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> Time to paint the 914, Recommendations for a reasonable priced paint job in Denver Colorado
david63
post Sep 12 2022, 04:35 PM
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The time has come to paint the 914. It is a 1973 Zambezi green w/ beige interior 1.7 car that is in really good condition (2 owners before me and the original owner sold it to a friend of mine about 5 years ago). The car has a manageable amount of rust. Small spot in one of the jack plate covers and a larger area where the engine insulation pad trapped water. The hellhole has been re-done along with the battery tray.

I've been in the 914 game since I was 16 years old (I'll be 60 next year) and this is the 7th 914 that I have owned. I like the simplicity of them and the fact that you don't see them on the road very often. I try to find cars with very limited rust, do a light restore, enjoy for a couple of years and then sell and look for the next one. Sometimes it takes a few years to find the good ones.

I have to admit I have not kept up with the cost increases in getting a car painted. I have painted all of the 914's I have owned and always try to keep them factory colors. I can handle the rust repair and start on the body work but I am not very good at finish bodywork so I always farm out the final bodywork and paint. I figured paint costs had gone up so I thought I could find a good painter that could do the final body prep and paint the car for $10k. Boy was I wrong.... (in the Denver Colorado area anyway).

Got two estimates for finish bodywork and paint and they started at $20k. This was for base coat clear coat and I actually want to go with single stage enamel but it is even more expensive.

I'm struggling with putting a $20k plus paint job on a car that when it is completed will be worth +/- $25k.

I don't have the skill or equipment to do a proper paint job in my garage. I have thought about it but think I would be disappointed with the results and then be mad that I didn't have it done by a professional.

Am I missing something or is that just the price for getting a decent paint job done now?

Any leads on a shop in the Denver area that might do a good job for $10 - $15k would be appreciated.

As I said I am not doing a color change and the front and rear trunks/door jambs, etc are really nice so I am just wanting to paint the outside of the car and the engine compartment.

Thanks,
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Robarabian
post Sep 12 2022, 05:22 PM
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This is tough.... I don't know shops in your area.

I think finish body work and paint should not run 20K. In California, most expensive place to get paint done, body and paint should run 15-20K.

I just did this however, and I spent 100 hours sanding, so it adds up quick if done by hand. Without doing door jambs and under panels, the price should be significantly less. Most of my labor was on those undersides and hard to reach areas. Labor is cut down without those.

You can:

1) Get more estimates
2) Do the bodywork and have it wrapped
3) Live with the car you have and drive it.
4) Wait out the economics and see where we land. Right now, everything is more expensive than it should be. If you can wait a year or two, it may balance out.

Best of luck, it isn't easy or cheap for sure.

Rober





QUOTE(david63 @ Sep 12 2022, 03:35 PM) *

The time has come to paint the 914. It is a 1973 Zambezi green w/ beige interior 1.7 car that is in really good condition (2 owners before me and the original owner sold it to a friend of mine about 5 years ago). The car has a manageable amount of rust. Small spot in one of the jack plate covers and a larger area where the engine insulation pad trapped water. The hellhole has been re-done along with the battery tray.

I've been in the 914 game since I was 16 years old (I'll be 60 next year) and this is the 7th 914 that I have owned. I like the simplicity of them and the fact that you don't see them on the road very often. I try to find cars with very limited rust, do a light restore, enjoy for a couple of years and then sell and look for the next one. Sometimes it takes a few years to find the good ones.

I have to admit I have not kept up with the cost increases in getting a car painted. I have painted all of the 914's I have owned and always try to keep them factory colors. I can handle the rust repair and start on the body work but I am not very good at finish bodywork so I always farm out the final bodywork and paint. I figured paint costs had gone up so I thought I could find a good painter that could do the final body prep and paint the car for $10k. Boy was I wrong.... (in the Denver Colorado area anyway).

Got two estimates for finish bodywork and paint and they started at $20k. This was for base coat clear coat and I actually want to go with single stage enamel but it is even more expensive.

I'm struggling with putting a $20k plus paint job on a car that when it is completed will be worth +/- $25k.

I don't have the skill or equipment to do a proper paint job in my garage. I have thought about it but think I would be disappointed with the results and then be mad that I didn't have it done by a professional.

Am I missing something or is that just the price for getting a decent paint job done now?

Any leads on a shop in the Denver area that might do a good job for $10 - $15k would be appreciated.

As I said I am not doing a color change and the front and rear trunks/door jambs, etc are really nice so I am just wanting to paint the outside of the car and the engine compartment.

Thanks,

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mepstein
post Sep 12 2022, 05:50 PM
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I don’t believe paint prices will go down. It’s mostly based on labor and the labor market is demanding higher wages.
The shop where I used to work is getting around $25k to paint a bare chassis. That on the east coast in an area that doesn’t have sky high labor rates. But that is also probably near top of the market for the area.
My suggestion is to ask around - a lot. Don’t just ask about shops, ask people where they got their car done. Ask at the local muscle car get together and at C&C’s.
I’m taking my 67-912 to a small shop that will do a very nice job for $10k. That’s for a bare chassis. I got the referral from an small independent shop that has them do their body and paint. The paint shop doesn’t advertise or have a store front. You basically have to know someone who knows someone.
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brant
post Sep 12 2022, 06:47 PM
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I agree with talking to the muscle car guys and hot rodders
I painted a motorcycle that way last year when I couldn’t find anyone

Paint shops and painters turn over at an alarming rate
So any name I had that was 2 years old was generally out of business when I called
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bkrantz
post Sep 12 2022, 08:33 PM
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Paint job prices are not likely to come down, especially with just the paint going for $600 to almost $1000 per gallon.
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Superhawk996
post Sep 12 2022, 08:40 PM
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Data point on paint I recently purchased

1 quart PPG DCC urethane ~ $220
8oz DCX61 hardener ~ $98
1 quart DT870 reducer ~ $50

Usually a gallon runs about 2.5x the cost of a quart

So a gallon of topcoat puts you around $1000 gallon for urethane.

We haven’t even talked about primer or sealer. Likewise, no hours for prep labor.

If you can get a full paint job and minor bodywork for $10k, you’re doing well.

Hint: the engine compartment is the worst job to paint.

1. The amount of prep hours required to repaint the engine compartment is insane. At a minimum any trace of grease and oils have to be removed or the painter is screwed. Then there is always hidden rust in the nook and crannies. Same for dirt.
2. Access in the area sucks.

You might be more likely to hit $10k if you drop the engine compartment from the job.
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david63
post Sep 12 2022, 10:52 PM
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Really appreciate the information. I am planning on going to cars and coffee, local car shows, and ask around. I found a local VW shop that has been in business for a long time. They don't do paint but they may have some leads.

I am prepared to repair the spot in the engine compartment, sand and clean the entire compartment, etc. I am clear on how important it will be to get every bit of grease out of that space. The engine was rebuilt to 1950cc by a mechanic friend of mine in Benbrook, TX.(Rich Lambert) and he did the hellhole repair and battery tray replacement. While he was there he cleaned up the engine compartment very well. He did not pull the engine insulation pad but I wanted to know if there were any surprises behind it (of course there was rust there....).

I also pulled the rocker panels (original steel and don't think they had ever been off the car.) Almost no rust and the original paint cleaned up amazing under the rockers. Like I said in my original post. just one small spot (less than a dime in size) on one of the jack plates. I know to dig around and when I cut out the spot it was solid metal everywhere else.

I may be able to paint the engine compartment myself but do not want to paint the exterior of the car. The car has original paint on all of the car with the exception of the front driver side fender and the driver door. Some genius put the rivet on body side moldings on the car and I have removed them and have welded the holes shut and done rough body prep on the welded up holes.

Would be a huge help if someone in the Denver area knows of a painter that could do this job I would appreciate the lead.

Thanks again for the help.
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Montreal914
post Sep 12 2022, 11:05 PM
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I am/will be in the same boat soon, if I can get back to work on it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)
I have a feeling I will be painting a lot (trunks, jamb, engine bay, inner fenders) to save some money. This will be a first for me... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/unsure.gif)

So how exactly one gets the engine bay cleaned up? At some point I wonder if some kind of blasting is not a way to go in those hard to reach/work areas... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/confused24.gif)

Good luck with your search!
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barnfind9141972
post Sep 13 2022, 02:47 AM
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I agree with the consensus, look around. Great places is industrial areas where tons of auto repair, tint, auto body shops are and just ask everyone. I also here in Southern California got a few bids starting at $25k and up to $35k for a bare chassis. I ended up finding a great place super hole in the wall who took on the job at his own pace of about 6-7 months and did great work for $6k. He does almost exclusively insurance work so this was just an extra side job essentially and it was base coat clear coat with body work included and great work. I was fully prepared to paint myself but at that price couldn’t beat it. Keep your head up and eyes open and good luck
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Front yard mechanic
post Sep 13 2022, 06:44 AM
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There’s only one way to do the engine bay ,elbow greaseAttached Image
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ValcoOscar
post Sep 13 2022, 06:51 AM
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QUOTE(barnfind9141972 @ Sep 13 2022, 01:47 AM) *

I agree with the consensus, look around. Great places is industrial areas where tons of auto repair, tint, auto body shops are and just ask everyone. I also here in Southern California got a few bids starting at $25k and up to $35k for a bare chassis. I ended up finding a great place super hole in the wall who took on the job at his own pace of about 6-7 months and did great work for $6k. He does almost exclusively insurance work so this was just an extra side job essentially and it was base coat clear coat with body work included and great work. I was fully prepared to paint myself but at that price couldn’t beat it. Keep your head up and eyes open and good luck


(IMG:style_emoticons/default/agree.gif)

I'm doing a complete respray on a Zambezi Green 914 for a member in about a month. He's doing all the disassembly.

Using this as fill work, about 6k total

Keep searching....

Oscar
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StarBear
post Sep 13 2022, 07:03 AM
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Tip for non-conspicuous and hard to access areas: Rustoleum 2X Meadow Green rattle can is a near perfect match to Zambezi Green. About $9 a can. Goes on smoothly. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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david63
post Sep 13 2022, 11:01 AM
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Thanks for the info. I’ll start looking for that small shop. If anyone knows about a shop like that in the Denver area let me know. Thanks
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Root_Werks
post Sep 13 2022, 11:32 AM
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It's (of course) the prep that costs the bulk. I had my 914 painted with some body work done for about $11k. I did 98% of the metal work and repair. The shop did a bit more welding and shaping, but it was minimal. The work was mostly removing crap paint, shape, skim, flat board etc. prime, paint, cut and buff.

I wish I would have spent a bit more time on door gaps before sending in. The shop painted all lids off, both trunks and door jams.

Keep in close contact with the shop, remind them of your budget with each contact. Also remind them there is no rush as long as the project stays within budget. Oh yeah, remind them again to stay within budget.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

Post 120 shows the shops progress:

http://www.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?sho...4276&st=120

Turned out very nice.
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mlindner
post Sep 13 2022, 11:46 AM
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It took me a year and 1/2 to get a hot-rod builder to agree to finish and paint my car. His estimate was 5 to 8 thousand....but it came in at $10,000. Very happy with the results. MarkAttached Image Attached Image
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friethmiller
post Sep 13 2022, 01:25 PM
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Understand your issue. I was in this same boat a few years ago. I balked at 10-15K. I decided to spend some time figuring out how to paint. Watched a lot of YouTube and started with painting the bottom, interior, and trunks in my garage. I ended up finding an old paint booth at a local airport [through a friend] that was used to paint helicopters. I rented it from the owner for $150 per day. Looking back, it really wasn't that hard to do. It's not perfect but I was happy with the results. I will say that the 2-stage PPG paint was well over $1,000 for the entire car (top to bottom). With a little research, I'm sure you figure out which way to go.

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CCE
post Sep 22 2022, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE(Front yard mechanic @ Sep 13 2022, 07:44 AM) *

There’s only one way to do the engine bay ,elbow greaseAttached Image

Really nice! I need to start looking for a trusty shop to paint mine…

Only thing missing for a descent look.

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NARP74
post Sep 22 2022, 01:35 PM
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Rattle can party? I'm in...
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BENBRO02
post Sep 22 2022, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE(NARP74 @ Sep 22 2022, 03:35 PM) *

Rattle can party? I'm in...

A guy brought his half finished 914 to Okteenerfest this year. He used Rustoleum rattle cans and the paint job was incredibly good! He must have color sanded and buffed for hours. Ask anyone that was there how good it looked. Sorry, I have no photos but the Okteenerfest thread probably does.
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bandjoey
post Sep 22 2022, 08:49 PM
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Raising kids I didn't have the money for a proper job. At the time I was looking at $6-8k paint shop bids.
So,
I have a rattle can paint job that's 4 years old and it's just now showing a little age. 100's of hours (lost track) taking things apart and filling dents and sanding - about 4 months worth. 3 coats of Duplicolor gray primer, sanding, 3 coats of color, sanding, 3 coats of clear, sanding. I spent about $400 in paint and another $300 in supplies and wore out several pair of jeans using a a plastic and PVC pipe booth, with a/c filters on fans for venting. So, you can do a respectable job until you're really ready to spend the big bucks.

I'm looking at a new professional job over the winter months. I've looking into some local shops that rent out the booth to their employees, as long as their painter does this on the weekends when they're closed. So that's another option to look at.


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