`ve just read this article and find many problems. I am 66 yr old retired auto body shop owner of 35 yr with 42 years of experience.

    The first thing the shop should have done is tell you that he will strip the car for time and material and then he can give you an ESTIMATE!!!!

    I never got money up front for a job, always after so many hours that we agreed on. And all payments (if a large time and material job) agreed on after how many hours agreed on.

    And yes painting cars is not cheap, paint and mat will cost $1500 or more and the color you have is very expensive.

    One thing you stated the car was in primer when he looked at it originally, was it a nice finished primer like it was ready to scuff and shoot or could you see all the body imperfections?

    A contract is not really needed but a list of things that you definately needed on this car.

    Did the shop owner ask for more money to give you the job you wanted after he had started? Or did you just blow him off and say you had a contract with him?

    Sorry you have a job way less than expected but as a shop owner (retired) I would have liked to discuss the possibilities of repairng the faults. My opinion would be go and talk to the man face to face and see if something can be worked out. If he says hell no, take him to court but good luck in collecting anything.

    I`m sure there wasn`t enough money involved for shop after he saw what had to be done and if he asked for more money and you refused he probably put some OJT (on the job training) person so he wouldn`t lose any more.

    Most decent shops don`t want this to happen.


    Again sorry for you bad experience
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,093


    Not long ago I was offered $2200 to do the paint and body work on my 61 Belair bubbletop. Someone poked at me to buy it, I caved in and gave em a price. Then he came back with the "offer" of 2200 more if I did the following:

    Install new floors and supports

    Finish 1/4 panel repairs

    Finish trunk repairs

    Remove all stainless trim and glass

    Repair fender bottoms

    Seal floor joints and rain gutters

    Paint complete, inside and out including interior trim parts

    Cut and buff to "Autorama" quality

    Assemble and final align

    In plain English I told him to go fuck himself. He was offended. I had just finshed a 3800hr restoration which achieved 3 perfect scores in a row. Bottom line is, I wouldn't even put the paint on the car for some of the numbers I see being tossed around on this topic. Anybody price a gallon of gas lately? A gallon of milk? A gallon of metallic paint? A 2 gallon clear "package"? The days of $12.00hr seeming like a good wage for this shit went out with DISCO. That's the basic knowledge of the industry that I'm talking about. It's ok for someone to sit on their fat ass behind a desk and make $75-100K a year, but real talent ain't worth a bent dick. That doesn't change the fact you were a victim of bad buisness practices and a supreme lack of knowledge and respect for these cars, but it's still a harsh reality. The old saying goes:

    The bitterness of poor quality lasts far longer than the sweetness of a bargain.

    How important is it to do shit to last? Well I got record prices for cars done decades ago in the last 3-4 years when those owners sold. I watched a 20yr old restoration bring close to $300K on this years B-J. One of my older "quicky" restorations, meaning new color and upholstery with a bit of re-chroming. It's as easy as doing what you're doing now, reading a 'puter screen, to learn what you should before you embark down this path. I'm sorry the OP got what he got. It could have been avoided completely, but now you've got some serious time/financial decisions to make. It looks fixable, and chasing any amount of refund will be revenge and little else.
  3. ctfortner
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 443

    from West TN

    Quote of the day...shit, thats funny I dont care who you are.

  4. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 373

    from Maryland

    For what he did or was supposed to do, $4000 is a low number. But the point is he signed the contract. he ended up giving you crap. He would have been better stopping along the way and saying this is all I can do for the $4000 we agreed upon. I messed up and really miscalculated, but did the work the way it was discussed and should have been done. That's what he should have done and you would have been in a better place now.
  5. ctfortner
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 443

    from West TN

    It was in some cheapo lacquer primer with poor bondo stuck to it when he saw it. he told me that day he would never paint over someone elses work and the entire car was going to bare metal, period.

    Never asked for more money. Said many times that he was losing money on it, but it was his fault. Proceeded to tell me when I picked it up that I got $7000 paintjob, and dont tell anyone what I paid because he wont do another one for that price.

    I did go see him face to face when he had the unpainted parts for the car still in his shop 3 weeks after I took the car home. He had already lied and told me they were in primer, and when I showed up without telling him, I found them untouched, no primer. I did tell him we have a lot of issue to iron out, he quickly reminded me what I paid, which I quickly reminded him this was supposedly a $7k paintjob. He didnt like that.

    Anyway, he said I will come by and look, I want to make this right. I felt obligated to give him that opportunity. I arranged a meeting twice, he no showed both. The last one was sunday (3 days ago) and he was still telling me at 4PM he was eating dinner and heading my way. Never heard from him again. With the issues at hand, and the way he already handled the job, I really dont want him repairing the stuff.

    I have friends that know how to do it right and have now stepped up and offered to help me address it. I may or may not ever see any money back, but it wont be from lack of trying. He owns plenty of things to put a lien on, has a business license which I have a copy of, I will give it hell.

    Obviously that would have had to come from him, I had no idea it was what it was until I picked it up. I assumed I was getting the satisfied paintjob, since he assured me he was losing on the job BUT he was doing it right as promised none the less.
  6. Gromit
    Joined: Oct 13, 2011
    Posts: 726


    If I quote (in writing) $400 to do the brakes on some guys car and the materials end up costing $400 alone, I just eat it. It's my error, and I gave the price. I may try to get a few bucks extra, but an agreement is an agreement. An honest person stands by it. As the merchant I hate it.. it sucks, but as a human what else can I do?
  7. That's it, right there! Whether we think it was cheap or not, doesn't really matter. There was an agreement.

  8. This analysis is right on the money!

    The problem is that there is no good remedy now to make both parties happy.

    As unpleasant as it sounds, I think that if it were mine I would just resolve myself to the fact the problem can never be righted. The days prepping a case and taking him to court would be better spent in working on the car and improving the paint job in the areas that matter most. Accept your friends' offers to help and build good memories to purge the bad. Working with your friends you may learn to do paint work yourself, which will be a better lesson than how the judicial system "works".
    Do not spend any more of your energies fighting a hopeless battle. Creating things always makes you feel much better than butting your head against the wall. Get the car on the road!

    You have vented. It was a bad deal for all. Move on.

  9. S_Mazza
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 363


    I tend to agree ...

    The sad thing is, I don't think the OP "got a $2,000 paintjob". He got a bunch of half-baked bodywork and terrible glass work that has to be almost completely redone, plus a bunch of expensive paint sprayed over a questionable foundation. Even the parts that look okay are a gamble, because we all saw how bad the work was on the other parts. It might have been better if the shop owner had stripped the car to bare metal and run off with the $4k entirely!
  10. And again I say this :

    If you and I enter into an agreement for you to:
    purchase exclusive rights to the golden gate bridge ,
    or build you a mansion for 50 k,
    or get you a seat on the space shuttle,
    or for me to find you a 7 million dollar a year job,
    Or do a 10,000 worth of body work in 6 weeks for 4 grand,
    or promise you any other thing that's too goid to be true,

    Just to get your deposit money, what are you going to do about it?
    Tell the judge ???

    An honest person wouldn't do that, a professional does not make A 50% mistake in estimating, a legitimate business man will generally make good on a promise.
    A crook doesnt follow rules, thats why they are crooks.

    An honest man can fault, but when given the chance to make it right they will.
  11. Dog Dish Deluxe
    Joined: Dec 23, 2011
    Posts: 778

    Dog Dish Deluxe
    from MO.

    I guess I read it wrong, I thought it was a $2000 dollar job. You should have got more for $4000 than you did probably. The thing with body and paint is that there are no "good deals" and most of the time both the customer and the one doing the work both get screwed. Not a good biz to be in no matter what side of it you're on, just way too many variables involved.
  12. evs1
    Joined: Oct 3, 2010
    Posts: 160


    I've had a couple of jobs that I mis-estimated the total cost to the customer. In these cases I would show him the materials list, plus the labor hours total, and let him see the loss. I would then refuse to charge him above the estimate price. If I had "ballpark" quoted 3-400$ then I went to the max, but never above it. This generally would leave the guy with the impression that I was honest with him and usually led to a regular customer base that came back when they needed something done.
    The wifeyperson would get mad because we took a loss, but I insisted that my word was more valuable to me than money. I held that standard until I retired and closed the business. It seems your bodyshop guy could use a lesson in integrity, otherwise he won't be around very long.
    I really like your car, it actually is the same body as a friend of mine had in junior high. Neither of us had a license but we would sneak it out of the garage late at night and cruise around in it. Beautiful lines and my first experience with old cars. I surely hope this gets cleared up for you, maybe you should just drive it for a while, enjoy it, and develop a bucket list of what you want to do, then put it in a shop for the winter and get it redone?
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  13. 64Cyclone
    Joined: Aug 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,496


    I think the shop should've called you once they saw how much work needed to be done (to do it correctly) and given you an option. Option 1 would be to do all of the work correctly where it would last for add'l $$$$$. Option 2 to do a slap patch job for a quick flip with a clear understanding that the work would be sub-par.

    The shop screwed up by jumping to option 2 and not giving you option 1. I say go after them, it's 100% their fault.
  14. kwmpa
    Joined: Mar 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,241

    Member Emeritus
    from Pa

    It sucks when stuff like this happens...I work at a restoration shop and we see a lot of this kind of stuff...I'll put my two cents in...when we do a job like this the whole car should have been sand blasted if there was that much rust underneath the paint...I'm not sure why he would have fiberglassed unless you meant duraglass? over the welds...generally if the cheap bondo brands are used it starts shrinking...Doors just need drain holes put in...what kind of rust proofing are you talking about? There's many products out there 90% are junk and just wash away when sprayed on...the paint bubbling is rust coming through...and dirt in the paint shouldn't happen if you have a good booth.

    I well say in favor of the glass guy new seals generally don't fully seat until a year or so after install but there should have been sealer put in...

    At our shop a job like yours would have been a minimum of around $15,000 just for body and paint work with all the stuff you had done it would have run you around $35K but it would have all been done right...we get cars all the time where the guy paid $15,000 for a "full restoration" but ends up spending 5 times that to have it fixed right by in point we have a 41 plymouth that the guy spent $6k to get body work and paint done...pulled a door panel off and their idea of rust repair was putting duct tape over the rust holes and filler over get what you pay for...I'd say you have a solid small claims court case
  15. Why do so many say you need a solution where both parties will be happy?
    The only one who needs to be happy is the guy who got screwed out of 4 grand. What should of happened is this. The bodyshop should have done it correctly from the start and when they reached the $4000 mark they should have called you and renegotiated. But they didn't they just did a rush job to get your car out of his shop.

    If you're going to sue you will need a professional to look over the car and put in writing that all the work is inferior and how much it will cost to fix. You will only get back what you paid him. It's called "being made whole again". In other words you'll be in the spot you were in before he touched your car.

    Lastly not everyone is in a position to do all the work themselves. So please stop putting blame directly or indirectly on this guy. I believe from what he said he did his due diligence on the shop and deserves what was contracted or at least $4000 worth of good work.
  16. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    Ok, First off I want to say I did not read this whole thread, But I read what i think was enough to get the basic "just" of it.....Sounds like you are out a year and a half of your life and $6k and your car looks like a piece of shit......(No pun intended) Just pointing out that primer looks better than bad paint anyday of the week. Everyone reading this thread who is thinking about having someone paint their car should learn something from this.....When it comes to a full blown quality paintjob, there is no such thing as a good deal, It is hard work, time consuming, and costly.......If the shop you go to tells you anything less than $7-8K for a job like this......RUN!! as if you don't it will most likely end up just like this case. It is this very reason that alot of cars never get painted, As a quality paintjob cost more than the car is worth in some cases.
  17. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,460


    As I see it, he agreed to do very specific things for $4000 within 6 weeks. He didn't deliver. He failed. It is 100% HIS fault. Price is irrelevant. He agreed to do it for $4k. Period. When he realized he couldn't meet his obligations, he should have asked to re-negotiate the contract. His fault, not the customer's.

    I keep reading things like "4K wouldn't get you the quality you were looking for and shoulda been the smoke alarm". Since most of us do not get paint jobs every day, or even buy paint, how are we supposed to know this? Seriously. CTFortner went to several shops and got quotes that were all over the board. The shop he settled on had a good reputation, satisfied customers, and his quote was above the middle of the range.

    My wife hired a guy to paint her '51 Bel Air. He had just finished body/paint school. He charged her about $1000 plus materials. He did ALL the things CTFortner's shop agreed to do (panel alignment, shaving, paint, metal work, filler, buffing, etc), BUT he did it RIGHT. He worked in our garage and we helped. The paint and body work were not flawless, but it was dang close. We paid him extra every once in awhile to keep him motivated because we knew he underbid for the experience.

    Anyway, if you decide to repaint, maybe you can find a helper like we did.
  18. PetesPonies
    Joined: Nov 6, 2007
    Posts: 373

    from Maryland

    There is an unwritten rule that says when you quote a price, that you can "go over" the estimated price by about 10%. So if you say it should be about $4000, you have to about $4400 before you need to contact the owner and go over things again. Prices change, materials change it's hard to quote a big project and get it right. You don't know what lies beneath the mess. So if someone gives you a set quote, they are hoping they win. Meaning they are hoping it can be done for less, but they still get the bigger amount paid because you agreed on the price. Its like flat rate work. You are paid for 3 hours, but get it done in 2 hours. So I would always be suspect of a firm quoted price on a big job. IMO, you should get an estimate and a written estimate of what you will be doing. If and when some thing happens or is found to not be what both the owner and shop thought it was, it is re evaluated. That's why I work time and materials. I'll give them an estimate, but it's just that an estimate. I get draws for my work and things progress. No big bills at the end of the job for the owner and no surprises along the way for the owner. I don't "win" that way, getting more than the work performed, but I don't consider this a flat rate business,, doing restoration work.
  19. Nik
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 584


    What is it with everyone jumping on the do it yourself bandwagon? Not everyone has the time or abilities to do everything on their vehicle themselves. With three kids and a wife, I can tell you that if I wanted to enjoy a painted vehicle this decade, I would have no choice but to take it to a shop, and I use to work in a bodyshop, so I would have a head start over some other guys. Just because you like beer, doen't mean you're a poser if you don't brew it yourself.
  20. Cowtown Speed Shop
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,182

    Cowtown Speed Shop
    from KC

    Well said!......As far as the average Joe doing his own body and paint work, I say if you want it to be nice then don't!.....As it is not for everyone, I personally can do it, but fucking hate it, I do not do much of my own body and paint work, As too me it is as bad as digging a ditch with a dull shovel....LOL. the reality is very few people do everything to their car themselfs, I mean should everyone have thousands of dollars in equipment and many hours of fucking up until you get it right just so you can drive your hot rod and say you did it yourself? I think not!.....I mean if you want to get real anal about it How many guys who do their own bodywork Also Do their own interior work? (now we have got to have a fucking sewing machine too) Or make their own parts? I mean if you really want to say you did it all yourself, try Casting your own wheels......Bottomline is everyone draws the line somewhere, And if a model A is what you are building, Well i am sorry to tell you but You did not do it all by yourself, You had some help from henry ford among others......
  21. Not in my world. What planet do you live on? Seriously...:rolleyes:
  22. There's a painter you can trust right there!!! :D

  23. sorry to see this, me and my buddy painted my OT bug a few years ago and it came out MUCH better than this poor car,and we were jus a couple of youngins,onyl painted one car before that!
  24. Sorry about the problems with your paint and body work. MY suggestion is to know who you are dealing with. Take the time to develop a relationship with a shop or two and get to know them and their work.

    A friend once told me ( on the way out of a meeting where we learned our investment was gone and we did not even have a bag to hold ) " I have never been to school without paying tuition " .
  25. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    from Noo Yawk

    I only read page 1 of this thread. Sorry to see this, and I hope it turns out well for you. That work looks like my first attempt at a restoration on my own car, but I only paid with a bruised ego and learned a very cheap lesson. Looks like this guy (the painter) is at that same stage. Once again, I hope lawyers don't have to get involved, and I hope it turns out well.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  26. Jagman
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 346


    Lot of people wanting to close the barn door here, after the horse got out.....

    You do not have to be an attorney or spend a lot of money to prevail in small claims court. The pictures you have and the signed contract are enough to get you some relief, whether it will be a total refund will be up to the judge.

    If you want to mess with it, you'll come out OK.

    You might consider taking him on Judge Mathis or one of the other Judge Whoever TV shows, that way he'll be embarrassed on natl TV but you'll both get paid, the show pays whatever the judge decides up to the the legal jurisidction limit for your state. You win $5k, you get paid $5k, but it comes from the show. not his pocket.
  27. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Listen, I dont want to come on here and bash this "painter, body shop etc.."
    But I have had plenty of dealings with Body and paint guys,, You can tell a good from a bad one if you take the time..its your investment, so take the time.

    I have stopped using a local guy, because he could never meet schedule or what he said he could do time wise..price never changed, but months and months of pushing my shit to the back was the kiss of death to him getting any more of my work and money.

    I took some lessons from local fellow HAMBers to set me straight on how to do some body work, prep work, and lay a decent paint far even though its a semi gloss black job I have done on my own came out way better than I expected, good enough to call it done for now, until my money boat hits the dock. Ill spend my money on other shit for now.

    So to end this, Im not a pro, and dont run a paint and body shop, and dont claim to..but I would have never fucked up my own car that if that says anything about his skill level..its time for him to find another line of work.

    with you being in TN. theres little chance I would ever run across him or use him.. but others on here that might be in that area need to know who and where
  28. Von Rigg Fink
    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 13,428

    Von Rigg Fink
    from Garage

    Right answer
  29. RDAH
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 465

    from NL, WI

    My 54 Merc is now in it's 3rd body shop in the past 2 years here in Wi. I had estimates of 4, 5, & now 8 grand to repair it. It was done back in the 80's with mud + panels replaced. Getting blisters in fenders doors & the doors have a half in gap at the bottom. Paint is getting pretty thin in places.The other 2 shops I got my down payment back after 6 months & the car wasn't touched. The shop it is at now has 5 guys working for him, cars been there one month & not touched. I've been restoring a 54 Ford truck for the past year & my skills are OK for a truck, but not a custom 54 Merc.
  30. 1time
    Joined: Dec 5, 2009
    Posts: 88

    from minnesota

    I call bullshit on this hole thread , I'd love to hear the other guys side of the story

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