Would This Be Smarter?
I was recently quoted at a local body shop at roughly $1500 for a paint job (got a discount through some connections), but that is still a lot of money. I was wondering...can I simply buy the color paint I want in gallons and provide them with it? Would this be cheaper for me? I want to knock down this price a bit, and any tips would be helpful.
When it comes to cars, labor is generally the largest component of costs. Car painting requires a significant amount of labor, much of that in the prep work (sanding, masking, bodywork, etc.)
It seems unlikely to me that you'll be able to save money by buying the paint yourself. I would expect the shop to have a relationship with a supplier that gives them a good price on paint. I could be wrong, but even so it is hard to imagine saving a lot that way.
The only way I have heard people really saving money on a paint job is doing the prep work themselves, but that is not an easy job. I have no idea how their quote breaks down but would guess that at least half ($750) is prep work and the other half is for the spray job and paint.
Personally, to me, it makes sense to have the same shop do both. They might have things they do in prep work that is specific to how they do their spray job. For a good paint job, $1500 is a reasonable price. I would just make sure they are a quality shop.
You don't buy car paint at Home Depot. It's a specialty paint. So buying the paint yourself would be an unlikely option.
"Junkseller" is correct about the prep work, and checking the reputation of the shop--ask for referrals from satisfied customers. Look around the place and see if it is a neat operation, or if there is junk strewn about and spilled paint everywhere.
Some of this is unavoidable, and in the spray booth, there is always over spray from the job that will be on the walls, floor, etc. (Spray booth operators wear full protective body suits with respirators for this reason.) But if the place looks like 500 kindergarten children were in there on a sugar high doing body painting on the floor--look elsewhere, for they may not be any more careful about your car.
You're question is a little loaded since we can't see details of the paint work repair estimate and the cost savings by proving your own paint from a Auto Paint Supplier is marginal. For example, does the price quote include different levels of prep work (sanding using 240, 340, 400, 500 grade paper), rust removal, priming, door jams, any auto body repairs, is the paint 1 or 2 stage (i.e. one solid color or based coat then clear coat), no signs of overspray or sandpaper scratch marks guaranteed, quality of paint, warranty period, etc.
Look at some of the cars the vendor has performed completed work and compare the difference with other vendors. Although there are shoddy repair shops that charge a lot, generally speaking, you get what you pay for.
$1,500 for a quality paint job for the entire car is not outrageous. Trying to save a few bucks providing your own paint will probably tick the vendor off.
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