Repainting a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette

I have a 1994 Corvette. Was looking to get it repainted the same color it is. Not looking for perfection. Just to look good again. Paint it just faded in some spots. Can anybody recommend anyone near Bedford Ma that can do a good job at a reasonable price. ? Body is in good shape. Thanks . Scott in Ma

What would you consider reasonable? Paint jobs are very labor intensive and tend to be very expensive. As in $4-5000 for the type job you are looking for. That might be more than you want to invest in a Corvette C4.

I’d do a web search first, ask around at car shows, car-and-coffee and the local Corvette club for recommendations. You should be able to find someone who “knows a guy” that does this at home on the side as that’s likely to be the cheapest. It will be the slowest, however.

I’ve seen surprisingly good results from MAACO in NH for what you’re tying to accomplish.
The keys here are that

  1. you’re not seeking perfection, and
  2. you’re painting it the same color.

The things that drive paint jobs into the thousands are the prep work involved in seeking perfection, and the need when doing so to address the doorjams, parting lines, etc. For just a basic overspray, prep is minimal, and doorjams and parting lines can be ignored. That saves a lot of time and labor. Restorations can even get disassembled and painted on a huge “roticerry” (sp?) that turns the body assembly for the painter, like your outside grill would turn a chicken for dinner.

As a matter of fact, when evaluating a used car one tipoff to it having been oversprayed is to look at the parting lines and doorjams. Oversprays will be obvious.

I had a 1988 Chevy caprice with fading paint. Had MAACO repaint it in the same Maple Red Metallic for only $1200. There was no rust to repair and no dents.

Sold the car 4 years later and the new owner complimented me on how good it looked!

Have you tried to restore the paint yet? If not, try polishing the entire body before getting it painted. This might require a polishing compound to remove oxidized paint. Another thing you can do to save money is to remove all the trim and mask whatever you don’t want painted. Talk to the paint shop about what you should do and how much you can save by doing the prep work.

One of my coworkers recently got quoted about $4K for a proper paint job, and he felt he couldn’t justify spending that, based on the car’s value

But it could be worth it for certain vehicles

I suppose it’s a case by case basis

I’ve seen some pretty good Earl Scheib and MAACO paint jobs

But I need to qualify that . . . the owners had reached an arrangment with the company beforehand. The owners removed various mouldings, door handles, mirrors, etc. BEFORE delivering the car to the painters. And the bodies were straight with very few dents, dings, and no rust

And they seem to have held up, as well

Consider the OP has a Corvette… with basecoat-clearcoat paint. Any breakdown in the clear is going to need some serious sanding so the new paint will bond. I guessed $4-5K based on the experience touching up my own Corvette.

And Maaco won’t shoot basecoat-clearcoat for $1200. They’ll shoot single-pack paint and out the door it goes. And you’ll pay a premium for the color red. We know that all Corvettes are red, the rest are mistakes (the title of a book about Corvettes) At least it will more or less match and be shiny.

Now I’ve had cars painted at Maaco and even one at Earl Scheib where I did the repair work, trim removal and sanding. I got pretty good results. Not show quality, but decent.

People really underestimate the cost of even a low-grade paint job because they have no idea how much work is involved nor the material costs.

Finally, this is a Corvette C4… Not the most loved or collected Corvette out there. I’d doubt the car is worth $10,000 as it sits. Pretty hard to justify another $5K in paint, IMHO.

I agree with Mustangman. Single coat red will also often bleach out within a few years and look like garbage.

It may look great sitting in the sun when you pick it up. Not so great a few years later when you’re trying to determine if wax will help it.

Thanks for all the feedback. It is a maroon color. Almost plumb color. … Only if I can get something inexpensive that will last for a few years will I probably do it. Was hoping just to get it looking good for a while.

You might check with MAACO and see who much it would run with a clear coat finish.

I’ve known several people who had sports cars painted at MAACO and went with the single stage paint.
Both cars looked great when they picked them up. About 3 or 4 years later the paint was oxidized, dull in color, and could not be made to shine even with wax.

A few things to consider with cheap shops. Sanding marks seem to be a problem since they will tend to rush that part so maybe want to do the sanding and prep yourself. Also taping off chrome and so on can be a little sloppy so again may want to remove stuff yourself. Also the quality of the paint used is a big expense. Good quality paint now is over $400 a gallon not including the clear, primers, and additives so you can get $1000 in the materials or $200 for cheap stuff. Back in 1966 I got my Morris painted for $20. I did all the prep and masking so all they had to do is spray it with enamel. The prep is a lot of the cost and a lot of the work.

The other option is to take a week off or so and go on a trip to the midwest. You are likely to get a better paint job cheaper than in the east. Take two cars and go to the Black Hills and pick your car up on the way back all nice and shiny.

My $1200 paint job was not a clear coat finish. I don’t believe the car’s original paint was that kind either.
MAACO left the trim on and carefully taped it off.

The car looked great for the next 4 years I had it.

Thanks Docnick. I might call MAACO see what they have to say. Not going to invest 4-5k on a car not worth that much.

You’re welcome! I would just make sure the MAACO you contact knows how to paint fiber glass bodies.