View Full Version : Paint help?

02-11-2012, 12:44 AM
As I progress in the restoration of my TR3, my grandfather and I have come across the subject of painting many times. Now we are almost to the point where work cannot continue until after painting, therefore we need to find someone to paint the car. Do any of you have a suggested body/paint shop? We've talked to multiple and they all averaged to be about $1000 for the whole car, which is a little on the steep end of my budget at this time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

02-11-2012, 06:21 AM

Not to be negative, but IMO $1000 is very cheap to paint a car. I am really surprised that you can even get anyone to look at it for that much. I am painting my own but even then with materials etc, I expect it to be somewhere close to $1000 with me supplying the labour.

M. Pied Lourd

02-11-2012, 07:14 AM

My suggestion would be to look at some of the cars in your area that have been painted for $1,000 and see what you think.

From my experience and conversations, $1,000 seems very low for a good paint job.


02-11-2012, 07:20 AM
I would get exactly in writting what they plan to do for that 1000.00. and
sounds to me that they plan on scuffing the pant, wipe it down, tape it off and prime it and paint it

I would also find out whos paint they plan to use, how many coat, its it a single stage pant or base coat clear coat,

get it in writting!


02-11-2012, 08:09 AM
If your car is completely stripped and ready for paint do it yourself it's not that hard ; i did my spit with the rolled on method and it turned out great. I agree about the $1000. is cheap here in N.J. and thats what made me try doing the paint job myself ; good luck whatever you do.

02-11-2012, 08:52 AM
I painted my first Triumph myself - and it will be my last! It is a lot of work to apply the paint and get a good finish. If you can, check back with the places that estimate $1000 and see if there are any discounts you can get based on prep work you can do. Regardless of discount or not - remove everything you don't want painted, and clean areas as much as you can that will be painted - engine bay for example you can degrease, at least prep to make sure paint has the best chance of staying on. But at the end of the day, after checking the work those places do for $1000 I'd pick one of them - that sounds like a bargain compared to the prices I've seen around my area.

02-11-2012, 09:07 AM
I also agree that $1,000 almost seems too cheap... really!
I also question the end results you would end up with.
At the end of the day the finish is what helps make the car... show it off!

02-11-2012, 10:03 AM
Material costs alone can easily run that much for quality primer and topcoat.

02-11-2012, 10:10 AM
$1000.00 for a paint job is dirt cheap, and you will get what you paid for. I was going to say to check out Mark Macy at www.macysgarage.com (https://www.macysgarage.com) but he would not touch the car for $1000.00. Good luck on the paint job. You may want to check out one of the local High or Tech schools to get your car painted. $1000.00 is a good starting point to get just the material for a quality paint job.

02-11-2012, 10:12 AM
Try a high school shop class. We had my son's MG Midget painted for $25.00, plus $500.00 for the paint (Corvette dark blue metallic). We delivered the car in primer ready to spray with the trunk, interior, and engine bay already painted in the driveway. They did a great job. The wash bay had a 1/2 height wall and the students kept insisting there was no car in there. When they walked around the wall they were surprised how low the car was. No windshield of course.

02-11-2012, 11:05 AM
There is a local guy who has a shop and will work with you on painting your car, you can do the prep yourself and he will spray it, he will even give it a once over for you to see what you may have missed in the prep work. There are several guys in my club that have used him, and the charge has been in the $100S, not the $1000s, there is another guy who has done many cars, probably 5x as much money, you can see the difference, but it takes a practiced eye, depends on what you want as the end result and what you want to spend. We consider the cheap guy a "find". But there are people like that out there.

I agree $1000 is very cheap if they are doing the prep work, maybe more realistic if you are prepping, for that price, or any price for that matter, take a look at some of the cars they have done before you bite.

02-11-2012, 11:21 AM
My TR6 was painted in 2005 by a friend, a very good craftsman, who charged me $1100 for his labor. Supplies were in the $1000 range as that stuff is expensive. He estimates he put 100 hrs into his labor, fabricating three small rust patches from new metal and then preparing the body. He used filler only to ensure that any "wavy bits" in the straight body panels were laser smooth. As a result if you look down the length of my car or check out the lines from any angle every flat panel is perfectly smooth. I got a $5000 paint job as a big personal favor from a good friend for a total of $2100. I previously had an estimate to "scuff and prime" and then paint for $1800 from a good, local body shop. That is an average price for that amount of work. I would not go anywhere near a $1000 paint job on a classic Triumph.

02-11-2012, 11:41 AM
As info, I just bought a sprayable gallon of white paint (PPG DBU base coat - a high quality but not top of the line paint) in white for about $240. Two sprayable gallons of epoxy primer is about $160. Two sprayable gallons of clear, which is more than I'll need, was $250. Add polyester primer for scratch filling for $100. Another $100 in body filler. With misc costs, I'm easily into this TR3 paint job for a grand in materials. you could probably buy lower quality materials for half what I listed here. Of interest, white is the lowest cost paint. Red would have been twice as expensive for base coat.

Your $1000 paint job might look OK for a short time but I'd be concerned with issues such as adhesion to existing paint, fading, and UV degradation.


02-11-2012, 12:51 PM
rickiwho123 Did you use the foam roller with Tremclad(Rustoleum) or Brightside paint? Was it the method that was online called the "$100 Paint Job"? I hear that it's a very labour intensive process but the finished product is surprisingly good for a budget paint job despite what the skeptics say.Not for everyone of course but I've got a pretty rough TR4A that I just want to drive rather than spend years restoring so I might give it a shot. :-)

02-11-2012, 03:32 PM
FWIW, I've always been happy with the paint from a (southwest US) discount chain called "One Day Paint". They did my TR3 for me last year. Final charge came to about $1200, but that included stripping the entire car to bare metal and painting the racing stripe, as well as their "5 year" paint. I removed some of the trim (windshield and such); they masked and painted around the remainder.

They also did the paint on the wrecked 3A, and it was still quite serviceable (for a "driver") 10 years later. Here's a shot taken a few years after the accident:

As you can see, the adhesion was not perfect, but still pretty darn good.

Not much help to the OP, I'm afraid, unless he wants to drive to CA. My point is just that a cheap paint job can look pretty good even if it isn't perfect. I get people yelling at me all the time about how good my car looks; and no one yet has even mentioned all the minor imperfections.

02-12-2012, 11:08 PM
I tried to go cheap on my first TR4. I had no choice, but those who told me I could do a lot of the prep myself had WAY TOO MUCH confidence in my abilities. I did not get the "light sanding" method quite right, and my minor bondo fixes were not so great.

I'd really spend some time looking at other cars and seeing what you like, and I wouldn't rely on a steep price as good, nor a low one as bad. Go ahead and be thrifty but hire the right shop. And make sure you have the color "spot on" as people like to say.

Good luck and plan on showing us the final product.

02-14-2012, 11:14 PM
So my grandfather and I have come to a decision. Since grandpa Joe has all the needed paint guns and other miscellaneous supplies, I plan on having my step father painting the engine compartment. If he feels confident in his abilities after that, he will paint the rest of the car after I do all the prep work. (My step dad used to paint pictures with an airbrush, so he has at least a tiny smidge of experience). Thank you all for the help, its nice to know I have somewhere to turn to when I'm out of ideas.

Geo Hahn
02-15-2012, 12:10 PM
We have 2 Maacos in our town: one is best avoided whereas the other has painted several cars in our local club (a big Healey & an XK140 come to mind) with pretty good results.

The point is -- some budget outfits can do a credible job but you have to know the reputation of that location (I think Maaco's are a franchise).

Of course your prep work also has a lot to do with the quality of the results.

Certainly won't be outstanding show car paint but possibly good enough for some.

02-15-2012, 04:38 PM
if you paint with a urethane paint and a hardner you can wet sand any runs, sags or drips out using 1500, then 2000 paper and buff the paint to a high shine.

and a great paint job is all in the prep work