$20k-$30k for a paint job?

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Maaco's can be quite good or just horrible, and there seems to be no in between. I had a Maaco behind my business at one time. That Maaco was a fiasco, it was run by a guy from Venezuela who was a schyster of the first degree. The garbage that used to come out of there was unreal. The customers throwing fits and this guy just throwing them out of there was unreal. I moved my business from that area, and that Maaco eventually closed, I believe that corporate finally shut the guy down.
I have also seen some Maacos that do some more than acceptable, dare I say good work work on the cheap. The trick is to find a Maaco that does good work, have a car that is straight and rust free, and you need to disassemble the car before you take it to them, and under no circumstances do a color change. If you do this, you can get a good quality paint job from Maaco. You cannot take a rusted out, bent hulk to a Maaco and expect good results, I don't see them being able to do that type of work well. What most of them do have are good paint booths, and good equipment. If they have a guy that can actually paint, you can get a good quality paint job from them, but you need to do your part by disassembling the car.
Here is a good video of a Maaco that does good work:
Sounds like the Maaco experience is like playing Russian Roulette.
Or maybe Dirty Harry!
😁
 

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Ryunker

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I recently contacted a recommended custom shop in Utah inquiring about building a plan to upgrade several systems on my '72 vert survivor. Top priority now is a to-the-metal priming and repainting - but I nearly threw my own piston when he quoted me the price above.

And, he won't do a carb replacement with EFI, preferring instead to " drop in a new Coyote" or the like. Feh.

I have no intention of doing business with this guy (who also had thins nagging sound of condescension in his voice), but I'd like to know what this group thinks a quality paint job should cost, assuming there is no hidden damage/rust to deal with). I'm not even going to consider the EFI issue right now.

And, I'm sure there's threads that already answer this question, but searching 500+ pages in this forum seems impractical, so apologies in advance. (I did try the search engine with key words and didn't readily get the result I needed....)
Last summer, had my '71 "down to metal and primed" at the only local shop that would do it. All the metal work was done, quarter skins, new fender, hood and trunk lid were already done. The job ran 14k. Shipped car assembled and in primer to the new home, local shops out there want $8,500 to 10k to paint.

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shanehrrr

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Hi Nightbeacon,

Having been a pro auto spray painter for 43 years straight, i can shine some light into this age old, worn topic of paint respray costings.

First up, let me make some key points that are a reality. Spray painting and the panel beating of cars in general terms has always been an expensive concept. Why? The main reasons are that to strip down, R&R, prepare, panel beat, refinish, paint correct and final detail a quality respray job is a time consuming labor intensive process. FACT. This is where the whole respray process becomes subjective in regards what constitutes a " quality" job exactly. Small paint jobs don't come cheap either. The more quality an honest and reputable paint and panel shop wants to dial into the respray, the more time and cost it will take to see the job through. Quality comes through in relation to the amount of attention to detail, preparation work, following correct and proper procedures, using quality materials throughout the respray. The big hours spent on a quality respray involve mainly the preparation work, and the cutting and polishing/ detailing of the applied paint. Applying the final base/ clear coats in the booth is not a long time event, but panel beating, priming/ puttying and all the sanding and block work is. Applying the final base and top coats, requires a top gun man as well. Flow coating adds extra costs as well. Stripping old paint back to bare metal is a time consuming process as well, as the problem with any old car is what condition the body is in overall. The worser the condition equates to greater expense. That is an unknown quantity, as what you've got reveals itself after the paint strip job. The more care and attention to detail means longer labor hours. Cutting corners cuts time and reduces costs, but reduces the quality of a job. FACT. Labor rates have steadily increased over the decades pushing paint shop costs up higher and higher.

So how much quality a shop wants to DIAL into a respray can be and is very much a variable thing. The more quality dialed in, the more expensive the job will become. Also, there are first rate, top notch pro painters and beaters out there, and at the same time, there are average and crappy cowboy workers as well. I've seen them all. Like most things in life, HONESTY is what people want and need from others, but sadly most don't end up getting that in life. In my trade, it has always been full of dodgy, cheating operators who lie to the customers by overcharging them, cutting corners, doing sub standard work, using cheap rubbish materials etc etc. The list is as long as your arm. Truely honest and reputable run shops are hard to find. As mentioned above, the auto paint and panel game is full of crooks, liars and cheats. This is a fact. Beware of dodgy owners that promise you the world, keep you dangling, and hold onto your car for forever. Get a fixed quote in writing always. If the owner comes up with an open cheque book approach to the unknown condition of your car after the paint strip down, be very careful. You may want to bring in a solicitor for advice here, or walk away. Also, avoid doing business with shops that mainly do crash repair work, and maybe a bit of resto work on the side. They are mainly orientated around get 'em in and get 'em out fast mentality, with the main focus NOT on quality workmanship. Insurance companies are to blame mainly for this sadly. Dedicated resto shops are more focused on our classic cars to deliver the goods. Be aware and try to avoid the glam, upmarket, la de da, boutique resto shops, as they tend to charge upmarket over inflated expensive labor costs and fees as well, that match their over inflated egos of themselves.

Running and owning a very professional well setup paint and panel shop has become a very expensive concept as well. Staying within environmental rules and regs means big money outlays for an owner, as well as all the overheads involved. Staff wages don't come cheap either. I was earning around the $1,200.00 Au take home pay for a 38 hour working week two years ago as a quality pro spray painter. The other thing is the cost of auto paints. Good quality auto paint was never cheap, be it Lacquer, water based or 2 Pack systems. Sadly, auto paint has gone up considerably over recent years adding to the expense of a good respray. I call it liquid gold! I do believe that there are independent paint companies offering up cheaper paints these days, but as to the quality of these products, only time is the teller as to how long your respray will hold together or hold up to the weather/ wear and tear etc. PPG is currently my go to best choice at the moment, but bare in mind that paint companies are forever changing their paint chemistry and can tend to go off the boil so to speak quality wise as time matches on. They are all guilty of this happening.

So to summarize, and answer your question about what would be a going price for a decent respray is a hard one to come up with, as there are many variables that will contribute to the overall cost. You can only mention ball park figures to people asking. For example, some people may consider a price range of $ 6,000 to $10,000 on the money, based on their own experiences. Some might come up with a price of between $20,000 to $40,000 plus the going rate. It all comes down to what level of quality and detail you are seeking with your respray. The best advice i could give you is 1. try your best to find an honest reputable shop within a 100 mile radius of your home.(the closer the better) This is not an easy process. You need to do some decent research in finding or settling on such a business. Word of mouth from friends or contacts you really trust, carries a lot of weight here. Beware of online business reviews as well, as they really can't be trusted. 2. Work out the quality of the respray you want. For example, do you demand a strip and repaint. What about paint correction. I have mentioned above some of the key things that constitutes a quality respray, but it helps to try and educate yourself as well regards what goes into a quality job. Armed with that info, you can approach the shops and nut out a game plan deal with the manager/owner as to what you will end up with.

3. You must get two or three separate quotes from shops that you think you can trust. This is a must as to help gauging of verifying you are not getting taken advantage of. As i said above, the public needs to deal with honest companies. The sweet money spot for your respray is to be charged an honest, fair price at a pre discussed quality and detail level that you want or expect with the owner. That is the way i would quote and treat you if you were my customer. In other words, you tailor make a planned package regards the level of quality and detail you want on your respray to suit your own realistic budget expectations. As said by another Forum member above, how much money you want to put into a respray works in proportion to how long you intend to keep your car, or pass it on down to your family. If you have deep pockets, or want to go on the trophy hero circuit, then that's another thing.

Lastly, cut your respray cloth budget according to your ownership situation. For example, if your ride is owned as a weekend cruiser, or show and shine coffee events/ club runs etc, and gets ongoing road driven, then expect paint damage with hood and lower panel stone chipping issues, and maybe the odd dent. That means extra cost outlays if you want those blemishes rectified later. If it's a trailer queen, no worries. As mentioned above, you can if you want to, carry out some various tasks of the respray process yourself to save money. This can work or not work. It depends on your own level of work skills as well, as to what type of tasks you want to get involved in. The big thing here is whether your selected p&p shop will go along with you sharing the job or not. Some will work in here to acomodate you, and some won't, as they consider your involvement taking food off their table so to speak.

Then again, you could always do what so many are doing out there today. Grab yourself a cheap compressor, guns, sandpaper, a rubbing block, and grab some cheap paint, then go on UTube for a never ending variety of how to paint your car videos, and become an overnight professional. Fantastic!! You should end up doing a professional job at a knockout discount price.😂

Seriously, i hope my advice was of some help to you,

Greg.(y)
Should the quotes from other body shops be after you pay someone to strip the paint or do you recommend taking as is for the quotes?
 
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1988 Mustang 5.0L LX Convertible
"Drive 'em, don't hide 'em!"
I did a repaint on my 88 5.0 convertible when it it turned almost 25, and I agree if your not changing colors, a full strip is not necessary. Sad to say the paint job was better than the factory... and now 10 years later the paint job is still like a mirror... at the end of the day it was a $5,000 in paint and labor... My 72 is still the factory finish, a survivor for sure... To an amateur collector, someone would say let's repaint it but I'm keeping her the way she is warts and all. It may not win concours trophies but it should win best unrestored going forward.
 

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Should the quotes from other body shops be after you pay someone to strip the paint or do you recommend taking as is for the quotes.
Hi shanehrrr;

Good question. I recommend taking your car as is to get all your quotes. To help explain, my approach would be this. The best way for anyone to approach getting a respray done, is to first up, have the cars overall paint and panel condition looked at and assessed by yourself, or better, a professional. Active rust will show itself coming through the paint film, but serious dents, previously repaired rust, and accident damage can be well disguised by Bondo/bog, putty and paint. Most car owners feel confident enough to carry out their own assessments of their cars, and diagnose exactly what needs to be done in any rectification work needed. However, a lot of people aren't trained or experienced enough to diagnose a paint film and make an accurate call on whether it needs to be stripped or not. People choose to respray their cars for different reasons. For example, they may panel rust issues, or want a color change, or maybe some panels on the car need attention regards visible dents, scratches or chips, or maybe the whole car's paint is old and breaking down etc. The golden rule of refinishing any panel or every panel on a car is you never paint over existing paint that has problems or is breaking down. It is a complete waste of money and time. In my trade, we are taught to identify the many different things or causes that can lead to the paint film having issues or breaking down. If the paint film on any panel is in sound healthy condition, then you have the option of repainting over that healthy paint film again as a sound substrate, thus avoiding the need to strip all the existing healthy paint back to bare metal. It maybe for example, that one or two panels on a car have got paint film issues and need stripping, but the other remaining panels are in sound, good condition, and don't need stripping.

So what i'm trying to say here, is that if anyone is trying to save money on a respray, then you may not need to strip all or any of the existing paintwork off the car down to bare metal if it does not need it. If an old paint film is in good sound condition, you don't need to strip it back to bare metal, and thus, save your money. Many would argue against this, and say that just because the paint film is old and in very good condition, you still strip that paint off regardless. You can if you want. That choice is yours at the end of the day. It's your money you are spending. In my personal case, my '73 Vert has original factory paint on the two doors, rear quarters, trunk, rear tail panel, that is in excellent condition still. The two front guards have been resprayed before i bought the car, and are in very good condition still, and i bought a new NASA hood, and refinished it myself. I want to respray my car, but will not be stripping any of the existing paint off it, as what is on there now, is in good sound condition to paint over again. I don't have any rust, accident damage or bad dents in my car. I will end up with a quality respray. The key thing here is to make a professional assessment and confident call to what the exact condition your paintwork is in. If you aren't sure, get professional help and advice only. On the other hand, if you are worried or concerned that you may have hidden issues lying under healthy paint, such as previous rust reairs, bad dents, previous accident damage etc, but are not sure due to unknown history, then for peace of mind a complete strip and respray would be the way to go. That represents an honest true assessment as to what condition your car's body is really in. If you know the complete history of your car, then that should not be a thing for you to worry about.

To directly answer your question, the best approach is to find an honest, reputable paint/panel shop, and have the car inspected and assessed as to what the present condition of the car is in, paint and panel wise. An honest professional owner/ manager will inspect the whole car and advise you as to what needs to be done to the car regards carrying out a respray. He should have a trade background in auto spray painting, or call his pro painter out to make the assessment on the shop's behalf. This will take in the need to strip and repaint or not as well, and do you need to paint strip the whole car down, or just some of the panels only. If he is dishonest and hungry to take your money, he will insist and argue that your car will have to be completely stripped no matter what. However, if he advises you that some or all panels will need stripping,because the paint is obviously breaking down, then the best way to approach the whole thing is to get a written quote for the removal of any parts and the stripping work alone first up. Then, the panels that have been paint stripped, can be assessed for hidden dents, accident damage or rust issues. At this stage, it will be revealed as to what condition your bare steel panels are in, and then, another separate and final accurate quote can be filled out in relation to finishing off the respray, taking in what needs to be done to those stripped panels regards any extra panel beating needed. This approach is a safe way to avoid getting ripped off by a shop that writes out a one off initial quote for your strip and respray complete, but then hits you with the bad news that they have paint stripped your car down, and that has revealed several panel issues that will need panel beating (be it hidden dents, hidden rust or accident damage covered over with heavy Bondo etc) at a much greater added on cost to the original quote. You can of course, play it that way, and get your one off single whole respray quote, but be prepared for some nasty surprises and hidden extra costs once the stripping has been completed.

You can carry out this process again with one or two other panels shops you think you can trust to do business with. Get your written quote for removal of any parts needed to be removed around the stripped panels, and paint stripping itself first, then ask for a follow up second separate quote to do whatever it takes to finish and respray the whole car. The beauty of this approach means that you end up paying for only the work that will need to be done on the respray, and not be billed for any hidden extra panel work needed to be done. Once you get your first stage quotes in, you then choose which shop you want to give your business to and proceed with them. Getting stage one initial quotes will give you an indication of how your panel shops will end up charging you for the completed respray. Asking for a verbal ball park completion figure wouldn't hurt if you want to here, but most shops would be reluctant to provide one . Don't pay any money up front for stage one or the first quote to strip the paint. Pay that bill when the stripping is completed. Also, when stage one quoting, it would pay to include the cost of a fast application of a 2 pack epoxy primer over any freshly stripped steel panels, no mater what condition the steel panel is in. The exception is don't bother priming up the panel if it needs replacing. This will avoid any surface rusting issues coming in on the freshly exposed steel.

Lastly, going with the two stage quote process gives you more options on how you want to play it. For example, you could get your stage one quotes in, settle on a panel shop, they complete stage one, and then you could ask for a stage two quote, but then take your car back home after the stage one work is completed. This gives you time to think about their quote before you proceed, plus, if you want, you can take your car to the other selected shops for a stage two completion respray quote as well, to be confident that your overall respray costs are going to be realistic and suit you. Also, there is a bonus in relation to you not being happy in your dealings with the shop that is doing your stage one stripping work. If it turns out that way, it gives you the option of going to another reputable shop to complete the respray job, and not being locked in on the first shop you are not happy with. That is worth thinking about.

Hope that helps,

Greg.
 
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shanehrrr

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Hi shanehrrr;

Good question. I recommend taking your car as is to get all your quotes. To help explain, my approach would be this. The best way for anyone to approach getting a respray done, is to first up, have the cars overall paint and panel condition looked at and assessed by yourself, or better, a professional. Active rust will show itself coming through the paint film, but serious dents, previously repaired rust, and accident damage can be well disguised by Bondo/bog, putty and paint. Most car owners feel confident enough to carry out their own assessments of their cars, and diagnose exactly what needs to be done in any rectification work needed. However, a lot of people aren't trained or experienced enough to diagnose a paint film and make an accurate call on whether it needs to be stripped or not. People choose to respray their cars for different reasons. For example, they may panel rust issues, or want a color change, or maybe some panels on the car need attention regards visible dents, scratches or chips, or maybe the whole car's paint is old and breaking down etc. The golden rule of refinishing any panel or every panel on a car is you never paint over existing paint that has problems or is breaking down. It is a complete waste of money and time. In my trade, we are taught to identify the many different things or causes that can lead to the paint film having issues or breaking down. If the paint film on any panel is in sound healthy condition, then you have the option of repainting over that healthy paint film again as a sound substrate, thus avoiding the need to strip all the existing healthy paint back to bare metal. It maybe for example, that one or two panels on a car have got paint film issues and need stripping, but the other remaining panels are in sound, good condition, and don't need stripping.

So what i'm trying to say here, is that if anyone is trying to save money on a respray, then you may not need to strip all or any of the existing paintwork off the car down to bare metal if it does not need it. If an old paint film is in good sound condition, you don't need to strip it back to bare metal, and thus, save your money. Many would argue against this, and say that just because the paint film is old and in very good condition, you still strip that paint off regardless. You can if you want. That choice is yours at the end of the day. It's your money you are spending. In my personal case, my '73 Vert has original factory paint on the two doors, rear quarters, trunk, rear tail panel, that is in excellent condition still. The two front guards have been resprayed before i bought the car, and are in very good condition still, and i bought a new NASA hood, and refinished it myself. I want to respray my car, but will not be stripping any of the existing paint off it, as what is on there now, is in good sound condition to paint over again. I don't have any rust, accident damage or bad dents in my car. I will end up with a quality respray. The key thing here is to make a professional assessment and confident call to what the exact condition your paintwork is in. If you aren't sure, get professional help and advice only. On the other hand, if you are worried or concerned that you may have hidden issues lying under healthy paint, such as previous rust reairs, bad dents, previous accident damage etc, but are not sure due to unknown history, then for peace of mind a complete strip and respray would be the way to go. That represents an honest true assessment as to what condition your car's body is really in. If you know the complete history of your car, then that should not be a thing for you to worry about.

To directly answer your question, the best approach is to find an honest, reputable paint/panel shop, and have the car inspected and assessed as to what the present condition of the car is in, paint and panel wise. An honest professional owner/ manager will inspect the whole car and advise you as to what needs to be done to the car regards carrying out a respray. He should have a trade background in auto spray painting, or call his pro painter out to make the assessment on the shop's behalf. This will take in the need to strip and repaint or not as well, and do you need to paint strip the whole car down, or just some of the panels only. If he is dishonest and hungry to take your money, he will insist and argue that your car will have to be completely stripped no matter what. However, if he advises you that some or all panels will need stripping,because the paint is obviously breaking down, then the best way to approach the whole thing is to get a written quote for the removal of any parts and the stripping work alone first up. Then, the panels that have been paint stripped, can be assessed for hidden dents, accident damage or rust issues. At this stage, it will be revealed as to what condition your bare steel panels are in, and then, another separate and final accurate quote can be filled out in relation to finishing off the respray, taking in what needs to be done to those stripped panels regards any extra panel beating needed. This approach is a safe way to avoid getting ripped off by a shop that writes out a one off initial quote for your strip and respray complete, but then hits you with the bad news that they have paint stripped your car down, and that has revealed several panel issues that will need panel beating (be it hidden dents, hidden rust or accident damage covered over with heavy Bondo etc) at a much greater added on cost to the original quote. You can of course, play it that way, and get your one off single whole respray quote, but be prepared for some nasty surprises and hidden extra costs once the stripping has been completed.

You can carry out this process again with one or two other panels shops you think you can trust to do business with. Get your written quote for removal of any parts needed to be removed around the stripped panels, and paint stripping itself first, then ask for a follow up second separate quote to do whatever it takes to finish and respray the whole car. The beauty of this approach means that you end up paying for only the work that will need to be done on the respray, and not be billed for any hidden extra panel work needed to be done. Once you get your first stage quotes in, you then choose which shop you want to give your business to and proceed with them. Getting stage one initial quotes will give you an indication of how your panel shops will end up charging you for the completed respray. Asking for a verbal ball park completion figure wouldn't hurt if you want to here, but most shops would be reluctant to provide one . Don't pay any money up front for stage one or the first quote to strip the paint. Pay that bill when the stripping is completed. Also, when stage one quoting, it would pay to include the cost of a fast application of a 2 pack epoxy primer over any freshly stripped steel panels, no mater what condition the steel panel is in. The exception is don't bother priming up the panel if it needs replacing. This will avoid any surface rusting issues coming in on the freshly exposed steel.

Lastly, going with the two stage quote process gives you more options on how you want to play it. For example, you could get your stage one quotes in, settle on a panel shop, they complete stage one, and then you could ask for a stage two quote, but then take your car back home after the stage one work is completed. This gives you time to think about their quote before you proceed, plus, if you want, you can take your car to the other selected shops for a stage two completion respray quote as well, to be confident that your overall respray costs are going to be realistic and suit you. Also, there is a bonus in relation to you not being happy in your dealings with the shop that is doing your stage one stripping work. If it turns out that way, it gives you the option of going to another reputable shop to complete the respray job, and not being locked in on the first shop you are not happy with. That is worth thinking about.

Hope that helps,

Greg.
I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing your knowledge and suggestions.
 

7173Vert

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I guess I’m the elephant in the room, lol. $50k+ a few years back. I won’t get into too many specifics here but his shop rate was $85/hr and I was billed 500-600 hours. This was a top notch award winning paint and restoration shop in my area and here in Canada, everything is just more expensive. Their work included picking up the car, new front NOS battery apron, rear NOS tail light panel( I supplied the parts). repair all Jack dents on the unibody, reproduce the at the time the rare under the battery tray support bracket, sandblasting and chemical dipping of the car and components, countless install and removal of body panels, doors etc to ensure a perfect fit, what ever the hell else a pro body shop and painter does to the body to get it perfect for paint application. Although I can’t rhyme off here all the various sanding, primer, and whatever else stages they do, they did it all. Of course this included the final underbody, engine compartment and body paint and clear application, etc. as well as wet sanding. I just signed the cheques one winter while the car became their main focus. I wanted the best and I knew it would cost, let’s just say I never quite told the misses’ how much it cost, lol. She caught on though… It was never about the final value of the car for me, I don’t care. I just wanted to complete a rotisserie restoration on one of these cars in my lifetime, which I accomplished. I did much of the work myself and hired the right professional to do what I could not. Too each their own))
 
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Last summer, had my '71 "down to metal and primed" at the only local shop that would do it. All the metal work was done, quarter skins, new fender, hood and trunk lid were already done. The job ran 14k. Shipped car assembled and in primer to the new home, local shops out there want $8,500 to 10k to paint.

View attachment 61982 View attachment 61983
that car looks like it is ready for paint. $8,500 to $10,000 to paint it seems ridiculous to me. The hard work is in the body work and getting the car straight. After the car is straight, disassembled, and ready for paint, spraying it is a one day job... If you disassemble, what little there is to disassemble in that car, and take it to be painted and then cut and buffed, it should only take 3 days to do. Even at $85 an hour for a whole week you only have $3,400 plus materials. Materials can be expensive, but 1 gallon of the best PPG paint and clear coat, can't be more than $1000, lets say $1500 as you are going to do the stipes on the hood and lower body in another color. Still, $5K at the most. Unless there is still a bunch of body work to do.
 
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that car looks like it is ready for paint. $8,500 to $10,000 to paint it seems ridiculous to me. The hard work is in the body work and getting the car straight. After the car is straight, disassembled, and ready for paint, spraying it is a one day job... If you disassemble, what little there is to disassemble in that car, and take it to be painted and then cut and buffed, it should only take 3 days to do. Even at $85 an hour for a whole week you only have $3,400 plus materials. Materials can be expensive, but 1 gallon of the best PPG paint and clear coat, can't be more than $1000, lets say $1500 as you are going to do the stipes on the hood and lower body in another color. Still, $5K at the most. Unless there is still a bunch of body work to do.
Hi,
Going piecemeal with any panel/paint shop is bound to save you or anyone money. How much? That depends on two things. How much work you decide to take on yourself in proportion to how much work the shop ends up doing, and if you can find a quality/ honest shop that will let you play the piecemeal game. Some will and some won't. Regards quality workmanship - the better quality and detail the customer requests, the more time and expense come into the equation. Like i said before, it's easy for anyone to throw dollar figures around when talking about the costs of resprays, but the reality is there are so many variables involved with any respray, and from car to car, that one shoe doesn't fit all.

Also, what most people don't think about or take into consideration with any paint and panel work carried out on any car, is how long will the job last. It works this way. The more time and quality spent or dialed in on any paint/panel work by a real pro, the longer the job should and does end up lasting. I,ve seen jobs last from a couple of days to more than twenty years plus. This is where non professional work carried out on anyone's car runs the risk of developing paint and panel problems down the track. Most non pros or Diyers don't think about that or pay much attention or importance to that aspect of the whole thing. It is a reality though. This is why many shops won't take on your job, or offer up any warranty on workmanship if you insist on saving money and doing some of the work yourself. If your chosen shop lets you go piecemeal,and your respray ends up breaking down or developing problems say in five years or so later, would they stand behind the initial job they did for you, and rectify the problems completely at their expense. That is the question.

Greg.
 
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I guess I’m the elephant in the room, lol. $50k+ a few years back. I won’t get into too many specifics here but his shop rate was $85/hr and I was billed 500-600 hours. This was a top notch award winning paint and restoration shop in my area and here in Canada, everything is just more expensive. Their work included picking up the car, new front NOS battery apron, rear NOS tail light panel( I supplied the parts). repair all Jack dents on the unibody, reproduce the at the time the rare under the battery tray support bracket, sandblasting and chemical dipping of the car and components, countless install and removal of body panels, doors etc to ensure a perfect fit, what ever the hell else a pro body shop and painter does to the body to get it perfect for paint application. Although I can’t rhyme off here all the various sanding, primer, and whatever else stages they do, they did it all. Of course this included the final underbody, engine compartment and body paint and clear application, etc. as well as wet sanding. I just signed the cheques one winter while the car became their main focus. I wanted the best and I knew it would cost, let’s just say I never quite told the misses’ how much it cost, lol. She caught on though… It was never about the final value of the car for me, I don’t care. I just wanted to complete a rotisserie restoration on one of these cars in my lifetime, which I accomplished. I did much of the work myself and hired the right professional to do what I could not. Too each their own))
Hi,
Interesting story. It backs up with what i've been putting forward above. My sympathies. Canada like Australia gets hammered on labor charges, with a high cost of living to go with it. Sounds like you wanted a top shelf quality respray. You should have got one for that outlay, and i hope you ended up getting one. Your car must be looking first class and spot on i would imagine. If you don't mind me asking, did the company you dealt with offer up or provide any written wananty on the job they did for you? If so, for how long? Thanks for sharing.

Greg.
 
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69 Mach 1 - 351C
72 Mach 1 - 351C
96 Cobra Convertible
Materials can be expensive, but 1 gallon of the best PPG paint and clear coat, can't be more than $1000, lets say $1500 as you are going to do the stipes on the hood and lower body in another color.
You need to go shop the price of paint…. It will easily be $3K to buy the paint, hardeners, reducers, and additives plus the other materials for a complete respray of the entire exterior, jambs, and such. Labor goes on top of that. The typical collision sales mix is 44% Labor, 44% Parts, 10% Materials, the rest is “Miscellaneous”.
 
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I agree. Cost of good materials is crazy. A few years ago I painted a grabber yellow Mach 1 and 1 gallon of PPG DBC base coat was just under $1,000. That’s was just the paint nothing else. We had around $5,000 total in materials to paint that car.
 

Mister 4x4

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I guess I’m the elephant in the room, lol. $50k+ a few years back. I won’t get into too many specifics here but his shop rate was $85/hr and I was billed 500-600 hours. This was a top notch award winning paint and restoration shop in my area and here in Canada, everything is just more expensive. Their work included picking up the car, new front NOS battery apron, rear NOS tail light panel( I supplied the parts). repair all Jack dents on the unibody, reproduce the at the time the rare under the battery tray support bracket, sandblasting and chemical dipping of the car and components, countless install and removal of body panels, doors etc to ensure a perfect fit, what ever the hell else a pro body shop and painter does to the body to get it perfect for paint application. Although I can’t rhyme off here all the various sanding, primer, and whatever else stages they do, they did it all. Of course this included the final underbody, engine compartment and body paint and clear application, etc. as well as wet sanding. I just signed the cheques one winter while the car became their main focus. I wanted the best and I knew it would cost, let’s just say I never quite told the misses’ how much it cost, lol. She caught on though… It was never about the final value of the car for me, I don’t care. I just wanted to complete a rotisserie restoration on one of these cars in my lifetime, which I accomplished. I did much of the work myself and hired the right professional to do what I could not. Too each their own))
Truly a case of you get what you pay for - your car is an MCA Judge's dream.
 
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I am in the $50k+ club as well ( that’s Canadian $ tho) from a high end shop that specializes in mustangs just outside of Calgary, a few years ago. (the shop set a world record at the 2022 Scottsdale Barrett Jackson on a Shelby GT500 Eleanor build that sold for US$450k...that I heard was bought by a retired NHL hockey player).

Not wanting to go into too much detail, but just enough to give you an idea:
- car was parked for ~28 years prior to its revival...but in decent shape (fired up a few times a year, but had numerous dings from being a daily driver in its earlier years).
- I took the car directly from storage (about 3 hours drive away) to the shop, so I did nothing to prep the car
- I had rust repair to the rear quarters (softball sized hole on the bottom of both sides, and rust in a bunch of other areas
- new rear drop offs,
- car was sanded down to bare metal,
- color change from white to blue
- motor was pulled and engine bay repainted
- many new parts (nasa hood, drivers front fender, new carb, starter, and alternator) and lots of new chrome
- plus much more

Was pricy compared to some other shops, but I wanted it done right, and only done once. I talked with a few shops in the surrounding area, but I wasn’t comfortable with their workmanship.

Finding a quality experienced shop is not easy these days, as generally speaking the older bodymen that know classic cars are mostly retired, and lots of the younger guys dont appear to have the same skill set to deal with classic cars (ie they run the other way if rust is involved)
 

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