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Old 06-06-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default revert to stock and repaint

In a few months, I will be looking to revert to stock miata look and repaint it black. For some reason, the guy i bought it from decided to put a VIS full race body kit on it. I prefer the stock look better.
My questions:
I know maaco has gotten better in the last couple years for painting, but is it good enough? and if anyone has had experience with them, how much would it cost? Im not looking for anything fancy, just a glossy black.
Also, I am curious if i could sell the body kit. i dont know if anyone would want to buy it though. if so, how much do you guys think i could sell it for?
And then, of course i would need stock front bumper and rear bumper. I think those would be hardest to find.
If anyone could point me in the right direction, or some useful tips would be nice. my car is a 94 if thats at all important.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Maaco (or any of the "coupla hundred dollar" paint places) paint jobs suck.

I paint cars at my shop from time to time. The starting price is $5000. Lunacy, you say? It's true.

The key to a good paint job is prep-work, and to get it looking right requires a TON of it. Even if no body work is needed, you still need to disassemble as much as you can (lights, trim, handles, etc) degrease and sand the whole car, shoot the car with a high-build primer and a contrasting "guide coat" to have something to block to, then block sand the whole thing to get it flat, followed by another coat of 2K epoxy primer, which also gets blocked. The jambs have to be prepped and painted, then masked. Then sealer, color and clear coat(s), followed by color (wet) sanding and buffing. And that's a *best case* scenario, which assumes that you don't have any problems or defects during the process, or areas that don't block-out right and require re-work before top coating, which add even more time to the process. The materials alone can run well over $1500, and thats using reasonably priced Dupont Chromabase or Sikkens stuff. House Of Kolor stuff, multi-color cars, or candy's, pearls or flake jobs drive the materials and labor up even more.

A Maaco place is going to degrease the car (poorly), scuff it with a scotch-brite and shoot the cheapest grade paint in the world on it. They'll tape off pretty much everything, poorly, and you'll see the cut-lines and overspray from 30 feet away. Their "loss leader" price doesn't include jambs or any sort of body work, all of which they'll pitch to you as extras.

The guys doing the work are often the dregs of the refinishing industry, and they're paid coolie wages. *So* much of a good paint job is in the prep and application technique, particularly with demanding jobs like metallics and blacks, which show every deficiency in technique clearly if not done correctly and with great care, none of which you'll find in the average "scuff and shoot" places.

If I had to have a taxi painted, and all I cared about was that it end up mostly yellow, a cheapo place might be an option, but for a car that I care about, even minimally, I'd never take one to them. You will not be happy with the results, I guarantee it. I've seen shitty paint jobs fail in spectacular ways (like the paint coming off in huge sheets at the "quarter car wash" on one car) and the cost to "un-do" bad work can run into significant money.

You can, however, save a bit of money by doing as much of the prep-work as possible prior to taking it to a reputable painter. Disassembly, initial sanding, even shooting the initial primer-coats and doing your own block-sanding can pull a lot of the cost out of the process if done right. The difficult part will be finding a sjop that is willing to "farm out" those steps to someone with no prior experience, as mistakes made during that part of the process *will* affect the quality of the finished product, which the shop will ultimately have their reputation riding on. (For example, if you happened to be spraying armor-all on your other car and the wind carried a few drops onto your freshly primed and sanded project car; the results would be catastrophic once it went into the booth, and would require substantial re-work..)

There are cheap paint jobs, and there are good paint jobs, and sadly, they're mutually exclusive.

Save your pennies, and look for a decent shop that's hungry for work.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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Props for pinky pie
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply first of all!
There is a lot information to be had. I'm glad I got an answer from someone who actually does paint jobs and not just someone ball parking. But yeah, I would plan on doing the prep work or at least some of it because my dad does have some painting experience. But I don't think he's as good as you would need to be like your saying. I've heard of it costing 5000 for a good paint job before from other people but I was hoping maaco had gotten better lol. I guess not.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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After some more searching, I think Ill be putting off this part of the car for a while considering I dont have enough money. Thanks for the input
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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Well, remember a couple of things:

1. The Miata is a really easy paint job. Small, light, no roof, almost no trim, easy to disassemble.

2. It's not that company X or company Y is good or bad. It's all about the prep, quality of materials and the individual behind the gun. You can, sometimes, get lucky and run into a decent, young painter at a place like MAACO and pay extra for better quality paint. But, you would have to get lucky.

The paint job on my Miata cost me $2000. I would not say it is show quality, but it is extremely good, is 8 years old, still looks great and is protecting the car. I get a lot of complements on it. I did exactly what Pinky mentioned, came across a conscientious, skilled, young painter that was just starting up his own shop. Once I saw the quality of his work, I took every project I had to him. As he built his business and reputation, the price went up. That's how it should be.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:13 PM   #8
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A guy at work just got his '69 charger painted at Maaco, it looks ok but I haven't really looked at it and I believe he got all the bells and whistles. He also knows the manager personally and was invited to inspect at various stages, not a typical experience.

I had my miata painted last summer, ~$5k at a relatives shop but that included new front fenders and putting on the new rockers and rear fenders I purchased (I removed the old parts). It was a single stage factory repaint.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inferno94 View Post
that included new front fenders and putting on the new rockers and rear fenders
Ahhh rust.

The price I got assumes you are starting with a Southern/Western US completely rust-free car.

Honestly, I don't think it is economically viable to restore a rusty Miata. I would always start with a rust-free example. Plenty of them out there.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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OP is in Vancouver so rust free is a possibility but near myself you are buying a garage queen or souther US import to get no rust and that costs.

My car was dealer maintained, under-coated every year and if the PO was telling the truth, it never saw snow. Tragicly it was the leaf build up in the rain gutters that started mild rusting. I was heavy handed in my repairs to hopefully eliminate it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inferno94 View Post
OP is in Vancouver so rust free is a possibility but near myself you are buying a garage queen or souther US import to get no rust and that costs.
Probably the case for a Canadian. However, if I were living in, say, Ohio or Michigan, picking up a Southern/Western car for a starting point would be a financial no-brainer. Much cheaper than doing proper rust repairs.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:34 PM   #12
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Actually its vancouver, washington. Everyone always figures its canada but its washington. We get a lot of rain too. but luckily my car doesnt have a lot of rust
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