Thursday, March 20, 2008

What it takes to do paint and body... between 12-17 thousand dollars of supplies a month.

Things to know about paint and body.

Choose your shop after lots of research, it’s a lot of money and time to get the job done right, and I’m only going through that once. Here’s a couple of ways to choose a shop: check with the customers they’ve had. At least a dozen, see if those guys will get more work done there. Look into their shop once a month for 3 months, and see how work flows through, or if the cars are just gathering dust and cobwebs. If the cars aren’t moving, your will be last to get done, after all the prior works gets out of the way. If they ask for a down payment, get down the road.

Roughly 4 months, and upwards of 5 thou.

When to get your ride to the shop; after all the welding, trial fits, mock up, grinding, customwork, and anything you’re going to do from the side or top of the car. . . if you’ve still got work to do, get it done before the car goes for paint and body. 10 thousand dollars of paint isn’t going to like a scratch and dent-a-thon when the big block upgrade you have always wanted involves removing the hood, reworking the motor mounts, and recessing the firewall.

1/3rd of the vehicles at So Cal are rework jobs. Other places have screwed up that many rides, that just this one shop gets 33% of it’s work by fixing rides other shops have already made money from customers by screwing them out of money, time, and body panels.

Logic here: “Dumb-as-rocks” shop makes a mule out of your Arabian, AND YOU PAID FOR IT. None of the panels, paint, fenders, hood or trunk are repairable. Now you want it done right, or take a total loss on your ZL-1, 71 Hemi convertible, all steel body 32 Vicky etc.
So you take it to a shop that states right up front, “We do it once, we do it right, we guarantee it” and they do. For 25 years plus. You have to pay for new fenders that “Dumb-as-rocks” made waves of, new 1/4rs they made soda can thin, new rear window frame “Dumb-as-rocks” left rust in, etc etc. And you pay for another strip and paint, you get to wait another 4 to 6 months, you get to add all that to the “Dumb-as-rocks” bill and time you already lost. OR you do it right the 1st time, the last time, the only time.

Understanding what a guaranteed job requires: anything that isn’t metal is getting removed… paint, parts, panels, plastic, rust, trim, and hood ornaments. Once the fundamental body is left in a metal state, stripped of all old paint, rust, etc… then prep begins. All panels are sanded by hand, only nooks, crannies, and crevices are media blasted with black slate. No walnut shell– leaves oil that screws up paint adhesion, no sand – it heat distorts the flat panels and also impact hardens the metal which makes flat filing for perfectly flat “No Waves” panels impossibly difficult.

Once all the old paint and primer are removed the car immediately gets epoxy primer sealed. Moist air and anything that touches the metal will screw up the paint adhesion or cause rust in time.

No bondo on bare metal, it causes rust by condensation, moisture absorption, etc. Bondo or fillers aren’t a good idea in any regard, metal work is the way to go when possible, filler is only a last resort when all the possible metal work has been accomplished.

No wetsanding anything but final paint. Primer is drysanded, not wet… primer absorbs moisture and causes rust.

Silver paint is the hardest to get right, 2wice as hard as black paint. Silver and metallics will show scratches and the metal flake particles flow into the valley caused by scratches, gouges, etc. Black just shows ripples or waves when large areas aren’t flat, but doesn’t highlight scratches.

There is more to doing it right than we’ll ever know, that’s why when you want it done right, you take it to the pro’s. The right way, the right paint materials, the right technique to removing dents, etc etc.