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fortunately i enjoy the sanding aspect, ive already got sanding blocks and rolls of sandpaper. this,,,, i can do,, im just wondering if i should take it to Maaco and let them spray the paint, when i am done
Was hoping you'd get some response to your Maaco question. I'm in the beginning stages of prepping my car for paint. But I want this to be a driver with a "good" paint job. It'll be garaged when done so wondering if Maaco is a good option. Has anyone done that route? I'd like mine painted while its on its caster wheels so not sure if they're game for pushing a car around in their shop.
 

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I have no personal experience with Maaco but have read many good things and many bad things. I have also read it really depends on that specific shop. If you do want to do prep work, regardless of who you're taking it too, make sure it is ok with the shop if you do. Maaco probably won't care but most other shops will, if they're reputable.
 

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Hey Lizer thanks for that nugget, I thought it was one of those hard and fast rules for professional quality results.
Side note I went to a guys house to buy some headers about 6 months ago he had a fairlane in his garage with a really good paint job, he sai he did it himself. I was still new to the hobby and I asked him how much he charged, he said oh i dont do this for other people anymore if I did this for someone else this is a $40,000 paint job. I thought thats a lot of money for just paint.
Even this 12 layer paint job you guys are walking me through. 40K come onnnn
I hate this '12 layer paint job' thing. You put down as many 'layers' or different products that are required, as long as it's done properly without excessive mil build.

I've been doing golf carts for $350, but I need to increase that now. And by increase that, I mean stop doing it. It's not worth my time. I need to work on my own cars.

If somebody wanted me to paint their car (color sanding and all), it'd be at least $20-30k. Because that's how much I'd need for it to actually be worth my time, but it would be a show car job. Even then, I'm not sure I'd want to do it. My neighbor's buddy has been nagging me for a few years now to paint his 77 Corvette. I've done this era Corvette before and they're not too bad. If he helps me with it, I might do it for him for a much better rate.

Regarding your door, don't replace the entire door, just the skin in the damaged area. You can buy lower skins to replace just that area, or buy an entire skin and cut off what you need. Take the door to a shop if you need to and have them replace the damaged part, it shouldn't be more than a few hours labor. But it will be a much better repair than piling on that much filler, which is way too much.
 

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Maacos are a franchise and like the Earl Sheibs used to be they are fine as long as you don't opt for the cheapest job and paint quality they offer. I might bet one would do the color coat only but i wouldn't expect much of any warranty with it.
Let your primer coats be your practice, you might have a knack for it.


Anyone else feel funny about some of the car shows where they use a skim coat of filler over the entire car then block it? Seems extreme and border line cop-out to me.
Theres no shame in using filler where its called for, as you saw if its done well it can disappear. The way I see it you can re-plaster it, layers of course or beat it out and skim it, patch it and skim it, re-skin it and skim it or get a new door and likely still need to skim some low spots.
Your door your choice. I would hate just thinking about replacing all the guts, re-aligning and hoping the edges look good without even more work it might need.
 

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Interesting thread. ONe takaway:
- A good paint job will cost as much as buying a car completely finished with a good paint job

One thing to remember is problems with paint can take many many years to show up. Make sure you really understand what you are mixing and matching and are willing to have problems show up 5 - 10 years later

Best thing I got for getting a car straight was a 18" X 2" Chicago Pneumatic sander. THat thing gets surfaces FLAT and beautiful. best for working surfaces that need work and need to be straight.

Finally, no matter how you choos to remove paint mechanically, remember that any time you heat a spot on a flat surface beyond "warm" you are creating the potential for a spot that will need filler and an artful repair, move around a lot so the surface does not get hot e.g. wire and grinders...

Good luck
 

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We’ve got a Maaco here that has a custom shop. The owner paints those cars under a different business name. His stuff looked nice. We had a respray of an older Matrix there by the collision shop.

Anyone doing real customs isn’t going to spray over your bodywork. Those that will aren’t going to guarantee the job. Too many unknown variables. Figure a grand or two for a basic job over your bodywork at a chain shop likely with no warranty. They may or may not be able to match a classic factory color with the late model bulk paints and toners used for collision work. Good quality base and clear will be close to a couple grand just for material. Entry level name brand will be half that and plenty good for what most of do with our cars.

A $20k plus paint job is normal in higher end customs and restorations. In fact it’s on the low end. The cost is in the prep labor. If you can get your car into Foose or Hutton or Hot Dog you could easily hit $30-40k for paint not counting metal. The high end show cars can have hundreds of hours in blocking and prep alone plus hours of color sanding/cut and buff.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
So what I am hearin is I should continue down this road I am traveling, put in the hours upon hours t block and prep my car, spray it myself and then use it to get other work and charge someone else $20k to do their cars. Twenty thousand dollars for about 3 -4 months work as a side hustle isnt to shabby, Im still in the honeymoon stage of this hobby so I LOVE everything about it. I couldnt sleep last night because I couldnt wait to get up today to do some more body work.
As far as my door, I have a buddy who does welding i reached out to him today to see if he could do the welding, I will continue to search for doors. I am planning to pull the door off anyway for painting., And I am going to gut it as well, to learn how to do it. I think I will spray it with slick sand, even if I dont use the door the using it as a practice panel is a goo idea,
Someone mentioned the idea of Maaco, two things 1) I heard dthat they basically just paint over whatever you bring them, if you so the prep work thn you should be good 2) I opted out of this line of reasoning because if I am engaging in a 3 week thread and doing all this research and putting in all this love ,,,, why nt see it through to the end. Here in LA there are a bunch of guys who paint cars in their garages and there are places that rent spray booths. If I mess up...I can come to this site or autobody 101 and ask how to fix it.
 

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I would not recommend Slick Sand for you. Just stick with regular high build primer.
 

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Agreed about doing paint at home I’ve never done it but after all the research I did my filler I sprayed my epoxy and now I’m prepping and getting ready for urethan primer. My reasoning behind doing it myself was it’s not gonna cost me more than 1,200 for materials so even if I screw up and have to re paint or what not it’s still cheaper to paint the car myself then have someone else do it plus I love every second of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #51
@Bernnstang , its awesome right, I feel as if I am learning something new and it is very rewarding, even something as simple as seeing my car in bare metal ,,,,, exciting to know that I did that and thatI am going a step beyond what some shops even do. I am waiting for my epoxy primer to be delivered on monday. then i will spray on tuesday.
 

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That’s Awesome I sprayed my epoxy last week just in a few places that I wouldn’t be able to get into after I welded panels on like inside quarters and I was really surprised how easy it was to spray and how good it came out I got a little ahead of myself and sprayed the front clip with it after a few seconds I got the hang and cane out great I sanded it with high grit because i saw it in a video and I was suprised how good it cleaned up...what primer are you using? And filler? Did you get paint prep?
 

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????? Why not?
Because it's a pain in the ass, it's expensive and doesn't go far, requires an enormous gun tip, sets up in the gun quickly, is like sanding concrete until you break through the skin, and if you don't tape it off right the overspray on other parts is obnoxious. It's not really a novice-friendly product.

Before you spray your epoxy, make sure you clean your panels with wax and grease remove twice. Saturate a paper towel, wipe it on, and wipe it off with a clean paper towel. The WGR will lift contaminants from the metal surface but you need the clean paper towel to remove them. Let it sit for minimum 30 minutes before spraying to flash off solvent. You want the air temp to be at least 65-70F if you're spraying too.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Ok guys so I am a little confuse hopefuly someone can straighten me out. I thought that Evercoat slick sand WAS a filler. Apparently it is not. I know BOndo IS a filler however its apparently frowned up, So can someone explain the difference between Filler and High Build filler. For a frame of reference here is where my mind is at.
My car is fairly straight, there is a section on the roof that has some dips..Previously before I ws engithened I put some Bondo over that section then sanded it down smooth. Now I have some UPOL High Build and then put a couple of coats of the high buile primer or will it not be thick enough.
If it is not thick enough should I just put Bondo ( I have some n the garage) over the epoxy primer block sand the Bondo and then put high build primer over the top o level it out?
 

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Your "Bondo" is is body filler, whereas slicksand is a filler/primer and like most is designed to fill sand scratches in the Bondo. Bondo is just a brand and not my first choice but nothing wrong with it or any other quality body filler. Thick enough is a relative term as e high build is just more solids than others, seldom is one round of primer filler and sanding enough. You want to finish your Bondo out from 40 grit to maybe 150 grit then apply a couple coats of primer filler, block that out to 150 grit and repeat as needed. Don't try to shape your initial Bondo with too fine of paper to begin with as it will not be straight, just smooth. If you spray a little guide coat and find everything looks good at 150 grit then continue until you reach maybe 320 grit or whatever your looking to get. Personally I like to finish with 500 grit wet on a block to get a fine feel of the finished work, it gives me the opportunity to feel the finish but my hands have been doing it for a long time.
Also, look closer at the dips in your roof and you will see they have high areas around the low spots, you need to try to hammer work the high spots down ideally while putting some dolly pressure in the low spots from the inside if you don't have a headliner. If you have a headliner then the best way to work those is to lift with a stud gun. Assuming neither of the above the best option for you will be to try and tap the high areas down with a pick hammer, you can't use a standard face hammer as the displaced metal has to go somewhere and the pick hammer will make little dimples to give the metal somewhere to go. If you just fill the low spots you will probably end up with a bunch of goose eggs on your roof. Take a short straightedge to verify if high.
 

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Ok guys so I am a little confuse hopefuly someone can straighten me out. I thought that Evercoat slick sand WAS a filler. Apparently it is not. I know BOndo IS a filler however its apparently frowned up, So can someone explain the difference between Filler and High Build filler. For a frame of reference here is where my mind is at.
My car is fairly straight, there is a section on the roof that has some dips..Previously before I ws engithened I put some Bondo over that section then sanded it down smooth. Now I have some UPOL High Build and then put a couple of coats of the high buile primer or will it not be thick enough.
If it is not thick enough should I just put Bondo ( I have some n the garage) over the epoxy primer block sand the Bondo and then put high build primer over the top o level it out?
Slick Sand is a polyester primer. It is very high solids and gives extremely high build, but it is not filler. One coat of high build primer is about as thick as a business card, whereas slick sand might be as thick as two business cards in a single coat.


Filler is an actual paste that must be spread onto the car and spreads on very thick. Filler will probably be about 1/8" thick to 1/4" thick when it's initially spread on. Then it's blocked down to enough depth so only the low spot is filled. Filler should never be more than 1/4" thick. If more than that is required then do more metal work. My preferred filler is Marson Platinum, which is a polyester filler. Biggest problem most people do is mix way too much hardener in with the filler. If it's a filler that uses a red hardener, the mixed product should be the color of flesh, it should not be red. If it's a blue hardener, it should be a very light blue.

The roof is one of the most difficult parts of the car. I think the best thing for you is to just fill it. It's not what I would do, I would work the metal, but without some experience doing this you can really mess it up. The roof usually requires a lot of heat shrinking. Block it with a light touch--only the weight of the sanding block--so you aren't pushing the metal down while you block otherwise it defeats the purpose.
 

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By definition paint primer is essentially used to promote adhesion. In autobody a primer surfacer is also considered a "filler" as it is designed to fill sand scratches. Not the same as a glazing putty type filler that is also used to fill sand scratches. Not trying to confuse the issue, but terminology varies. So now we have filler being bondo, glazing putty and primer surfacer? Yes, they are all a filler. Only saying this for the OP as he sounded confused as to what filler is.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
yes thank you @Matter . You can see how that could all be confusing to a beginner. I process all of the information that I am given so sometimes terminology can be confusing
. Example "Bondo is crap I would neer use it on my car" translates to dont use Bondo.
"Polyester primer is relly thick you could literally bury a quarter underneath that stuff and never find it" translates to when its time to FIll a dent or something I can use polyester primer because it is really thick
."XYZ brand of Urethae primer has a nice build to it I use it almost exclusively" translates to if I need to build up or fill up some scratches or whatever, I can use XYZ because it FILLS nicely
Its not anyones fault you guys on here trying to help dont know where a persons experience level is so you just use common terminology. Thats why I ask so many questions.Ive been accussed of being argumentative on this board before,,,, not argumentative, inquisitive there is a big difference.
 
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