Register now to get rid of these ads!

real cost of a great paint job

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by redhumphries, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. I think the original topic was "the real cost of a great paint job"(emphasis on great)....not, 'paint doesn't always cost megabucks' ;)
    Paint jobs aren't real profitable because they are labor intensive, and profit on labor is somewhat limited(as opposed to profit on collision repair/parts sales)---you posed the question 'if there's no money in it, why do so many people get in the business?' I think if you ask around(depending on your location), there is a shortage of skilled painters. Sure, anybody can paint a car(no, really, not being sarcastic)...but not everyone can do a great job, or even a really good job--and even in the collision world, that's kind of "expected", as today's standards are much higher than 20-30 years ago....and not everyone can cut the mustard.
    Shops like me aren't getting rich by any means. You pay for good, or great, and you're just paying me to take extra time to make it look better than the rest. And ultimately, time is everything. Like coolbreeze said, a $1500 job turns more profit than a $10k 'great' refinish. THAT is what draws people into this business :)
  2. hemiwheelstand
    Joined: Sep 29, 2012
    Posts: 100


    I think, that I will be forced sell my wheelie truck so that I can be able to aford to paint it.
  3. Keep
    Joined: May 10, 2008
    Posts: 662


    That's the catch. After I spent 80+ hours getting the body straight, I was not going to spray Rustoleum or some other cheap paint. Did i originally plan to spend $1000 for paint/clear, not a chance. But it came back to all the hours I spent getting things right and not wanting to have to do it again when the cheap paint wore out.
  4. Dane
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,351

    from Soquel, CA

    Same reason drugs are so expensive... [​IMG]
  5. 61 chevy
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 891

    61 chevy

    it must have gold flake in it :eek:
  6. My o/t '66 Coronet 500 was painted in 1985. I personally stripped the outside of all trim, bumpers and attachments, along with the complete interior (except the dash and headliner). I had a new vinyl top put on before the paint went on. Sent the bumpers out to a local chrome shop. Did much of the initial prep myself throughout. Installed new carpet after the paint, and then put everything back on the car. In 1985, all this cost me a bit over $3,000...which adjusted for 2012 US dollars, would be $6,300. Yeah, things cost a lot right now; but figure inflation in, and even that would no count alone for the skyrocketing costs for quality paint and body work.
  7. I am 'balls deep in a home paint job right now. Lots of time sanding and fitting and money spent on materials. Like others have said-once you commit the time to the project-the last thing you want to do is take a chance on inferior materials. I won't spend a grand a gallon for color for this one,but can understand how it could be that much.
    Before and in progress.... getting closer

    Attached Files:

    Joined: Oct 2, 2011
    Posts: 135


    Dropped the 55' off at 2 yesterday, at noon today it was a whole lotta black. All those hours on the body work payed off. People can do this you just have to be willing to put in the time. Check the 64 gto across the street.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!

    Attached Files:

  9. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,112

    anthony myrick

    20+ years ago my first paint job cost me around 100$ used synthetic enamel. skip ahead to the mid 90s and 4500$+ worth of materials was common on resto work Materials are expensive and labor cost more, just a fact of life.
  10. fullsizejohn
    Joined: Aug 14, 2011
    Posts: 53


    I guess it was about 1990 i had my then 69 SS chevelle painted by a local shop. Nuthing fancy, just a repaint of the factory color. Tennis ball size rust repair on each quarter. $1800 bones. It was my dd at the time but boy i was happy with it. Really looked good. I wonder now what something like that would cost? $5000 i bet.
  11. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,882

    Special Ed

    This subject has been beat to death on here for many years . Do a search on the now banned member that went by the name of 29Nash. He was literally laughed off of this forum for his claims of cheap-ass paint jobs. :cool:
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222


    Last comment (I hope). I'm doing a brand new O/T body. Just sand and shoot, right? HA HA HA HA HA HAAAA...

    My guide coat is a thin coating of tinted primer over every sqft of the body/fender/hood, etc. Start flat blocking the whole car (almost a misnomer) and you'd be amazed at the flaws on this brand new metal. Draw marks, gouges, waves, all will show up if ignored. No machines allowed where reflection is the goal. And that's the one thing, the reflections, the images you see in the side of the car, the panel fit and if the quarter and door show a continuous line with little to no interruption (sheet metal radius only). If you can see that, if it matters, you'll quickly learn how and why a 1st rate finish costs what it does. Would any OEM ever worry about such things? Well, back in their day, and at least through the 47 model year, every Packard was painted with a coat of black and visually inspected for panel fit and body finish quality before it went in for final color. Take a brief look at this OEM photo:


    They cared enough to get it right, but at a minimum of $2600 and some tickling 5 figures in the higher end offerings, it better damn well be that good. You won't see this in OEM Ford pics. And at less than $1K, who'd expect it. Maybe that's a way to get your head around what's appropriate. And to repeat, there's many an unspoken step to longevity. Several of my cars have stood the test of time. Cute little black Barracuda, saw it last night, did it a dozen yrs ago and she drives the shit out of it. Looked like it was done last month.
  13. Moon Rocket
    Joined: Dec 26, 2012
    Posts: 540

    Moon Rocket
    from GA

    Oh I understand what your saying. But do you understand all I'm saying is there are a lot more Fords out there than there are Packards! ;)

    One thing I have noticed though, seems that the folks that realize the value in a 20K> paint job the most are the folks selling them.

  14. so true..paint hides nothing....the real work and cost lies in the work before paint...hours of sanding..blocking..primeing..reblocking...sanding...primeing...till perfection..then paint..
  15. scottb356
    Joined: Jun 10, 2011
    Posts: 172


    Just one more visual example on an OT car. owner brought it to me 90% disassembled, and stripped to bare metal. Almost NO rust repair ( 2 spots that took about 4 hrs ) or accident damage. Time and material job. $ 12,000.00 and he did 75% of the reassembly. Somewhere around 1800.00 in materials. K36, PPG Deltron and 2002 clear.

    I'm also one of those guys that does my buffing in the booth, for 2 reasons. Mainly the light is much better for seeing any hazy spots that needs some more work with polishing compound. 2: it contains all the flying mess, and as someone else said, it FORCES me to methodically clean the booth

    Attached Files:

  16. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,751

    from Nicasio Ca

    Same here. Spent too many years worrying about shit falling out of the sky, flying off someone's tires, door dings, shopping carts, fender benders, my own general stupidity...
  17. When I was a young guy, me and my buddies always wanted a "Coliseum Quality" paint job like you'd see at an indoor car show, miles deep and without a flaw in sight. Now that I got a few years on me, my thoughts have changed.
    I want to own the car and not have the car own me. I still enjoy looking at a fine ride with perfect $$$$$ paint, but it just ain't for me. Too much stress involved there.

    It seems I've found that with most of the cars I've admired over the years (and still do), the stance, wheel tire combo, color, body style, and motor, attract my attention more than absolute perfection in the area of body and paint. None of them had the million dollar "dipped in plastic" paint jobs that you see today and if they did, they wouldn't have looked right.
    At this point all I want is a decent, shiny, driver quality paint job so that the car can be enjoyed. A $10,000+ paint job ain't in the cards and neither is $1000 a gallon paint.
  18. vtmopar
    Joined: Jun 5, 2013
    Posts: 47

    from Vermont

    Gasser 57-
    "It seems I've found that with most of the cars I've admired over the years (and still do), the stance, wheel tire combo, color, body style, and motor, attract my attention more than absolute perfection in the area of body and paint. None of them had the million dollar "dipped in plastic" paint jobs that you see today and if they did, they wouldn't have looked right.
    At this point all I want is a decent, shiny, driver quality paint job so that the car can be enjoyed. A $10,000+ paint job ain't in the cards and neither is $1000 a gallon paint."

    perfectly said.<!-- / message -->
  19. Studebricker
    Joined: Mar 5, 2013
    Posts: 57

    from TX

    With my first classic car, I was dumb and ended up paying for a new paint job later because I didn't know what to look for when I bought it. With my second car, I made sure the body was done right. I don't mind doing engine work, but these days, I do not want to have to pay for another paint job... ;)
  20. Rusty Karz
    Joined: Feb 11, 2005
    Posts: 299

    Rusty Karz

    I have a question (and no I am not trying to be a smart ass)but how do the factories get cars painted on the assembly line quickly and I'm sure for far less than $10,000 each? New car paint looks pretty darned good to me.
  21. They start with brand new straight panels so there is no body work to perform, they paint thousands and thousands of cars so the paint costs them way less money, a robot paints them not a person so it is faster, and in general factory paint is what most would consider driver quality. Nothing is ever color sanded and buffed out which cuts way down on time as well. Look closely at most factory paint jobs lots of orange peel (even on high end models) and they have the bare minimum amount of paint and clear that they can get away with on the cars to keep costs down.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222


    Put on a pair of polarized sun glasses and look down the side of an OEM silver or any other high metallic finish. Those robots mentioned above can't see that. If that becomes the 1st time that you've seen it, then see it all the time from now on, well, sorry...
  23. People have to realize its not just the cost of the paint. Its all the paper,tape, ect... Not to mention the overhead for the shops. Ever price a real good quality paint booth? Think about it then ad labor on top of all that. Just my 2 pennies. -Fat Chico
  24. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,268


    I'm in this club....^^^^^

    The whole paint thing is much worse with trucks, trucks are for work. Mine is heated up period stuff stock height. Lipstick on a pig comes to mind.

    Cosmo with the '49
  25. Ob1
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 411


    Yesterday I bought some White Crystal, a Lexus 3 stage color.

    1 pint reduced of each, $195

  26. Did you see my earlier post about the cost of mixed paint ?
    Well that needs to be extrapolated back into extreme bulk buying qualities.

    Oem quality finish does look pretty good but it is middle of the road- anyway for this conversation I believe it is.
  27. Rusty Karz
    Joined: Feb 11, 2005
    Posts: 299

    Rusty Karz

    A reasonable answer to an honestly asked question. I see that I was comparing apple to oranges in regard to paint jobs.
  28. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465


    9 outta 10 folks that come by the shop looking for quotes faces pretty big sticker shock. had a few just this week. you tell 'em fixing the few dings and little rust a project has, correctly primeing and blocking the hell outta it and laying down a nice paint job with quality materials and alot it a sad puppy look. had a guy with a pretty solid f100 this week that didn't need much and when we gave him the rough breakdown of $6-7k he nearly cried. yet the first time he had stopped in(a few hours earlier) was driving a DECKED OUT NEW F350 that was probably a $65k truck.

    We've got a car in our shop now that had some work done at Red's shop in charlotte. I hope they had the same experience with the owner we have had so far. In our shop you bill the guy and he pays it. end of story. then you've got the other type that we had a few of stop by this week. tell 'em shop rate is $60hr and they balk and say my guy is only $25-30hr. if a mans got overhead at all he ain't clearing much of a good living wage a those prices.

    fact is fact and if you get a car in and out on a COMPELTE job in less than 100hrs you did pretty good. 100hrx$60hr= $6000 and $4000 in materials used and $10,000 for a paintjob ain't outta this world pricing. we've got a car we just finsihed that had WELL over 1000hrs in. LOTS of custom hand fabbed parts...ken....

    Rutter's Rod Shop
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  29. choppachris
    Joined: Jul 4, 2009
    Posts: 41


    $1000 a gallon for basecoat? Really?
  30. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,751

    from Nicasio Ca

    They don't have to sand off the old paint. :)

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.