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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay their reputation is they suck... blah blah blah..

What exactly do they suck at? I hear it's usually just preperations?

Is it true that if I sanded the car down myself a Maaco job would look good for 5-10 years?


and... while last summer I stripped flat-black paint off a Checkmate I bought (boat).... because some moron painted over the metallic-blue finish with gloss black, and I restored most of it very nicely... what else should I know about sanding a car?

And will maaco take out some small dings and dents?


Thanks for any regard!

-PK

I'd also be interested in painting the car myself except our compressor isn't so great, and we haven't any air-guns in this garage... strictly wrenches and crowbars and hammers and screwdrivers and ratchets and torches and engine hoists....

It's a 1985 Monte Carlo, which happens to be optioned as a two-tone car... Light & Dark Metallic Chestnut (what they SAY used to be metallic paints.... doesn't look very metallic 20 yrs later)

Half of the damn car looks good.... the passenger half.. my side is orange-peeling as well as the trunk... so... that's why I'd wanna paint it... I've got $500 in the bank and don't wanna spend more than 4. <grin> Next check not until end of January.... - although I'd probably start this job around Christmas time...

Thanks again!

Oh yeah... on a second note...
My rims are the ol' 14" checkboard aluminums... I saw a site where they'll give me $25 back as a core charge on each re-finishable wheel but it's still like 200 somethin each... anyone know about refinishing wheels, or perhaps getting them dipped in tripple or quadruple plated chrome?

Thanks 3x
 

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Hotrodders.com Moderator
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Prep work is 95 0/0 of any paint job, my opinion. Maaco guys paint everyday, most jobs I've seen are acceptable for the amount of money spent, you get what you pay for. They do bodywork, they also charge quite a bit for the bodywork, that is where I believe they are lacking. If you can prep this car decently, go for maaco, they have specials all the time, watch for hidden charges, read the contract carefully. Again, keep in mind that you get what you pay for, a decent paint job with a minimumn of bodywork is going to be 2-3 thousand, at least it is in my part of the country. Good luck. Dan
 

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The Maaco guys paint like 10 cars a day. They have a pretty good feel on how to run a gun. For the specials, they do almost no prep - just clean and paint. You will also get the $35 a gallon paint like on eBay. In days of old, the place I worked did several vehicles that way. We did all the prep and body work including removing mouldings and the like. Had them do the paint and put them back together ourselves. All three stayed looking pretty good over several years.
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Asking if Maaco will do a good job is like asking will Sonic Burgers give you a good meal and service. The answer is some will some won't. They are mostly owned by different people, who knows how each one will do.

All these "McPaint" shops are owned by "investers". They are not owned by bodymen or painters as are 90% of shops. They are owned by a guy who inherited or saved a few bucks, went to a franchise or small business convention and chose Maaco instead of Subway or Krispy Kreme donuts as a business to start.
There are exceptions I am sure, but this is generally how they are "born".

They work on a very strict guide line from franchisor on profit and cost. There is a set cost for every drip of paint, minute of painters, prepers, floor sweepers labor, booth electricity cost, water, exact amount of sand paper and so forth for every single car. It is balanced out to the penny on what it costs to paint the average car (something the "bodymen" who start shops should also know but don't :)).

Some of these shops are going to have some good people working there, some not so good. Some will have guys working there that are actually know the business, others won't. One of the come ons to any of these business plans is that you don't need any "skilled" employees. Needing "Skilled" employees will kill a business of this type. They are made, just as Subway and Krispy Kreme to run on a very low skilled crew, all they need to know is ONE thing, that is it. If your painter doesn't like they way you want him there at 8:00 am, you don't need to put up with it, he is interrupting your profit and loss plan, you just replace him. The guy who buys one of these franchises aren't trapped by employee more skilled than him, that would blow the whole deal. The franchisor usually will help in replacing that painter on a moments notice if you need help.

I personally have done business with only two McPaint shops, neither of them were good experiances. I was lied to about cost (promised a price that changed upon arrival) lied to about what was done to the car, the one tiny flaw I left on the car wasn't repaired before painting. There was paint on the rubber, paint on the chrome, it had no gloss (the last one, earlier ones were not bad in that dept.) just poor work. But the worse part was the poor business practices, that I can't put up with.

I tried to do business with many of them when I was a paint rep, but could never get in the door for the reason Barry outlined. They are under contract with the parent company to buy products from a certain vendor. Just as you have to buy McDonalds cups and napkins, when you have a McDonalds franchise you have to buy the paint, sandpaper and so on that the franchisor provides you with.

All I know is this, DON'T EXPECT MUCH and you will be happy. If you go there thinking you will get a nice job, you will be sadly disapointed.
 

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Ive had three cars painted by Maaco so far. I did all the prep work myself.

Things they SUCK at:

1. Cleaning the car in preparation for paint! They tacked the large body panels and that is about it! I found dirt in the seams painted right over, etc. You can't avoid this either, because 9 chances out of 10, your car will probably sit in the shop for a couple days until it is sprayed. So you can prep all you want, Maaco will still screw up the final cleaning.

2. Masking! They aren't the best for this either. They always spray the exhaust, hit the windows some and fail to remove it, etc. I had the intercooler on my car sprayed completely white becuase they were too lazy to mask it off! I wasn't too happy needless to say (Have you ever tried to strip paint off of a device similar to a radiator?)

3. Spraying! Yes they even screw this up. All three of my cars had what I consider a serious amount of orange peel and I had at least two major easily visible runs on each. The first paintjob I ever did by myself came out better than the best job Maaco did on those three cars!


All in all, skip Maaco unless you are just looking for a cheep quick job that you don't really care about. Maaco is great to finish up a car that you are just looking to sell or a car you just want to beat up on daily commutes, etc. But to use them for a vehicle that you really care for and want to look good and last is a big stretch.

kev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The first paintjob I ever did by myself came out better than the best job Maaco did on those three cars!


All in all, skip Maaco unless you are just looking for a cheep quick job that you don't really care about. Maaco is great to finish up a car that you are just looking to sell or a car you just want to beat up on daily commutes, etc. But to use them for a vehicle that you really care for and want to look good and last is a big stretch.

kev [/B]


Kev, tell me about your first paintjob =P
 

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the mustang i bought has/had a macco paint job on it, the paint was less than 2 years old when i bought the car.I have the receipt from the owner to show it and all that they did. He even went with the super delux paint job and let me tell you, my 3yr old with a spray can could have done better. Paint was coming of in a few spots, they just taped around everything. In the price they did very little body work because the car was in good shape, original paint, never been wrecked. total price was almost 1000$. owner showed me pics of when it was done and it looked really good, but 2yrs later it looked like crap.
just my opinion, but i would never take anything to them. of course every macco place is different
 

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Like Dinger said, prep work is 95% of all the work involved. If you're going to do all that, why not get the satisfaction of shooting the paint yourself. I just finished my first overall paint job and was quite pleased with the results. This site is loaded with usefull info and knowlegable people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
as stated in my original post, I'd love to try it myself (and if i mess it up i could always hit the sanding block again)...

just... don't have the resources...

if i knew someone around here who painted cars part-time I'd ask them to show me how to do it, and I'd borrow their equipment....I'm beginning to think it can't be THAT hard... everything seems hard when you've never done it, like... installing a stereo system in ur car or putting tensioner rods back in ur trunk (trunk ht me right on the damn head that day... lol)

only thing I think might be too hard for me right now is rebuilding a carb.

ALSO-- this metallic paint used by GM in the mid 80's.... the metallic chestnut's... does anyone have any idea what this looks like? I mean, I could get an idea but the job on my car is 21 yrs old... i'd love to see what it "should" have looked like?
 

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WHY NOT?
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couldnt help but notice no mention to an alternate over maaco

What about colleges or tech schools?

they most certainly have the tools and if you can find an auto body class that has a teacher who seems to be thourough you can be assured the car will be taken care of.

while looking at colleges i got to walk through a tech schools paint shop and a student for his first paint job did a gloss black on a 80s firebird and it came out smooth, no orange peel nice depth in the clear coating, real smooth

so if you prepped your car and bought quality paint im sure for little or no price they could have it done.

after i saw what the $200 dollar special done by maaco i know i wont be going that way...

To see what your paint should have looked like go to a local auto paint supplier and check paint chips for your year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hell with the school! I WANNA PAINT MY OWN CAR!!!
hehehe

=)

I'm gonna start checking into this more in-depth.

Just gotta get a gun.... im sure I can find someone with a real good compressor.... the 2nd half of that is... does he mind if i spray the walls in his garage a little dark metallic chestnut or not? <g>


now, allow me to get ahead of myself.. lol

How hard would it be to refinish aluminum wheels?
oo how I'd love to do that.

or maybe just have someone drop them into some chrome 3x
 
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