Should I paint my car myself? Stupid? Smart? (1 Viewer)

e9999

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Need some educated advice, please.

My car is 16 years old. It's in excellent condition mechanically and interior.
The paint outside however is in bad shape. The clear coat is coming off on most body panels, from staying mostly outside. The hood in particular was repainted by an idiot in a bad shop and the base coat is cracking too.

Now, I am thinking about selling the car in the next month or 2.

Question: What would look better from a prospective buyer point of view: leave it as is or have the car repainted by myself, bad as that may be?

Background: I know nothing about car painting. Used a spray gun a couple of times for small parts. Have a couple of generic spray guns and a small capacity compressor. An electric polisher with bonnets, an orbital air sander maybe 7" that is using up too much air for my compressor, various electric sanders. Used brushes and spray cans many times.

I don't care one bit whether the final product will look perfect or not, as long as it's better than what it looks like now. And it looks bad all right.

I have always wanted to do a car paint job. This may be the perfect opportunity to learn, maybe the only one I'll ever have. I'm sure I'd have fun doing this.

I won't have tons of time.
It will have to be done outside or at best in a garage that I don't want to cover with paint.
My expectations of how easy this is to do may be entirely skewed and unrealistic from watching these car shows on TV where they do a perfect paint job in 1/2 hr :).

Estimated sale value: guessing $3K - $4K if paint is in reasonable shape. So not worth putting in tons of money and time.

What say you? Give it a shot just for the heck of it? Is it likely to come out acceptable or close? Or is this one of my typical over-reaching DIY ideas? Nobody buying a $3K car that is 16 years old will worry about a couple of runs or spots, though, I would hope, so that might give me some leeway.


or....


Or do a deep polish job if that will make things look better?

Or have an Earl Scheib type job done? $500 and get more than that in increased resale value?






these pics show the bad hood paint job and the base coat cracking
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e9999

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more pics

fender was blended in when they did the crummy hood paint job, some flaking there too.

roof same clear coat problem but no paint cracking (only the hood)



the B pillar has gone from black to pretty much white.
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e9999

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more pics
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e9999

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close up of the hood paint cracking
EFM_2510010.jpg
 
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PAToyota

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At that age, I'm not sure that you're going to get that much more money for having it painted. It may make it sell faster, though. For me, a new paint job on a used vehicle makes me wonder what they're trying to hide. Particularly if it isn't the greatest paint job.

As you say, though. Sounds like a great learning experience. I'd go ahead and do it and keep the "before" pictures to show the buyer what was done if they ask questions.
 

e9999

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how long do you think it would take to do the hood and a couple of the ugliest panels maybe, with limited prep?

Or would just a heavy polishing job make the peeling clearcoat much less noticeable?



mmm..... maybe I should just do the hood. Not too big, probably easier for me to tackle than shaped panels, and might make things look much better. and I could try a different color or at least not have to worry about matching and blending... and get some painting experience out of it.
How hard would that be you think?
 
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pressure wash the crap out of it for that "good when wet" look. When i'm feelin' spiffy and want my 80 series looking the same thats what I do. Same color as your honda I think - dark green.

I'm with PAToyota, always leary of new paint jobs on used cars - especially right before it is being sold. But documentation helps I suppose, but maybe not worth the effort. One day paint places should do it for less than $500. How much more will a "nice" paint job get you on your final price?

At the same time I'm all about trying new things - how many opportunities will you get to paint your own car, good practice.
 

e9999

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yes, may not be worth the trouble money wise, but I'm intrigued by the idea of doing it. The hood seems like a great practice opportunity. I could even do it more than once to try a couple of different things if it's doesn't work out right. And a different color hood might even be spiffy... Might have to sink some money in tools and maybe a new compressor, though...
 
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It would take some time to sand out all of he cracks by hand and you would need to buy a pad the will go between your hand and the cars paint. The First rule in painting a car is in the prep work before paint so the more work you put into the sanding, taping, cleaning the better the paint will look in the end. The reason why paint shop ask for a lot of money is the labor to make a nice paint job. But this is all doable at home it just takes time. I know of a gentlemen that used a paint roller to paint his car he just did a lot of wet sanding and it took about 2 weeks and the car looks great and has lasted for 2 years. So you should try painting the car and see what happens.
 

PAToyota

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Or would just a heavy polishing job make the peeling clearcoat much less noticeable?
Unfortunately, without a clearcoat the basecoat will look like crap. Not like the old enamels and lacquers where you could buff them out and get them looking shiny again - at least for awhile.

You could try sanding the clearcoat all off and apply another clearcoat. But really, at that point you might as well lay down a new basecoat as well to make it all even.

Even if you document the process, you stand to lose money telling someone that you "practiced" on the paint job. Basically, you're telling them that you have no idea how it is going to hold up.
 

e9999

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OK, so I'm getting the impression from the feedback above (anybody else?) that it's not worth doing from a resale point of view.

One thing I'm still unclear about: how hard is it to paint a hood, say, for a handy person with no painting experience? How much time?
 

spdwaver1

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OK, so I'm getting the impression from the feedback above (anybody else?) that it's not worth doing from a resale point of view.

One thing I'm still unclear about: how hard is it to paint a hood, say, for a handy person with no painting experience? How much time?
Not very difficult to paint a hood, really, even with no experience; applying paint takes hardly any time at all, but inexperience gives you 50/50 odds at getting a decent result.

I have always performed my own repairs and paint, but I had a lot of practice throughout the years.

My latest adventure in painting took me a total of four hours (not counting wait times before coats - seven hours real time). I used a fast-drying spray paint that I could find easily when in a pinch, to touch up when it gets scratched:

Before:



After:

 
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I'd leave it as it is. Anyone that's purchasing a car in that age range knows that the paint is going to have issues. I think you'd have a harder time selling it and run into skeptical buyers if you repaint it yourself. They'll think you're trying to hide something.
 

e9999

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I'd leave it as it is. Anyone that's purchasing a car in that age range knows that the paint is going to have issues. I think you'd have a harder time selling it and run into skeptical buyers if you repaint it yourself. They'll think you're trying to hide something.
yes, based on all the comments above I think I should give up on the idea, with only the possible but unlikely exception of the hood for fun.
I might try to polish the heck out of it all to remove at least the flaky clear coat so it looks only half-bad instead of downright terrible.
 

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