Paint your car for fifty dollars

by Will Thompson

Everyone who’s had a project car and is a little strapped for cash has been at the point where the car/truck’s ready for paint. This is usually the point in the project that people really dread. Not only do you have the prospect of your car being in “paint jail” for six months or longer, but you also have to swallow a big pill when it comes to the cost of decent looking paint.

The lowest quality professional paint jobs out there are from places like Maaco and Earl Scheib, and the lowest you can generally go is about $300. Personally, I’ve never heard of anyone being quoted less than $500. Mind you, that’s for single stage paint that’s generally just shiny enough to get the customer out the door in a fairly good mood. Most of the jobs at that price are going on cars that are about to be sold, so the current owner doesn’t really much care how the paint will look in a year.

corvair.jpg

What would you say if I told you the Corvair above has a $50 paint job that the owner did in his driveway?

That’s right, fifty dollars. Five-zero. American currency. Not only is it possible, but it requires no special tools, no air compressor or spray guns or paint booth. I’m talking about painting your car in your driveway for $50. Check out this $50 paint job:

charger.jpg

The secret? Rustolem mixed very thin and applied with a roller. I happened upon this website on Friday and after checking a few links like this one I had emailed a gazillion people I know who are in the same limbo of needing average to decent paint on their rides on the cheap.

It turns out the whole thing started in this thread on Moparts.com. A year and a half and 80 pages later, there were a whole lot of disciples, including a writer for Hot Rod magazine, who did a feature for the July issue that’s in stores as we speak.

Take a look at some of the pictures posted up by folks who have tried it, including this one (Martin is the guy who got all this started on Moparts.com) and check out the wicked satin black job on the Mustang here. Here’s a preview:

flatmustang.jpg

As it’s stated many times in the links I’ve listed on this post, this isn’t something you’d want to do with your super rare 70 Hemi ‘Cuda. However, if you have a driver and don’t want to spend at least $3K in paint, what do you have to lose by trying this?

–Will

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8 Responses to “Paint your car for fifty dollars”

  1. George Beaumont Says:

    This is really very good from the photographs. Of course it takes lots and lots of surface prep and sanding & polishing afterwards. I wonder if a clearcoat would eleminate the polishing and make it hold up even longer? George B.

  2. Will Thompson Says:

    I dunno if a clearcoat would help or not, George. Might be fun to try, though. What’s the worst case scenario, you’d be out another $50?

    –Will

  3. Scoob Says:

    The car used in the Hot Rod Magazine is a ‘62 Falcon…killer job. Besides the paint they dropped the front end, which gave the car a nice stance.

  4. Repaint your car for just $50! | Automotive News Says:

    […] Source [Automotive Blogger] […]

  5. TotalDismay.com » Blog Archive » Seriously, Should I Paint My Own Car? Says:

    […] found out about a growing trend in DIY auto painting. You can thank the power of the Internet. Many bloggers and automotive journalists are raving about the results that are being achieved with Rust-oleum and mineral spirits mixed 1:1, […]

  6. Joe Says:

    Can the same rustoleum and mineral spirits mixture be sprayed with an automotive paint sprayer? Thanks for the info.

  7. Will Thompson Says:

    From what I read they can be applied with an automotive paint gun, but the point was that it was possible to apply a decent looking paint job yourself without having to have that stuff.

  8. Max Says:

    $50? hmm.. that wouldn’t cover even a third of decent materials..and where is the labor? but ok, your solution can be good for some situations..

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