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What should I expect to pay for a decent paint job? It will need very little body work, just some surface rust popping up in a couple places.
 

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You can spend $500 and get a job that meets your expectations, or you can spend $10,000 and still be disappointed. It really depends on what your definition of "decent" is. A friend of mine was getting his T-Bird painted at Maaco every 3-4 years. Each time he went with a higher grade of paint service, the last time getting the $500 bc/cc job. In each case the paint looked great, but the gloss didn't last long on the 1st paint job ($250) or even the 2nd ($350). The bc/cc paint he had done was 5 years ago and the paint still looks good, so I'd call that a decent job for $500 (not a show quality paint job but it looks good and has lasted a few years). On the other hand, I paid over $1200 to get my 'stang painted 2 years ago at a different shop. Besides being a really crappy paint job the paint is already losing it's shine. This was definitely NOT a decent paint. The point here is that quality of the individual shop you go to will determine how much you pay, and you don't always get more even if you pay more. You'll need to spend some time researching the shops in your area to find one that will meet your quality standards and your budget. Ask them if you can contact previous customers to see their work. Be VERY critical of the paint on any customers cars they tell you about (they aren't likely to tell you about the unsatisfied customers). If they won't give you any names move on to the next shop. My last piece of advice on this topic is don't compromise your expectations for the sake of price. If you find a shop that you're confident will do a good job but they charge a little more than you had budgeted, take a little time to save up the extra money and make sure they understand what your expectations are and the extra trouble you went to in choosing them. It will cost less in the long run than having to redo a bad paint job. My mistake was not doing enough research before choosing a shop.
 

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Depends on what you consider "decent". A Maaco paint job, particularly if you pull the trim and have the body prepped beforehand, will probably look as good as the original paint on one of these cars (won't be as durable, though).

On the other hand, if premium paint and other materials is important, the materials alone can cost $1000, maybe more.

I've paid as little as $1500 for a paint job that would do pretty well in a car show. I consider that to be about the minimum for a quality paint job, though. I personally would't pay more than $4,000 for a good paint job, although many will pay 3 times that amount to have what they consider to be perfect paint.

Paint is definitely something you should get several bids on. You should also look at a few examples of every bidder's work before making a decision, IMO.
 

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I paid less than $1000 for my BC/CC at Econopaint. Smooth as silk and shines like glass! I've always gone the Econo/Maaco route - and as long as I've done quality prep work - I've never been disappointed in their paint jobs.
 

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I am seriously considering this route for my son's car...

I had a friend with a 69 convertible that swore by Maaco; had his car repainted by them twice over a 15 year period. His logic was that the Maaco painters shoot a lot of cars and get more time in the booth than most. I can not attest to the validity of his logic, but my friend's convertible looked great.

I think the key with any service provider is to ask around and check references. Also be realistic with your goals and discuss them with the painter (e.g. I want a show quality mirror finish v.s. I want a daily driver paint job that will last 5 years).


Good luck
 

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I the Milwaukee area, Ive talked to a classic car restorer, and standard paint shop (not low end like maaco or sheib) and a hobbyist (a VMFer too) that paints Mustangs. Consensus is that materials cost 800-1000, and a minimum paint job would be 2k-3k for a good durable and collector car finish. Since Im doing a ton of the metal work etc. myself, Im budgeting 2500 for my paint job.
 

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...materials cost 800-1000, and a minimum paint job would be 2k-3k for a good durable and collector car finish...
Then how did I get away with such a low cost? It's been 7 years since the paint job, and it still looks as good as the day it was done. Better actually - I wet-sanded it to within an inch of its life! :p

I realize that prices of materials and such do go up over time, and that certainly has to be taken into account - but still... I doubt that little Econopaint shop is charging $3000 today for the same quality paint job they gave me a few years ago.

I still insist that you can get a quality paint job for less than $1000. So much of the end result has to do with the prep - and you can take your time and do all that yourself. Then proper care and maintenance of the paint once it's done...
 

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my dads painted a 67 s code fastback for $4000, but then again, he's painted an e-type jag for $11,000. i'd guess for your car, a decent paint job should be in the 2500-3500 range.
 

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Dan. You're probably like I am regarding paint jobs. If it looks good and holds up then it's a good paint job. If it's got a ton of fisheyes and fades after a couple of years then it's a bad paint job. Lots of folks have to pay a lot to feel secure about making the right choice. I knew a guy with a C3 Vette who took his car to a well thought of local body shop and had it painted for $5K. Brought it by to show it to me after he got it back and the hood was a sea of fisheyes. I said "How much did you pay?" and he said "Five". Like an idiot I then said "Five hundred?" and he snapped "No, five thousand!" He's never spoken to me again. He was actually proud of the mess they made of his car because he'd spent the right amount. My 69 vert has fewer flaws and I had it painted by a private party in his garage for $900. It isn't a "show" paint job but I've got some trophies from both judged and people's choice type shows, so I guess it aint so bad. I personally know a couple of local restorers that always use Miracle for their restoration paint jobs. The Miracle franchise they use is near my business and I always see a litteral car show outside their shop with all the muscle cars and classics they have just painted. I think their big buck two stage paint job is something like $1,700 and you can get one done acceptably for $500.
 

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I want to be able to drive the cars I restore someday. If I spend $15000 for a perfect paint job (more than I've paid for any of the cars themselves) then I will never be comfortable outside my garage. If I spend $2000 on a really good paint job, I'll drive the car to shows. If I spend $1000 on a great 3-foot paint job, I won't mind driving it to work or the mall.
 

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if you have the time, and it is offered in your area take a course at a local junior college in auto body and paint. You will learn to do all the metal work and prep work as well as getting discounts on materials (most of the time) and free booth time. Plus the satisfactiont hat you painted the car yourself ;)
 
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