paint project

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    Never did any paint job, but good with tools/figuring things out. Got an old 96 ford probe GT. Everyone says don’t paint it. (including paint shops) The paint would be more expensive than the car is worth.

    That may be true, but people that say that don’t look at the whole picture. For instance, average cost of new car aprox $33K. Get a 3-5 year old used one, maybe $25K. I could live w that, but the insurance company says liability alone (excluding the car) would double. (Makes no sense to me. I’m still the same driver w no accidents in 50 + years of driving) Then to insure the car, insurance would triple. Suddenly, you monthly insur. expense balloons forever. Plus in WA, the tax would likely be over $2.5k. That alone would pay for more than half of a new paint job. Plus I still kind of like the car. Painting the car for $3.5k is a one time deal, with no increase in monthly exp. That’s a big difference.

    I got one estimate at $3500 to paint the car. Even Maaco’s premium level jobs run about that (I’ve heard anyway). So I doubt that I could get it for much less than that. I considered painting it myself. Body in fairly good condition. 3 dings about the size of golf ball, very smooth, spherical depressions, w no damage to paint. Some small uneveness. Hood and front is the big problem. Millions of tiny chicken feet cracks all over the place. (From engine heat?) Front is pummeled from just normal grit flying into it on the freeways. All kinds of micro pits from the grit impacts. (Almost 20 years worth now)

    But it’s not clear that I would actually save much money by painting the car myself. The required high volume, industrial compressor alone would be $800 plus. And just storing that thing would be a problem. Even if I bought it, I think a tent in the garage would be extremely cramped, if not downright impractical. I’m also kind of worried about the toxicity of painting. There countless other costs – positive flow respirator, guns, blocks, fillers, special tools, supplies…

    However, I was thinking that a good compromise might be for me to do as much prep as possible, and then let the pros handle the painting?

    Question 1:
    What if I do soda blasting to remove as much paint as possible? There is no rust problem on the car. I may have to do this a section at a time. So, I guess after stripping, a little bit of rust could form before I get it to the shop. Do you think that even with a little flash rust, I’d still save money by doing this prep myself?

    Or is there something I could put on it to keep the rust from forming at all? Remember I won’t have an industrial compressor or spray gun.

    Question 2:
    What about masking for the soada blasting? I wouldn’t think that masking paper or tape would be sufficiently strong to withstand a soda blaster. How do you prevent the blaster from pouring into unwanted areas?

    Question 3:
    Do I need to remove the bumpers and mirrors to soda blast? I can’t find any info on how to remove my bumpers. I’ve seen table of contents for Chilton’s/Haynes, but it didn’t look like this was covered.

    What about the window moldings? I don’t think I would be able to remove or replace window moldings on my own. I’ve also have a kind of weird molding on the roof. It has a large gap between it and the roof toward the front that looks designed in. Then, the gap tapers down to nothing at the back of the roof.

    I’ve also considered soda blasting the bigger areas, and maybe use chemical and sandpaper on the touchier areas around openings and such.

    Question 4:
    My car has factory installed skirts. Do I need to remove them and strip behind the skirts as well as strip the skirts? That area would never be visible, but if I change color, I’d feel a bit uneasy. The skirts are already a bit loose from almost 20 years of use. I worry that removing them would make them even looser. Would it be hard to tighten them up a bit? Those clips look like they would be easy to break and impossible to replace, but I’ve never dealt with them before.

    Question 5:
    Keeping the same color would be easiest and cheapest, but I’m still thinking about changing color. If so, I would like the door jambs and under the hood to be painted. But for me, those things don’t need to look perfect. The paint there is currently OK – no rust, no dents. Just a bit dull from the wear, tear and normal water draining over it. If I just clean it well, and maybe a light buff, would that be enough prep for the shop to to paint? Going to metal there, seems a bit like overkill to me. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable removing the 2 doors. The wiring that goes to the door doesn’t just go through a hose and a hole. It’s some specialized, sealed, connector with pins for each wire. I can’t get to it, or figure out how to disengage it.

    Question 6:
    I’m pretty mechanical, and good at figuring things out. I’ve never repaired a dent, but feel like I could fix the 3 dings. I would think even if it didn’t turn out perfectly, I should still save money on removing most of the paint, and the dents should still be a lot less work for the shop than if I didn’t do anything. What do you think?

    Anyway, what are your thoughts about these ideas?

    BTW, I’ve viewed several of your videos and they are just outstanding! They almost made me want to take on a car project just for the heck of it. If there’s a car that really makes your blood boil, it would be super cool to make it look it’s very best.

    Anyway thanks in advance for any advice you can spare.

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