To respond to one of your previous questions/posts about the $20k paint job: speaking as someone who did all his own body and paint work (because I myself got an $18k paint job quote from a restoration shop), I feel like I'm in a position to say that figure is not unreasonable
. Yeah, you heard me right. Not unreasonable. Because now I understand how much time, labor, and effort goes into getting a high quality paint job. When someone says "it's all in the prep" - they're simultaneously telling the truth and making it sound a lot simpler than it really is. I'm talking hundreds of hours (literally) of priming, filling, guide coating, sanding, priming, filling, guide coating... all by hand (no machines allowed) just to get the body panels flat and straight. Then you apply one last coat of primer, wet sand the whole car (again by hand) with 600 grit to get all the previous sanding scratches out... all this just to get ready to start spraying material: sealer coat, color coats, clear coats. Done? Not hardly. After the clear is partially cured you get to start sanding again - the whole car - multiple times: 1000 grit, 2000 grit, 3000 grit... to get the surface of the clear coat "flat" and remove all the eggshell - this you can do with a 3/32" stroke random pattern air sander, if you're careful - but there's a very good chance that you'll break through the clear coat anywhere there's a sharp edge (in which case you get to start over and resand, respray the whole car) - so you'd best do those areas by hand and pray you still don't break through them. Once all the eggshell is gone, then you get to start in with the buffing compounds (2-3 different grades) for final finish and to bring out the gloss.
That's where the $20k goes. There aren't any shortcuts to getting a show quality paint job. It's not all THAT difficult in terms of the skill required, it's a significant investment of time and labor. What you're basically doing is paying someone else to care as much about your car as you do.
And, I can tell you again as someone who's done it all himself ---- I can tell you where every single paint defect is on my car, and they're there - trust me. Had I opted to pay the $18k I would have at least been in the position of being able to go back to the shop and say, "Hey, fix this". Now though, if I want those defects gone it's on me. (That's why they're still there
Not that I'd do anything differently, I wasn't in a position to be able to pay that much for a paint job and still couldn't - probably never will be. Yeah, the car looks darn good, usually gets compliments on the paint at shows, and I'm kinda proud of being able to say that I did it all myself too. But to be brutally honest, it'd look better if I'd been able to spend the money.