Cost of a proper paint job

Old April 5th, 2013, 03:25 PM
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Cost of a proper paint job

We're starting to look into a proper paint job for our 442 and I was curious what ballpark price range we'd be looking to get it done. She does need some minor body work as part of the process (you can see images in the link to the gallery in my signature - probably needs both quarter panels replaced) but overall the car is in really good shape and relatively rust free.

We stopped by a local shop that seems to have a decent reputation in our area and I thought we were prepared but the first quote was still a bit of a shocker.

What should I be expecting the cost to be to have the job done right?
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Old April 5th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Your first quote was probably close - nowadays you're looking at $8-12k before bodywork, for a quality, professional job!
This is one place you get what you pay for.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 02:28 AM
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Yeah - I expected 10-15K but the first thing we got was double that. We want it done right - what recommendations do you guys have for picking the right person to do it besides checking out their work? There have to be some guidelines to follow here.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 02:59 AM
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Hit up car shows & cruise nights & talk to people for recommendations.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 04:19 AM
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It varies a lot based on where you live. Body work and paint is mostly labor. When I lived in the Boston area labor shop rates were upwards of $90/hr. The shop that did my car was $45/hr. The people that do it on the side often charge even less around here.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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At $30k, he doesn't want to do it - maybe doesn't have the crew to get it done in a timely manner.
Quarters aren't an easy job, especially with outer wheelhouses and trunk drop-offs.
Is their any other things not mentioned - hood cracks, interior floors, rotted door frames, bad fenders?
What's he charging an hour?
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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickman48 View Post
At $30k, he doesn't want to do it - maybe doesn't have the crew to get it done in a timely manner.
Quarters aren't an easy job, especially with outer wheelhouses and trunk drop-offs.
Is their any other things not mentioned - hood cracks, interior floors, rotted door frames, bad fenders?
What's he charging an hour?
He's quoting $50/hr - which I thought was good, estimate of the total project seems high to me - said it'd take 6 months to complete.

Rest of the car is really in good shape.
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Old April 6th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by droptopron View Post
Hit up car shows & cruise nights & talk to people for recommendations.
This was my plan without knowing much else.
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Old April 7th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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In the Houston area I am paying $65 an hour. I did find that varied a lot pending on the shop, so make sure to check at several places before you choose.
Also go visit the actual shops see how they work, see the quality if their work. A reputable shop will have more than one project going at a time and be able to offer several completed projects for you to see.
When you decide remember the saying "good, fast, or cheap - pick two"
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Old April 8th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Who are you using in Houston? I looking for someone to paint my '71 Cut Conv.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Houston Shop....

Originally Posted by mfreeman View Post
Who are you using in Houston? I looking for someone to paint my '71 Cut Conv.
The name of the shop is South Coast Rides, they are actually in Rosenberg just south of Houston.
Www.southcoastrides.com (link I'm my signature) or 281-341-9200 ask for Rich Rulau.
Good people do really nice work.
Give him a shout and tell him Todd sent you.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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Is that price with him pulling everything apart or you pulling everything apart? If you take it to him as a complete car fully assembled I could see it being close to $30k. The guy doing my car is $10K and i take him a shell, empty doors, and the other body parts bare. Then I put it back together.
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Old April 9th, 2013, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jensenracing77 View Post
Is that price with him pulling everything apart or you pulling everything apart? If you take it to him as a complete car fully assembled I could see it being close to $30k. The guy doing my car is $10K and i take him a shell, empty doors, and the other body parts bare. Then I put it back together.
We didn't get too detailed - I'm assuming we could reduce the cost by taking it all apart ourselves as well (better be able to anyway!).

Another thought we had was that he threw a number out there like that just make sure we were serious about it. I can imagine the more serious shops get a good amount of folks looking for it done on the cheap and I'm sure that can become a hassle after awhile.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 09:03 PM
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I could write a book on this subject,but I won't here. most important are the details and your expectations need to be spelled out ,what exactly do you want done ,what quality of job and quality of materials do you want and on and on.quality takes time. IMHO $30,000 is very steep for a paint job but quite reasonable for a restoration.there is always hidden damage\rust\ unexpected work that you don't see until you get into the job.after almost 30 years of doing body and paint work in the rust belt I think a lot of shops charge too much for easy jobs on solid cars .for a solid car that needs minor body work and quarters replaced,without seeing it , done right ,I would say $14,000 to $17,000. I have worked on all makes but prefer working on Oldsmobile's for obvious reasons. I have repaired cars that others wouldn't touch because they needed extensive work,literally brought cars back from the dead. that's because they were Oldsmobile's and worth it.altogether too many shops are HACKS and only care about getting the job out the door and getting the money. I've heard many a horror story about peoples experiences with shady shops, do your homework and choose carefully. I'm sure there are more than a couple members on this site that are qualified to paint your car including myself,the Olds community are generally a great lot. Chris
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Old April 12th, 2013, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MI68442W30 View Post
I could write a book on this subject,but I won't here. most important are the details and your expectations need to be spelled out ,what exactly do you want done ,what quality of job and quality of materials do you want and on and on.quality takes time. IMHO $30,000 is very steep for a paint job but quite reasonable for a restoration.there is always hidden damage\rust\ unexpected work that you don't see until you get into the job.after almost 30 years of doing body and paint work in the rust belt I think a lot of shops charge too much for easy jobs on solid cars .for a solid car that needs minor body work and quarters replaced,without seeing it , done right ,I would say $14,000 to $17,000. I have worked on all makes but prefer working on Oldsmobile's for obvious reasons. I have repaired cars that others wouldn't touch because they needed extensive work,literally brought cars back from the dead. that's because they were Oldsmobile's and worth it.altogether too many shops are HACKS and only care about getting the job out the door and getting the money. I've heard many a horror story about peoples experiences with shady shops, do your homework and choose carefully. I'm sure there are more than a couple members on this site that are qualified to paint your car including myself,the Olds community are generally a great lot. Chris
Thanks for the feedback Chris!

We're trying to shop around a bit, but at least we seem to have at least one decent local option here. There is some value in that as well.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Well , there's no replacement for a good job done that will last for years to come . I was planning on doing mine myself .... POSSIBLY , but after I'm done dishing out the dough to spray on the epoxy first , I will probably change my mind .
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Old April 12th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by MI68442W30 View Post
I could write a book on this subject,but I won't here. most important are the details and your expectations need to be spelled out ,what exactly do you want done ,what quality of job and quality of materials do you want and on and on.quality takes time. IMHO $30,000 is very steep for a paint job but quite reasonable for a restoration.there is always hidden damage\rust\ unexpected work that you don't see until you get into the job.after almost 30 years of doing body and paint work in the rust belt I think a lot of shops charge too much for easy jobs on solid cars .for a solid car that needs minor body work and quarters replaced,without seeing it , done right ,I would say $14,000 to $17,000. I have worked on all makes but prefer working on Oldsmobile's for obvious reasons. I have repaired cars that others wouldn't touch because they needed extensive work,literally brought cars back from the dead. that's because they were Oldsmobile's and worth it.altogether too many shops are HACKS and only care about getting the job out the door and getting the money. I've heard many a horror story about peoples experiences with shady shops, do your homework and choose carefully. I'm sure there are more than a couple members on this site that are qualified to paint your car including myself,the Olds community are generally a great lot. Chris

Well said
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Old May 18th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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I just took my 64 Cutlass to the body shop. $5700 was the estimate. The price was for a complete color change that involved removing the doors and fenders, replacing lower hinges with provided replacements, repair 1 dent and 1 ding, make a couple of small pieces to fix rust along the bottom of the rear window and by the trunk latch. I brought him the car with the interior already out. He said it would take about a month.

I know I could do it for less. But right now it's not worth the headaches for me. I know he'll do the job right and most importantly, I trust him.

One thing I've noticed is body shops that do insurance work as their "meat and potatoes" itemize and bill for everything. That's how they make money and how they are used to doing business. A restoration shop/hot rod shop, I've noticed, usually knows what each stage of repair/restoration is going to cost and can give you a good/better/best price. YMMV.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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You guys would cry if you knew what I paid to have mine painted. She's coming home today!

1cr_zpsd15ed150.jpg

1hood_zps5d217269.jpg
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Old May 18th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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There is just no way a paint job should cost $30,000. Insane. For that price he should do a frame off and paint the frame. What is the car worth after it is painted?
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Old May 18th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Mine just left for the paint shop last week. I shopped around for a while. Most places were shops I had heard others mention. What amazed me was 3 shops shot ball park numbers out all in the 10- 15 k range. They did this with a very minimum inspection of the car and did not make any notes. Then a friend told me about a restoration shop right down the street. Dan came to my house to look at the car. Spent about an hour going over every detail and asking me good questions about my expectations. He then sent me an estimate with every detail of the repair broken out. It came in at approx 8 k with me taking everything apart and him putting it back together. The thing I like is the estimate protects me and him. We both know what is included. The time frame for the work to be completed is also in the estimate. The body work on my car is not too bad. Some minor rust in the lower doors and in the trunk lid corner. I would really question a 30 k estimate.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by nofiveo View Post
You guys would cry if you knew what I paid to have mine painted. She's coming home today!



That looks like Aztec gold color code 75?
Cry as in $$$$ or cry as in $
I like gold with black stripes real classic look, car looks good.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 06:10 PM
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It's actually Baroque Gold... it's hard to get the color to look right in pics. The other pics i posted were taken under fluorescent lights, these were taken outside on an overcast day. For what i paid, this would have been painted at least 4 times in a resto shop.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickman48 View Post
At $30k, he doesn't want to do it - maybe doesn't have the crew to get it done in a timely manner.
I agree. Sounds like he's blowing you off with a $30k paint job. Resto, maybe; not paint and hanging 1/4's.

Originally Posted by MI68442W30 View Post
I'm sure there are more than a couple members on this site that are qualified to paint your car including myself,the Olds community are generally a great lot. Chris
Chris, Do you happen to live in the NJ area???
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Old May 19th, 2013, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickman48 View Post
At $30k, he doesn't want to do it - maybe doesn't have the crew to get it done in a timely manner.
Quarters aren't an easy job, especially with outer wheelhouses and trunk drop-offs.
Is their any other things not mentioned - hood cracks, interior floors, rotted door frames, bad fenders?
What's he charging an hour?
I'd say he based his quote on it being a muscle car. Charge more for a higher valued car. Most garages do that around here.
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Old May 19th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sampson View Post
Mine just left for the paint shop last week. I shopped around for a while. Most places were shops I had heard others mention. What amazed me was 3 shops shot ball park numbers out all in the 10- 15 k range. They did this with a very minimum inspection of the car and did not make any notes. Then a friend told me about a restoration shop right down the street. Dan came to my house to look at the car. Spent about an hour going over every detail and asking me good questions about my expectations. He then sent me an estimate with every detail of the repair broken out. It came in at approx 8 k with me taking everything apart and him putting it back together. The thing I like is the estimate protects me and him. We both know what is included. The time frame for the work to be completed is also in the estimate. The body work on my car is not too bad. Some minor rust in the lower doors and in the trunk lid corner. I would really question a 30 k estimate.


LOCAL RULES!
Agree with you on this Sampson!
MY 442 is being done locally, in stages. The shop owner knows I talk..I had the Cutlass out recently that the same guy had painted for me and the first thing people wanted to know was where I got it painted.Word of Mouth is a local business's best advertising.
The shop is also very close to my home, which allows me to keep tabs on the car's progress, being careful not to get into the owner's face too much

Ted
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Old June 5th, 2013, 10:18 PM
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random If you go to http//O'danielresto.com {cousin's to odaniel's in evansville but moved here in 78 when Maury O'daniel bought Rice Olds} my boss has a lot of good info on restoration stuff on the web page. As far as pricing goes the way we do it is by time clock I clock in when I'm working on a car and out when I'm not. and as has been said body and paint is labor intensive but what alot of people don't realize is the cost of materials I mixed a gallon of red last week for a fairlane gta that cost almost 1000 dollars.you still need clear primer a self etch primer or epoxy and the reducer and hardeners to go with them a box of sand paper is at least 50$ so as you can see it's easy to get 5000$ just in good materials . I can spend a week in sanding and buffing a car.more if you hand sand. If you have panels that can't be purchased and have to fabricate. you might have to make 5 or 6 pieces just to make one section. and if you don't have the proper tools to do so. it takes longer yet . so find out what kind of equipment the shop has to do the job we use plazma cutters a shrinker stretcher a rotisserie milling machine and much more.most shops don't haves some of the bigger stuff but man that stuff saves time.it's not unheard of to have 20.000$ + body and paint when your getting into these older cars.my boss always tells people that take the amount you thought and double it you probably close. 300 hours is a good starting point for a restoration.100 hours for a quick body and paint to start Keep in mind there is a difference between a restoration and a repaint so make sure you are on the same page as the shop.the biggest problem we find is communication the shop should communicate with the customer what they need to do to get the most desired job for the customer.they other thing that is important to get the most for your money is to find a shop that has the passion for the job because thats the shop that is more willing to go out of their way.not just for you but for their pride as well. When your talking about 30.000 are you talking frame off. because thats what I am hearing when I hear 30.000 not just for a body and paint job.As was said word of mouth is the best advertisement the web is good as well we have live cameras on our web site which a lot of people like because they can see their car being worked on in the resto shop when it's in the body shop though you can't see it since it's in a different building . I as a car show person enjoy being able to show my work or see it at the shows and if your shop has that same passion and not looking at it just as another job you should be happy with the work on your car I hope this and the web site will help you.

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Old June 6th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I'll agree with the comments here. You're price is definitely going to depend on location with the addition to the amount of GOOD painters in the area. If a painter knows he's the best around, prices can reflect that. IMO anything over 15k is high, but my opinion means jack...lol
If you're not going for a resto, you should be able to stay in the 10k or under range if you disassemble the car yourself. If he's saying 30k and its not a restoration, he definitely doesn't want your business.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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My guy gets $20k for a frame-off with no body work---that's extra. You take him a running driving car, and that is what you is get back. That is for the tear-down, paint and re-assembling. That sounds reasonable, but if you need bodywork, it's more, if you need mechanical work it's more, if you need upholstery work it's more. IMO, if the $30k was just paint, he really doesn't want the job, or it BETTER be perfect when it's finished. I know guys that spend that money, but those cars win high level shows and do NOT get driven. It boils down to what you want to do with your car. Drive it or show it for points.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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I don't understand the term "proper" compared to $30k. Is the painter going to kiss you? Cause when I have sex I like a kiss and you would definitely have had sex.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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For 30k the metal flake in the paint better be real gold chips
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Old July 6th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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That sounds off the reservation. I had mine stripped, 3 full wet coats of BC/CC and a good amount of body work. 30k? Are you changing the color? is their booth down draft or cross draft? Did you discuss who will locate replacement parts?



I paid no where near 10k and the body is laser straight and the paint is outstanding. I'd shop that price.
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Old July 6th, 2013, 01:03 PM
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I did this for my gf material cost was under 3k. that's with used rust free doors and new quarters and fenders.

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Old July 6th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Looks great copper, black is a PITA in every step before, during and after tho!
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Old July 6th, 2013, 01:18 PM
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Yes I have to buff it every year. Not to mention we still off road it so I have to fix the scratches.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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30k all depends on whats involved. the paint we use is a highend paint so it's usually running about 5k for the gallon of epoxy primer ,2 to 3 gallons of primer, a gallon of paint gallon of clear, and all the hardeners and reducers. I don't normally handle the material bills but I do sign a lot of the orders. but then you also have the other materials to consider all your different sand papers waterproof body filler{duraglass},regular body filler {evercoat} and your final coat{metalglaze}. Then you also have your seam sealers, which The ones we use are typically around $50 a piece and it takes several to do a frame off.We typically pay $1500 to $2000 for media blasting then you get it back and find you have a bunch of body like metal replacement of floors and such.If the panels are available great if not you have to fabricate what you can't find .Thats where it's good to have a shop that has the tools to do the job.when we do a frame off we tear apart the car bolt by bolt replacing or reconditioning all of the hardware.
so you can see that a 30k paint and body job is not out of the question this is just one job that was I believe over 35k but it was a mess.as you can see from these couple of pics.
mustang.jpg

mustang1.jpg

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mustang4.jpg
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Old July 7th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Question

Originally Posted by f85delta88andcutlassS View Post
30k all depends on whats involved. the paint we use is a highend paint so it's usually running about 5k for the gallon of epoxy primer ,2 to 3 gallons of primer, a gallon of paint gallon of clear, and all the hardeners and reducers. I don't normally handle the material bills but I do sign a lot of the orders. but then you also have the other materials to consider all your different sand papers waterproof body filler{duraglass},regular body filler {evercoat} and your final coat{metalglaze}. Then you also have your seam sealers, which The ones we use are typically around $50 a piece and it takes several to do a frame off.We typically pay $1500 to $2000 for media blasting then you get it back and find you have a bunch of body like metal replacement of floors and such.If the panels are available great if not you have to fabricate what you can't find .Thats where it's good to have a shop that has the tools to do the job.when we do a frame off we tear apart the car bolt by bolt replacing or reconditioning all of the hardware.
so you can see that a 30k paint and body job is not out of the question this is just one job that was I believe over 35k but it was a mess.as you can see from these couple of pics.
Attachment 71442

Attachment 71443

Attachment 71444

Attachment 71445
Wow 5k/gal and it takes 3 gal Holy Crap! I get it if you are restoring a Dusenburg or Packard but a 65 mustang? Pretty sure I could find one of those for less than 1 gal of primer.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 10:27 AM
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5k for a gallon. That seems wayyyyyyy out there on price. These cars came with probably crapier paint than what's cheap today . Ppg omni is probably just a notch above stock paint and it goes up from there. I'm with sampson. 30k better get me a damn near complete car. 1200 for media blasting is also kinda excessive.
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Old July 7th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Well I didn't spend that much on materials nor did I cheap out. A restoration gets pricey because of labor, that's the single reason. Experienced techs don't want to work for next to nothing for some reason. Nor do they want to do a bunch of work for free because some ugly was concealed under old paint. Would you?
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Old July 7th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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I did all my own work and I think I spent a solid 3500 in materials that's including panels. I agree labor is expensive but for a frame off resto yes 30k plus is ok but for a proper paint job I think in the 7 to 10k region depending on materials and other variables is ok. Total resto probably 30-60k. I know my old boss had his vette restored to original condition with repop parts that ran him 55k.
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