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hello everyone, I'm new to this forum but I am about to buy an 82 El Camino to restore with my dad but it needs a new paint job. I read that professionally done it can cost up to $8,000. How much to just do it ourselves? What would we need to do it ourselves?
Thanks!
- Luke
 

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What kind of end quality are you after? You can do a cheap DIY paint job or you can do a near show quality DIY job too.
Other preliminary things we would all need to know to give a decent answer is about the space you have and how much time you have.

Just to give you an idea what you need for a high-end type job, I spent upwards of $4K just in supplies to put on a show quality DIY paint job on my El Camino year before last. That includes all the sanding supplies I needed to completely strip the car, fillers, primers, reducers, paint, color sanding supplies and buffing supplies.
I have 3 paint guns. My 2 paint guns cost me $450 each and and my primer gun was $175. I have a 7.5HP Ingersol Rand compressor that cost me $2K. Other odds and ends are needed as well. Hoses, connectors, air line filter dryer. They all add-up.

Another thing to consider is that it's extremely tough to do a high quality job on your first all-over paint job. I've seen it happen before but it's rare. It takes a lot of study time and dedication. You really, really have to be interested in doing it, have the time and patience, and be will willing to spend the money it takes.

 

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Hello Luke,

And welcome to the group. Most of the expense is removing and replacing all trim, bumpers, tail lights, headlights, etc. If you can do that, it cuts down the expense by a lot. I got my 70 EC completely painted in December, 2018 for a little over $3300 which also included some minor door and hood body work. Even if you must pay to have the vehicle towed to the paint booth place, its worth it versus paying the shop labor rate.

If you can wait a bit for them to paint your vehicle on booth "fill time" when the booth is not occupied by insurance damage work, you can also save money. It took them three weeks to get around to painting my El Camino but it was worth the wait for that price.

Rick
 

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:geek: Welcome, Glad you found us.
Have fun and enjoy NECOA. Before
you worry about a paint job, make sure
the frame is not rusted out. Nothing like
throwing good money on a bad foundation,
that can't be saved. Safety first cosmetic last.
From Nick & Don
Grove City, Ohio..:)
 

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Hi Luke, welcome from Idaho. Glad you've joined us. The color of the paint is involved in the pricing. My wife was Ted to have ours painted red, in 2004 , red paint cost $500.00 a gallon. A friend of mine told me,. That yellow paint is very pricey now. I had mine painted for $800.00 in labor, and I paid $45.00 a gallon, for John Deere Blitz black enamel with the hardner. We also sanded it down to bare metal. Have fun and enjoy.
 

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Do all of the mechanical repairs first. You don't want to scratch your new paint job replacing intake, a-arms, etc
 

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Welcome Luke, everyone here is spot-on with their replies. I will add that one of the best ways for most is to hang out around some of the local car gatherings and start up some conversations with some of the guys that have paint jobs you would be proud of on your car and find out where they had it done. I've been a professional body tech for almost 40 years and finding a guy that does work on the side will be your best bet. Shop rates are hard to take and it adds up really fast especially if you need a bunch of dents fixed, or re-doing old repairs. My car has original paint and more than it's share of dings and small dents but from 25 yards looks pretty good and I get the "Nice ElCo" almost every where I go. That being said, my car through the shop I work at would require about 60-80 hours labor at the shop rate of $50 an hour to remove trim,bumpers and repair the dents and dings and that is before it hits the paint shop! So look around and hopefully you find a decent painter that can smooth out the years of wear and make your car shine!

Also if you are anywhere near NE Texas I can recommend that guy, no, it's not me, but the best painter I have ever worked with, and I've worked with a lot of them! Good luck!

Joe WIN_20190629_20_30_00_Pro.jpg
 

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Like everyone else said, Luke, it depends on what you do to reduce cost. Honestly, I would say that I KNOW I'm not a body guy and would pay someone to do all the work. Sure, I can disassemble stuff and that will save them time and labor which saves you money. But, do you need it to be driveable while working on it? that's a whole different can of worms and determines the order of how you go about fixing things. if you plan on a complete teardown, then go for it as it was pointed out up above.

but make a plan, post it up here for advice, and this forum will give you lots of guidance on how to get from A to Z.
 

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Yeah...I agree with everything said above. Spraying on a coat of paint is easy.....it's the prep work and materials that get expensive, with most of it laying on the ground when you're done. I've seen a set of Harley tins costs over $8,000 to paint.....so it's all in what you want as the end product.

Things to consider....

1.) How straight is body to start with. Don't trust your eye, have a good body man look at it. Good ones have eyes trained to see the smallest imperfections. These El Camino's have very large side surface areas that can look like the ocean with 5' rollers with a fresh coat of paint over a poorly prepped body.

2.) How long do you want it to last. All coatings are not created equal. From filler to primer to sealer to base coat to clear coat there are hundreds of options priced accordingly. You can buy tractor/equipment paint for $20/gallon, but it'll hold a gloss for only a short time. People buy the expensive stuff because it lasts. After all that prep work, just think about how eager you are to do it all over again. Think of the paint job as a layer cake. If you cheap out on one the layers you can (will) get nasty surprises later on.

3.) The color you choose does play into the price of the color coat. With Base/Clear coatings, you don't need nearly as much color so it may not be as much as you think.

I've "messed around" with body and paint for 45 years. In that time I've discovered people that are not only WAY better than me, they are faster and last but not least, a blast to hang out with and let me help/learn. I pay them their regular wage for what they do. That way, I'm not taking advantage of them and can set my expectations where I want them. I know many of us that have had that "great buddy spare time deal" all set up only to have your car sit in the back of a garage for 5 years. gathering dust. Pay decent money and expect it back quickly.

With all of that said, if you want to take the time to learn body repair and paint, it may be a good time to try. Just know that there is a ton to learn and no better time to start than now.
 
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You can do all the prep work and let a pro do the painting.
Doing your own disassembly will save a large amount of cash, the tear-down alone can run close to 30+ hours labor depending on the condition of fasteners and clips and how much extra it will take to re-assemble if new bolts and retainers are needed. Doing your own prep work such as small dent repair and sanding will help but you will need to find a guy willing to paint it and get some advice from him on what he expects before he will be willing to spray it. Most of the time when a painter hears the words "It's ready to paint" the price goes up. I'm not trying to say it can't be done because it can, but as sickmick said if you are willing to take the time and learn it can be done and I'm sure you can do it. Best of luck

Joe
 

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And I'll add to that.
DO NOT do any primering yourself, if you do you will have trouble finding as shop that will stand behind the paint job. I doubt you would find one.
 

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Yes, primer and at least base coat need to be compatible with each other. Don't do the primer. That's good advice.

Rick
 

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And I'll add to that.
DO NOT do any primering yourself, if you do you will have trouble finding as shop that will stand behind the paint job. I doubt you would find one.
This would be the scenario where the price goes up.

Joe
 

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hello everyone, I'm new to this forum but I am about to buy an 82 El Camino to restore with my dad but it needs a new paint job. I read that professionally done it can cost up to $8,000. How much to just do it ourselves? What would we need to do it ourselves?
Thanks!
- Luke
I spent $7500 on my paint job which included adding a fiberglass nose piece and roll pan for the rear which are molded in. Complete paint job down to bare metal with doors,hood,tailgate all off car and over a year to complete.
 

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If you have time and equipment, I suggest reading A LOT and trying it yourself. What's the worst that can happen, it can always be sanded off and done professionally if you don't like it. A place called the coating store has gallon "kits" for $250.00 -ish. I'm going to try it out on my 1998 Silverado at some point in the future.

As for professional jobs, the sky is the limit. It's a bit similar to the old saying "how fast do you want to go" only "how many shows do you want to win"? Really though, do you want to drive it a lot? are you someone who wants to park right up front at the stores, do you drive in heavy traffic a lot e.t.c.... I would give it a go DIY. If you want a show car, expect to pay MORE than 8k.
 
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hello everyone, I'm new to this forum but I am about to buy an 82 El Camino to restore with my dad but it needs a new paint job. I read that professionally done it can cost up to $8,000. How much to just do it ourselves? What would we need to do it ourselves?
Thanks!
- Luke
Well first of all welcome 2 El Camino Central this is a great resource for information advice and technical assistance a good paint job can really make a vehicle stand out however I agree with some of the posts you have received it is good advice to take care of mechanical aspects they should be your priority I would not advise painting the vehicle myself to save money preparation and painting is a process preparation being probably the most labor-intensive and important aspect you can save money by stripping the car of trim brightwork bumpers and you don't have to pay top dollar search around and even consider local Technical Schools good luck and I hope the experience is an enjoyable one
 
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