Avoid Budget Paint Jobs
- Keep in mind one thing: a DIY guide is trying to sell you on more DIY guides. A budget paint job is trying to sell you on its services. And while yes, car painting professionals are trying to sell you on their services, they can point to countless previous examples of their success. They can point to achieving perfection time and again. A DIY guide or budget service can do neither.
- Remember that a budget service still has to make money somewhere. They do this by skipping time-consuming steps that ensure quality, by cutting costs and using lesser materials, and by finding additional problems that may not exist so they can fix them.
- Budget and DIY services involve a higher risk of the job going wrong, and a certain financial impact if it does. Professional services may cost more, but they eliminate the risk of a deeper financial impact because they can assure quality.
- One of the greatest oversights in DIY and budget car painting is the preparation work involved. There's no such thing as skipping surface preparation. If paint is applied without adequate surface prep, it doesn't matter how well you perform the steps that follow – it will never look right. Will you know how to recognize when you've sanded enough? Will you know how to recognize when you've sanded too much?
- Beyond this, the environment itself needs to be kept free of dirt, dust, pollen, mud, grit, and other debris. It can be very frustrating to do this, and not everyone has an eye for when to stop and adjust the environment before continuing. This can result in a paint job that traps too much small and microscopic debris. That limits the paint job's quality and lifespan and means you'll just need to spend time and money again that much sooner.
- Not all dents need repainting. Sometimes, a dent can be removed without the need for a paint job. Professionals will tell you what you need to get done without adding on needless expenses. Their business relies on their reputation. A budget service will be happy for the extra income, and apply needless work (sometimes not done well) whether it needs doing or not. Furthermore, a DIY job doesn't have the skilled eyes and experience to assess the best course. You can end up spending a lot more than you had to just because you added extra jobs that don't need to be done – or that can be done in very simple ways.
- If a mistake is made, you can't simply bring it in and have it painted over. Professionals will have to remove the bad paint job before applying a new one. That's a much higher cost than if you'd brought it in to have it painted in the first place.
- Materials are crucial. You can't cut corners. Those materials come with a cost. Custom paint can cost hundreds a gallon, and even standard can cost as much as $100 per gallon. You'll also need primer, clear coats, spray can, drop cloths, rubbing compound, and other elements. This costs far more time and stress than taking the car in and can even cost more in some situations than if you'd used a professional service.
- It's easy to destroy a car's paint if you haven't let it cure. In colder weather, it can take weeks depending on the paint. In the meantime, the paint will remain soft and easily damaged – that's not great in inclement weather. That curing process can be sped up with professional equipment – equipment that neither you nor a budget service will have.
- Professionals love to share their experience. If you really do want to learn about painting a car, a DIY guide or video tutorial won't be able to compare to talking with a real professional. They can answer your questions, talk to you about what they'll do and why, and actually teach you something about car painting in real-world conditions.
Remember that what you're banking on with a budget service or DIY approach is a best-case outcome. That requires luck. Even an adequate outcome isn't best-case and will show it. Professional services don't take risks and don't “hope” it goes well. They combine years of training, experience, and accountability with professional equipment and materials to meet a consistently high standard. That's their job. Trust in a professional car painting service to deliver that professional level of quality.