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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:03 pm 
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I know there are a lot of variables to this question but wanted to through it out to the group. What is the average amount of hours or the average cost for a bare metal paint job on a 356? Assuming no metal work is needed only filler and paint work is needed.

Again I know there are a lot of variables to this question but I am just looking for some high level guidance.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Uh, 1-1/2 to 3 times the quote?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:28 pm 
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$60/hour to rent a professional booth in my area.
Get some paint and have at it!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Bare metal paint job on a 356???? No too bad at all, scuff it with 180 grit, a few bucks in clear coat and pay off your buddy with some beer!!!! Sorry, I couldn't resist!!!! :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:11 am 
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Maybe this exists in other areas but if you live around Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College has a 'auto restoration' course for a few buck plus deep discounts on the paint from a 'sponsor'.
The course is about you bringing your restoration project into the shop and working on it. They have extremely nice down draft paint booths with an oven for drying - all late and very nice equipment including welding and body repair. The only catch is that your car must roll on its wheels or be on a dolly with wheels.
When I went by there on a Sat a year or so ago there were several folks in various stages of work on their cars.
Its probably one of the few college courses where virtually every student has to be run out of class when the bell rings!
Like NPR, another great misuse of our tax $'s - paying for some guy to restore his own car! (opps that really wasn't political was it). Its not a 'body shop' class to train folks for the job market - its a fun restore your own project car class. If I had a car to paint I might be right over there - hypocrite that I am.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:38 am 
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Chad,

Seen your 59 "A" photos a few times on here that looks very nice and original? As also an owner of a 59 Meissen blue "A" are you thinking of respraying yours? Sure I reckon you could do it yourself I have done mine myself twice over a period of 40 years but ( and a big but ), it depends how you want it to end up, just a driver quality like mine or one people passing by just have to gape at.

To get the flawless finish it will need much more than you think in time and effort and as any "A" (if it is your car ) is over 50 years old and stripped to bare metal will show extra work required unless its spent 50 years in the Arizona desert.

However, I will be brave as I must say myself I have also wondered looking at my 20 year old paint how much it would cost to improve it. I reckon ( with no professional idea at all ) to get just a standard job done, doors, hood, engine lid, bumpers, all off, the glass all out, and not including the interior paint the best part of a months work. Over here equate that to 160 hours @ £30 per hour (if you are lucky) and you get £4,800 plus paint etc = £5,000 ($8,000). That's why in my case I will carry on looking at mine and deliberating and convincing myself its patina.

No doubt, I am completely wrong on my estimate and it might take some brave fellows out there to actually give you an average very rough ball park price or time factor to do this work based on cars they have sprayed. ( Even better how long to get a show finish job.)

But Chad, if it is your car don't change the colour :wink: :wink: :wink:

Roy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:08 am 
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Chad Comeau wrote:
I know there are a lot of variables to this question but wanted to through it out to the group. What is the average amount of hours or the average cost for a bare metal paint job on a 356? Assuming no metal work is needed only filler and paint work is needed.

Again I know there are a lot of variables to this question but I am just looking for some high level guidance.


Yep, 'variables.' That's why you won't get many pros replying to your honest question. ;-)

I always tell people "Painting is the fun part and the only part of a 'paint job' that can be quoted...about 3 hours."

Pros will also always say, "It's all in the prep." Well......it IS!

Who knows how long that will take? Bodymen and painters always fight over that DMZ. A bodyman usually wants to quit at 80 grit and the painter wants to begin at 400 grit, thus a battle usually goes on between the bodyshop and the paintshop, often taking many hours of finger pointing (and finger sanding). That middle ground is VERY important, as it's usually involving a 'guide coat' (or two, or three) to be sure the deep sanding scratches, highs and lows, etc are eliminated. It's the details.

It's, as I was taught, "knowing where to focus." Pay more attention to gaps on light colored cars, more attention to contours on dark colored cars....BOTH on a job like a 356.

A painter is the one whose work is the final element seen and therefore has the most immediate pride. The bodyman's work is 'buried' and is already in trouble for the time he has had to spend on metalwork and coarse filling, but he takes pride in assured longevity of his craftsmanship.

The only thing after that that's a variable is whether you want single stage stage (Miessen blue) or 2 stage base/clear (silver or any metallic). Many more hours in a metallic color due to painting all the parts off the car and then sanding the outer surfaces to paint at one time, assembled, and all the extra taping.

Oh, if a urethane, figure on ~$1,500 in materials prices...and they are going up and up all the time!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:25 am 
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I think this is a great resource:

http://www.willhoitautorestoration.com/ ... lanner.pdf

Regards,

Steve Ross
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:32 pm 
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Location: NE Texas
the question: Paint and materials(materials is everything not liquid) dedicated to a 356 from hand stripping (no disassembly) thru polishing figure $3500 if you are going to do your own work; add 30% or so if you are going to have a professional. (Media blast all over in the range of $2000 plus transportation; chemical at a proven shop, epoxied range $3000 plus transportation....both at cost). Yeah there is cheap but if the car is to be red, it will definitely be that much with base coat at $250 a quart times three so you have some left over) Then metal work and that is not the question, but the implication for a painter is that he should be able to walk up to the car, do some detail cleaning and wax/grease removing and begin the process. Of course the time to do the filler or primer depends on how much damage, how much rust repair was done and that can range from nothing to a lot, and this is where a "range" that means anything gets sticky.

But my experience of 35 years painting tells me it is a rare painter that can get it done in 160 hours and the result will be equal to new and long lasting. 200 hours, mayby plus polish. It is not just about time, but about experience and dedication. I have also learned to not get into bidding on a job when the customer's focus is on price and that is his driving motivation. I have seen plenty of disasters due to that focus, some recently, where after the work is in process the owner begins to understand that the car is a long way from being painted but he has paid what he thought it was going to cost. The worst one a guy had bought NOS panels for the entire car, except the roof. (including NOS hood, doors, deck lid and bumpers) After the car was in primer he decided enough was enough and brought the car for us to "paint". The car looked good as a shell, but when we couldn't get the doors on for a preliminary fit we knew we had stepped into a mess. Suffice to say, he probably had spend at least $60,000 on the car to that point. We had to cut the car completely apart (after we got the spray on bondo off that was an inch thick in some places), jack the inner panels back into place and finish the car. There is one in our area now where the owner has paid a shop reportedly $25,000 to ruin his car and he thinks they can now fix it......

So, to do the actual paint process for an as-new with current paint finishes, a responsible range would be $8000 on the low end by a professional 356 shop up to say, $13,000. Plus materials. Some charge more but those figures fit reasonably in the Texas market, and if you really want perfect (I have never see perfect, although I have seen a whole lot of really good work) that might require painting the car more than once, just pick a number. Now if you want to go to a regular body shop, I know a few folks that got really burned on that approach; not that it won't work but you have to realize they are into 'production', not restoration.

The general attitude of some that post here seem to think restorers both mechanical and body, as well as parts sellers are just getting rich. Let me correct that assumption. Perhaps one or two percent of the restorers are doing well but I expect most make a living, get by but do this because they like the cars and have a long relationship with them, and they like their customers. Do they have a condo in the Swiss Alps...not hardly unless they have other endeavors. There are also crooks out there.

Now if you are going to do it yourself, materials and the necessary equipment are all you need. Of course, your time has no value; you trade that for the thrill of doing your own work and that is exactly how I got started. However, I started with lacquer, not entirely without adverse affects but nothing like the carcinogen laced materials of today which requires substantial personal and environmental expenses, and coming home to roost next year for everyone. Check EPA 40 CFR Part 63.National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources
None of this is a "secret"; it is the same in every business. But cost should not be the primary factor if you really want it done right by someone that knows what they are doing. It is not a good idea to get someone to experiment on your car and find out that is the first and last he will do for that price......

.....these are my opinions, observations, not necessarily based on my or any other particular restorer's pricing, is based on me being customer selective, nor is it meant as a solicitation of work.







Chad Comeau wrote:
I know there are a lot of variables to this question but wanted to through it out to the group. What is the average amount of hours or the average cost for a bare metal paint job on a 356? Assuming no metal work is needed only filler and paint work is needed.

Again I know there are a lot of variables to this question but I am just looking for some high level guidance.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:32 pm 
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Now that was a really good reply by Roy to Chads question. I read every word and others who are contemplating this work should do so also. I think more and more I will leave my paint alone and live with it. How correct Roy is that preparation is everything before painting and also his final comments on the materials. I sprayed mine twice with now old fashioned Cellulose. With the later types of 2 pack you need so much safety equipment I just wonder if the days of doing it your self are over?

You can still get cellulose over here but for how long I wonder.

As Roy says if you want the best finish you will have to pay highly for it. I read the estimates above for John Wilhoits work. They are metalwork artists and their work leaves me open mouthed. It all comes down to money I wonder if Chad will let us know what he was thinking, I reckon many have no up to date idea of cost.

I had a friend in the early 70's who bought a gallon of red cellulose masked up his Ford Cortina in about an hour on his front garden grass and finished the spray over the same day. When he drove away he left an imprint of his Ford in red on the grass. All done for £50
($80-) or so. He was happy, but for certain the grass wasn't.

Roy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Location: California's Central Coast, not quite New Zealand... but close
regarding restoration expense and time... a long meandering diatribe:

THE DEBATE... (considering a non rusty car that is ok as is... but just needs paint)

1) You can leave it alone...

2) You can have your car painted for 5 to 8k:
It will look ok. there will be sanding scratches... the gaps will not be perfect... the jambs will be messy... and the reflections will not be perfect. It will last a while until the poorest areas start to show back up where the prep wasn't done perfectly. The work will take a week or three. For certain applications... this is acceptable. it usually better to have NOT painted the car this way.

3) You can have your car painted for +- 50k
You get perfect jambs... flawless perfect gaps. Perfect reflections... etc... this will take around a year if done right... letting the primer shrink etc. This paint job should last decades and if maintained will look the same over time.

The trick... is finding the middle ground... of reasonable expectations... balanced by reasonable costs between 2 and three.... either that... or stay at number 1.

My trouble...and I think many of us share this flaw... is that I can never seem to stop myself from taking it to the n'th degree... And I end up making the car absolutely perfect. Which usually ends up costing a ton. The car ends up beautiful... but it is no more "fun" than it was before... save for the ego stroke.

Having spent this stupid amount of money... you win best of show... and that is fun for about 15 minutes at the dinner that night. But after that it really means nothing other than now you are worried about scratching the car. Your wife was happy getting groceries in it before... now she won't drive it.

I think a good solution is to get into the car... after you win that prize... and drive the heck out of it! Go find a long bumpy dirt road... and drive it like a rally car! Drive it to work... take it to the movies... go to the beach... go on vacation in it... go pick up some bags of dirt at home depot... etc etc. This will produce rock chips... and crud in the corners... and will get oil on things... and sweat marks on your seats... and scratches from your wife's wedding ring under the door handles... and hair from your dog in the back seat... and potato chip crumbs under the seat... and spilled coffee on the carpet. I think maybe this is good. It is a tough hard decision... but I think it is good.

All of these little things will add immeasurably to the content of your life... WAY more than the best of show trophy.

Alternatively... you can leave the car as it was... flaws and all... save the 50k... skip the restoration... and go straight to the "drive the heck out of it"

I think you have to have done the overrestoration thing maybe... to really understand that the car is fun... despite it's looks. and that it looks beautiful... even before the restoration.

(I would say that everyone should restore a car at least once however... just for the experience... as it is a fun thing to do... and really puts you in touch with your car. It is fun to do... just don't put it on too high of a pedestal afterwards)

Remember... the resto is for basically for you... for the fun of it. The car doesn't care... you need to consider what is really most important to you.


SO...

If you want to do it to make your car look better...

well think about that hard... will you be happier with something that is all perfect? or will this make you worry... or will you just get in it and drive the crud out of it without a care!

If you will enjoy doing the resto... then that has merit of it's own.

I think that is the full debate.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:52 pm 
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Wow.......thank you for the great responses to my question, yes even the clear coat and beer response was good for a laugh and honestly I expected more clear coat and beer type responses. I have selected a painter and he will begin this week. My Pre A Speedster and my friends 59 coupe will be painted at the same time. The Speedster will be painted it original color of Speedster Blue and the Coupe will be its original color of Ruby Red. I will post pictures as they progress though the stages.

Speedster Blue discovered under year of grease
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:32 am 
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As I've told countless people over the years: you can only spend so much on an engine, trans, or mechanicals. There is a finite maximum limit, even with no engine or trans core.
Rust, accident repair, and painting, there is NO limit. When I look at a car for possible purchase, I'm only looking at whether it needs body or paint work. If perfectly acceptable as-is, it's a candidate. Acceptable means it looks just fine, but maybe has a small-medium flaw or two.
Also, collectors are starting to appreciate originality and are paying good bucks for it. Gooding auctions in Scottsdale last week had a barn-find white 300SL coupe. $600,000; dirt, mouse nest and all! Some people couldn't understand why the car wasn't even washed before the auction. Some did understand.

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