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Discussion Starter #1
How much should I expect to pay for " Better than Average" Paint job, all over, for an 85 Supra P-type?

By "Better than Average" I mean, something that is going to last decently well, but not burn a hole in my pocket the size of Texas.

Any replies would be appreciated.

Later.
 

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The quality of the paint really makes or breaks a car IMO so this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Realize that you will have to pay a competitive price for the services of a skilled painter. Most shops prefer to do late model insurance claim work as their bread and butter. It pays well and its relatively quick turnaround because usually only one or a few panels are involved. If a painter is really good, he may develop a reputation among local car collectors from the Corvette Club, Mustang Club, etc. These collectors are also willing to pay top dollar to beat each other at the local shows - it can be very competitive in certain circles. Realize too that bumper-to-bumper paint jobs are usually whats termed loss-leaders in marketing lingo. A car in for a complete respray takes up valuable space in the shop for much longer, often months, than insurance claims, meaning a great deal more overhead cost. Their only consolation is that they can expect to get greater word-of-mouth advertising from car-nuts like ourselves. With that in mind, here is your strategy.

Go to as many local car shows and events as you can over several weekends. When you see a paint job that you like, introduce yourself to the owner. Ask him/her WHO painted their car and if they wouldn't mind, about how much would a paint job like that cost from their painter. Don't be discouraged if the "best of show" winner tells you he paid $10,000 for that paint job. And I'm not talking about airbrush artwork, color shifting, fades, etc, but rather just a solid color. If a painter has a reputation for painting national concourse event show winners, they do get that kind of money. Just keep asking around. Eventually you will get some names of very talented people who charge more "local market" prices. Around Fort Worth, a show quality job in a single color can range anywhere from $1500 on up depending on reputation. Your local area may be a little more or less to start but as stated earlier, the sky is the limit. This is just what I would expect as a minimum.

Note that I said "Ask WHO," not "What Shop". This is important because shop management can change and painters quit and go to work elsewhere. You may not get the quality that you saw at the car show if the people responsible are no longer at that same "shop." Once you have a name, call ahead and introduce yourself. Tell them who referred you and that you were impressed by the work they did on that person's car. By this information, they will know that you are not just shopping around for "price" and that you are serious about wanting the same quality work for your Supra. Arrange a convenient time to bring your car in to discuss the project.

Once you've decided to have this person paint your Supra, be prepared to wait. The best of the best usually have a waiting list before you can even drop your car off. Use this time to save yourself some serious cash and ensure a top quality job by doing some prep work yourself. If you are reasonably adept with tools, you can remove all the exterior trim, door handles, locks, lights, grill, weatherstrip, emblems, washer nozzles, fender flares, spoiler, mirrors, wipers, etc. Label the rub strips as a couple of those are very nearly but not quite the same length. Not only does this save you about $1000 in labor, but the fewer things that get masked off with tape, the better the job will look and the longer it will last. If you can put some junky old wheels on the car, then you can be refinishing the wheels while the car is being painted. Also, the shop will love you if you remove the cars interior except for the drivers seat (you have to remove a good bit of it anyway to get all the exterior trim loose). That way they don't have to be as careful and there will be no way for them to get overspray on your upholstery. Don't think the shop will refuse service for doing this prep work yourself. This is pretty common practice among car hobbyists.

Then once in the shop, its perfectly OK to stop by once a week or so to see how its progressing but don't rush them. Realize that your are not their only customer and they can't afford to focus only on one car at a time. Also consider that all these glues, resins, fillers, primers, paints, compounds, etc. require time to cure in between every step of the process. Even the wash water has to swept away and the service bay dried after "wet" processes before electrical tools can be used again. You may arrive one day to see your Supra sitting in the corner of the shop apparently being ignored, but in actuality its probably just drying, curing or waiting its turn in the service bay.

While the car is in the shop, you've got plenty to keep you busy for a long time. Inventory all of the trim and parts that you've removed and make a list. You'll no doubt need to order a few new pieces to replace worn or damaged items. Carefully inspect all the clips and grommets that attach the trim and include replacements in your order. Many pieces can be polished to like new or repainted. Most black items were originally a semi-gloss. Pick up a tube of black weatherstrip adhesive to glue trim back on (not clear emblem adhesive - eats the paint anywhere it oozes out). If you've kept your wheels, you can follow the instructions in the FAQ to refinish them while you wait - that four full weekends right there.

Once you get your car back, allow yourself plenty of time to put it all back together. If you've already gotten your replacement parts arrived, then it should go pretty quick, perhaps a three-day weekend or a full week of evenings. This is where you want to be very, extremely careful not to scratch the paint. Luckily the Supra is so well built that all the parts go back together very easily. You shouldn't have to force anything except mabe the belt mouldings as those clips are some monsters. It is best to wait a couple of months before you wax it the first time to allow the paint to fully cure. Rule of thumb, if you park you car in a closed garage, its not ready for wax until you can go out in the mornings and not smell solvent.

If you follow these suggestions, then you will not only get a great paint job, but you will feel very good that no matter what price you paid, that you did get your money's worth. Two reasons: First, you knew exactly what quality to expect from your painter at what price and took the steps necessary to ensure that result. Second, you will feel like you did WAAY more than a $1000 worth of work yourself in prepping the car and putting it back together again.

FWIW, I recently paid about $2200 to paint the redpra following these steps. It was on the waiting list for nearly three months and in the shop for three months. I was fully aware before I started that this painter was slow but the results speak for themselves....

http://www.geocities.com/pduple1/redpra2.html

Hint: Netscape users right-click and view image on that first pic to see the mirror polish effect full size.

You'll never see anything like this come out of a Maaco or Earl Sheib, so please don't fall for those $199 specials. If you can't afford to do a quality job in the first place, you certainly can't afford to strip off a poor paint job and start over.

Phil D.

P.S. Perhaps Mr. Malloy can copy this text and add a "Paint" button to the FAQ. I think Mr. Giacchi and I have given this advice more than a few times before on the e-mail list.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What can I say... I fee like the car has been painted already! :lol: Thank you for all the great info, Ill take your advise when searching for a painter. Id say I will pay a little more since i have the silver/blue 2-tone color scheme on my 85. But still VERY helpful information, and I think it would be awesome if we could get that put in the FAQ section.

Thanks again
 

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Seems like the place to vent...

I'm pretty sure the last owner did get a cheap paint job (probably Maaco considering location)... how can I tell? How about by the paint starting to flake off the car at certain, less noticeable points (small flaking on hood, just found some around the seems of the rear bumper, etc.) AAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!! :mad: It was supposedly a new paintjob when I bought the car about 2 years ago (only a couple weeks old; looked beautiful then)!

sorry for venting, but I'm trying to restore the car before I turbo it (interrior is pretty bad), and I really, really, really don't need this on top of everything else...
 

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Well to help sooth your frustration, stripping paint is usually done by the shop's apprentice helper at the lowest hourly rate. I got a quote once of about $50 per body panel to strip & prime so I'd say you can figure an extra $550. Its worth doing because its a Supra.

Phil D.
 

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Wow! That was some great info you gave there. It really opened my eyes about how much work is going to have to go into fixing up my supra. As some one who is new to the world of car restoration I am looking into getting my car painted and was not sure how to go about it. I guess the quest to paint my car will become my summer project! :D
 

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Phil,
What color is your car? Is that SDR or just red?
I just bought a car from Jeff and its the lighter red.
I would like to see what it would look like cleaned up since i havent seen it in person yet.

Thanks
 

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Its the super deep red.

Phil
 

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Save money. Paint it yourself if you can. Or, if you're lucky like me someone you know can paint cars really good. I got the all over paint job for about $900, paint, primer & clear. I think with a more basic color it would be a lot cheaper too. It has a little dust in it, but thats why people wet sand.....right? I will have pics of my car on the web....eventually. If anyone has a page and would be willing to slap a pic or two of my car on it, I would be ever so thankful. Maybe get a feature on CelicaSupra.com? *It doesn't hurt to ask, does it? lol
 

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The reason for wet sanding is to "polish" the surface to improve the clarity, not to remove imperfections in the paint. If you paint over a spec, then sand through it, you just got a bigger spec now of a different color. Still, after much practice, I have seen some pretty darn nice jobs done by hobbyists in their own garage. I had my 66 Mustang sprayed without benefit of a professional spray booth. This guy was a pro tho who worked by day in the body shop at a local Chevrolet dealer and by nights and weekends sprayed Mustangs for local club members in his own garage. It turned out pretty darn good, especially for the money, but lets face it, most people don't know anybody like this (I didn't even know him, he was a friend of my dad's).

I wouldn't advise anyone to try to paint a car themselves and expect to get professional results the first or even the fifth time. If you got the time and interest to learn, mabe practice by painting a bunch of wings for local ricers Civics before you take on a whole car :lol: It takes practice. I thought about 10 years ago I'd try to teach myself and thought it'd be good to start by painting a tool box for my new truck to match. My first attempt was reminiscent of a three stooges episode. The box had awful orange peel and I was covered from head to toe in a light dusting of red paint as was everything else inside my garage. I still wear my pink sneakers to mow the lawn. :oops: After sanding back a few attempts and finally getting the adjustments just right on the gun I got the box to look pretty decent. But looking back I'd have to say it was a terribly frustrating project.

Phil D.

P.S. Today I won't even spray a rattle can in my new Supra garage because of the chance of airborne paint settling where I don't want it. I take it outside.
 

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Phil, thanks a lot for the write-up. Sadly, your Red Supra web page on Geocities is down :( Got any alternate sources for pictures? Thanks
 

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mkIISupraman18 said:
Save money. Paint it yourself if you can. Or, if you're lucky like me someone you know can paint cars really good. I got the all over paint job for about $900, paint, primer & clear. I think with a more basic color it would be a lot cheaper too. It has a little dust in it, but thats why people wet sand.....right? I will have pics of my car on the web....eventually. If anyone has a page and would be willing to slap a pic or two of my car on it, I would be ever so thankful. Maybe get a feature on CelicaSupra.com? *It doesn't hurt to ask, does it? lol
I'll echo Phils advice, don't paint your car yourself. I worked for a couple years in a bodyshop, and in my peek I was pretty good and have painted a few full cars myself with decent results. Well, I have 4 toyotas in my posession right now all of them need paint jobs. I will not spray a single one of them. I want someone who does it on a daily basis to do it. Its alot of work to minimize runs, orange peel, etc. I will prep and mask everything myself though. Some shops will let you deliver a car that is pretty much ready for spraying. They will usually charge around 500+ just to spray (that includes the price of the paint), but most will refuse to warrentee the work as you did the prep. As for paint preping yourself, if you've never done it before and you want a really nice job and don't have an experinced friend to help and show you what to do, don't bother doing that yourself either. Complete jobs cost range from 600 bucks to 5000 depending on where you go, helpful huh? :D
 

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i think i am descent at body work and will NOT paint my own cars. i have seen to many shabby jobs like i have said before i have the hookup down here. a guy about 1/2 mile away is going to paint my 86. he does good work i have seen it up close. he quoted me $200.00 + paint a complete job! of cource im doing almost all the body work myself. on the 4th i managed to pull the leather interior to start my work. tuesday i will begin the side molding holes to be filled in. if anyone quotes you a low price research thier work good. make sure you are pleased with the results.
 

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phil, your redpra looks hot...just need some shiny new rims and tires for a great look 8)
 

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Phil,
I noticed that in one of your posts you did use the SDR, where did you get the paint? I just called the local dealer for a bottle of touch up paint and they said the SDR was out of production. I have a repaint planned for the future and would like the same color again for my SDR, any help is appreciated.
Beauty car by the way, what have you got...3 supras? From what I can see of them, damn dude they're nice!

Eric
 

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Yes, those rims in the pics are old rims. I have on now some refinished stockers with new Sumitomos but haven't updated the pics.

All I know of the paint used was it is PPG brand. Cuco mixes his own colors based on car manufacturer codes and corresponding tint values he has stored on microfiche. I watched him mix one and I thought it was interesting that it was done by weight and not by volume. He starts with a quart can of base paint on a very fine accuracy scale and adds the different tints in the appropriate amounts by weight to come up with the cars original color. He also has an instrument that can analyze the color on your car and give the tint values to match it. Thats useful if he's partially repainting a car that either was custom painted before or that the color has changed over the years from sun exposure or whatever. On mine, he just mixed according to the original paint code. Any competent paint supplier or body shop should be able to look up your car's original paint code and mix the right color. When they are done, ask to take home any leftover paint to use later for touchups. I sealed mine up real tight and keep it in the refrigerator so it will last for years.

Yes, there's three supras but the blue one is anything but nice :puke: as it was abused by its po for 160K miles and I'm trying to rehabilitate it. I will have Cuco paint it mabe this winter or next summer or at the pace I'm going now, probably 2010 :whistle: LOL

Phil D.
 

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Phil,
Thanks...anyway you'd let me get my hands on a little vile of that SDR for a couple nicks?

Also, do you plan on selling restored Supras someday or are you just building up the stable? Nice stuff man...

Eric
 
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