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Paint Options


Explorer Addict
July 29, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Long Island, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT SOHC, 99 EB 5.0L

I’ve got a pair of Explorers that need paint. My ‘98 is the dark blue, ‘99 is black. They need a little spot work, but overall the clear coats are shot. Oxidation, color fading, whole deal.

I just want to keep the bodies protected, so it doesn’t have to be a super nice job, BUT…if I’m gonna do it, I may as well make it look reasonable.

I figure I’ll remove what’s easily removable in terms of trim, do a little body work, sand, mask, clean, then spray.

The question is…the spray.

I’ve got a large compressor and a selection of HVLP guns. I can spray the trucks myself, after making an impromptu paint booth in my garage (LOTS of plastic)…but is it worth it? I got all this kit when I replaced my rear hatch. I painted it myself and it came out REALLY nice…but man is the paint and clear $$$.

Has anyone prepped their own truck and brought it to a shop like Maaco? I’m leaning toward DIY, despite the ass pain, but I figured I’d get some input from you guys first

I had a local Maaco that had at least one good painter. If your car was prepped right you could get a nice job for the amount spent. Surely not a Concours quality, but for a few bills it was a big step up over bad clear.

How much are they these days? I think when ours closed it was $499.

There’s also the dreaded single stage acrylic, which I’ve had great luck with. You could get away at home for probably $500 for the pair in materials.

I'm thinking about using Pitthane to paint the 78 Mustang. Easy to apply and a shiny gloss finish as smooth as glass. An actual automotive painter wouldn't recommend using it though.

I did the hatch with 2k primer, single part color, and two part clear. It was all PPG (shopline). Orange peel, but the color and depth was gorgeous. I didn’t care enough to sand and buff it. 6 years later it still looks brand new. On that truck, I’d bag the hatch. No need to repaint that.

Only real issue is that the **** is $$$. A pint of hardener was shockingly expensive the last time I bought some…like $60 I think?