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Paint Job


Well-Known Member
January 30, 2009
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4x4 4.0L SOHC
Well as some of you know I painted my Explorer the other month and it just didn't turn out right. I went down to Macco the other day and they quoted me at $3,000. This is to sand it down to metal, prime it, paint it black, and clear coat it. I looked at the shop and it was kept clean and looked like they did good work. I know lots of people don't like Macco but lots of don't get the full service. What do you guys think? Most of the custom paint shops want $5,000-$7,000 for a paint job.

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Look at some of the other cars they've done- they should be in the lot. No amount of money saved can make up for good prep and masking work, and I've done Maaco jobs before- but I always prep the vehicle myself, and they turn out ok. I don't trust them to do any body work or even prep work.

If you want good prep work and see what it involves, check out one of Monmix's threads where they repainted a rear quarter panel... Tells you where the money goes... I'm sure he has the thread saved and can post a link.

If I were you, I would take the quote around to some smaller body shops and see what they can do. And irregardless, I would pull everything off that you can before you drop it off- including trim, ligts, grille, cowling roofrack, running boards if you have them...

For $3-4k I would think you could find a good small shop to do the work, and they 9 times out of 10 do a better job than Maaco. To me, Maaco cars are good "15 foot cars" because if you get closer than that, you start to see shortcuts.

Is your car rusted really bad? Why does it need to go to metal?

I'm sure Monmix will chime in on this too, and he's forgotten more about paint than I'll ever know...

I personally will never deal with Macco again. I took my dad's F250 in for rhino-lining on the bed for his Birthday one year. They did a horrible job and left about 1/8th inch exposed metal all along the edges of where they ended the rhino lining. They also cut a 6 inch long hole in the cab where it meets the bed while they were stripping it to the metal along the top of the bed rails. When I picked up the truck I was shocked with the fact that they did this damage and never bothered to try to fix it or inform me. After months of fighting with them we got them to agree to pay for fixing what they screwed up which a smaller shop did great. Luckily I put the payment on a credit card and contested the charges which took about 6 months back and forth to clear up.

Since then I jeer everytime I drive past that place.

I think $5-7k is outrageous for a paint job. I dealt with a dealership that had a collision shop to repaint a 2002 durango after I was in an accident. The insurance covered it fortunately, and they charged right around $2k for a sandblast, prime, paint/clearcoat. Although they wanted $800 just for the hood, bumper and fenders if I had done just them.

It needs to be taken down to metal because when I painted it there was water in the line and you can see like bubbles in the paint.
The only rust is on the doors on the inside. All the other rust I fixed.

oic, so they charged you extra to fix what you did. I don't know how bad the bubbles in the paint were, but people would be amazed at what a good detailer can do with a clay bar and other tools. I knew of one in Indianapolis, IN that would look at your vehicle and tell you what they could do. If they couldn't do what they said it was free of charge and you got the interior detailed to boot, so it was a win-win situation. Their basic charge was around $300 and scaled to $600 for top-end service.

Get a good custom shop to do it for ya, you'll be happier.

I think thats the way I am going to end up going. I thought about just buying an entire new car but with the economy and stuff I dont want to be stuck with a car payment and have something happen to my job.

For my first paint job ever I did my ex, it turned out ok. I've been told I should've put more clear coat on with a slower hand speed. But anyways I found a great company that sells great products for a cheap price. My advice would be to consider doing it again, just take 320 or 400 on a DA sander to the whole truck, sand the tight spots by hand. Purchase a paint kit from Kirker Automotive, as well as a water separator and a pre cleaner. If you think about it, I replaced a whole door, fender and bought sheet metal to fabricate a rocker for my truck, took out the dings, and painted it for under $700. Majority of that being the door, fender, and paint guns. Just check out their website: That's where I got the supplies to paint The Tangerine Machine

mshuler009, I think your on the right track here! A couple hundred $ even twice beats $3,000. And if your worried about needing a "Clean Room" you can build your own. I had a friend who built a simple frame encloser out of 2x1 furring boards and painters plastic. He put it all together for under $30.

The problem is I wont have access to the air compressor any more to do it my self.

Oooooh, well if it fits your budget, I used a thirty gallon wal-mart it worked really good with an hvlp gun