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Maaco Paint Jobs

whitecapswhitecaps Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Honda
Hopefully this is the correct section, anyway I'm looking to hear others experiences (bad or good) with them.


  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    maaco is fine to paint a beater.i have painted cars and it is a lot of get what you pay for.if you want a quality job that you will be proud of,your going to pay a lot more than a few hundred bucks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Exactly, You get what you pay for. To give you an idea of what Maaco can and can't do. I've had a few of my cars painted professionally, and the cost of the paint and materials alone, without any labor, far exceeded the cost of an entire Maaco paint job, even the deluxe version.

    So you know right off you are getting cheap paint and primers, a rather perfunctory prep job and a casual spray paint and masking.

    Your car will look like it was painted cheaply. Now, if it's four colors already, maybe a Maaco paint job will help. But if it is a car of any real value, such a paint job will destroy the value forever.

    I'd reserve a Maaco paintjob for a car $2,000 or under in value.

    Top their credit, I wouldn't do all that work for $500.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,287
    I was recently given a quote by a professional body shop to paint my 1982 Dodge Rampage. It is rust free and has zero body damage. The original silver paint is faded and dull.

    It's no classic or anything but it has 29,000 original miles and it's really nice and fairly rare. Still, it's worth 3000.00 maybe.

    My quote...? 3500.00!!!!

    For the heck of it, I went to Maaco for an estimate...525.00.

    So...I've done nothing for now and will probably just sell the Rampage...I never use it anyway.

    I've seen Maaco jobs and they!

    After a couple of years the job will probably look worse than before.

    And I'm sure the quality between Maaco stores will vary also.
  • I believe they have 3 levels of paint jobs. Does anyone know exactly what each type includes. Is their top of the line paint job as good as a professional body shops job?

    I would do a Maaco job if I had an older car that I just wanted to keep for basic transportationa and just wanted to protect it against rusting out.

    Only once have I had an entire vehicle repainted and that was only because one whole side and hood needed painting due to an accident. It was odne at a professional body shop.For a few hundred more, I got the entire car painted and even had the color changed. It came out great.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I don't know what the different levels of Maaco jobs are. With Earl Scheib it used to be that you got a better prep job. I've heard jokes that the difference is how close or far the guy stands from the car when he spits the mouthful of paint on it.

  • Unless you juat want to throw some money away don't go there. My Niece had a car here yesterday that was painted at Maaco and where the crome on the rig was the paint missed going up to it by a 1/16 of an inch and it was all ready pealing some where they didn't bother to sand so the primer would stick looked like s--t to say the least.
  • A local body shop runs a weekly call-in show on cable. IIRC, a factory-like paint job runs a minimum of $1500($1000-plus just for the paint). They answer this question at least once a week.

    From personal knowledge and experience, MAACO and Earl S. paint jobs are good for a year or two before they begin to fade. Their work does look a lot better than what I can do with a spray can or a 4" brush and a can of enamel.

    Just depends on what you need.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    They were a couple of hundred less than the closest other bid. It was done under there most expensive service. Cost $500.00 to fill in a right bumper and repaint it. Matched with the other paint exactly, held up really well. I'm happy because I didn't want to have to replace the original bumper with an after market one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Good for you.

    I think the quality of work at these shops varies according to the talent and management. Maaco are franchises, so the results can vary a lot.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I am harkened to my childhood; to Dupont Duluxe automotive paints; to discovering the beauty of pastel shades; spraying paint in a garage so small that there was scant room to get the correct angles with the Montgomery Ward spray gun. The old mangle frame had the ironing equipment removed and a Gibson refrigerator pump was bolted on top where some woman once professionally ironed pleats into, well, something. That pump compressed air into a stainless steel B17 aviation oxygen tank we had picked up at a junk yard. The old electric motor had come from a junked out forced air furnace. We put the very best line filters on this rig, and kept the air quite dry. We painted many cars, motorcycles, and you name it over several years. We actually thought we were having fun...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,287
    There was an Earl Schieb in the next town from me. Some of the guys (this was in high school)would find out who the painter was that was going to paint their car. They would slip him a ten spot and ask for a "good job".

    I couldn't tell the difference, but for 49.95 they spoiled many a car!

    Getting a color change was the worst thing to do!
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    My kids have driven a variety of old beaters. Last year my daughter's boyfriend put a 1990 Prizm (with 160K) in the ditch. Between going to a junk yard and obtaining a grill from Scheib, plus getting their top end paint job, the old beater looked a whole lot better for a few hundred dollars. When cars get to that level the Scheibs and Maacos of the world provide good value IMHO. I think she's only washed the thing about once in the ten months since it's been repainted, but the paint's still hanging on there. A Scheib job is usually dependent on some prep work before bringing it in, they generally slop paint on what ever you give 'em.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    but One Day Paint and Body here on Van Nuys Blvd. is brilliant. The stuff they do looks like factory. They were featured in Car Craft last summer with the budget Firebird resto. article.
    Had the 86 Olds Calais I gave my parents repainted there.Original colorlooked like new and it took months before I discovered one slight overspray. It sat outside in Oregon Coast weather for two years before it finally got the garage and it STILL looks new.
    I can only speak of this particular One Day, but I am also having my 63 Valiant painted there. They've already done body work rust repair sheetmetal panel replacement [I owe it, I've had it for 20 years!]and stripped down in preparation for the new paint.
    I've seen a 56 Mark II Lincoln in there stripped down as well as a 37 Chevrolet being prepared, so for my modest Valiant, it'll work just fine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    And what do they charge?
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    all the way up to 779.oo two pack clear coat over color. It went in today, with additional prep.[body work is already done] mine's about 1000.00 Probably more than anyone would want to spend on a beater, BUT, I'm getting the 3+ mid range with 5 year warranty at 579.00. Standard antique white.
    The car has factory under Earl of Scheib under some sort of house hold enamel, so a standard prep can't really be done.I'll report the results if anyone is interested. Dave
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, please, especially on a)neatness of the spray and b)orange peel, curtains, etc.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,287
    In torrance CA painted both of my parents cars years ago. They were smart and didn't change colors. The white 66 Skylark came out pretty good. Far from perfect but acceptable and FAR better than a Sheib job.

    The 69 VW bug was another story. The repaint (red)looked so-so..not too bad but it turned flat dull and started peeling after a couple of years.

    I have no idea which level of paint job they paid for.
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    a few months back when looking. [I own a tiny share of stock]. White they do pretty well, but the Aerostar in Cranberry Metallic........jeez, I've never seen such orange peel, and the metallics are part of the more expensive paint job.
    Had read they'd improved in the business section of the Daily News out here in the Valley so I "invested"...........LOL
  • I found out today that my boss' white '91 Mazda 929 with 188k on it has a 3-year-old Maaco paint job. It was $300 bucks and still looks pretty good, although I could tell a little better if she would wash it. Then again, maybe it's not dirty, but faded.

    She does keep her MB sedan clean.

  • Been a long time ago now, but my dad had his Aspen wagon done by Maaco. It looked as good as the factory original, but we all know how good that was on a '76. Actually, the paint job WAS decent; an expert would spot it as a repaint, but neophytes probably wouldn't. It was a metallic color, however, and it did oxidize quickly and badly, requiring frquent wax jobs.
  • I've had three cars painted by the local MAACO dealers in Cleveland. Look...any goober with a cup gun can put paint on a car. But think of your own home for a moment. Doesn't the paint job in your bedroom look a whole lot better if you take the time to do a little bit of good prep work? Same with the car. For cryin' out loud, prep your car as if you were going to paint it yourself. Strip the bumpers, headlights, side markers, mirrors, antenna, taillights and all the trim that you can easily remove. Spend a half day with some 400 wet and dry paper and sand the finish slightly, taking extra time in the areas that you know a machine sand won't get to. Sand out the nicks, maybe apply a little spot putty where necessary. It is really worth the little bit of time taken when you see the final job. Oh, and by the way, a case of beer in the trunk and a request that the shop put its best taper on the job, really goes a long way. I speak from experience. It was worth it and the job lasted for years. It looked great, and I got a free pin stripe out of it. A little courtesy is rewarded in kind....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The man knows how to work the system!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,287
    Just make sure they get the beer AFTER the work is done!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    In some cases I've seen, giving it to them before could not have hurt!
  • ". Look...any goober with a cup gun can put paint on a car. "
    If the quote is a joke, good enough! >:^]
    If not, may I recommend that you grab a treetop and a bucket of paint, or a 'cup gun' and give it a try? It's a skilled job you learn the hard way. And may I suggest that anyone that wants a real good paint job at minimum cost should learn the moves and do it for themselves. Paint some lawn furniture, machinery, whatever, to get the feel for it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,287
    Now, THAT was funny!
  • Naw, it wasn't really a joke, but you took it completely the opposite to what I meant. Note that what I said was that "...any goober...can put paint on a car..." and I meant that. What I didn't say was that anyone could PAINT a car, which is, as far as I'm concerned, a far more skilled and technical talent. So, in essence, I am agreeing with you. The long and the short of it is that a modicum of prep work done at home can really overcome some $7.50/hr boob splashing some color on the old sled. Yow!
  • I agree with you! Unfortunately the prep work is the "drag" in the process. It consumes (often) a lot of time to do it right, and that is what makes an expensive paint job expensive-- along with the sky-high prices on "quality" paint. My point was intended to be additive to yours, emphasizing that with some practice on lesser objects than one's car, adequate skills can be developed so that a person can spray a car and get a satisfactory result. One proviso would be to use "easy to use" paint-- not the exotic and/or toxic stuff! (:oÞ
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    When you buy a paint job, you are being charged for parts and labor.

    If you get a cheap paint job, they are going to scrimp on one or the other or both.

    With the paint, they can cut corners by using inferior materials and also limiting color choices and types of paint. On labor, they can pay unskilled people cheaper wages and also rush them in their work.

    Really good work takes time and requires the best materials. Kind of like gourmet cooking vs. McPaintjob.
  • I would say, that supports my contention that prepping and painting your own makes very good sense, unless you spring for the big bucks.
    bburland certainly has the best advice for those who are not going to consider doing the whole job, but might consider some prep work.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,913
    ...does it sometimes end up in with the paint?

    I'm actually coming to a crossroads with my '89 Gran Fury. Its metallic silver paint is faded and is starting to look pretty bad on the hood, roof, and trunk. It's also starting to rust, just a bit, on the roof. I can either touch it up myself, where it'll look horrible but will stop rusting, or splurge for a paint job. Maybe I'd better get the thing to the point that it runs reliably for more than a day first ;-)
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    There's not much that's worse than having fender cover, drop light, or air hose marks in new paint. Why dontcha invest 2 bucks in a short nap roller and tray in the meantime? Tremclad silver has a nice sheen. :o)
  • My 1986 Pontiac Parisienne Safari was repainted by Maaco in the original metallic light blue color in 7/00. It came out looking great, and still does. I have not experienced any noticeable fading, peeling or rust. The key to this, as someone mentioned above, was preparation. When I bought the car 3/00, it had the infamous 1980s peeling paint, so the roof and hood were coated in light surface rust where the paint had stripped itself away. Before taking the car to Maaco, I removed all the trim parts, washed it down with a high-pressure hose, and sanded almost the entire body down to the metal. I then sprayed it with Rust-Oleum brown primer (took about 10 spray cans!), let it dry, and washed it down again. Only then did I take it to Maaco and get it painted for $380. They even redid the dark blue pinstripe that I had sanded off. Other than a few VERY tiny rust spots that I have had to touch up due to stone chips and the like, the paint has held up very well. You can see some pics I took after I got it painted at:

    -Andrew L

  • vidtechvidtech Posts: 212
    consider yourself lucky.i am surprised the new paint did not lift due to the rustoleum primer.i would think there would be a compatability issue.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's not a very high quality primer, but hey, if it stuck, it stuck, and will probably continue to. It's probably better than no primer.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I am also quite amazed the paint hasn't lifted off in sheets from the roof yet, it has a fairly hard surface and it's slippery due to the menhaden (fish) oil.

    with the exception of acrylic lacquer, auto paint is getting pretty exotic in chemistry and can require such niceties as acid primer over unknown existing work. there's a reason that full-body air-supplied coveralls and respirators are prominent in the aftermarket paint product catalogs, and not just because you mix the paint with solvent on a 10 or 20 percent to one basis. some of the color coats are nasty in aerosol.
  • What current automotive paints are the lowest in toxicity? Are there any enamels still on the market that would be safe enough to use with just a face mask? I'm thinking of "home use."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    No, you need a respirator for any paints. A face mask (dust mask) is useless except to keep flies out of your mouth while spray painting.
  • My "face mask" is a NAPA painter's respirator.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ah, good! I don't know that mask right off, but some respirators are a lot better than others. Probably fine for a one shot job.
  • I purchased my NAPA 70-450 respirator about 15 years ago. It is designated as a dual cartridge respirator for paint and pesticides and is both MSHA AND NIOSH certified, approval #TC-23C-128. It is manufactured by Northcott Products Company of Chicago (product #70-431). That's a lot of information! I hope the "mask" remains safe by the standards of the present. Any comments will be appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    It's beyond my level of expertise to judge really. You'd need to check current standards to know if you were safe. I suspect you could upgrade with newer technology, sure.
  • Now you people have me nervous that my paint is going to start peeling off :-) I try to wash the car about once a month and wax it two or three times a year. When I wax it, I also take care of the tiny rust spots that inevitably pop up due to stone chips. However, I have not yet had any problems with major rust or peeling. Let's hope I don't have to eat those words in the near future :-)

    -Andrew L
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Next time you want to screw up your car, ask us! (no, wait, that didn't come out right....)
  • dweezildweezil Posts: 271
    It looks great.....EXCEPT: one small dime size drip in an obvious place, crazing on the lower left rear fender and not enough paint on the lower/undersides of both rear fenders.Feels sort of rough,like overspray over primer. It's going back. I paid 1080.00 for prep,painting,and door jambs, trunk undersides, etc.The prep work had been started at the One Day near Oxnard Blvd. in Van Nuys and finished at the one on Saticoy which was closer to my house where the final paint work was done. The basic job would have been $579.00, but over the past two years I have had rust repair panels cut and welded in the trunk and purchased a new RR lower fender patch from Layson's that was put in as well. The car had Factory paint under Earl Scheib under a very brittle household paint that the former owner had applied before I purchased the car 20 years ago.They had a LOT of prep to do to take it down to a paintable surface. 5 year warranty,urethane with clear coat. If they can rectify those small problems it'll be fine. The rest of the job has a beautiful gloss, no orange peel and good visual depth.
    I prepped my parent's 66 Mercury Montclair before taking it to the new Maaco plant that had opened in Davenport Iowa in 1976.Came out nice but my teenage wavy gravy bondo work on the lower rear fenders probably had the guys in stitches, but the thing came out beautifully sans a too thin coat of paint on the top of door beltline. Color match was beautiful: dark turquoise metallic.I guess 25 years doesn't change the skill requirements much, eh?
  • Let us say that we were willing to take our hypothetical car to any readily accessed establishment in our community and have our car deluxed out so that most people would surely think we had a "perfect" factory paint job. What is the price in January, 2002?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    $3,500 on up, depending on which "factory" you are trying to duplicate. Figure $3,500 for domestics, $5,000-$7,500 for a beautiful job on a German luxury car, and $10,000 for a classic show car. You can go higher for custom paints on street-rods, etc.

    These prices presume no major bodywork, same color, no rust, and in the case of the $3,500 job, this probably won't be a "bare-metal" respray, but would include removing all the glass and trim.

    If you don't mind a "tape-job" and the old paint is in really good shape underneath, you can make a car look pretty decent for a good deal less than $3,500. What you'll get will be shiny, thick paint with tape lines, but you know, at ten feet you can hardly notice. I got a very decent paint job on a "lesser" Porsche, a 912, for around $1,600, but the body and old paint were in excellent shape. Still, it started checking and cracking in three years, which is about what I expected.

    What you are paying for in a quality paint job is not only the "looks" but the durability. For quality paint, primers, sealers, etc, you can spend over $1,000 just for materials. You cannot expect a $1,500 paint job to last, but it's a great way to sell a car if that's your goal.

    My rule of thumb is that the paint job should cost at least 1/2 the value of the car or you are making a mistake. Just a rule of thumb, of course.
  • ...for the very valuable information. Nonetheless, I am thoroughly depressed by the prospect. (:o>
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Had the right side of my car painted last year, front fender, door, rear quarter panel. Previous owner had a botch repair job done on the lower door skin (must have opened the door hard against something), and there were a couple of door dings in the rear quarter panel. The body shop removed all necessary trim, mouldings, weatherstrips, tail light housing, door handle and mirror. The new paint's a perfect match to the rest of the car. $1,800 for base-clear coat with a 6 year warranty against peeling, fading, etc. You get what you pay for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I had the tops of my two front fenders and the hood repainted, and three small dents removed, for $1,600. The car looks fantastic (Mercedes), a perfect match in color and depth. Not a speck of overspray or sign of a tape line, and the car was cleaned and detailed inside, outside, and in the engine compartment. You get what you pay for.
This discussion has been closed.