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Here is the deal, we took most of the car down to bare metal and shot it with etching primer. The doors, trunk lid, and misc. little body parts have been stripped to bare metal as well but no etching yet(don't worry they are sealed). I am dropping my car off at the paint shop on Monday for complete body work and a "daily-driver" paint job. As my previous post stated, he said that he would have it for 3 weeks and could do it for under 3K. My question is, what all do I need to get in writing so I don't get hosed on this one? I have never had a car painted so I am looking for advice from people who did it the right way(got everything in writing) and the people who got hosed(sorry, hopefully others can benefit from your misfortune at least, I mean that honestly). So I need to have a document that says what exactly? My uncle had a guy paint his 40 chevy and the guy royally F***ED it up and my uncle was pretty much left high and dry, I don't want to end up in the same boat. If you can't tell, I am almost in fear of having this done, just because I don't want to get screwed. Any advise is welcomed and appreciated.
TIA
 

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In my opinion, the best way to prevent yourself from getting left "high and dry" is to not pay more than 1/3 of the total until the job is done to your satisfaction.

If you are not sure that the job was done right, bring/hire someone along that knows what to look for, see if you can find a local car club and ask around.

Hope this helps.
 

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The difference between a "daily driver" paint job and a "show" paint job is not the paint ( unless you are using the cheapest stuff out there!) but in what the paint is on. It is the preperation which brings the bigest factor into this game. How straight are they going to get it, how tight the seams....find this out, make sure the paint is a known quantity, and then you will have a better idea what to expect. the one in the picture I did in my home garage, nothing fancy, Sears compressor, Omni BC/CC paint. Materials cost me under $600....my labor for straightening out the body? PRICELESS...to borrow from a popular credit caard commercial. John

http://www.mvmustangs.org/stampede/2001/01s101.jpg
 

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Have the bodyshop owner/manager show you cars he's done recently and get him to commit to level of finish that matches the one you would be satisfied with.

Before you finalize a price the bodyshop should thoroughly check the car for any rust that has been missed (cowl, fire wall, cowl side supports, torque boxes, floor pans, quarters, and doors). Decide what to do if you find any. After that write the contract.

The contract should specify the amount, type and location of prep work (this is the foundation of a good job), will they get all the nooks and crannies? Will you have them do the engine compartment and trunk area, what about door jambs, etc. Ask him/her what he thinks is needed, and then get a commitment to do that much.

The contract should let you inspect the car before it is painted when all the prep work is done.

The contract should state what parts and areas will be painted. The trunk area, door jambs, engine compartment, etc.

The contract should address the type and brand of paint to be used. How many color coats, how many clear coats, wet sanding or buffing.

Assembly and panel alingment - are you going to put it back together or will they?

To do all of this would cost a lot more than $3000 probably, but you should look at the options and then decide what you can live with.

Best of luck.

John Harvey
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for all of the info so far, good stuff. Please add comments/tips if you have them, ANY and ALL info is greatly appreciated.
 

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I have had two cars painted. I did not have a contract with either painter. I did have a verbal understanding with each of them & I paid most of the price when the car was finished. I also checked on the progress of the car whenever I could. They both took the car apart & put it back together. They both did very nice jobs but they had my car a long time (this was no problem for me). You need to let the painter know what type of job you are expecting & ask him if he is going to take the fenders, doors etc. off the car to paint them separately etc... Also let him know that you are very particular about your car & that you will probably come in once a week to check on the progress of your car. Both of my painters were referred by others. For $ 3,000 you should get better than a driver paint job. Good luck.
 

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if you are at a good bodyshop,they won't ask for money up front,unless you have a 500.00 car with a 5000.00 repair bill.if you have to put down a deposit it should not be for more than the materials cost.talk to them about what you consider a daily driver job.my definition would be:if going back the same color door jambs,under hood and trunk left alone,if you change colors you'll have to paint them [add approx 500.00].some imperfections that can be seen within couple feet,but when you back off 10 feet looks very presentable,no runs or anything like that,maybe some dirt in finish but not excessive.once you decide onhow far your going to go,have him write a estimate.this should cover each panel that will need some bodywork with a labor cost on each panel.then it should cover if he is going to block sand the car and if so once,twice,?how many times.the more it's blocked the better it will look.he should list if it's going to be a clearcoat and if the finish will be color sanded and buffed or run out the door for you to pick up. once the estimate is done look it over and discuss it with him.tell him you don't want to spend over this amount and if anything comes up that is going to cause a cost overrun you need to be called and come in and ok the expense otherwise you expect to spend what the estimate says.[in 30 yrs i've never raised the bottom line cost-even though i would've like to!!]write it on the estimate that if you don't authorize it,he wont get paid for it.then stop in and check on the car a couple times,not every day that will just p.o. them,but it shows you have a intrest in the final product and i guarntee you the will sand,mask,buff just a little harder if they know you will look at it good when you pick it up.lots of good advice on vmf so read up on paint,bodywork,dealing with shops.good luck larry
 

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What I'm doing -
I too stripped the car to bare metal and removed all trim, etc. Then the wife tried to find a body shop. ALL the larger shops were NOT interested and one was even rude about it. We then called local auto paint vendors and ask for recommendations. In addition, we called a retired painter who had done good work for us in the past. Both the retired guy and the paint shop recommended "Jimmy", we live in a small town so you only need first names. Jimmy came over to the house, inspected the car and went home to think about a price. We need a quarter panel skin replaced and some body work. Jimmy decided that a firm price on the job was not viable since I had already done so much work. We agreed that he would work on the car for $25/hour plus materials. I'll reimburse him for materials at his cost. I have pulled every thing off the unibody and will take the parts to his shop for primer and cut out paint. Jimmy will come to the house and do the cut out paint (around door jams, trunk, and base of the hood). I will reassemble the car then take it to Jimmy's shop where he will finish the alignment of the bolt on parts, build prime, guide coat and sand, bc/cc top coats, color sand and buff.
 
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