What is considered "good" paint. I've always thought of taking a shot at painting my car myself because the info I've read is the factory jobs weren't show jobs anyway. I thought I wouldn't have much to lose, but I don't want to wast $1000 of paint either.
Painting a car is 80% preparation and 20% application. OK…. putting the normally quoted cliché aside.
I found painting to be easy and I was fortunate enough to have an experienced friend show me how back in the 80’s and I picked it up fairly quick. I stopped painting in the late 90's for a while to raise the family, but I'm back now and enjoying it again.
It's certainly an acquired art form and does take some talent and more importantly an understanding of what is going on when applying the paint so as to make adjustments on the fly if needed. Otherwise it can save you a lot of money if done correctly or cost you a lot of money if not. The talent part only you can answer.
The cost of paint has gone up considerably most in part due to the price of oil. With primers running at $100/gal+ and paint costing several hundreds a gallon for the quality names, this certainly forces other issues to get the best usage out of it and doing it right.
· Use a HVLP setup to put more paint on the surface and less into the air. The requires to have a good match between the guns requirements and the compressor output and piping to avoid air starvation. The typical transfer efficiency numbers quoted are >65% for HVLP vs. >25% for the conventional high pressure siphon feeds. So here you can see with HVLP the more paint material on the car then the less wasted $$$$ and better air we all breath.
· A good paint gun ($300 and up) with correctly sized nozzles. Don't use the cheap Chinese clones because they are inferior and the cheap price reflects it. I recommend a separate primer gun and base/clear gun. Others use 3 guns (primer, base, clear) while others use 1 gun. It's ones preference but for yourself 1 gun with different nozzle sets will work. Get acquainted with how your gun works and responds to setting changes and reading the paint being laid down.
· A finish job is worthless if the air supply is contaminated with dust and oils. The cost of water/air and oil filters, a clean spraying area (easily done in a garage, BTW).
· A properly matched air supply (includes compressor and properly sized and routed plumbing)
· How to properly use polyester fillers and sanding techniques.
· Metal work if body work is necessary. Hammers, files, etc…
· Cost of primers, reducers, hardeners, paints, sand paper, air tools, welders (if needed), lighting, safety gear
This is just the basic high points listed and I may have left out a couple. As you can see painting your own car requires a commitment and lots of $$$ up front. But if you are sure of your skills and are handy then you can save thousands and when done you will have the pride to say you did it yourself. Painting is easy...the prep work is where most of the time is spent.There are a few very good on-line paint related sights. You Tube has many good video demonstrations too.
Oh yea…what is considered quality paint? Everyone will have different answers. I prefer to stick with the name brands and put the better paints on the car. If you plan on selling it a few years then use the cheap paint materials, otherwise for your pride and joy, go for the good stuff.