Paint Job? You Say You Want a Paint Job?

We get this question all the time: How is it possible that there are companies out there (you know the usual suspects) that advertise "Complete paint jobs for just $999," yet to have one done at GoWesty costs between $8,000 and $12,000? I guess the best sayings I can think of that put this all into perspective are, "There is no free lunch," followed quickly by, "You get what you pay for." If any business claims they can paint any vehicle for that sort of money, it is just BS, plain and simple. In fact, OUR COST for the MATERIALS ALONE for a paint job is over $2500 and rising...

Here again is an area (like the cost of the vehicles we sell) where it would appear GoWesty is cutting a fat hog. An average of $10,000 dollars for a "paint job" does seem ridiculous. But that is not what we are doing. What we are doing, and what the average person EXPECTS when they go in for a "paint job," is this: a complete exterior restoration. The "paint job" itself is just one part of the process, albeit an important one.

The first critically important step is to adequately disassemble a vehicle prior to preparing it for paint, which takes one professional person an entire day's labor. All handles, emblems, wipers, wiper post seals, washer jets, bumpers, trim, skylight, pop-top seals, luggage rack cleats (pop-top Vanagons), decals, and at least some of the windows and seals (the rest are “ropped”) are removed. At that point you can begin the preparation of the body for paint.

The next step we ALWAYS take is to have the entire vehicle gone over by our professional "paint-less" dent repair expert, Mike from the Dent Shop. Without using any body fillers, he very carefully removes small- to medium-sized body damage by simply working the metal. I use the word "simply," and simple it is in theory. But, in fact, it takes a very skilled person sometimes an entire day to get ALL the body panels as straight as they can be. This can cost as much as $1000 to do, but it saves at least that much at the body shop. Instead of using "traditional" techniques, namely hammering and Bondo, our body and paint guy, Rick at Rick’s Auto Body, has a nice straight body so little to no filler has to be used. Most imperfections left over can be fixed with an extra coat of primer and sanding. This makes for a much more durable finished product; no thick body filling materials swelling and/or contracting. The result is cherry, virgin looking panels that you just cannot duplicate with "traditional" methods, even when performed by a talented body man like Rick. 

Then, after all of that, comes the "paint job." The cost of paint materials available today varies widely in price and quality. It is possible to buy enough paint in some colors to repaint a vehicle for as little as around $500. Using low-end materials is a huge mistake, however. The stuff will not have the luster and durability as the higher end stuff. And when you are going through all the proper and expensive steps as I have listed above (and the one coming next), it just does not make sense to throw it all away and put on any ol' crap. So, we insist on the absolute best, most cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, epoxy-type paint that uses a hardener for fast curing.  On top of that, we spend extra money to have a clear coat applied to give the paint extra UV protection. In short, it is the last "paint job" the vehicle will ever require.

Then comes the final step: assembly. Remember all the stuff we removed? It may have looked OK on the old, faded paint on a rusty and dented body. But now, no way are you going to put back all that faded, chipped, rusty stuff. All new stuff is required for a like-new restoration, with the additional cost that comes with it...

So, that is a long answer to a seemingly simple and short question about a seemingly simple procedure. And maybe it is just a long way of saying:


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