My 76 Skylark had 2 owners after my cousin painted it in May 2002. (he was the previous owner). I bought it from a guy that he sold it to.
These guys never took care of it, hit the doors everywere, threw stuff on it and the car looks the same.
My cousin prepped it him self, he sanded it, primered it with can spraypaint first, then sanded it again, then primered it again with a spraygun (primer $30 gallon). He took like a week to do that. He left the body straight.
They charged him $230.00 at guess were?????Maaco. The car looks the same. Except for the little dents or whatever.
And the car hasn't ever been polished. These are pics of when i washed it. It might look much nicer with a good polish wouldn't it???
I forgot, if it'll save you $$$ and be a good experience, go for it, you will feel better about it.
Good luck with your project.
Let us know if you get any pics.