Advice needed on '77 Corvette needing paint job.

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Asked by May 13, 2015 at 04:26 PM about the 1977 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Question type: General

Hi,

I will try to cover all the bases and keep this as short as possible.  

My car needs a paint job in the worse way.  The clear coat is coming off, badly!  I have taken it to two different places and one place told me $15,000.00.  The other, $10,000.00.  I'll continue to get quotes though......

Here is my dilemma:  I can not afford a paint job at those prices.  My question is this:  Can anyone please tell me how I can make the car look better at this point?  Where the clear coat has come off, it's just dull black.  Where the clear coat still is, it looks fine.

Someone told me to get rid of all the hanging clear coat that I can.  They then told me to wash and wax it and that would help some.  They told me to use wet sand paper (I have never heard of that) to get the clear coat that is loose, off.  

The picture is just one section.  The clear coat is coming off on other places, as well.

So, any suggestions on how to make what I have at the moment, look a little better, would be much appreciated.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Beth

65 Answers

65

If anyone would like to see more pictures (how bad it is) please e-mail me and I'll be glad to e-mail them to you. Lamborghinigal@bellsouth.net Beth

86,805

Yes wet sanding would work but you must use extremely fine grit, the finer the better, just hit the edges of the clear coat where it is peeling, you don't want to damage the color coat, after it is all smoothed out then wash it and use a cleaner on the color coat that is exposed, then follow up with a very good wax, something with carnauba in it. It will look better but not great and your still protecting the color coat with a good wax. As carnauba is a soft wax it needs to be reapplied regularly to keep up the finish as much as possible. HTH

Best Answer
86,805

Plus I think the prices they quoted you are way too high. In my area they can do a good repaint for around 3 grand if you don't chose a fancy paint.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Tennisshoes. I could afford the 3 grand, but the $15,000 and $10,000 threw me for a loop! LMAO! Thank you for the helpful suggestions. I need all the help I can get. Hell, I need to win the lottery and just be done with it! :-) Beth

86,805

I just saw a MAACO add on TV. 399.00 to start, I don't how you feel about MAACO but it could save you some bucks.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Tennisshoes, if it was your car and you couldn't afford the high priced paint job, would you get a quote from MAACO? Just wanted your opinion.........thanks. Beth

222,915

http://www.corvette- restoration.com/resources/technical_papers/Paint_Tech_Paper.pdf

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
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Tom, thank you for the link. I'll definitely read all of that. :-) Beth

86,805

No it is a special sandpaper, it even says wet on the backing. And Yes I would get a quote from MAACO, with the understanding that this is a temporary paint job just to keep it painted until I could afford a really nice paint job.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Tennisshoes, glad to know that about the sand paper. I am going to call MAACO in the morning, before I leave for work, and ask them if they do fiberglass. If they do, I'm going by there. And I found a video on youtube that mentioned only using 2000 grit sandpaper. I guess I'll look for that. Beth

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Here is the back part.

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The T-tops are horrible! They're in desperate need of help.

7,055

With that much of the clear gone and most of the paint oxidized no amount of wet sanding will help it, it's a repaint for sure. Get a price on a single stage paint job, it will be cheaper than a base coat/clear coat job. a lot of the cost is is in removing all of the trim and if your doing a color change the price goes way up.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
7,055

The Macco $399 job is a mask it, scuff it, and shoot it with a limited selection of colors.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

CamaroCollector, I just went on MAACOS website and read about the difference between single stage and the clear coat process. Beggars can't be choosers. LOL! I'll take what I can get, at this point. Thanks for the information. Beth

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I have one more question: If I get the single stage and then 3 years down the road, I can actually afford a "real" paint job, will the single stage present any problems, in terms of a new paint job? Beth

86,805

No it shouldn't, it has to be sanded down no matter what.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

That's good. Thanks, Tennisshoes. Beth

20,175

spend about 2 grand for a great paint job and get it painted with Acrylic Enamel.. this chevelle i painted 20 years ago and you can still read off of it..and it was not in a garage for 17 years..and i only use polish on it.no wax.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

That's beautiful, Kelly. I wish I could get a "great paint job" (at least here in Raleigh) for $2,000.00. But that is not even a remote possibility. Now if I win the lottery, that would definitely be top on my list! :-) Beth

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CamaroCollector, I just called MAACO and unfortunately, they don't do fiberglass. I was hoping they did, but the search will go on. :-) Beth

130

Beth, years ago I bought a red 79' Vette from a cousin in Durham. That car had been repainted several times and had seen a very rough life in " the City "...... She sold me the car for $2500... I drove it back home about 160 miles, did some mechanical repairs and had a fella' here in Bedford, Va. do a small amount of body work and repaint it Chrysler " Flash Red " for only $800.00 !~!~! .. That shade of red made the old paint look like primer ! Granted, that's been some years ago but with mechanical repairs, paint,new tires, upholstery,etc. I was able to resell it for $7200.00 ! ! AND with only the base L48 / Auto. I am sure he only used Acrylic Enamel, but it looked great !~! She had left receipts in the car from a "so-called " Corvette restoration shop in Raleigh and even back then she had spent nearly $5000.00 ! .. So, It's pretty easy to see why you got those MEGA high estimates on your repaint ! .. Best of luck with your project !

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
86,805

That's odd I had a customer that took his Aerostar in for paint and they did it the whole tail gate and hood is fiberglass.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

mcbobby, I love that story! Sounds like a dog someone no longer wanted and it found a great, loving home who took care of it! LOL Thanks. I'm going to need all the luck I can get!! Tennisshoes, maybe it depends on who you talk to. The guy that answered the phone told me they don't do fiberglass. Then again, maybe they do, and he didn't want to mess with it.

7,055

A lot of places won't touch fiberglass because they don't want to break through the gel coat and have to eat the cost of a recoat, but if they know what they are doing it shouldn't be a problem, i also noticed that you have the poly bumpers which require a flex agent in the paint. You should be able to get a quality single stage paint job for around $3000 to $5000, that's the breaks of owning a vette. Keep on searching, you'll find a good shop. Here's a pic of a vette i painted years ago with a single stage enamel (click the pic)

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CamaroCollector, that's nice! That looks really good. You mentioned single stage ENAMEL. Does that mean if single stage paint is used, it will definitely have enamel? I hope so.

65

I just took some more pictures. My poor car! LOL

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7,055

Yes, single stage paint is enamel, it's a one step paint system and if they add an extra coat once it has fully cured you can wet sand with 1000 to 1500 and polish it out, some people will say you can't wet sand enamel, the picture of my vette was wet sanded to 2000 grit and buffed, see that reflection off of the fender.

65

I see the reflection off the fender and the whole car! :-) Beth

7,055

That color was a tinted tangerine pearl.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20,175

if its put on heavy you dont have to add another coat and it is easy to cut and buff AND REPAIR...thanks

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
65

Heavy is good! Easy is good too. :-) Beth

7,055

Heavy is not good, quality jobs are done in thin coats, if you lay it on heavy it can run and sag.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20,175

come on man.. i did not say one heavy coat..but if you want to know, i spray on more coats than you do/would and i dont even know you..but maybe because we own a paint outlet. i have more of the paint than most. do you use a razor blade if you do make a run?flow it out?or start over....anyway ..ill be nice..

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Oops! I guess I don't know what I'm talking about! Thanks for the correction, CamaroCollector. :-) Beth

65

I wonder if I should just e-mail paint & body shops around here and send them the pictures I've included here AND ask them if they do single stage with acrylic. Then, they can (hopefully) e-mail me back and let me know if it's something they can do. That way, I wouldn't have to drive all over hell and creation.

7,055

Good idea.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

I decided to just e-mail P&B shops. I'd rather do that than call. Here is what I've written. I know this sounds silly, but can someone please read this and tell me if what I wrote sounds ok? Hi, I have a '77 Black Corvette that is needing a paint job. The clear coat has come off in many places. Do you work on fiberglass and if so, do you offer single stage paint jobs? The above is all I'm gong to send. If I am able to send photos (sometimes you can't when you e-mail a company from their website) I am going to include several of the ones above. I want them to see how bad it looks, because I don't want to waste my time driving to them, when I can just get an answer in an e-mail. Beth

7,055

Smart girl, you should be able to good response with that and if you can send photos that's all the better, you'll get a more accurate quote.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Thanks, CamaroCollector. You've been a huge help. I really appreciate it! Everyone has been so nice here. :-) Beth

7,055

Your Welcome, good luck.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Thanks! I'll keep you posted. :-)

12,145

Corvettes and other fiberglass cars takes a special paint and PREP to do the correct job. All the oil residue and stripper must be removed. A sealer undercoat needs to be applied before adding the paint. If there is any oil or other residue on the fiberglass, the paint will not hold. So a $300 or even a $1000 paint job will not work. In 2002, I paid $1000 a gallon for the paint for my 69 Vette. The total paint job was $10,000 for a good two stage paint job and clear coat. I could have paid $15,000 to get a show room paint job, but that would have had several rub outs and painting again to get it glass smooth. In pai9nting fiberglass, you get what you pay for. After I had my car four years, I paid a P & B shop to again wet sand it, not going through the clear coat, and it came out even better than it came out of the shop because the paint had cured hard. Here is a picture of my Corvette 12 years after the paint job. It is the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix 25th anniversary Fire Mist Red. Ten grand will get you a great paint job. Metal painters don't have the knowledge or skill to do fiberglass.

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12,145

Another photo with my daughter taking it for a spin

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

Califcarson, that car is beautiful! I could never afford a $10,000.00 paint job. Now, let me correct that: IF I WON THE LOTTERY, I could afford a $10,000.00 paint job. LOL Your car is gorgeous. It looks like a mirror. Thank you for the comments!! Beth

12,145

My Dear, if yo won the lottery, your new car would already come painted. I retired and used my sick time money to pay for it. I went to work sick many days to save up for retirement. If you can find someone that paints boats, (fiberglass) and or a good pant shop willing to do a good prep job, (bad paint jobs are due to the prep work not being done correctly) you may be able to haggle on the price. Paint is now expensive, but comes in several price ranges. Good painters can make less expensive paint look great. Your car will look good, enjoy it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

You're right! I didn't think about that. Haha! I have e-mailed 5 P&B shops (just today). I also sent pictures (the ones above), so maybe someone will e-mail me back. I'll feel better when it's painted. IT will feel better when it's painted too! :-)

12,145

If you have cars / vehicles with clear coat paint, you can't use anything with abrasives in it. It will cut through the clear coat and what you have on the Corvette is what happens. When you get it painted, a clear coat will protect the paint and make it really shine deep. there are car washes (I use Maguires) and polishes and waxes made to be used on clear coat paints. Polishes have abrasives in them to remove the outside elements. I use what car show people use, it has a very light amount of abrasives in it and a good wax. I keep it in a garage, and wipe it down with a wipe down brush, then use the quick wax in a spray bottle to keep it clean. When I wash it, I also use the spray wax to finish it up. I wash my car maybe twice a year. It is a two day process as I even go under the car and remove the tires. (2 - 4 hour process). When my grandson help, he always gets to polish the mufflers. :-) My tires off and cleaned, both sides. That way I also get the inner fenders.

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12,145

The mufflers!

65

I bet there isn't a speck of dirt anywhere on that car! You're lucky you have a garage. We don't. If I do get it painted, I need to make sure I buy something that is not going to ruin it, like it is now. Do you take your car to car shows? My car is valued at only $3,200.00 for taxes. That is what they said it was valued it. My husband told me that means if someone hit me, my insurance would only give me what the tax value is. I wonder if that is true? I paid quite a bit more for that, about 11 years ago..........

12,145

I have won best of show at one show, and second place at another. It is not a "show car" by any means, but I do keep it clean and never drive it if there is a cloud in the sky. Go on line and look at what other 77 Corvettes are going for. Take off 2 grand for needing paint, even though a paint job will cost more. If it is mechanically sound, runs good, and is not a wrecked car rebuild, than the value continues to climb. Insurance companies always try to save the bucks, so keep records and prices of your year and model car. Keep what is the very low mileage car and number match along with the mechanically sound and looks great. There is the price range the insurance company needs to pay you. Many people have gone to court and with these records, the insurance company loses every time. Painting your car, having it mechanically sound, increases you value. Find a good car cover and make sure it is one you can use a lock on it to keep others from enjoying it at your expense, or the wind from taking it to Kansas. The real price? If you did win the lottery and wanted to buy a 1977 Corvette, what would you pay for one? That is the value you'd be willing to part from it for. That is your value. I'd take 40,000 but in reality 25 to 35 thousand. I also have a 10 grand engine, and new 5 speed transmission.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
65

I'd pay up to $15,000.00 for one, IF I won the lottery! LMAO! That's the only way I could buy one. I'd also build a garage. While I'm at it, I'd also quit my job!!!!!

if you're in Raleigh check around Pittsboro, I have been getting pricing on my 76 and they have been around 3500.00 for 2-color and clear coat.

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Hi Chipnc, thanks for the suggestion. I really appreciate it! :-) Beth

Brown auto and body on 15-501 said 3500 and I have seen their work which is very good. Diaz in pittsboro also does great work

65

I'm going to write those two down. That is definitely in my price range.....

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