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Old 08-11-2008, 09:38 AM   #1
jayst1
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Default Cost of a Paint job?

I was wondering how much the average paint job costs everyone. I live in the Richmond, VA area and have been quoted $15,000 for a paint job. That is three times what I paid for the car. I know things are pretty expensive around here so I was trying to see if this price is a normal average price. I have been told to take it to MAACO but I am hesitant because I have not heard anything good about them. Any advice would be great!!


Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:44 AM   #2
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Everything depends on the amount of body work needed, if you are changing colors and the jambs need to be painted, if the paint is in good shape already just faded, if the car needs to be stripped down to bare glass, if you want the good paint materials or just want to wing it with cheap paint, the color of the paint makes a difference, the type of paint (three stage, two stage, single stage, candies), show paint job or driver paint job or seller paint job etc etc etc.

We need more than "what is an average cost for a paint job".

The range would run between $2,000 and $20,000
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:52 AM   #3
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It is currently red. The paint will need to be removed, it is faded in spots and flaking in others. I am thinking going to Black. I want it to look nice. I do not want to use cheap paint. I do plan on showing it when it is ready. I just want to be sure I am getting a good deal and not ripped off.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
Easy Mike
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There is no "average" figure; prices will vary across the country. You can save yourself a ton of money if you do the prep work yourself. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the shop time to prep the car for paint.

Personally, $15K seems on the high side. Shop around for different estimates. Contact local Corvette clubs in your area and see who they use/recommend.

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Old 08-11-2008, 10:54 AM   #5
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After what I have gone thru the last three weeks, $15000 might be what it takes to get me to consider doing it for someone

I have a whole new respect for restoration shops. My fingers hurt; my back hurts; my ears hurt from taking the mask off so many times, my sinuses are shot and I am dehydrated every night when I come in. The actual spraying is much more time consuming than I ever dreamed (thanks and sorry gator79, I'll make it up somehow). I am starting to wonder if there is an end to all this. Thank goodness I am down to sanding some of my touchups. Then it will be sealing-color-clear. See, it may never end

And I have an inch of dust over everything in my garage and enough dust lying in the driveway to make half a vette body.

Last edited by kevinator80; 08-11-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayst1 View Post
It is currently red. The paint will need to be removed, it is faded in spots and flaking in others. I am thinking going to Black. I want it to look nice. I do not want to use cheap paint. I do plan on showing it when it is ready. I just want to be sure I am getting a good deal and not ripped off.
Then get the ole check book ready. And for your info, the paint cost isn't the big deal. Conservatively, I may have $1200 in adhesive, filler, paper, primer and paint.

Until I got to this point with mine, I always thought shops were crazy with their prices. Now, I know what is involved and I can tell you that I would not even consider doing your job (as described) for less than $5k plus materials. Considering how much I hate doors, I might do the door jams for $4k Just kidding.

Here is what I did/doing to mine.

Removed all trim, lights etc., stripped paint down to primer, wet sanded to bare glass, fixed any exposed body work(very minor), bonded new bumpers and smoothed seams, epoxy primer, 3 coats high build, block sand, 2 coats high build on imperfections found in the blocking process, block some more, seal, color, clear, wet sand, buff, polish, replace all trim, lights etc.

I am not trying to anybody; only make a point that this is hard work, requiring skill, patience and determination. I would say it is the hardest part of a restoration.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
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15 years ago, I had my 'vette painted for $3500, they did an OK job. As others have said, what you pay depends greatly on what you have to start off with, but also how much of the work you are willing to do yourself. If the body is good and straight, and you are willing to strip the old paint yourself and remove and replace all of the trim, you can probably get a good paint job for about $5K. When I did mine, I took the trim off and put it on myself and paid $600 for a guy to media blast the body to get the old paint off (the stripper was a real mess as well as a pain in the ***!), so the price I paid was just to do some clean up work on the body, then shoot it, sand it and polish it.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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you plan to show it... you better be doing some planning.

if you want a show quality paint job. it will cost $$$
you can minimize costs, and control overspray problems,
by you prepping the car, this means you strip the car of everything you can unbolt, ..... bag and tag everything, take pictures.
you want to give the body shop a blank car.
don't forget you have to reassemble without scrathing the new paint !

you also have to define show quality paint job, their are many levels,
be honest with your body shop so both of you know what to expect.
go to the body shop every 2-3 days, and not the same day every week.
set up a time line when the work will be completed. then double that.
for a tru show paint job you can figure minmium of 300-400 hours. man hours of body preperation.

most places should quote you a total price for paint.
for show paint most custom places will quote you a per hour rate and estimate how many hours to do the work you request.
only pay a down payment! do not pay until work is done.
the best way is to set mile stone, for instance
once car is primed to your satisfaction you pay 1/4 of total,
once painted you pay 3/4, and once final buffed and your happy pay off the balance. if you try and say I won't pay until complete, your car will take forever to complete, if you keep handing them money they will keep working.

If you think your gonna drive in and drop off your car,
and pickup it up next week, you ain't getting no show paint job.
Reveiw what you what and can afford as an end result.
good Luck.... and yes I have a show paint job,
feel free to holler if you have further questions... 69VETT
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:54 PM   #9
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If you plan to paint it black, you better be prepared to do a bunch of blocking. Black will reveal any latent problems with the body or body work. I just had my 69 painted in the S.F. Bay Area for $8,500 and it came out "magnificent" to quote some of the people who've seen it. It wows me every time I look at it. The car was painted back to the same color (LeMans Blue) but the door jambs and everything else were done like it was changing color. Even the inner doors were repainted. The guy blocked the snot out of it and it came out looking like a blue piece of glass (which, I guess, it is). Don't forget that you'll need to provide new weather stipping, replacement parts, possibly new emblems and maybe even get some re-chroming done. I had an additional $1,300 into mine for those kinds of items. If the paint shop is doing a turn key job (you drop it off and you pick it up complete) be sure you and the shop owner do a function check of all the electrical stuff when you drop it off for both of your protection. Mine came out of the shop with a shorted brake light, non-working turn signals, no backups and about half the other bulbs broken. We're still working these items out. I've entered it in two shows since I had it painted, though, and won a first and second place in the C3 class. $15K is too much to pay. I'm guessing that you can find a good paint job for $6K - $8K without too much trouble. Get references and be sure to ask them about the turn around on the work. Lots of shops will take a full paint job as a filler between the profitable insurance work and you'll wait forever for your car. BTW, I gave my guy a $3K down payment, a $3K payment when the paint was on the car and the final $2.5K when it was all buffed out and ready to go.

Last edited by RagTop69; 08-11-2008 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinator80 View Post
After what I have gone thru the last three weeks, $15000 might be what it takes to get me to consider doing it for someone

I have a whole new respect for restoration shops. My fingers hurt; my back hurts; my ears hurt from taking the mask off so many times, my sinuses are shot and I am dehydrated every night when I come in. The actual spraying is much more time consuming than I ever dreamed (thanks and sorry gator79, I'll make it up somehow). I am starting to wonder if there is an end to all this. Thank goodness I am down to sanding some of my touchups. Then it will be sealing-color-clear. See, it may never end

And I have an inch of dust over everything in my garage and enough dust lying in the driveway to make half a vette body.
hang in there it will be orange soon. and you are not thru sanding because the clear will need sanding also.
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:29 PM   #11
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As others have said it greatly depends on how much body work is needed, remove old paint or just smooth it out, color change, jambs?, doors on or off, headlights in or out, etc. I would think a high-level umbrella average is around $8000 for a "nice" job on an unwrecked car assuming you do some of the prep like removing emblems, bumpers....
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:53 PM   #12
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I have paid 6000.00.... still apart though and color sanding still needs to be done. This is included in my cost though. The quote you received certainly sounds high to me but it certainly is plausible depending on the overall condition of the car. Labor is EXPENSIVE!!! Get some more estimates but be aware that anyone who has painted a car black knows how demanding the job can be. Black shows everything and our C-3s came out of the factory in a condition that would cause any serious painter some nightmares.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagTop69 View Post
If you plan to paint it black, you better be prepared to do a bunch of blocking. Black will reveal any latent problems with the body or body work. I just had my 69 painted in the S.F. Bay Area for $8,500 and it came out "magnificent" to quote some of the people who've seen it. It wows me every time I look at it. The car was painted back to the same color (LeMans Blue) but the door jambs and everything else were done like it was changing color. Even the inner doors were repainted. The guy blocked the snot out of it and it came out looking like a blue piece of glass (which, I guess, it is). Don't forget that you'll need to provide new weather stipping, replacement parts, possibly new emblems and maybe even get some re-chroming done. I had an additional $1,300 into mine for those kinds of items. If the paint shop is doing a turn key job (you drop it off and you pick it up complete) be sure you and the shop owner do a function check of all the electrical stuff when you drop it off for both of your protection. Mine came out of the shop with a shorted brake light, non-working turn signals, no backups and about half the other bulbs broken. We're still working these items out. I've entered it in two shows since I had it painted, though, and won a first and second place in the C3 class. $15K is too much to pay. I'm guessing that you can find a good paint job for $6K - $8K without too much trouble. Get references and be sure to ask them about the turn around on the work. Lots of shops will take a full paint job as a filler between the profitable insurance work and you'll wait forever for your car. BTW, I gave my guy a $3K down payment, a $3K payment when the paint was on the car and the final $2.5K when it was all buffed out and ready to go.
Yep, if a knat lites on it ya can see it from 20 feet.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weimer20 View Post
I have paid 6000.00.... still apart though and color sanding still needs to be done. This is included in my cost though. The quote you received certainly sounds high to me but it certainly is plausible depending on the overall condition of the car. Labor is EXPENSIVE!!! Get some more estimates but be aware that anyone who has painted a car black knows how demanding the job can be. Black shows everything and our C-3s came out of the factory in a condition that would cause any serious painter some nightmares.
I originally wanted to keep it red, I was told red is a very expensive color, but it sounds to me like changing the color would be more expensive. Should I just stay with red? Either color is fine with me.


I appreciate everyones input, it helps me out greatly!!
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:43 PM   #15
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A color change definetly adds alot of cost to paint job.
which will require full body prep.
Black addes to the cost of paint job.
Red is just another color, but it is your orginal color ?
(Not more expensive)
If you have decided a complete strip down, your choice of color.

If your paint is orginal paint I would recommend staying with your orginal color, and do a quick and clean paint without a full strip,
It sounds like you want a nice street paint job, you can go to a occasional show with, on a mild budget.

If you go after #1 show paint you have to go all out,
everything no comprimizes, it must be a full strip,
their are no easy /cheap methods.

If you find someone that will warrantty a paint job without stripping the car will they be there to honor the warratty in a year or 2 ?
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:52 AM   #16
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when i bought red paint one time i was told it was more expensive because of the silver in it. that was 25 years ago though. here in pa. a good paint job ranges from 6 to 10 grand with you doing nothing.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:11 AM   #17
69Vett
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the actual paint might cost slightly more,maybe $100
someone who buys paint frequently may know better.

but the actual paint cost is minor.
compared to the labor cost, of prepping the car
labor is the bulk of the paint cost.
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:14 AM   #18
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you are lucky to even find shop that will do a full paint job here in san antonio.
i wanted to get my 68 mustang repainted and it took 4 shops to even find one that would do it. most places here only do insurance funded collision repair.

that 4th shop then would only do
"minor body work with primer and 1 stage paint no separate clear coat" as they put it for 5K
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:04 AM   #19
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Paint is as paint does. You get what you pay for and in our case (Corvette) your paying for the name and that 'glass.

As stated above, most shops in our area are doing insurance and newer cars too, and so don't want to mess with other stuff. (takes away from profit)

If you can find someone in your area who does good resto or mild custom work you'll pay. I've had many an area painter here tell me that they charge what they do for the Vette because we owners are so picky and hard to please. Almost like a "pay in advance for a redo I know you'll come back complaining about in the future" fine.

If definately pays to shop and get to know your painter. Also research the forum....there's old threads out there on this


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Old 08-12-2008, 11:36 AM   #20
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Go to a couple local car shows !
ask who did the paint on the paint jobs that you like.
Make a list of names and numbers, you will quickly find the good painters in your area, which is exactly what you want to find.
good luck... 69VETT
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