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As always, when I'm stumped or baffled I come here. Spoke with a local painter who has a good reputation in the short time he has owned a shop. He has only been in business for a year and stopped down to give an estimate on my son's coupe. The car has been brought down to bare metal, metal prepped and primed. There is no body damage or rust anywhere on the car. His estimate was 3500-4500 to do the car. I understand that in needs to be re-sanded but still think this is too high and too wide of a gap in his estimate. He also said that it will take a month to do. The primer needs to sit for 2 weeks to harden before he applies the final paint (anyone ever hear this). He is currently working on 2 of his friends vehicles (am I making up the difference in what he is charging them? What are your opinions?

TIA
 

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A lot depends on the paint. I spent almost $1500 on paint alone on my last paint job.
Most painters will bid the job as if they had to resurface and resand the entire job. This is because 90% of the appearance is in the prep. They don't to take a chance with someone else's prep.
 
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Read your post but it is lacking a few details which would help validate this quote.

You mention the car is prepped and sanded and not requiring any body work. You may want to confirm this with the shop to see if he feels the same way. Often times shops leave room for prep since they plan to take your primer off before they apply their own so they can be sure the final paint will stick.

Also, I am assuming the car is stripped in terms of windshields, trim, door glass, handles, etc. so no labor is lost to this work. If not, make sure you do this in advance and confirm how much work "after" you expect from them. Assembling headlight, taillights, etc. all take time and this is where it adds up. Most shops estimate somewhere between $50-70/hr for labor.

Finally, you have the paint materials themselves. You are probably heading down a BC/CC path where you have at least 2 coats each and this does cost a bit. Make sure your paint choices are not esoteric and costing more than normal.

Bottom line with the above details and other normal variables. Having a $1,000 delta is not all that uncommon.... Whether or not he is subsidizing his friends work or not is an unknown. Not too many businesses are going to survive long term if they do too many "pro-bono" work.
 

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And to add to Craigs comments, Most of these so called paint systems.... require you use their whole system. Primer ,sealer, etc. or they won't stand behind the job.If the paint goes "flat" say , and you didn't use "their" primer then the job is "Your" problem. I do agree, with all your prep,and no body work....a month seems a little extreme?
 
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Thanks for the comments. Yes - everything has been removed including all weather stripping. The jambs and the entire body have been stripped and primed. He inspected the car and did not find anything that would require special attention. I just thought that the hard work to get it to this point would have made the paint job less expensive.
 

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When I do a car that has been stripped not by me I'm a little worried about it. Because I don't know whats under the primer. Primer will make a wavy & uneven surface look perfect! This is what I'd tell a person that brought me a primered car "ready" to paint...

Ok, any dents, waves or anything I should know about? No you say, "body is straight." Ok, I'll spray it, but it's not my fault if afterwards you see bodywork or waves. And, there's no warranty. If they still want me to paint it I'll do it.

It's not odd for a bodyshop to keep one a month. There will be wetsanding & buffing after the paint. That takes longer to do than spraying.
But the price does seem a bit high just to spray.
You can spray a car using all PPG for under $800.
 

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IMO that is a cheap estimate. You DID do the "hard" work, but you haven't really done the time consuming work. What makes a paint job stand out is several passes of "block" sanding. This can take 10-30 HOURS for each pass. A friend of mine had his Mopar done, and granted its has roughly twice the surface area of a Mustang, the shop said it was about $1000 per block pass. That is a cheap shop. The number of passes won't be known until the body man digs into the work, so there is your $1000 delta.

This guy sounds like he knows what he's doing, he doesn't want his reputation damaged by someone else's prep work. You can't really fault him for that.

As for cure time, yes that is true, it takes time for the primer (actually, the bondo) to fully cure. Don't fool yourself, you will have SOME filler on there, even if it's just a few skim coats. See block sanding above.

Back to your $3500-$4500...If that were to only physically spray the car, I would agree it's overpriced. But my guess is the guy is going to do it right, in which case you have yourself a pretty good deal. You'll have to ask him and let us know what you find.
 

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If it was my kid i'de buy the enamal paint and let him shoot it. I'de buy twice as much as i should need so if i had to strip a pannel back to bare metal i could. The worst thing you can do with enamal is have a couple runs in it or if its put on to thick bad things can happen. Good or bad painting a car together will build great family memories.
 
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How nice do you want it?? I paint as a side job. Product can cost 1000.00 easy. How flat/slick do you want it? Show car depth? ect ect. This was a recent job. And my current job I quoted at 6k because they want this look. It is up to you on what you really want and how long it will last. Garage kept or in the elements? http://mypeoplepc.com/members/bcuda/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/spritebuffed4.jpg
 
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