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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any experience with national body shops like MAACO or Earl Scheib? Any others?

I'm getting my car painted and would like to get it done by a company that has shops in most states. I'm in the military so I move around a lot and want the warranty honored where ever I live.

What's a good two tone paint job (indy pace car original colors) going to cost me these days anyway? I have about a thousand to play with. Can I get it done for this?
 

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I don't have any experience with these places personally but I pass the local Earl Slob everyday and see some of their work and it is awfull. I think half the cars would have looked better unpainted. They don't remove any trim or fix any dents. If you do all your own prep work and remove as much trim as you can and also plan on color sanding yourself you may be alright. Most of these chains hire unskilled grunts and not auto body proffesionals.
 

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I had a car painted by Earl Schibe three years ago. I did all the prep work, primed, bondo, dent removal, final wet sanding, the works. I paid 517 dollars for their top-of-the-line candy pearl red with three coats of clear and UV protection. There was a lot of paint to be applied since it was a '74 El Camino. Now, when you arrive, remove every exterior part; headlight assembly, grill, door handles, door key tumblers, bumpers etc. They will tape these off for you, however they WILL not get good coverage in those areas surrounding those items if they're left on. I did get some minor overspray in the cab, but nothing laquer thinner couldn't take off.
There was one imperfection on the tailgate, and a little paint bubble on the front fender, but the paint job is excellent for what I paid for. The car was a commuiter from Sac to Placerville every day, 50 miles one way. It still looks great today.
Now, for 1000 bucks, you could buy the materials to paint your car, but you'd still be 2000 or more short for the labor, sanding, priming costs.
I used a high build expoy based primer, and the primer plus activators cost roughly 340 bucks, plus another 150-200 for sanding blocks, sand paper, orbital sander, bondo, glazing puddy and blue masking tape. I borrowed a gun and compressor, so I don't factor that into the price.
So if you do it yourself, you could do it for close to 1000, but you'll definatly need the time. I put in over 200 hours sanding and priming. It wouldn't take me as long the second time around mainly becasue I screwed up alot by not using a sanding block the first time around (finger ruts are a bitch!!)
I can only imagine that a two tone job would be more expensive becasue of the extra sanding, labor, and paint.
But if you want a paint job that looks good, will protect your steel and is a driver, go with Earl Schibe or MAACO. Just talk to them before you prime your car, so you don't have primer/paint incompatability problems.
But if your current paint is decent, you can just rough it up with some 3-M green scouring pads, then take out the scratches with 600 wet/dry paper and have it shot.

One more thing, Earl Schibe will warrenty your car if you apply the primer and do the body work. MAACO will not.
I guess its all waht you want. My el camino is going to be repainted in the future, and I knew this before I started sanding and before I decided on going to Schibe. Its not going to be the cars final paint job, so I didn't want to invest a lot of dough into a daily driver job that was going to get dinged, scrached, and bugs splattered against it. This was perfect for my decision. What do you want your car to look like and how much dough (you covered that one already) and what will be the primary job of your car(driver, show, weekend crusier) should be your main considerations when you decide what you want. So what do you want? Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Generally speaking the paint is in decent shape but I had to replace the hatch and right front fender because they were rusted through. The fender is brand new and only primered and the replacement hatch has surface rust but nothing serious.

I don't have either the knowledge, skills or time to do the work myself. About all I can do is remove the external stuff so it doesn't get sprayed. I do have a problem with tiny spots of surface rust that need to be sanded down and primered though so I can't just have is sprayed without having a good amount of work.

I just want a daily driver that looks pretty good and will not rust out from under me in 3-5 years.
 

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Well, I would first sand down the rust to bare metal. Now, you're going to need to prime the shiny metal spots. Since you don't have a sprayer, use rattle can spray paint enanaml paint primer. JUST MAKE SURE THE COLOR COAT IS GOING TO BE THE SAME TYPE.
I'd do the earl schibe deal, or MAACO. You should also buy a paint degreeser and wipe the car down right before you take it to get painted. Then the paint will evenly stick. If there was oil from your finger still on the car, the paint won't stick as well and will blemish first. Remember also, painting a car isn't hard. Stand 8"-12" away, make sure the gun is parallel with the surface, overlap 50 percent and move just fast enough to avoid runs. What I'm saying is that the guys they hire either can or cannot paint. What comes out of those shops is usually a result from shitty prep work. I mean, if you think the car looks okay when you take it in to get painted, its going to look horrible when there is color applied. But when you decide on a place, look at some of the finished work and ask them what those people did to their cars before they brought them in.
 
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