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Glyn_Turner
08-01-02, 09:41 AM
There seems to be two main schools of thought regarding when to have the body painted. My origininal plan was to build it in Gel coat finish, SVA it, drive it for a while then strip it, paint it, an rebuild it. As delivery time gets closer I am trying to plan the build, and am now realising how much extra work this will actually be. Also unless I remove the body from the chassis and completely strip it there will be areas which although potentially visible, will never be painted.

So I have two slightly different questions depending on whether you painted at the beginning or the end.

If you painted at the beginning, did it cause you any problems during the build, if so what? Did you have any problems subsequent to the build ie rubbing panels, stress fractures etc. How did you transport the body after painting to avoid damaging the new paint?

If you painted after the car was on the road, did this affect the way you did the build, how far did you strip the car for painting, how much time did this take?

I am struggling with this issue, so I hope to get the benefit of lots of peoples experience.

Best regards


Glyn Turner

wilf
08-01-02, 11:47 AM
Glyn - my thoughts:

A GRP body is never, ever as stable as metal. They move, and the majority of movement occurs in the first year of being mounted to the chassis.
Also you will get things like boot/bonnet panels being "pinched" by the latch handles, possible reactions in the grp from adhesives on the underside, shadows where inner wings abut the underside and so on. All of this can be put right (for good) at paint prep stage.
What I did was to build, SVA, drive for a summer, then strip for paint. This allowed the shell to settle, move as it liked, bake in the sun etc. In short, to get the majority of inevitable bodyshell movement out of the way before paint.
I also got a perverse buzz from driving a disgustingly tatty shed around that could fly past just about anything else on the road! I admit I didn't even deflash the shell, nor polish it in any way - that's a job for the pro's (the painters). The only thing I got was being ignored at shows by the uninformed, since the thing looked so naff!
By doing this, I shall end up with a painted body that will look better for longer.

On the flip side, many folks paint during build. I was worried about this anyway, as you will inevitably make mistakes making openings for roll bars, windscreens etc - far more difficult to correct when painted, but many folks do it that way. I was also sh*t scared of scratching a fully painted body shell as I wandered around it with spanners/hammers/chisels/drills etc!! And boy did I scratch it 'cos I didn't care - made for a much more relaxed build.
The downside is the work involved in stripping it down for paint - interior out, all lights off, dash out, tank out etc. It took me 3 days of not particularly hard work, being as I had made allowances for it during the initial build, with interior panels held in with velcro, carpets not glued etc.The Crendon also helps in this respect with easily removable dash (two nuts, four multiplugs, plus instrument lines) etc.

I guess by now you have realised my preference to your question???

Wilf

easthamr
08-01-02, 01:03 PM
It is about time I got round to painting my machine too, although I have already built and have run for a few years. I would like ask how much I should be paying roughly for preperation and painting of the body?

StuartH
08-01-02, 02:03 PM
Haven't quite got round to painting mine either - it's still purple!!! :-)
I got a quote a few months ago from a local paintshop - he's painted a few cobras and handbuilt from scratch a maserati replica so he's pretty good - he reckoned on from 1500 upwards including racing stripes, basically he said I could spend as much upwards as I liked (typical eh!!) depending on how much time I wanted him to spend prepping/gapping etc... the actual spraying bit was the 'cheap' bit.
He said he would have refused to do it if it was a sumo as he wasn't over chuffed with the previous one he did!!

Stuart

Kevin W
08-01-02, 04:59 PM
>He said he would have refused to do it if it was a sumo as he wasn't over >chuffed with the previous one he did!!

Well any car can be thrown together and look like a 'Scrapheap Challenge' regardless of make, although perhaps some early sumos were a bit ropey.

But sumo gelcoat is top quality.

Kevin

wilf
08-01-02, 10:28 PM
Stuart - I have no axe to grind, but I have to admit that Sumo gelcoat quality is not bad! Maybe your painter had a lot of work to do to rehang doors etc, certainly that could happen.

Some paint shops are plain not interested in proper body prep/alignment. Most can spray OK, only a few take the time to align, rehang, blend, fill and block sand several times over. It is what makes the difference between a so-so and a class paint job, and it never comes cheap. For a really good prep and spray job, in a shop that knows what they are doing, look at 3000 and up.

Wilf

dave
08-01-02, 11:08 PM
> 3000 AND UP?
HHHHHOWWWWW MUCH?
I know that perfect paint is priceless Wilf, but 3000
These guys charge enough as it is...I don't think you should encourage them any further.
I get my cars painted for a grand, and that includes "flat and polish",They bake it a few times first to help speed up the curing process of the GRP and then go around sorting out any distortions and blisters. The end result is very good,not a show stopper, but never the less a job you would be proud of.
They could go a little further, but with my cars being painted and on the road within 8 weeks of leaving the mould i think anything more would be wasted at this stage.I tell my customers about possible future distortion and caution them that the car could need a repaint in a couple of years or so and so far almost all have all gone for painted cars over the gel coat finnish.....You can understand them though,they spend over 20,000 on a car they want something that looks the biz from the word go.
Customers eh....bless 'em.
;-)
I'm losing the plot again aren't i?

robert
08-01-02, 11:14 PM
Dave

Losing? you lost it a long time ago!!!

:+ :+

Robert
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wilf
08-01-02, 11:16 PM
Dave - you?? Lose the plot?? Surely never.

3000+ is the figure for a full body fill and sanding job- we are talking about 4 weeks of filling and sanding here. Plus extra clearcoats etc. Not that that means a crap body to begin with, it's just what you would expect to do to a top end car for a long lasting, perfect paint job.

I know you can get a car sprayed for a grand, but that is not what is happening. And I don't want to be redoing it in a couple of years - this thing is for keeps, and it is meant to be a "show stopper". (what the hell I will feel like when the first stone chips show up I don't know).

And don't you go calling me no cheque book boy - I been saving up for years!

Wilf

robert
08-01-02, 11:17 PM
Excerpt from a mag article from David Smith of Classic & Sports Cars Services.

Some are good, some are bad, some want using as a fish pond liner, but most suffer from nearly the same faults, which I'll list later! I will not comment on specific makes (as it could get expensive!) but must say that some of the best bodieswe have worked on are wait for it THE PILGRIM SUMO!!!

http://www.cobraclub.com/html/paintyourwagon.htm

Robert
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dave
08-01-02, 11:26 PM
Hi Wilf.
It was the stone chips i was concerned about.:-)

dave
08-01-02, 11:35 PM
Do the words:- kettle,pot and black mean anything....Just remember 600+bhp what the bl**dy hell do you need all that for?are you some kind of NUTTER.
:-)

robert
08-01-02, 11:56 PM
Power hungry mad lunatic

I like to push the boundaries of decency!

Robert
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StuartH
09-01-02, 08:31 AM
Sorry - Didn't mean that as an attack on Sumos, I was quite surprised as I thought they did pretty good Gel coats too, infact the pilgrim manual was where I got most of my gelcoat finishing tips. This was shortly after my pilgrim sunvisor fiasco so I had no problems believing him - maybe it had some builder inflicted problem!!?? :-)
Back to paint jobs. 1500 was for the 'basic' bake, then filling and flatting, anything more was going to be about 30ish per hour so he said to look realistically at 2-2.5K if I wanted the doors gapped and finished, and any potential stresses already appearing in the GRP sorting out, etc, etc...
I trust anyone who has handbuilt from aluminium a Maserati replica like has can do a very adequate job gapping doors, aligning etc..
This seems about right as SMS who paint AK's factory built cars charge about 2.5K and do an absolutely amazing job - unfortunately they are in Spalding, Lincs I think, and not just round the corner from my house!!

Stuart

callum
09-01-02, 08:06 PM
Dave - them as wot lost the plot are those who pay a fortune for a 'concours' job and then hurl it through grit and **it on public roads. If councours is you heart's desire fairy nuff. I reckon if you can wield a sanding block then the lion's share of preparation denies a paint shop any excuse for charging much more than 1000 to to 1300 for a 'good, workmanlike' job. There is no virtue in paying over the odds. There is probably 300 worth of materials in the sanding and spraying so work out the hours needed - much of it with power tools - to justify 2700 of labour. I've now seen stripes on a Starsky & Hutch Pug 106 so go there if you must (but with mild steel/matt side pipes and lowered suspension!)

I wait to be abused on my paint job but if you like to talk about how much you've spent then there are plenty of businesses that will be pleased to see you! I haggle shamelessly over everything!

Glyn - don't let the Counsel of Perfection crew cause you to overspend! The main thing is to mature the body. This summer will do it nicely while you cut apertures, flat the flash lines and put a fine key all over.:+

paul
09-01-02, 08:21 PM
Robert on the paint theme have you thought about a total coat of Teflon to assist the extra BHP now that would be slick }> }>
cheers
Paul

wilf
09-01-02, 09:04 PM
Callum - I accept your tacit criticism for not doing my own body prep but here's the rub (sorry):
I am quite happy spannering, mending washing machines, hoovers, plumbing, can rewire a house (or a factory come to that). In my time I have designed electric motors for oil rigs, done full type testing on High Speed Train alternator sets, ditto London Underground train motors/bogie sets etc. I put up shelves (straight), can tune and set vcr's and so on and on. BUT - I cannot create a shape with my own hands and eyes to save my life, never could fill/sand car bodies, nor use jig saws,scrolling saws and the like. I took my life into my own hands when making holes in the cobra body for lights/windscreen/rollbars, nearly had a nervous breakdown trimming and shaping the wheel arch returns and wing vent holes. It was plain traumatic, and more than a bit character building for me. Somehow I did it without screwing up big time.
All my old bangers when I was young were mechanically A1, bodily somewhere around T6. SO - I have no option but to pay someone who can fill and prep properly, all I am doing is informing the folks on this here forum what that costs.
I learnt a long time ago that playing to your strengths, and saving up to pay for your weaknesses is a reasonable life philosophy, at least it works for me.

Ah well, now you know.

Wilf

TonyD
09-01-02, 11:11 PM
Some guys have just too much money to spend on their toys !!

My advice is to do as Wilf says and let the body mature for a year or so and it will setle down enough to get a stable paint job.

Then spend Dave's 1,000 to 1,300 getting it painted....any more and you are really getting .......whats the word I'm looking for...............

As all the rubbing down and hand lathering( if there is any...and I spent my early formative years in a spray shop so I know what can be hidden by a good sprayer) is done by the Yops trainee on about 3.00 per hour that allows ...well almost 1,000 hours of rubbing down.....hell you could hand sand a complete Cobra body out of an aluminium billet in that time....and Isopon is very easy to sand....

So thats the cheapsgates view......but considering that the last paint job I had done, a complete Kit car, cost me 250 including paint 2 pack Acrylic..poisonous but great finish........perhaps I'm just too good at getting bargains......

Cheers,

Tony.

:7

Trigger
10-01-02, 02:52 PM
Er ... Ostentatious??!!:-)

VinceGledhill
10-01-02, 03:38 PM
That sounds more like it to me Tony.

This tight Yorkshireman will be calling you when the time comes..;-)

Regards
Vince@gledhill.info

wilf
10-01-02, 04:43 PM
Trigger - I do hope your tongue was firmly in your cheek, else I would have to fall out with you. If you ever use that word to me at a show or elsewhere I should be forced to inform you that you are a rotter.

You will, I hope, have noted that I try very hard not to "diss" anyone's choices either for the make of kit, or how they want to furnish it or finish it. All I do is give my opinions, and always make it clear that they are just my opinions. They can be ignored or taken note of, I have no problem either way.

I repeat my claim - for a "show" finish, with all prep done by the painters, you will be in for 3k and up. Try getting a quote for this from either SMS or Pauls, you will soon see what I mean.
That most emphatically does not mean that there can be no more cost effective ways of doing it, of course there are, and I just knew that Dangerous would find the bottom line!

Wilf

robert
10-01-02, 04:58 PM
Wilf.

You are right, my GD prepped and painted cost 2500, but I wish I had just stayed with the Gelcoat.

I am not interested in the "show quality" job, as I tend to drive my car, not park up and polish. Couple this with the way I tend to "push" cars out of the way on trackdays, I have got a considerable number of stonechips, mainly from Porsche and TVRs, as they tend to have stupid overwide rear tyres which pick up everything.

Robert
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TonyD
10-01-02, 06:54 PM
I dont think I made it obvious in my last quote that the 250 cost was what I paid someone else to do the spraying, and he supplied the paint.

At that price he couldn't afford the positive air presssure face mask so I was mightly amused to see him running in and out of his lockup garage taking big lungfuls of air every time he emerged so as to avoid breathing the poisonous vapours, and then run back in followed soon after by the sounds of furious spraying activity.........

If he's still alive he'll be doing the spraying next year on my AK.

Cheers,

Tony.

BTW Wilf, I'm in Detriot next week, do you want me to get you anything off the line?

Cheers,

Tony.

VinceGledhill
10-01-02, 08:00 PM
Robert

Shirly they should be looking at your rear tyres..;-)

Don't call me Shirly...

Regards
Vince@gledhill.info

robert
10-01-02, 10:46 PM
Standard airfield track day rules, no overtaking on corners, which is a real pain, so I have to sit patiently waiting for the straight.

On a proper circuit, it is a different matter and I have been know to make my own overtaking space.......

Robert
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Trigger
11-01-02, 05:22 PM
Hi Wilf, of course my tongue was in my cheek. The guy was looking for a word so I helped him out. Second choice word was OTT! I do like the sound of these 3000 paint jobs for their looks but it'll be heartbreaking when the stone chips start showing up. I'll be painting my GD when it's running and passed SVA. I'll be taking off the body too. (You can do that with a GD!) How much to spend on the paint, don't know yet. I made a reply a few months ago to your topic about painting where you said your car was matt black at the moment. I said then I would probably like the look of that and still am of that opinion. But I suppose it's not finished till painted. Then you have to choose the colour. You have gotta get it right when you spend that kind of money. And of course the rest of the car has to support the spending of that amount. Look forward to seeing your finished product at a show or an image on the site.

Regards, Trigger.

wilf
11-01-02, 06:14 PM
Trigger - you are 100% forgiven, and once again a dear old pal. I too dread the stone chips, but having gone the way I have for my own cobra, I could not fail to do it justice with the best paint job I could manage. I'm off tomorrow to view the results of the first week's filling and sanding, the paint guy already knows I am going to be hard to please!

I had vicarious pleasure from running it last year looking all matt and tatty, but every time I went into the garage I knew deep down that it couldn't stay that way.

Wilf

Bigblock
13-01-02, 11:39 PM
Some one quoted a comment from a bloke called David Smith about painting Cobs, well that was me. Me business was restoring classic cars and painting lots of Cobras. We we not cheap but we were the best and we used to hear it all the time, "my mate can paint it cheaper, I can get it cheaper from Mr D Ulux up the road" we used to say to them BYE, and if anyone asked what do you think of my 900 paint job, the answer was...... well work it out for your self. Look at it this way, you have just spent the best part of anything up to 20k building it, any thing up to 3-4 years in time, you have every possible chrome and shiny goodie under the bonnet, are you going to balls all this up with a manky paint job, if you say yes then you don't deserve the car. Anyone can put a shiny coat of paint on, you could do thiS with a can of gloss from B&Q but do your doors, bonnet and bot lid fit?, is the gap equal all around on these? and the acid test, hold a straight pole, broom handle so that you can see the refelection down the wing and then walk down the car. That refelection should be the same and not move, the straight edge should remain straight and not falter even when it crosses the door gaps, thats what you're paying for in a good job. Finally look at the cost of materials, yes you can get cheap paint made by Crapo Colours of Eastern Europe but don't go whining when it goes flat and peals off (I've seen it many times and had to put it right). Good recognised twin pack (2K) MS system (medium solids) is around 35-50 litre, anywhere between 3 to 5 litres reqd. Hardener for this approx 65 per 5 liters, undercoat and hardener will be around 150.00, don't forget rubbing paper, masking paper etc. The average good materials cost was about 350.00 to 450.00, this was without polyester spray filler which helps get the body in shape. I know this sounds like a moan but don't cut corners here, remember THIS IS THE BIT EVERY ONE WILL SEE ALL OF THE TIME, INCLUDING YOU, YOU HAVE GOT TO LOOK AT IT 24hrs A DAY.;-)

robert
14-01-02, 02:13 AM
David

Nice to see you here, and I couldn't agree more with your comments. People always judge a book by the cover and if it looks crap, they thing its crap.

Robert
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wilf
14-01-02, 01:40 PM
David - I am glad to see a "pro" echoing what I have said elsewhere on this thread. Now two of us can be called "ostentatious"!!

I went to see my bodyshell at the paint shop last weekend after the first full week of filling and sanding, it is remarkable how a good body prep man can spot low areas which would show up if simply painted over. I know I could never, ever, do it as well myself, which is why I am content to let the experts do it, and pay the price.

As you say, beauty might not be just skin deep, but having a good skin to begin with gives you a head start.

Wilf

StuartH
14-01-02, 05:41 PM
Wilf,
I totally agree - I'm prepared to spend a couple of grand or so on the paint job - if it get's chipped scratched etc or you just get bored and fancy a colour change, the seriously expensive bit of prep is already done, so getting it resprayed or fixed up shouldn't be as expensive
I'm still puting up with my 'tasteful' purple gel-coat until I can afford a really decent job (especially due to being in trouble with the other-half for spending too much on the engine!!) - no point spending a few hundred quid then a) not really being proud of the resulting car b) having to spend a few hundred (or thousand!!) quid again to make it how you wanted it in the first place.

Stuart

paul
14-01-02, 08:37 PM
Hi there perhaps you could re-route some of your blower pressure up and around the front of the car and give it a force field and still have a spare 500 or so horses.
Paul}>

Bigblock
14-01-02, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the support boys. It used to make me and my team really sad to see the effort some people used to take on the rest of the car then to spoil it with a cheap body job. This is going to seem real sexist (but most of our girlies will say the Cob is only an extension of our dangley bits) but if you had the chance to handle and look at Pamela Anderson and Jo Flo every day or Margaret Thatcher and Thora Hurd who really would you pick.? If anybody wants any advice I'm always open for a chat regarding the body jobs. If you not sure what to look for or want to know any little tricks I picked up over the years fire away. A little one for starters is the underside of the bonnets are so rippled you could surf on them, they don't look good real shiny. One tip is to paint the car complete and then mask up just to the inside the edge of the underside of the bonnet and get your local paint factor to mix up 1/2ltr of your finish coat with 50% matting agent. Key up the under side of the bonnet and paint it with the mixed finish. This will just take the edge off the gloss and disguise the rippled manky finish of the fibreglass and gell coat yet won't look out of place on the finished car. Even bet ya know one would notice, know one ever did on mine and it won loads of shows. You can even do the same with satin black as long as your masking is good. PS I am keen to talk to anyone running a Ford 460ci. Cheers:D

dave
14-01-02, 10:26 PM
Hi Big Block.
I hear what you are saying, it's just that some times the budget determins which way the job goes,I am currently building a car for a guy who put a limit on the project cost,he had a choice,either 3000 paint job or 1000 paint job(i do get a very good deal)and an extra 200BHP from his engine...He went for 383 Chevy 450BHP 450TQ and a grand on the paint,It will be no "broom handle"(like the term)job but the only time that it matters is if/when it's at a show and parked right next to the likes of Wilfs car with a full Dogs bo**ocks(have i added enough stars) finnish,otherwise it will be seen as a very nice paint job on a very nice and fast Cobra.
P.S. Respect to anyone who can rub filler....cos i hate it.:-)