Finding an outfit to paint my car

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Reverend Conehead, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Reverend Conehead

    Reverend Conehead Well-Known Member

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    I've owned an '03 Saturn Ion since '05 and I've kept it in excellent shape as far as maintenance goes. I've dutifully changed its oil with QUALITY oil and have gotten all its maintenance. I've always lived very close to work (within 2 miles) or have worked from home. The result is this thing's only got about 86,000 miles on it. However, its paint, though not awful, could really be improved. Most of the time during my car ownership, I've lived in Colorado and Nebraska where it gets very cold and the car has stayed outside since I had no garage. (Now it stays in a garage, but that's only a situation of one year.) At the front of the hood, there is some rust that you can't see unless you look close. It's small, but it does go all the way through. I've been going to junk yards trying to find another hood. Of course, if I replace the hood, there's no way I'm having a non-matching one. This car's getting painted.

    On the other hand, it is possible to get auto body work done to have that rust spot fixed. If I do that, I still want the car painted. Whenever this car has gotten tree sap on it, I've removed it with a rag and gasoline, an old trick my dad taught me years ago. That's always worked way better than the commercial gunk removers … until the last time I did it. I don't understand why, but the last time I de-gunked tree sap from my hood, the gasoline ate through the paint, leaving fade spots. I tried waxing, but the spots remain. I was upset. However, I've decided I'm done being upset. It's time to just take action and get this thing painted. I'd rather have a brighter color of red anyway.

    I'm thinking of going with candy apple red or maybe burgundy with some subtle sparkles. I'm also thinking of replacing the factory hub caps with something shiny, but not too gaudy. This car's in great shape and is paid off. I'm looking for a nice cosmetic upgrade. However, I've never had a car painted before. I therefore seeking advice on how to find a quality autobody place, one that can fix the rust spot (if I don't buy a replacement hood) and can do a quality paint job. I'm also somewhat considering a facelift to the interior, depending on what that would cost. The original, though not awful, does look worn.

    I'm in the Boise, Idaho area now. If anyone can recommend someone or if you can give me your ideas on how to find someone good, I'm all ears. Google isn't enough. I want quality craftsmen and I want to avoid the slipshod work that I understand is out there. I'm only having this done if it's done really well.
  2. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    Go to a local car show and ask around. Those guys know who is good and not.
  3. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    My favorite outfit for painting cars has always been skinny jeans and a tank top.
  4. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    Your rag and gasoline prob went thru the clear coat.

    If you have rust in the hood that is "thru" get a new hood. Fixing the old one will cost $$ and the movement of closing it all the time may over time cause the repair to show. In the long run a new hood makes sense.

    As for your paint, Just go check out a place like Maaco. You've got an 03 Saturn. Anything more costly is a total waste of $$$$.
  5. Vtwin

    Vtwin Power and Performance

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    It will also cost you a lot more to change color than to match the existing color.

    How is the paint on the rest of the car? You might be surprised how a good detailer can bring the shine back from a faded paint job.
  6. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    A 2003 Saturn Ion - The best option is probably to go to a body shop and have them sand out the rust, prime it and then maybe just repaint the hood with some color match paint.

    Maintenance is best and you probably should have spot treated the defects in the paint job from the rock chips each year with some touchup paint. Even better is to get something like Xpel Ultra or 3M Ventureshield applied to hood, front fender and side mirrors when the car is new to prevent the problem altogether.

    For those of you who just have faded paint jobs but not much paint damage, all the defects are actually in the clearcoat which is faded and scratched from all the real world use. There is actually a way just to repair the clear coat and then you will see the original paint job in most of its original glory. This usually only costs around $300 or so.
  7. Reverend Conehead

    Reverend Conehead Well-Known Member

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    We're having a really tough time finding a hood. Every junk yard we've gone to in Boise and the surrounding area has been without them. If we find a junker Ion, it's stripped. I guess I could try Salt Lake City or Portland, OR, but it would suck to go all that way and then strike out.
  8. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    Jorts and flip flops here.
  9. WPBCowboysFan

    WPBCowboysFan Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know junkyards are on a network. They should be able to find one.

    I know it can frustrating becasue junkyards will tell you what they have or dont have, and then you go out in the yard and find something they said they dont have or vice versa.

    If you cant find one then fixing it is your only real option.

    Good luck.

    BTW, on the painting - some Maaco's have really good painters. They will usually show you some of their work. Also as someone mentioned, if you have places where the local car/hot rods/classic cars meet you could ask around there to see who they recommend. Usually you can find somebody that does decent work on the side or at their shop at home that will do a decent job.
  10. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    It sounds like you're ready to drop some serious cash into a car with a resale value of what, 2 - 3 grand? Do you have a sentimental attachment to the car? I think 10 years is a pretty good run for an Ion and if you're willing to spend all this money repainting the entire car, replacing the hood, upgrading the interior, etc then you may want to just look into getting what you can in a trade in and getting something a little newer.

    Obviously, everyone's situation is different and your Ion does have low milage for a 10 year old car, but you might be surprised at what you can get if you trade it in and pitch in the same amount you seem willing to spend fixing it up.

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