Body General body information and techniques for restoration, repairs, and modifications.


Old 12-19-2018, 08:11 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SWFL
Posts: 7
Car: 1986 z28 camaro
Engine: 383 stroker

So I have a 86 z28 that is currently white with a black 4 inch hood scoop, the car is in good condition besides a couple small dents but it has some major paint chipping and scratches. I want to paint the whole car black but being a 16 year old in highschool i cant really afford a $3000+ paint job. I've been watching videos on youtube of guys painting their own cars in their garages. I just wanna know does anyone on here have any experience painting their own car and doing the prep work? If you do can you please help me out and give me some tips.
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:43 PM
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Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 3,217
Car: 1988 Trans Am
Engine: L03
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: 10 Bolt 2.73 Open
Re: Painting

I'm sure this answer will be largely panned by some members here. But it is an option.

This is old school technology. It's lacquer. That means it is not as durable as many modern paints. But, it also means that it's easier to work with in some way, and more forgiving. In this form, it's pre-mixed. No measuring cups, no worrying about viscosity and blending it right. Just use it right from the can. Ideal for a do-it-yourselfer, IMO. Also depends on your expectations of the finish, how long you want it to last, how it will be used and cared for, etc.

There's still lots to know about PREP (where 90% of the real work is), so be sure to read up and educate yourself first. But I present this option as food for thought.
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:15 PM
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 44
Car: '88 GTA
Engine: 350 TPI
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: 3.27
Re: Painting

In my opinion.. If your a picky person about your cars looks.. Don't do it yourself. I painted my first RS in my garage. I spent about $800 in paint alone and that was the cheap stuff. I think original costs were about $400 bc/cc. I couldn't tell you how much I spent on 2k primer, sand paper, sanding blocks and misc other materials. Bought a harbor freight gun and luckily had a good enough compressor to start with. Being inexperienced and having to figure out paint gun and all the other settings that go in to laying down a good paint job I wasted a lot of materials and ran out of clear at one point. Hell building a decent booth in my garage probably costs me $100. After it was all said and done I wished I would have taken it to the local Maaco and had them spray it, atleast they warranty their work. If I would have had to buy my own compressor i would have been well over $1500 in to a DIY paint job

Doing a respray from white (very forgiving and hides imperfections well) to black (which makes every little imperfection stick out like a sore thumb) is not going to be a fun task for a DIY garage paint job.

All that being said, if you don't care about imperfections and just want it black instead of white. Why not plasti dip it? Its cheap and easy, just be sure to put plenty of coats on or it won't come off easy if you decide to remove it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Crosby, Texas
Posts: 100
Car: 1988 IROC "The Duece"
Engine: 5.7 TPI L98
Transmission: 700R4
Re: Painting

Paint work is about 90% preparation, 10% application. Make sure you address any trouble spots before you paint. If your paint is flaking off, find out why. If you simply paint over, it will happen again. Preparation is the key. And don't be intimidated by painting it yourself. Lots of folks have done it on here. Read and research the topic and you will get it done. School work comes first though: lmao:
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:23 PM
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Location: Washington State
Posts: 466
Car: 1986 IROC Z
Engine: 305 TPI
Transmission: Auto
Re: Painting

It takes tons of time and patience but can be done. This is a link to my painting thread. Took almost two years to complete and still cost $1500.00+ in paint and materials. Like previous posts stated, it's all in the prep. ESPECIALLY if you want to paint it black. Black will show every imperfection X2. Take your time and save your money. It can be done. Also, was very helpful for me. Lots of experts on that site that are willing to answer your questions.

Last edited by 86IROC112; 12-20-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:32 PM
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Car: 1988 Trans Am
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Re: Painting

I enjoyed this series of videos. This first one is like 20-some parts, but I think they are fun to watch (and learn from).

Same guy, similar topic. There's a second part to this one too.

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Old 12-21-2018, 08:01 AM
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Car: 1989 Iroc
Engine: 383 TPI
Transmission: TKO600
Axle/Gears: 3.42
Re: Painting

That series with Eastwood/Kevin Tetz is really good. I think I watched just about every video when I was looking into painting mine myself.

I'm a HUGE fan of the DIY mantra, especially in today's pay somebody else hot rodding culture. Many threads where I have gone off topic to rant about how paying someone else to hotrod your car isn't really hotrodding.

...HOWEVER...all that being two cents would be that for a 16 year old, learning how to, and then successfully painting is an ENORMOUS undertaking. MANY people here have successfully painted their car themselves, and that's not to say you can't do it. -and even if you're capable, there's still a lot of money and equipment required. I would absolutely encourage you to read up and do your due dilligence. Do your homework. Read threads like 86IROC112's, where he shares his experiences, as do many other in different threads. Really see if everything is within what you think you can do. -and if you take it on, post up and ask LOTS of questions. We're here to help, and I promise there's an almost endless supply of knowledge and experience to tap into. -But be realistic. There is a LOT to take in.

What you may find is a reasonable solution.... find a painter who will spray the car after you've done the prep. People say that prep is 90% of a paintjob, but you can take your time with it. Work on it a little at a time. Ask questions. You can fix little mistakes without starting over. The prep may be 90% of the final quality, but the process is a lot more forgiving. You can learn as you work. I did 95% of the prep work, but had a guy actually spray the car, and do the first cut afterwards. Then I finished with the buff and polish.

Don't give up your goal of painting it yourself TOO quickly, but also be realistic. Do your homework and be honest about the time you CAN, and are WILLING to put it in.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:02 PM
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Location: Northern Arkansas
Posts: 279
Car: 1982 MSE, 1988 S10 Blazer
Engine: 305 in both!
Transmission: 200c / Th700r4
Axle/Gears: 3:73 / 3.42
Re: Painting

If you want it done right and better enlist the help of somebody that really knows what they're doing. Black shows every little ripple, ding, sanding mark, imperfection, etc. I would trust myself to do a black paint job, but I've been doing bodywork of my own for 20+ years. Expect to put in around 100 hours minimum for a white to black paint change. Lots of stuff will need dis-assembled. Then maybe another 50 with cut-n-buff and re-assembly. You can cut that labor in half if you stick to white.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:31 PM
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Car: 1988 IROC Z Convertible
Engine: 305 TPI (LB9)
Transmission: 700 R4
Axle/Gears: G80 GU2
Re: Painting

I was really impressed with LSXMatt’s paint that he said he got done at Maaco. I know Maaco will spray a car for much less than you would be able to having to buy all the equipment, paint, etc.. Also, time is money.. you could work an odd job and make the money up with the time you’d spend trying to do it yourself.

If it’s something you want to learn, go for it, but if it’s just something you want done on a budget, there might be a better way to go about it..

If you start the video at about 11:23 he will tell you he spent a week off from work doing the prep himself and just has Maaco spray the car and the paint looks damn nice except for a couple sections he didn’t prep. You could probably learn how to do the prep work and that would be mostly time and elbow grease. Just have someone else spray it.

I’d check to see if he has a video about the prep or a thread about it.

Point is, that would probably cost you less in the long run than trying to do it yourself.

Its worth learning how to polish, seal and maintain paint too and that is easy to learn online. There’s lots of resources out there..

That’s my $0.02
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Old 12-29-2018, 08:05 AM
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Posts: 303
Re: Painting

I wish I would have started learning to paint at 16. I always talked about trying to paint but never had the *****. Fast forward to around 28 and I started practicing. I say go for it.

Autobody101 forum has lots of info, plus you can join an auto body group on Facebook and people will help. Whatever you do, donít rattle can the car. Buy real automotive paint.

Like I said I wish I would have started learning things like this at 16. Definitely find a scrap piece and practice first though.
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