Body shop quotes for paint

mikestang63

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Aug 27, 2012
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Long story short, I was going to have my 86 T Top repainted in 2020 before Covid. Went to the shop that painted other cars for me and they quoted $3500. Then Covid hit and I put it off..... fast forward to today.. Went back to the same shop. new owner. Quoted me $8500!!!

I asked him why the quote almost tripled and the new owner tells me his costs went up.. but that much?

So I went to two other shops around here that were recommended by some people. One guy said $10k but said he could probably do it for $7k but he would let me know if it gets over $7k.. Another shop wanted $12k!!!!

Now mind you for the most part the car is straight, it has a few small rust bubbles on the hatch and one small little rust spot on the inside of the passenger door.Nothing that needs surgery just IMO some filling and spray over. I want the doors and hatch removed,, new door pins, scuff, prep and reshoot the factory color and respray all the trim the factory black. New emblems and badges.. Keep the existing door moldings....

Maybe I am not being realistic but 8-10K seems a bit excessive.... None of these shops use PPG.... One shop said they would do 3 coats of base and 3 coats of clear. 2 others said 1 coat of base and 3 clear.... Only 1 said they would cut and buff it....

I spoke with my tuner and he said it's South Florida and if you go to north florida, GA, or TN the prices are half and the shops actually give a crap about doing the right thing at a fair price...

Is this now the going price for a decent paint job? Last car I painted was in 1981 and not looking to do it myself again.
 
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96pushrod

I think they're a little easier to get off
May 15, 2018
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A shop said they’d do a single coat of base? That’s odd.

Honestly if I was looking to her a car painted here in GA, I’d expect to spend $8000+ for a good paint job, but if I’m spending that I’d expect it cut and buffed 100%

Body shops nowadays just want to do insurance work, and believe me there is plenty.
 
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Monkeybutt2000

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Aug 11, 2019
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A shop said they’d do a single coat of base? That’s odd.

Honestly if I was looking to her a car painted here in GA, I’d expect to spend $8000+ for a good paint job, but if I’m spending that I’d expect it cut and buffed 100%

Body shops nowadays just want to do insurance work, and believe me there is plenty.
Hard truth right here. A buddies had a shop over 20+yrs,really tried to just do restorations. After we had a big hail storm hit 5yrs ago, really opened his eyes on insurance work.
 

rednotch

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Aug 14, 2000
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I have family who do body work... Even getting them to do stuff is like pulling teeth, but they need mechanical help and its all how fast can ya fix it lol. No shop wants to do customer pay any more unless its way over quoted. Best bet is to do your own prep work, find a macco with a good painter and deliver them the car stripped of all glass and trim then throw the painter a couple hundred extra. With the rust repair, probably fixing shot hinges and reusing old 80s moldings will stack up on labor, those thing are a pita to lay flat again and keep from shrinking.
 

bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
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Jun 7, 2012
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You have to assume the hourly rate is going to be well over $100, likely closer to $150/hr, then you need to think about how many hours it will take to get it right just on the prep work. You mentioned rust that just needs filler? I REALLY encourage you to read my build thread with the latest showing @95steedamustang pulling bondo out of rust holes in my car... it's awful. If you have any intention of keeping the car after it gets painted, FIX THAT RUST PROPERLY! Yes a good paint job is and always will be expensive, but remember that 95% of it is in the prep work and it really will show up in the final results, especially after a couple of years.
 
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BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
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I'm a body shop manager and $8-$12K isn't out of the question. These are small cars, but I know here where I'm at the materials will run you about $3k alone. We actually turn stuff like this away and I know it is getting harder to find shops that will do customer pay work like your wanting. My shop is booked out until October at this point and I have about 100 cars on my lot right now. Our door rate is $67 an hour for non insurance work for both body and paint. I suggest asking around. Friends, family, etc and see if anyone knows a body man or painter and see if that's something they will do on the side.
 
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Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
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Feb 18, 2001
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I had my car painted in 2000, and the bill was a little over $5K. That was for all the prep, very little body work, and new trim and seals.

I've been thinking of having mine repainted, but all the folks i know in the industry told me right off the bat to expect $10K give or take for a decent paint job. Needless to say I didn't go through with it.
 
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rednotch

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Every shop wants to quote top of the line base / clear when talking about customer pay jobs since they have so much insurance work...... 95% of these cars where single stage from the factory, you can do a good base/clear for around 1k worth of supplies all in these days, cheaper if single stage.. finding some one good at sparying single stage is getting harder to do, there all used to spraying base clear any more. I did my red coupe 18 years ago in sikkens base / clear mid tier line and it still looks just as good as the day we cut and buffed it, I've done a few cars in factory colors using single stage urethane since, most I only kept for a few years but the couple I still see held up just as well. Ask around at car shows chances are you will find a local maaco with a good reputation that can lay down a decent job for 2-3k just don't expect it to be the 699 special.
 
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limp

wrap a little cheese around it and its a done
Oct 4, 2020
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New metal roof on my home went from 15K to 41K just a few months after Bidenomics..... Yeah I can believe it.... Look around EVERYTHING has gone up at least 50%....... And uh yes, I still need a new roof.....
 
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91TwighlightGT

15 Year Member
Sep 8, 2002
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Long story short, I was going to have my 86 T Top repainted in 2020 before Covid. Went to the shop that painted other cars for me and they quoted $3500. Then Covid hit and I put it off..... fast forward to today.. Went back to the same shop. new owner. Quoted me $8500!!!

I asked him why the quote almost tripled and the new owner tells me his costs went up.. but that much?

So I went to two other shops around here that were recommended by some people. One guy said $10k but said he could probably do it for $7k but he would let me know if it gets over $7k.. Another shop wanted $12k!!!!

Now mind you for the most part the car is straight, it has a few small rust bubbles on the hatch and one small little rust spot on the inside of the passenger door.Nothing that needs surgery just IMO some filling and spray over. I want the doors and hatch removed,, new door pins, scuff, prep and reshoot the factory color and respray all the trim the factory black. New emblems and badges.. Keep the existing door moldings....

Maybe I am not being realistic but 8-10K seems a bit excessive.... None of these shops use PPG.... One shop said they would do 3 coats of base and 3 coats of clear. 2 others said 1 coat of base and 3 clear.... Only 1 said they would cut and buff it....

I spoke with my tuner and he said it's South Florida and if you go to north florida, GA, or TN the prices are half and the shops actually give a crap about doing the right thing at a fair price...

Is this now the going price for a decent paint job? Last car I painted was in 1981 and not looking to do it myself again.

Unfortunately I have to agree with the guys above - body shops are chasing big dollars, and insurance companies are where the money is at. Taking someone's pride and joy job are a relatively discounted rate is just asking for problems in a lot of their minds. They figure you will nitpick them on the job, they aren't making much anyway, and working on older cars with rust is more difficult. So, they hit you high in the hopes that you walk away, and if you don't they are at least taking you to the cleaners.

Materials are expensive, though. I kept receipts for my job from 10 years ago and with primers, paints, clears, sand paper, body filler, etc. it was pushing 2k. I'm sure it would be more to do it today.

Is it two tone? Cheapest would be a solid color, a bit more for metallic, and a bit more for two tone.

I wouldn't do single stage myself. It's not "bad" per se, but for what you save compared to what you spend I think you are better off doing base clear for a variety of reasons.

As far as that hatch is concerned - "a few rust bubbles" is probably coming through on the lower lip. If that's the case, it's completely rusted through and you just don't realize it. I wouldn't paint a rusty hatch, you REALLY should try and replace it if at all possible. If you can get one from a desert area they should be good candidates to clean up and respray. I personally went fiberglass, but that can get a bit pricey and there are some tradeoffs. Living in the Midwest, the less parts that can rust is the better for me, but that's just a personal decision.
 
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BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
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Jul 12, 2017
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Every shop wants to quote top of the line base / clear when talking about customer pay jobs since they have so much insurance work...... 95% of these cars where single stage from the factory, you can do a good base/clear for around 1k worth of supplies all in these days, cheaper if single stage.. finding some one good at sparying single stage is getting harder to do, there all used to spraying base clear any more. I did my red coupe 18 years ago in sikkens base / clear mid tier line and it still looks just as good as the day we cut and buffed it, I've done a few cars in factory colors using single stage urethane since, most I only kept for a few years but the couple I still see held up just as well. Ask around at car shows chances are you will find a local maaco with a good reputation that can lay down a decent job for 2-3k just don't expect it to be the 699 special.

Every shop wants to quote top of the line base / clear when talking about customer pay jobs since they have so much insurance work...... 95% of these cars where single stage from the factory, you can do a good base/clear for around 1k worth of supplies all in these days, cheaper if single stage.. finding some one good at sparying single stage is getting harder to do, there all used to spraying base clear any more. I did my red coupe 18 years ago in sikkens base / clear mid tier line and it still looks just as good as the day we cut and buffed it, I've done a few cars in factory colors using single stage urethane since, most I only kept for a few years but the couple I still see held up just as well. Ask around at car shows chances are you will find a local maaco with a good reputation that can lay down a decent job for 2-3k just don't expect it to be the 699 special.
We use the same BASF paint line on everything from customer pays to insurance to Porches down to Hondas. Most shops I know dont have a value line paint system and a high end system.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
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Jul 12, 2017
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Unfortunately I have to agree with the guys above - body shops are chasing big dollars, and insurance companies are where the money is at. Taking someone's pride and joy job are a relatively discounted rate is just asking for problems in a lot of their minds. They figure you will nitpick them on the job, they aren't making much anyway, and working on older cars with rust is more difficult. So, they hit you high in the hopes that you walk away, and if you don't they are at least taking you to the cleaners.

Materials are expensive, though. I kept receipts for my job from 10 years ago and with primers, paints, clears, sand paper, body filler, etc. it was pushing 2k. I'm sure it would be more to do it today.

Is it two tone? Cheapest would be a solid color, a bit more for metallic, and a bit more for two tone.

I wouldn't do single stage myself. It's not "bad" per se, but for what you save compared to what you spend I think you are better off doing base clear for a variety of reasons.

As far as that hatch is concerned - "a few rust bubbles" is probably coming through on the lower lip. If that's the case, it's completely rusted through and you just don't realize it. I wouldn't paint a rusty hatch, you REALLY should try and replace it if at all possible. If you can get one from a desert area they should be good candidates to clean up and respray. I personally went fiberglass, but that can get a bit pricey and there are some tradeoffs. Living in the Midwest, the less parts that can rust is the better for me, but that's just a personal decision.
Yeah, you wouldnt want to cover up rust spots with filler, you are asking for trouble.
 
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rednotch

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We use the same BASF paint line on everything from customer pays to insurance to Porches down to Hondas. Most shops I know dont have a value line paint system and a high end system.
So your quoting every job with BASF's Glasurit or limco line?..... Every brand has a high end and a value line and you should have access to it. Most shops are geared for insurance work these days so they don't care about a walk in customer hence the quote for the high end line. I have family who have been in the business for decades from fleet work to insurance only shops.
 

BlakeusMaximus

Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
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BASF 90 Line. Thats all we spray and yes were are geared for ins work. We are a DRP for almost all major ins co's. Even if we had a value line, it doesnt make sense to have all that material sitting around in stock, too expensive to just sit on , especially when we dont do much customer pay work.
 
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manicmechanic007

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Sep 26, 2017
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Those are some high bids for sure Mike
You didn't tell them you were a democrat did you?
Damn straight paint and a good UV clearcoat is expensive
Still should be about 5k to sand and shoot
They must be seeing some body issues or are planning on seeing some
Maybe they are real busy and treating you like it's Vegas Baby
I do it too when I get real busy
 
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Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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I suggest going to car shows, cars and coffee events etc. and start asking around who paints cars. You can usually find someone who does painting that way. Here where I live no body shop will even take on a non insurance job. Luckily I made a connection and I did all my prep work myself and was able to get my car painted...quality paint for less than 2k.

20220317_132137.jpg
 
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bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
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Jun 7, 2012
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I suggest going to car shows, cars and coffee events etc. and start asking around who paints cars. You can usually find someone who does painting that way. Here where I live no body shop will even take on a non insurance job. Luckily I made a connection and I did all my prep work myself and was able to get my car painted...quality paint for less than 2k.

20220317_132137.jpg
yeah I bet it's a rough life out on that island!
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
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yeah I bet it's a rough life out on that island!
I actually want to move. I have lived here 35+ years and I am over it. Everything is expensive, shipping of any car part costs a fortune, any time you want to go anywhere its on an expensive flight. I spent the last two months in Toronto and Maine where our families live. I could sell my house here (and make a fortune) and live debt free in a NICE place up there. Who knows....but yeah the weather is nice here.
 
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Monkeybutt2000

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Aug 11, 2019
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It's funny when people hear you moved from a great climate and act like you're the dumbest person ever for moving back to where you're from. I lived in Ft.Walton Beach,FL for 3-1/2yrs. It was great at first,then felt just like any other place.
 
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