Corvette: How to Find A Good Auto Paint Shop

When deciding to paint the Corvette, the colors and budget should be considered. This means finding the right paint shop at a price that is within a frame you can live with. Continue reading for some helpful painting tips.

By Bassem Girgis - February 6, 2015

This article applies to the C5, C6, and C7 Corvette (1997-current),

A good paint job not only gives the Corvette a great look, it also protects the vehicle from rusting. There is a fine line between a simply affordable paint job and a bad one. Factory-quality paint jobs can cost up to $20,000 on a Corvette, while a cheap one could cost you as little as $250. The average decent paint job costs between $2,500 and $6,000. Here is a guide to finding a good paint shop that will give you the best deals. It is recommended that you do not paint your vehicle by yourself. If there is one thing you want a professional to do, it is painting your car.

Pro Tip

Any budget decision should include body work that needs to be done. Obtaining the perfect paint job is impossible with dents on your doors. Look around the vehicle, take note of all the body work that needs to be done on a panel-by-panel basis, and set your budget accordingly.

Figure 1. Be sure to account for body work when budgeting.

Step 1 – Set a budget

In order to set a budget for your paint job, first you must pick a category based on quality.

Low Cost Paint Job ($250-2,500)

A low cost paint job could suffice if the vehicle has high mileage or if there are no plans to sell it later. Also, consider if the vehicle has spots that are missing paint. Inexpensive paints are used in lower cost paint jobs.

Middle Cost Paint Job ($2,500-7,000)

These jobs are often picked by the average drivers. Most paint jobs within this price range are acceptable replacements for the factory paint. Considering the soft paint that Corvettes use, this could be an upgrade.

High-End Paint Job ($7,000-2,000+)

The high-end paint job is a good fit for those who have spent a lot of money modifying their Corvette. In other words, this is the choice for turning your daily driver into a show car.

  • Figure 2. A bad paint job lowers the value of the Corvette.
  • Figure 3. A good paint job can be spotted from anywhere.

Step 2 – Find a paint shop

One of the best resources available is the internet. Start by searching Google for nearby paint shops. Pick a few shops that are within an acceptable distance from where you're located and then research them on Yelp. Yelp has a nice feature in which the owner of the business can't delete reviews. The reviews will likely answer questions in regard to quality, time, and customer service.

Pro Tip

Try to find a shop with a spray booth. A lot of shops don't have a booth to paint in, and no matter how professional they are, dirt and dust tend to land on the car in the middle of the process, which will forever be seen under the clear coat.

Figure 4. Paint both guarantees coats free of dirt.

Step 3 – Get a quote

It is a bad sign if a shop gives you a firm quote over the phone without ever looking at the vehicle. A professional will first look over your car, take notes of any body damage, ask a few questions, and then give you a quote. When getting a quote, it is important to ask the right questions. Ask the shop what type of warranty they offer with their paint jobs. A good paint shop stands behind their paint jobs. Inquire about how many coats they typically apply. This way, you can compare different quotes equally rather than comparing a one-coat paint job with a three-coat job.

Pro Tip

Compare your quote to the budget you have set and do not make a decision on the spot. It is best to get three or more quotes before making a decision.

Step 4 – Make a decision

After you decide on the shop you want, set a time and a date to drop off the car. Be sure to go home with the paper work, set a pick-up time, and visit the shop throughout the process. Most paint shops don't time it right and end up postponing the pick-up time. Stopping by the shop often ensures that they work according to schedule, and not put other customers before you.

Figure 5. Professional paint gun.

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