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Need to know painting basics


Spurlee

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I've finally found the last of the replacement bits and it's time to think having the El Dorado repainted. Problem is, I don't know even the basics about the painting process, materials, coatings, treatments, etc. :( I don't want to paint it myself, I want to be knowledgable when I shop around.

Can someone on the Forum give me the top line overview of the basics?

Thanks!

Scott

1996 El Dorado

2006 STS

2000 Corvette

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Well... others will chime in I'm sure, but you're probably looking for someone who uses the 3-step system... I know PPG Products are like this.... basically, it's primer, then a pigment coat, then a protective clear coat over that....

I would also suggest stopping in to some body shops... they'll talk to you. Ask to see some cars they've done. Ask to talk to some past customers who had cars painted.....

Do that at 3 or 4 body shops, and see what you find out...

Even before you start talking to them, you'll get an impression of what they're like.... Is the shop clean, or is it a dump?? Are there nice cars there being painted?? Do the people seem okay, or do they have a "I could care less" type of attitude when you walk in??? These impressions will tell you a lot...

You might also try asking a couple dealerships where they send their work... if the work sucks, generally, they'll quit sending them work......

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Another good resrouce is the Factory Service Manual, if you can get ahold of one it goes into the steps and such to get yourself a factory shine.

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I've painted a few (single stage lacquer) and have had a few painted by body shops. In both cases, LESS masking tape is best....To say, remove, when possible, what you don't wanted painted. Trim, grilles, lights, rubber.... CLEAN the door jams, under the hood, trunk lip areas....

any place that "Dust/Dirt" can hide. The cleaner, the better, so NO

dirt/dust will fly when spraying paint. Basically, do the "Dummy Work".

Leave the "Pro" work for the "Pro".

rek

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For a paint job to turn out good, the most important part is the prep work. Does the shop remove all the moldings and gaskets or do they just mask it off. Do they take the time to sand corners and hard to get spots so that the paint does not start flaking off in a few years? Do they use epoxy primer for the body work so that rust does not form in a few years? Do they use a high quality gun such as an IWATA LPH400 or SATA so that the paint lays down like glass?

A good paint job is going to cost at least $1500 and the prep work is where most of the cost is.

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A top-notch three-step paint job will run you $3500 if you let the body shop take your car apart for painting and put it back togehter after they are done. I would recommend this since you want an expert to take apart, say your bumpers, hood, trunk lid, doors, and trim. The parts are sanded or polished after each step. Then, the same expert reassembles your car.

The Diamond White and Diamond Red paint jobs are a few hundred dollars higher.

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I've painted a few (single stage lacquer) and have had a few painted by body shops. In both cases, LESS masking tape is best....To say, remove, when possible, what you don't wanted painted. Trim, grilles, lights, rubber.... CLEAN the door jams, under the hood, trunk lip areas....

any place that "Dust/Dirt" can hide. The cleaner, the better, so NO

dirt/dust will fly when spraying paint. Basically, do the "Dummy Work".

Leave the "Pro" work for the "Pro".

I echo these comments -- I used to work at a GM body shop. In addition to the mainstream stuff we also specialized in the repair of high-end Volvos as well. The less masking, the better, trust me.

I'm not saying that the dealership is your best bet by far - occasionally these shops employ sub-standard painters. I'd make sure to talk with the people at the shop and get a feel for how they are and how they feel about their work.

Dealership horror story - we had a guy in wanting to restore a POS (circa 1989) GMC Jimmy. The thing was badly rusted, with some holes in the body. The manager at the time gave a REALLY high estimate to restore (read: take this thing somewhere else!) but the guy went along with it. This manager had the ba!!s to sub the repair/paint to MAACO and charge the customer as if we'd done the work. Too bad I couldn't have stopped that one *shudders* :ph34r: .

Check on the process of the vehicle in person - just not too often. Good luck, and lemme know how it goes. I have a '94 ETC that I eventually need to have repainted.

Mark

<!--fonto:Arial--><span style="font-family:Arial"><!--/fonto-->2007 DTS Performance - 50K

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As a matter of fact, I <i>am</i> driving 70 MPH in a phone booth.

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