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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Need some paint advice.

I have been calling around getting quotes for panel and paint work. One shop says I should use enamel, because urethane is not that durable and only lasts about 5 years. However, the other shop recommends urethane. From those who have had experience with repaints, what do you recommend?? And what are the pros and cons of each? Or, is there another type of paint you would use?
 

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Enamel is what we call "shoot-n-scoot" paint. It's cheap and easy. I think your shop got the concept backwards, as enamel is the paint that tends to look good for about 5 years and then fade quickly.

Enamel gets its gloss from the resins in the paint rising to the surface during the drying process. This formed resin layer is actually very thin. If the enamel is sanded or rubbed, or if it erodes from normal use, this resin layer goes away, leaving a dull-appearing paint that can be made to look good temporarily by rubbing it. Go look at one of those faded green John Deere tractors sitting in a field sometime: That's enamel.

Some enamels can be modified with a Urethane catalyst (for example PPG Delstar). This greatly improves the characteristics of the enamel, making it behave much like a urethane. When this is done, the enamel can be "color sanded" and rubbed out, and it will retain its gloss. This makes a very durable finish. I use this type of paint for engine paint...

A significant step above the enamel paint job, which also know as "single stage" paint, is the basecoat-clearcoat system. This is known as two-stage. This system applies a base color that is heavy in pigment but containing no resins, and then a catalyzed urethane clearcoat is applied over the base. This produces an incredible depth, gloss, and durability. This clear coat can be color sanded and rubbed out to produce a mirror-like finish. Most of the show-quality jobs you see, and most new cars, use the 2-stage systems with the urethane clearcoat.

All of the major paint manufacturers offer both enamel systems and BC/CC systems. We've been using the 2-stage systems at my restoration shop for the past 20 years, and it's tough to find anything better. Rarely do we ever use enamel, and never on a high-end car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
lars,
I noticed your shop is in Colorado! I am a military guy with orders to colorado Springs in September. How close are you to Colorado springs? Heck, maybe we can talk buisiness??!!? I wanted to have the work done here in Oklahoma, but I could wait, any experience with convertibles?
 

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We're in the north Denver Metro area - Broomfield. We've done a lot of musclecars and Vettes of all types and years, including several GTO convertibles. The last few cars I've done have been cars sent out from California. We're not a low-end shop, and cater to specialty show quality work. So if you've been shopping for "enamel paint jobs," our prices will not be anywhere close to the range you've been quoted. I'd be more than glad to meet with you, show you some of the work we've been doing, and go over what you want to do with your car: If you then want to go with a lower priced alternative, at least you'll know what to look for and what to look out for... Look me up when you get out here! :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have been quoted anywhere from 4000-7500 for paint here in Oklahoma, not sure how that compares to the prices in Co. Only one person recommened enamel, all the others offered the two-stage system.
 

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Prices sound comparable. I was afraid you were getting the "any car for $2500 or less" estimates when you mentioned enamel. I usually tell people to budget on an entry-level price of about $6,500, and it goes up from there depending on how much work the car needs (rust). I did a '68 Skylark Convertible recently for right at about 6500-7000, and it came out really nice. Also did a '65 GTO hardtop that came in at $12,500 after discovering that somebody had actually brazed a rear clip onto the car, and got the clip on crooked... These old cars can be a real surprise once you get them stripped down: people do some pretty funny things to them, and you never know what you're going to run into when doing a "paint job."
 
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