Paint cost?

Discussion in 'Other Service and Maintenance' started by ajjacobs, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. ajjacobs

    ajjacobs Active Member

    Hi all. I am aware that this is essentially an unanswerable question but, I'm gonna ask anyway. My brother is looking to get his tins painted on his '98 Sportster. He got a few quotes and they are all over the place. I am wondering what the "ball park" quote should be. Just a flat color, no gloss. Just tank and front/rear fenders (already removed). Any thoughts?

  2. sanec1

    sanec1 Active Member

    A reasonable answer might be pay what you can afford to spend. Find someone through word-of-mouth that has a good reputation. Don't go with the cheapest quote... good luck. Let us know how much and post pics after the deed is done.
  3. mat 60

    mat 60 Senior Member

    Sounds very reasonable to me.:)
  4. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    I have a little bit of experience in hiring things painted and some experience in painting it myself. First off if you have a screened in area out back that is ventilated he might want to think of painting them his self. You must have a place to keep blowing debri and bugs from getting on wet paint but yet be ventilated. For small items like bike tins, an open shed will work if bugs are not too prevalent. Practice on something first.

    50% of the job is in the prep. Cleaning, sanding, masking etc.

    The rest is resanding (with very fine pads) in between coats and learning to mix your paint ratios per specs.

    Key item is a halfway decent gravity feed gun (the type with the container on top of the gun). They start at $15 and go into the hundreds. I know guys that get decent paint jobs with $50 guns, but they keep the filters clean and maintained after each job.

    Next find a local automotive paint supply dealer and drop in one day when they are not real busy and just be honest with them. Tell them you are a novice that wants to paint your bike and what are the best (or medium range whichever you desire) 2 part paints they recommend. The reason rattle can jobs don't last that long is because they are one part paints.

    To get a really hard durable finish, you need a two part paint, one is the acrylic or whatever and the other is the catalyst or hardner. Then pick your color. Paint can be expensive for good paint.

    Now if you want to hire it out, it all boils down to reputation and the way you feel about the folks when you talk to them. And pin them down on "what" kind of paint they are offering. The paint quality is a big part of the job.

    I've know (and used) many different local paint shops in my time. Some look like run down junk places (but produce good "or sometimes bad" paint jobs) and others look like a fine tuned sales shop (which "can" also produce good "or bad" paint jobs). And the price like you say will be all over the board.

    There isn't a fool proof way to know the low down on these shops unless you know several people who have used them and what these folks expected for what they paid for.

    For instance on an auto an average "good" paint job in my local area is around $1500 to $2000. For a great perfect paint job, around $2500 to $3500. But for a work truck you can get a pretty good looking paint job at Macco for $600. But don't go to Macco expecting a really good no runs no errors job or you are gonna have problems.

    Try to ask as many local people you know where did they get painting done and how much and how did it turn out. This is your best resource. And I say several because many years ago we got my wife's car painted at a place that my then current boss really liked. He said he got a great job there. So we went there and paid the place $2000 which was more than the other bids we got. The paint did look good, but it did not last over 2 yrs before it started to fade. And further they broke one of the Tee Top weather strip attachment pieces on the car and I had words with the guy over it since he refused to compensate me in any way for the broken piece. That piece cost me $170 to replace. Needless to say I go out of my way to give his company a bad rep ever since, but he is still in business making all kinds of insurance job money.

    Take your time and ask around " a lot" . It will pay off.
  5. mat 60

    mat 60 Senior Member

    RWB....../..You have done some painting I see....Great post man...May I also say....The hardest thing I find with spraying cars or furniture is keeping dust out of the paint...In the past I prefer a brace coat ,clear coat as said....I like DuPont prodits...Its been a fue years but in my last garage it was Try to blow the dust off walls and sealing. vack the floor, and keep the garage floor wet and you still will have some dust in your paint most times...When I spray lacquerer, dust isn't to big of a problem because it drys fast...You also need temps about 70 to 80....Good luck...Now that we went over a fue things... Oh..The more I think about it you may want to do what RWB said....Pay some one unless you have a shop and think you may paint more that your tins.. I think I just talked myself , with the help of Dave, to never paint again..:)LOL
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I have done a wee bit of painting tins on a bike starting with small bits here and there some with rattle cans but i do have a compressor and a few different spray guns
    preparation is the key to a fair paint job i have always done each of the three main layers then flattened each in turn prior to the next layer
    my greatest problem is getting good conditions for painting there is always too much moisture in the air and i usually get a spider or fly stuck in the worst possible place
    i have also used my local car body shops
    the next wee bit of painting i will get done is at my local ford dealer as i know the owner very well and he tells me his painter is very good at custom work ill give it a try

  7. harley@16

    harley@16 Junior Member

    I took on the do-it-yourself job of painting my tank, had some great advise from a body and fender friend who also gave me the paint suplies he had around the shop. The process is not too hard to follow if you have the proper directions, I draped plastic from the cieling of my garage in a circle to isolate the area, kept the floor a little wet and everything worked great until I got "fish eyes" in the whole thing. Found out later that you have to put a water filter on the air line, maybe he thought I knew that already as he didn't tell me to do it. Had another friend, who did some work on my car, redo it in a paint booth. He had to take it back down to the primmer and start over. I'd try it again though, didn't think it was too difficult.
  8. gungatim

    gungatim Account Removed

    Last year in American Iron magazine there was a feature on a nice 'glide a guy painted himself with flat red napa brand spray paint. it looked awesome. If all he wants is a flat color, he should do it himself with spray paint. I think the total cost was like $15. IIRC, the napa brand paint was hard and fuel proof, but I'll have to pull the article out and double check.
  9. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

    All great posts on this subject. My only experience painting is with my old Galaxie, a machine that I put a lot of time restoring and wanted to be the one who painted her. The actual task of painting isn't all that complicated, but, like everything else in life, there is a knack to it and a skill set that is acquired over time. I used a quality paint that was a single stage epoxy. Picked a nice day to prime and spray. Sanded between coats. So, how did it turn out? Let's say that the car looks better than it did before I painted it. Some parts actually look darn good. Others, have a few runs, and there is a few spots with orange peal. Would I paint a car again? No. Would I paint tanks and tins, yes, reason being, they are small enough that if you make a mistake, you can just start all over again. If you want to try this, do what a few posts have suggested, ask those who know. There are also a load of books out there on the basics. Reading one of these will help you decide if you want to take the challenge. Good luck.....
  10. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Also if you do it yourself buy one of those Hygrometers or check your local weather website for the current humidity. This can play a big part in your drying times and also paint job quality as well. For clear coats it's a required item. Your paint specs will tell you what humidity range is needed.

    Caliber III Thermometer Hygrometer: Home Kitchen