126 Paint job: Best practices - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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126 Paint job: Best practices

So my search didn't return too much in the way of getting a 126 painted, so I thought I'd throw this one out to the BW universe.

I'd like to get my '89 300SE painted this year—in its original color—Desert Taupe—because changing color is too much work, it can never be fully done unless the car is completely dismantled. Plus, I think changing the color detracts from future value. The Desert Taupe wasn't the most popular color, but I like it.

However, I'm hardly a body shop expert. I have the money paint her (finally!) but I'd like to know if there are any restoration/paint experts out there who can give some guidance on what to ask a body shop. I know there are ways to paint a car cheaply, and ways to paint it completely and thoroughly using best practices and high quality paint. I'm more interested in the "do it once; do it right" approach.

That said, there are probably lots of little things to ask a potential painter in order to determine who should do the work. Here are a few of my own questions, but I'm sure there are others

- What kind (brand) of paint color and clear for an old Benz?
- How is prep best done given things like window trim, front/rear windows? I say this because to properly paint the roof and sides of the back window, they really should remove the thick rubber weatherstripping.
- How far down must the existing paint be taken in order to properly lay down the new paint and clear?
- What the color spec for the cladding (it complements the sheet metal but is definitely not the same color)?
- How many coats of color and clear?
- Who's liable if something breaks?

Etc.

I kind of assume that the majority of the labor cost is in the prep. Like doing a house, proper prep makes for easy painting.

The guy who I want to hire has painted plenty of classic cars—including his own Jag. But I want to make sure I'm asking all the right questions and getting a fair price for the desired work.

Any BW peeps out there who can make some recommendations on what questions to ask and what things to pay attention to? And what kind of money would you estimate it would take to paint and re-pinstripe a 300SE?

Much obliged for any weigh-ins on this topic.

Thanks so much.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 01:54 PM
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Whatever you can get off yourself will help. Which is a lot probably.

Paint seems such a science, and even then it often doesnt go right. the bits I had done on my SE are masterfully done but I keep getting tiny bubbles. He's redone bits only to find tinier bubbles coming back! We reckon a slight reaction to previous paint work. So I guess from that I would suggest taking it back as far as possible.

Wheres our great paint member - is it @OKC Jeff ? He seems to have all the inside knowledge.

Rear screen R&R is about £100 here and seems similar in over the pond. There is a bit of risk involved but it seems OK usually if they are 126 familiar. Well worth it.

Desert Taupe is classy, I like it a lot on one of these cars. Dont worry about sticking with the colour.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 03:37 PM
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where in so - cal are you....ill be taking mine to east auto body in orange....shane has been doing paint and body forever when his father owned the shop....he is the goto guy for porsches and german cars
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 03:52 PM
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Forget questions and look at the results in their shop or from previous customers.

Your body color is Mercedes Benz DB441

Dupont code G8882

Glasurit code MB-441

PPG code 22086

BASF code 17478

Your cladding is Chinchilla 8477



.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 08:15 PM
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I worked with my painter to lower the costs, and removed all the lights, door handles, rear window, mirrors, most chrome trim including the rear star, front and rear bumper etc. You get the idea. Not only did this reduce the price but made for a better job. In this way they did not have to tape things up. I am very satisfied and used the savings to do other things.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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where in so - cal are you....ill be taking mine to east auto body in orange....shane has been doing paint and body forever when his father owned the shop....he is the goto guy for porsches and german cars
Thanks, @vdubpower . I'm a hybrid—I'm in San Diego and North OC. There's a place here in San Diego that recently replaced a bumper cover on my CLK. They did a nice job, and even better, together we came up with a great solution to the horribly-designed AMG appearance package bumper cowl that catches on every concrete wheel stop. I won't have that problem again, and frankly, every owner with this bumper should do same. The body shop also comes recommended from a friend who likes his work.

However, I think I should get at least one other quote, so perhaps I should check out East Auto Body?
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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I worked with my painter to lower the costs, and removed all the lights, door handles, rear window, mirrors, most chrome trim including the rear star, front and rear bumper etc. You get the idea. Not only did this reduce the price but made for a better job. In this way they did not have to tape things up. I am very satisfied and used the savings to do other things.
Thanks, @Stutz . I'd love to be able to do this, but I suspect it's a time vs. money issue. Part of me doesn't want to touch taking off all the trim because I think I'm more likely to hose it up and then wind up scouring for replacement parts. A painter who's done classic Benzes probably knows the right approach, and the it's on them if they break something.

I'm sure there are places where they can tape and others where they can't. The back window seal, for example, is not something you can leave in-place if you're going to get the paint done correctly. However, that kind of work is out of my wheelhouse, and so I've all along assumed it's going to cost me probably a couple grand more than it would if I did all the prep myself.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GreenT View Post
Forget questions and look at the results in their shop or from previous customers.

Your body color is Mercedes Benz DB441

Dupont code G8882

Glasurit code MB-441

PPG code 22086

BASF code 17478

Your cladding is Chinchilla 8477



.
@GreenT , I kinda figured you'd be the last word on the specs. So thanks for that! I was scratching my head about the cladding, and you came to the rescue.

I know the cladding is different only because the passenger rear door's cladding is the same color as the body—indicating to me that when that side of the car got scraped by a trailer back in the 90s, they got lazy and just painted it to match. My poor mom never noticed, but it drives me nuts. Very visible in direct sun—and it was at that point that I realized they're painted—not cast in-color.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strassenkreuzer View Post
Thanks, @vdubpower . I'm a hybrid—I'm in San Diego and North OC. There's a place here in San Diego that recently replaced a bumper cover on my CLK. They did a nice job, and even better, together we came up with a great solution to the horribly-designed AMG appearance package bumper cowl that catches on every concrete wheel stop. I won't have that problem again, and frankly, every owner with this bumper should do same. The body shop also comes recommended from a friend who likes his work.

However, I think I should get at least one other quote, so perhaps I should check out East Auto Body?
im curious of your clk solution..wonder if would benefit me with my e63

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-24-2019, 12:11 AM
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Any pictures of your current paint ? Some members have been able to restore the original paint with a color sanding and using a paint correction.
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