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'97 E420 (sold) - 2003 C32 AMG (current)
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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says, has anyone ever re-painted their entire w210? The body of my car is in rough shape, lots of swirls and scratches from the previous owner(s).

I was just wondering how much one would expect to pay, and how did it turn out?
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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Interesting topic...

I've been wondering more and more on this issue. My 420 is slowly being eaten away by rust which is most visible around the sunroof seal, under the door seals, rear license plate light, and I'm noticing a slow bubble begin to form under my front driver fender...

I'd imagine a car of this size to easily surpass $1,000. A friend of mind painted my fathers 140 black back in the day. He's well known around Guam as being one of the best painters. We removed door trims/hoods/bumpers etc. to get the thing to showroom quality...

I don't trust myself to paint my car, but I'm sure people have, and with the proper tools and experience I wouldn't mind following a set of instructions or rules to painting a vehicle. PROPERLY.

Not like the way the previous painter who painted over rubber parts like the mirror seal. What losers. That might fly on a different car but the painter didn't deserve to work on a Benz.
 

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2000 Black E320 4Matic
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77 Posts
Yeah I had my car repainted and it cost almost 10,000.
Car looks great now though unfortunately now I don't want to drive it in winter haha
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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One of forum brain surgeon painted his pickup and with good results.
Come on guys -painting is not brain surgery. Like in most of the things in our life -preparation is what makes whole difference.

maybe that was research doctor, not a brain surgeon, but would that really matter in painting? ;)
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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I've repainted many cars since my late teens, and I'm in my mid 40's now. I did it by reading a hot-rod book.

Today's go down like latex paint. Painting a car is all work and work and work....Laying the primer, base coat, and clear is like applying the icing on the cake. The work is mixing the batter.

A great shop will remove all lights, door handles, door panels, inside and outside moldings. Inside and outside rubber molding loosen the wheel wells from the fenders, and quarter-panels. Remove the the grill all emblems(replace the stick-on ones).Remove the roof rack which means dropping the headliner, and etc...

It is work to paint a car. The Hot Rod'ers do it all the time. In the county of Los Angeles, California many public paint spray booths exist for the DIY'er to paint as restoration of vehicles is a pastime in certain cities in L.A. County. Many the kids when I grew up with were using Automotive paints to paint their bicycles which leads to auto painting. That is how I learned, just follow the directions on the cans and data application sheets, very simple.

The top brands of PPG and DuPont paint systems as you are paying marketing and environmental fees. In the nineties this paint was cost effective. Now, you will pay five times as much for those brands. Using DuPont or PPG one can spend about $1200 USD with those brands on a paint system to refinish a car. Many systems exist with the same quality exist for a 1/3 the price.

To pay $10k to paint a car for my appetite is too much, I love cars, but I'm DIY'er on the three core things-Refinishing Vehicles, Auto transmission repair, electronic component repair. I have two W140's one I have refinished the bumpers on one. The other will be shortly refinished after I rebuild the transmission. I plan to spend no more than $1k in supplies and parts for the whole car(transmission and paint).

If you get your car painted make sure you use a two or three stage paint system:

Two stage, is base-coat(the color coat) and the use of a clear coat.

Three stage, Is base-coat( the color coat), metallic, pearl, candy coat, and a clear is coat.

Make sure the shop uses a primer underneath the base coat. Not just a adhesion promoter, or skip the primer. Today's paint have a excellent adhesion basically do not need primer. The paint will stick, but the color will not be vivid especially if you paint in red. Plus, all the coats will soften-up once the clear goes(primer included) on, and they will all catalyze as one. No other paint system that I know does this, only automotive does this. Make sure they lay-down a primer!

If you are fixing rust on the car, or are painting a new bare metal part. A metal etching primer has to be applied to seal the metal. It usually has that green look identical to the inside paint used on the internal structure of airplanes. Then a primer surfacer to smoothen the surfaces, and a primer sealer for the adhesion of the base coat. No primer should be exposed to the air no longer than a week(as all primers will draw moisture in), so when you see this cars with primer on the road, you can laugh. It is a no no...

Make sure a glamor clear is put on your car as production clears are used for collision repair shops. Glamor clear will add extra days to the delivery of your car, but the finish will look Ten-Thousand miles deep!

Do not go to a collision repair shop for a refinish paint job because there goal is to get cars in and out. Go to American Muscle car show and ask the owners of the cars. You may find a DIY painter that may refinish your car at a fraction of the cost.

Ask:

What paint system used?

Surface preparation process?

Base-coat preparation process?

The type of clear uses?

There polishing process(this is a multi-level wet-sanding process, and several grits of rubbing compound. Many Hot Rod'ers will wet sand the base coat too).

Download the paint system data sheets, so you are familiar with the process, and you are not cheated in the process as you are going to dish-out some hard earn money.

Again, it is work! If you live is a part of the country where it snows, or salt is lay-down on the roads.That is tough on all paint systems-no cure for that. Move to sunny California, Nevada, or Arizona where rust is not an issue.

Best of luck,

Martin
 

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1999 E320 Black on Black
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162 Posts
If you want to try and DIY, here's a good idea of what it takes:

Links to Freddie Hernandez' 101 series - Pelican Parts Technical BBS

I would suggest that painting a car is the closest task of car repair that is like brain surgery. If you do it right, it can last decades. If you mess up one little part, like don't get all of the paint stipper out of a seam, it might not last a year.

You have to be meticulous and very skillful. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, people who can do (or are willing to do) this kind of work are getting harder to find, as most shops have switched to doing insurance work.

As suggested, research the custom/restoration car crowd to find the favorites.

If you want cheap, then you need to do all of the prep yourself removing everything, sanding, fixing dents, skimming, etc and have a shop do the paint. The problem is that you will need to lay primer down, then do more sanding and skimming. How will you get the primer down yourself? Still, this will cost about $2k.

I remember GRM doing a cheapo job at a chain, where they did all of the prep, took the car there and had them shoot it wilh quality paint. It was over $1k and had flaws.

I would suggest doing what you can to save the original paint, if it's not peeling. Wet sand a spot with 2000 grit, polish it and wax it. You will be amazed at the results.

Edit: Also, if you have a black car, use Turtle Wax Black Box. For $20 you can't beat it for covering up minor scratch and swirl imperfections.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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I am sitting on the idea of covering some scratches on front of my pickup. The carbon-fiber wraps become pretty popular lately and I did have my whole motorhome wrapped in picture schemes 6 years ago. I am thinking about buying gold carbon fiber, that would match my pickup color and wrap whole front with it. Those things sell pretty cheap on ebay.
 

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12 GL450
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One of forum brain surgeon painted his pickup and with good results.
Come on guys -painting is not brain surgery. Like in most of the things in our life -preparation is what makes whole difference.

maybe that was research doctor, not a brain surgeon, but would that really matter in painting? ;)
Kajtek, you have a great memory! :thumbsup: I'm a physician doing research, however, will leave research soon to go into the clinical side. I did this in my garage and it was my first time painting. Will do this one day to my W210, a color change when I do it and will start a thread and do a detailed DIY when I do this. Just looking for some free time. Here is what I did last year:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/off-topic/1623897-first-time-painting-professional-results-imo.html
 
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