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I've finally settled on a new paint scheme for my Bronco and I'm hoping to get it done sometime before this summer when I drive it home. I'm going with a fairly simple black base with red pin striping/lettering. The reason I'm going with this color scheme is because this year marks my family's centennial anniversary of raising cattle and the farms colors are black and red. So that's what I'm going with.

Anyways, I'm trying to figure out how to go about it. There are two ways as I see it. 1. Rattle can it myself. I don't have a garage or anyplace I can use a spray gun to paint the whole truck so I'm stuck with paint cans. I've seen some good work with those, but my ideas may be a bit much for that though. Option 2. is to have it professionally done. There are a couple of restoration shops near me than can do it, but I'm not sure its worth the price compared to a rattlecan job.

So my questions are these.
1. Can I get a glossy finish using rattle cans? I'm thinking I can go with a base black with red pinstriping and lettering where needed and just cover it all with clear coat. Would that work? Or is there another way to go about it?

2. What can I expect a good shop to do in terms of prep and painting? How much disassembly would/should they do and how would that figure into the cost? And what would be a ballpark estimate on how much a professional paint job would cost me?

3. How much of my original white paint would I really need to strip off? I'm hoping just the outer glossy coat to give something for the black paint to stick to but I want to be sure before I go pricing ideas. I don't want to start painting black and end up with gray.

No body work will be needed other than to remove the plastic bump strips. I'm getting rid of the chrome trim as well.
 

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I did all for the Nookie
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You can spray it outside with a conventional spray equipment some places better than others. We did mine in late august in the driveway humidity was low and I swear I did not see one bug until we layed the clear coat and at that I only had one take a nose dive on the hood.

1. I don't think you would get consistent glossy paint from a rattle can even with near perfect conditions.

2. The prep part is one of those things you get what you pay for. the more time you spend prepping the better it will be. I've painted cars that we've just scuffed it, taped it, primed it, and painted it. Black will be a cheaper color usually, but it will want more time in the prep to make it look good. most shops I run into around here are looking at around $1500-3000 for a decent paint job.

3 The body would just need scuffed up real well .
 

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Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
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good advice there... I would ad:

1. Rattlecan paint job can be done... but it takes a lot of practice and experience to come out with anything that's going to look 1/2 way decent. I'd shy away from a job that big, if you haven't got that experience.

2. If you can even borrow a friends shop or garage... do it! Painting outside can go either way. Weather and bugs can ruin a lot of great work and do it within a matter of minutes. Getting inside a shop can make a world of difference, unless you really like wet sanding. Get some rolls of plastic... even the thin "drop-cloth" stuff you can find in any hardware store and line your friends shop to protect his stuff from over-spray. Floor, walls, roof... no risk of messing up his place and you can get the shelter you need to do it right for yourself. Hell... even a Costco 10x20 tent with a giant tarp would be a better option than painting in the open... but I'm paranoid and kinda OCD. :toothless

3. Prep... as long as there are no real issue's to be considered with the existing paint and body, I'd still take a DA to it and sand the piss out of it. I never cared for a scuff job vs. a good sanding. Not saying you have to go down to metal or even primer... but a good sanding can make all the difference. Black is the BEST for covering old paint jobs... but it's the biggest way to show off ANY imperfections in the body. Dings and dents aren't even the 1/2 of it... just a "wavy" panel can look like ass all of the sudden.
Personally... I'd sand the piss out of it, then spray a primer filler and a guide coat to sand it all smooth with a flat-board. The guide coat (little over-spray, splatter patterns that show high and low spots really easy when sanding with a flat-board) can make that black paint job go from mediocre to outstanding for a little extra effort.

Just a few more cents for consideration.
 

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my advise would do what I am doing if you are not pressed for time, I work at a community college so I asked the auto collision instructor if they could do it for me, normally they just ask for you to reimburse the price of paint & sand paper but being that I fix majority of his electrical problems in vehicles I'm getting it all free :thumbup
see if there is a college or training center that could do it as a project that way you would get good quality work for not a whole lot
 

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I would pull the mirrors, antenna, and any other trim off that you can unbolt or unscrew. Then I'd wet sand it out and use a self etching primer on the bear spots and dry sand them.

Look up your local Maaco and haul it to them for painting (cover the front end with plastic). Their "Basic" paint job is only a few hundred (as much as $400?) and will be much better than any paint job you do with rattle cans. Its a single stage paint and will last a long time as long as you keep the Bronco under a roof - sun fade is the biggest enemy of their cheaper paint jobs. Their "Premium" paint job is actually pretty good (2 stage paint) and has a really good warranty. I've used them to paint the cabs of a couple old farm trucks that had gotten embarrassing to drive but I didn't want to replace.


You may want to rethink the black paint job if you are determined to go cheap - black shows all the imperfections of the body and prep work. White tends to hide those issues.


To be honest a really good shop will probably charge you in the $3000 to $6000 range to put a quality paint job on your Bronco. The problem is finding that good shop. Like any place a shop will have INDIVIDUALS that do great work and individuals that do work that do nothing but piss you off - depends on who gets assigned your Bronco.

I helped a guy prep and paint a 1959 Caddillac convertible. He pulled most of the chrome, made custom patch panels behind all 4 wheels, welded them in and smoothed them out with bondo. Sanded off the top 3-2 layers of paint (left the original primer and the most of the original paint) and laid a really nicing looking coat of paint and couple hand rubbed coats of clear on the car. His total was $6800 when all was said and done, dirt cheap for all the work done.

The very same car had just had $12,000 of body work done in another shop the year before and looked like it had been done in the drive way with about 5 gallon of bondo behind each fender and massive paint runs and lots of overspray on the glass and chrome. What was sad was all the chrome has just been replated before he screwed up with his "attempt" as a paint job.
 

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It's worth calculating the cost of a rattle can finish. It makes a buddy or community college with a spray gun look like a better choice for the money.

We sprayed ours to Flat Black at home, used 47 cans @ $8 each = $375. In hindsight we could have bought in bulk, we didn't and kept going to the store for 1-10 cans at a time.

47 cans to paint the entire Exterior body, Front Grill, Bumpers front and rear, Dashboard, and Rear Interior diamond plate panels.

Flat black is very do-able cheaply. I wouldn't try gloss unless you have a perfect body (yeah the Bronco...)



 

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I did all for the Nookie
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47 cans my index finger hurts just thinking about it. Ouch

If you are trying to do a home job make sure you a have a adequate compressor. Then pick up a water separator air filter i like to take 50' of air hose and coil it in a bucket or a cooler and then fill the container with as much ice as it will hold. I put the water separator at the end of that hose doing it that way will keep the Majority of the moisture out of your paint job. I also found this method works well for my sandblaster.
 

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If your gonna do some rattle can painting most paint departments have whats called a "spray paint can trigger." Its a handle that clips to the top of the spray can and has a pistol grip with a trigger. It can save wearing out your finger and they only cost a few bucks.
 
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