Bad Paint Takes a While to Spot
> I concur with everything Slim said with one
> minor nit. Here's two extra cents worth. I
> took my '82 ZX to the shop I wanted to do
> the work -- I had seen other cars they
> painted and they were beautiful. They
> estimated $4,000, part of which was
> bodywork. I may still go to them if I ever
> get that flush. Another Z owner paid this
> shop $5,000 for his paint and the car is
> absolutely stunning. I don't think it looked
> that good on the showroom when new.
> One nit I might pick with Slim is that you
> CAN get a good new paint finish over the
> original paint IF THE ORIGINAL PAINT IS IN
> GOOD SHAPE. That is to say, not cracked or
> crazed. On a somewhat related subject, my
> feeling is a crappy paint job detracts from
> the value of an otherwise good car, as a
> real enthusiast will know he has to take all
> that junk paint off before he can put a
> decent paint job on.
> Why not contact a nearby trade school body
> class and see if they can do your car? I
> took a semester of one of these classes and
> we turned out some very nice work.
> Otherwise, try to find that guy who'll do
> work 'under the table' and do as much of the
> prep as you can yourself.
Pretty much all auto paint looks great at first. That's because the hardest and riskiest parts of refinishing a car are in the metal preparation, sanding and priming, not in the masking and spraying. I've had cars and motorcycles restored to what looked like concourse condition only to have the paint jobs flake, chip, crack and peel off by the yard 3 months later.
When you find yourself in that fix, you have to strip all the bad paint off the car before you can even begin to repaint it. School shop classes are a bad bet, they don't guarantee their jobs will last. It's far better to have a professional who'll stand behind his work than a bargain that amounts up to a crap shoot.
If you have your hair cut at a barber college and you end up looking like a recent photo of Keith Richard, the problem will fix itself in a couple of weeks. Have paint slopped on your car by a pack of amateurs and you'll likely spend $4 to $5K before you get things straightened out. I know, my friends, I've been there.