Should I get a Paint Job


I just bought a 98 Buick Century (Elderly couple owned it). It only has 40k for miles but a lot of dings and some rust starting around the wheel wells. I plan on keep this the car until it dies and would like it to last at least 5 years and would love to get 10. Should I get a paint job on it now or should I wait a year or 2 more? I don’t want to spend a grand on a paint job and 3 years from now have it start rusting again.


Well the harsh reality is that unless you get the car sandblasted down to bare metal, have all the rusty metal taken out and patch panels welded in, and then do a body-off paint job (so you can e-coat it and then bake it in an oven), you’re probably going to get rust again in a few years if you drive it in the winter.

now IMHO a Buick Century is not worth a full body-off restoration - - I’d save that for 50’s hotrods myself.

IMO it’s only worth doing rust repair on a car that will never again see salt on the roads, because otherwise you’re going to get rust again the first time your new paint job gets a ding in it.


Not to burst any bubbles low mileage does not automatically mean the vehicle will last any longer. Vehicle life is both by time AND mileage. I think your 5 years is more realistic. Rust is one of the things that makes vehicle life by time only be 10-14 years.

I would not bother painting the car and enjoy it as-is.


I don’t think I would paint it. Painting will make it look better for a while, but then it ma end up looking worse than it would have otherwise in a few years.


I’ll disagree. I don’t know if I’d go to the expense of painting the whole thing but if it has rust forming, the rust MUST be repaired when it is small rust or it will soon become a bigger problem. I’d have the rust around the wheel wells fixed and maybe have the sides painted and the rest clear coated. $1000 won’t go far though.



Thanks… I was quoted a grand. Basically 250 a quarter panel. Also there really is not a lot of rust right now but the paint is pealing and it won’t be long before there will be rust.


Rust is an insidious thing. Once it gets started it is almost impossible to keep it at bay. I have found that when you fix it in one place it pops up somewhere else a shor time later. IMHO, it’s not worth fixing if it’s gone very far. Just drive it and dump it when it gets too bad.


My parents spent approx $2000 trying to fight rust to the bitter end in an otherwise perfect running 1989 Toyota 4x4 pickup till 2001.

The rust ate it and it was only worth about $500 not being able to pass inspection.