Auto Body Paint Jobs: Are They Worth It?
You may be thinking of auto body paint jobs as a way to spruce up your car. How will you know if the place you're considering is worth spending your valuable money on? Will a paint job be worth it? As with anything, you can get the cream of the crop, or you can get the painted clunker. There are a lot of things to look for.
Find a Professional Body Shop
A professional body shop will investigate your car before quoting auto paint job estimates. It will have an indoor facility for prep work, painting and drying. If the shop you visit takes the cars outside for the paint to dry, it is not a professional company - dirt and dust will settle into the paint as it dries, and this will be a permanent addition to your paint job. A professional establishment will also have overhead lights and exhaust fans. The lights help the paint dry faster and more smoothly and the fans keep particles out of the air and out of your paint job. Does the place use masking tape and paper to tape off non-painted areas, or remove certain parts, so that they don't get covered in overspray?
What You Can Expect
A typical professional paint job is worth the money. They do use all the equipment listed above. They do not rush as many cars through as they can, but rather take as long as necessary to ensure your finish will last. Car paint prices can range anywhere between $200 to several thousand dollars, and it can take up to three or four weeks to get it finished. Custom shops, those that specialize in giving you the exact car of your dreams, can even cost as much as $10,000. Upgrades can include a higher grade of paint, extra layers of paint or a clearcoat.
If you don't want to spend that much, you can spend less - much less. You will, of course, get what you pay for. A company that charges less than $1,000, such as some of the major chains in America, will merely tape and paint; they may even just set your car on a conveyor belt like in a car wash, without taking the time to protect the rest of your car. These paint jobs don't typically retain their shine or quality for more than a couple of years. Therefore, be sure to read and understand the warranty before you pay; a good warranty, from a reputable organization, should be for at least three to five years.
Is a Paint Job Right for You?
Remember, you get what you pay for. A proper paint job can definitely be worth the money, if you are planning to keep your car for many years, or if it will make your car more valuable for reselling. You will have to do your homework, assess your true needs (and budget), and choose the correct proprietor from there.