Lifetime Premium Member
Date registered: Feb 2015
Vehicle: 1989 300SE (Mitzi); 2003 CLK 430 cabrio (Clifford)
Location: Southern California, USA
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
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?
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.