View Full Version : New paint job?

08-08-2012, 07:28 AM
Went to a reputable body shop yesterday to get an estimate on a new paint job. I was shocked to hear that it could be $5,000 to completely strip ALL parts and paint to look showroom new:cry:.
The 65 year old man had received numerous awards from MB for his previous jobs and it appears he would do an excellent job.

Here are pictures. What do you all think?


08-08-2012, 08:00 AM
Although 5k$ is a lot of money, I don't think it's much for a complete paint job! Will they also remove all parts, clean them, paint, put lacquer on, assemble the car? Then it's a bargain.

08-08-2012, 09:06 AM
I agree. $5000. would be a good price to do the job properly. What are the issues with your paint?


08-08-2012, 09:17 AM

I think 5k is too low considering the cost of top brand materials these days. What painting system- primer-color-clear coat is he going to use.

Lower body trim is quite a bit of work to remove them, prep and paint. I think he's saying 5 grand to re-spray over the original finish.


08-08-2012, 09:25 AM
I am a proponent of keeping the car on its original paint job as much as possible even if it has some scratches / slight wear.
But realistically most 500Es are now repainted (20 years old), and its not shameful on a car that old.

If you can keep the whole car or most of it on the original paint it would be better, IMO worth more in Resale. But if a repaint is necessary then $5000 for this high standard is worth it.

08-08-2012, 10:03 AM
Body shop said they would remove everything, including ALL panels, strip the entire car, and clear-coat the entire car, reassemble all parts, and guaranteeing the paint for life.
He would use the smoke silver via Gerry's color code.

08-08-2012, 10:08 AM
$5k is about right, possibly a bit on the low side for a real top-notch job. This is probably with pedestrian paints like DuPont, if you specify Sikkens or Glasurit (if they can even get it!), the price may increase.


08-08-2012, 10:11 AM
Next question is, would there be any return on this investment should I ever sell? 50%, 40%?


08-08-2012, 11:39 AM
$5k is a decent price for a moderately nice job. If you want to duplicate original, it can be up to almost twice as much.

As tempting as it is, I wouldn't consider ROI as a factor unless you bought the car for an extremely cheap price.

08-08-2012, 11:54 AM
$5k is a decent price for a moderately nice job. If you want to duplicate original, it can be up to almost twice as much. As tempting as it is, I wouldn't consider ROI as a factor unless you bought the car for an extremely cheap price.
+1 on both counts.

I'd expect near zero ROI financially, however depending on how bad the paint currently is, the smiles-per-mile ROI could be substantial. If you do get it painted, I would highly recommend getting as much clear-film protection as possible on the front end; particularly with today's enviro-friendly, chip-prone paints.


08-08-2012, 12:13 PM
Ooooo good point, I was looking at ROI from a purely $ perspective since he mentioned a possible sale; there is much to be said about a newly painted car :smile:/ROI <-- :)

08-08-2012, 02:05 PM
Personally- I'd avoid Sikkens. Very common in high-volume repair shops and marketed as enviromentally friendlier. I want durability! Glassit has great writeups on very hard to match colors. Another german painting system is Spies Hecker to consider.
If I was going to paint the car- I would remove all trim/lights to save $$ and damage. Assumming you feel comfortable with it. Probably door seals also..

08-08-2012, 02:14 PM
Could be that Sikkens has changed their formula... years ago (like, 10-20 years ago) they were top notch stuff, right up there with Glasurit, IMO. I had paintwork done with DuPont in the last 8 years and IMO it chipped way, way too easily.


08-08-2012, 02:52 PM
I have two MBs repainted with Sikkens and there is nothing wrong with that paint. It wears like iron. The shop offers Dupont or Sikkens and they charge more for the Sikkens. The Dupont is what they use for insurance repairs and they paint a lot of concourse cars as well as do work for two local porsche dealers with the Sikkens. I don't think it's environmentally friendlier, either, unless it's the water-based modern version. The Sikkens paint jobs came with a 10 year warranty against fading or peeling, btw.

08-08-2012, 02:55 PM
And $5k is a steal. And you don't want the whole car stripped. It should only be stripped to metal where there's rust. The right thing is to remove the clear and scuff the base. Stripping perfectly good base and primer just makes it much more likely that the car will rust.

08-08-2012, 03:54 PM
The beauty of having no environment regulation (well,hard to call it that) is that we still get the old Glasurit paint systems. when I resprayed the front end on the 500E in 2006, the new paint was a perfect match with the original factory paint, looked the same 5 years later and really hard to chip.

MB stopped using Glasurit and now only use Standox and PPG ... water based Nano Tech.

08-08-2012, 05:33 PM
I just sent my friends E500 to paint here in California. I did the disassembly for the most part, the paint will be factory 199 for the body and alto grey for the lowers. I think he is using a PPG product but because of California regulations, it will be a water based product. The initial estimate is $4,500.00 which is paint only.




08-08-2012, 06:21 PM

You cannot just say Dupont or PPG.. They sell 3 or 4 product lines. I was familiar with Sikkens when it became popular in the 90's and it was ease of color match and not durabilty. It was easy to market as some fancy foreign paint knowbody was familiar with.

The current Sikkens system has a water based color coat with the catalized clear. They have had bond issues between the clear/color coats. One of the local HUGE autobody chain uses Sikkens here and the president's car got wrecked. They did the repair work in house, but the paint was purchased which I think was Glassuirt. Sikkens would have been free.. says a lot to me.
Captuff- cool prep!

Last Sikkens thought- great paint are they the prime supplier to MB? Nope, the nano-sphere clear used on MB's was developed with them? Nope Sure Classic Center uses them (environmentally friendly painting system)... but like I said. I'm sure they are not #1 on shine retention or chip resistance for refinished cars. Give me swedish steel.. not swedish paint=0)

08-08-2012, 06:50 PM
The estimate will arrive in a few days. I'll share the details when I get them.

08-08-2012, 07:15 PM
Wow 5000$...
In Germany if i would do the dissamble-work i could get it as low as 2750 for the W124 Series. Paint is Glasurit, as thats the paint-system my local painter uses.

Arent there any US-Systems to use besides DuPont? I am a hobby painter myself (painted 2,3 cars already) and from the largest german/international painter-forums i know, that the most US-Clearcoats (made of Polyurethane instead of Acrylic) produce a better and deeper shine aswell as a better "wet-effect" even after the paint has fully "ventilated" itself. Also one could save to add additional softener/plasticizer to the clearcoat when spraying all the plastic parts.
Durability, UV-Blocking, etc might be better on the german product ranges though - depends on the "additives" added to the base "resin" in the factory, which ALL comes from BASF ;-) (Industry secret just exposed - haha).

Another pretty good brand on the cheaper side is MIPA from Bavaria Germany (http://www.mipa.de/gb/index.html). I used their paints quite alot as you mostly save around 75% compared to the Industry Leader Glasurit.
8 years ago for instance, i painted the lower trim of my 190E completely from Altograu into DB199, using MIPA paints and it still lives today without issues/cracks whatever. Top-Notch Products, their base-paints even on hard-to-match tones like "Silver", especially Mercedes' "Brilliantsilver DB744", always matched perfectly. I really love their Products for the price. And they offer everything and more that the leaders like Glasurit offering.

Also, yes don't beat me, i can advocate for another paint brand based on my testings the last decade. Its called "Profix" (http://www.multichem.pl/en.html). Their higher-priced(still a joke in numbers) clearcoats are Top-notch and their (U)HS Fillers/Primers too, as they are very easy to sand and build-up lots of thickness even after 1-2 coats.
Price its a joke as its made in Poland. With the entire Profix series from Primer/Filler till Clearcoat i painted my Parents new front and rear Bumper on their Silver Mazda car. Color was Perfect Match too and it still looks good after 5 years. Hell i even painted a papier-mache sun with it (used the softened primer and a 30% softened clearcoat - the rest what was left that i had mixed for the bumper) and it still sticks to the paper perfectly today. So far pretty good for 10% of Glasurit Price.
Pictures from my Profix Paintings come later... probably...

08-08-2012, 08:27 PM
Could be that Sikkens has changed their formula... years ago (like, 10-20 years ago) they were top notch stuff, right up there with Glasurit, IMO. I had paintwork done with DuPont in the last 8 years and IMO it chipped way, way too easily.

:seesaw:+1. My experience with Sikkens about 10 years back was top notch. Right up with Glasurit.

08-09-2012, 12:56 AM
I was quoted $4.5K for a full re-spray including removal of trim and exterior panels at a reputable shop here in Phoenix so $5K sounds about right.

08-09-2012, 07:19 AM
Seems low to me based on what I recently paid for a partial respray; however, mine included some corrective body work as well, so maybe that's what's throwing me off.

08-09-2012, 08:34 AM
$5K for a high quality partial respray is correct. I would question $5K for a high-quality full paint job unless two factors were present: 1) you as the owner (yourself) removed all of the body hardware, lights, etc. (see Jeff's photos above), thus lessening the labor component of the job substantially; or 2) it was a sweetheart deal or favor because the owner of the body/paint shop knew you or specifically discounted the job for you.

Generally speaking, a ballpark figure for a high-quality respray at a shop that knows MBs, with quality (Sikkens, Glasurit, Spies/Hecker) European paint should run between $7,500 and $10K. When I lived in Portland, I received an estimate to do my 300SEL 6.3 with the Sikkens system from one of the top-notch European car painters in the city (works on a lot of high-end and collector/exotic cars) for $10K in the original color. I saw other paint this guy had done and it was absolutely stunning work, flawless in every regard. That may be a bit overkill for many, but $5K seems low to me.


08-09-2012, 09:35 AM
Don't you guys take cars for repaint in Mexico for cheaper labour prices?

The MB dealership repaint in Q8 is $3600-5400... seen some of their work..Crap.

08-09-2012, 09:37 AM
I had my '72 107 repainted 2 years ago.
It was $6K after I removed all trim and stripped the old paint.
The shop owner claimed he lost money on it after he was done. Said if he bid it again he would be at $10K.

08-09-2012, 10:33 AM
Maybe I'm missing something Gerry/Dave,

But here's MBUSA's approved paint repair systems. Not seeing Sikkens in the list.

Mexico was a good option for a long time. Not sure any more .. lower labor costs and prep is 95% of a good paint job.

08-09-2012, 11:04 AM
I take MB's approvals with a grain of salt. They could only approve enviro-friendly stuff for all we know. Glasurit is on the list so you could specify that if you want to stick with "approved" products. All I know is that I personally have not had good experience with recent DuPont products and many people who have had excellent results with (older) Sikkens products.


08-09-2012, 12:33 PM
I would have no qualms about using Sikkens paint. I would be MUCH more concerned up front about the scrupulousness and abilities of the body shop, their attention to detail, and their knowledge of & ability to paint Mercedes cars.

The paint decision would be a secondary factor. That said, I would definitely prefer a European paint system to a PPG, Ditzler, DuPont, etc. product.

I would also need strong references and to view other cars that the shop had done before making a final decision.


08-09-2012, 08:34 PM
The estimate has arrived: I could do some of the prep to save $$$.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=13907bc9f7ec7240&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F0%2 F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3Dc93f436514%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1 3907bc9f7ec7240%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26real attid%3Df_h5mtbx3f0%26zw&docid=3a232a80751f8b6d68cde6ce2ff40043%7Cedf8b7273 4500e5cae76b2244b976278&a=bi&pagenumber=2&w=800

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=13907bc9f7ec7240&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F0%2 F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3Dc93f436514%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1 3907bc9f7ec7240%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26real attid%3Df_h5mtbx3f0%26zw&docid=3a232a80751f8b6d68cde6ce2ff40043%7Cedf8b7273 4500e5cae76b2244b976278&a=bi&pagenumber=3&w=800

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=13907bc9f7ec7240&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F0%2 F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3Dc93f436514%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1 3907bc9f7ec7240%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26real attid%3Df_h5mtbx3f0%26zw&docid=3a232a80751f8b6d68cde6ce2ff40043%7Cedf8b7273 4500e5cae76b2244b976278&a=bi&pagenumber=4&w=800

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=13907bc9f7ec7240&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F0%2 F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3Dc93f436514%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1 3907bc9f7ec7240%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26real attid%3Df_h5mtbx3f0%26zw&docid=3a232a80751f8b6d68cde6ce2ff40043%7Cedf8b7273 4500e5cae76b2244b976278&a=bi&pagenumber=5&w=800

https://docs.google.com/viewer?attid=0.1&pid=gmail&thid=13907bc9f7ec7240&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2Fu%2F0%2 F%3Fui%3D2%26ik%3Dc93f436514%26view%3Datt%26th%3D1 3907bc9f7ec7240%26attid%3D0.1%26disp%3Dsafe%26real attid%3Df_h5mtbx3f0%26zw&docid=3a232a80751f8b6d68cde6ce2ff40043%7Cedf8b7273 4500e5cae76b2244b976278&a=bi&pagenumber=6&w=800

08-10-2012, 09:12 AM
How much was the estimate?

08-10-2012, 10:47 AM
$6,193 if they do it all.

08-21-2012, 02:25 AM
The paint itself is the last thing that you need to worry about when painting a car. The key to a successful paint job is removing everything that can be removed. Then the car needs to be prepped well, then blocked and cleaned. The painter and the paint booth MUST also be very clean as 80% of the trash that ends up in paint comes off the painter and it's this trash that can ruin a paint job even after it's buffed out.

A friend of mine is a retired body shop owner who did most of the work for the Porsche and Audi dealers in the 80's and 90's. He told me that when you shoot clear, the chemicals that provide UV protection usually rise to the top and will get stripped during the buffing process so it's best to get it right, out of the gun.

PPG and Dupont make good paint, they also have a budget line. I asked my paint jobber about quality between the high end line (Dupont Chromobase vs Nason) and my rep told me that there is not much difference in durability, but Nason (the budget paint) does not match as well to the original paint and the selection is smaller for new cars so it's better suited for painting a whole vehicle and not for collision work where blending is required.

European paints like Glasurit are generally better quality however but you could spend $1500-2000 in materials alone if you're wanting to use it which will push the price up considerably.

I've shot with Nason paint on 4 cars and it's matched well, but all of the cars that I've painted were older models. As far as problems with it, none were caused by the quality of the paint, but instead the quality of the painter. I'm still learning :)

08-21-2012, 05:11 AM
The paint itself is the last thing that you need to worry about when painting a car
I disagree! While i agree that proper preparation work and cleanness is 75% of the end result, this is worth nothing if you use crap paints that peel-off after 1-2 years or dull out the paint under the clear (Stuff like that often happens when people save on paint products).

He told me that when you shoot clear, the chemicals that provide UV protection usually rise to the top and will get stripped during the buffing process so it's best to get it right, out of the gun.
This is nonsense. The spray gun atomizes the mixture evenly - dont believe me? Ask market-leaders like SATA or Devilbiss about it. And now i ask you, if you already sprayed anything with a pray gun yourself and knowing how to properly spray, you know that you have an 2/3 Overlap from "line to line". So even if this would be true that the UV-Protectors get *only* to the top, there will be more than enough of it even in the deepest bit of the clear on the car/part.

Ohh and by the way, finishing (sanding, buffing) is at least in germany always done after painting. Especially with modern required "low VOC" (Ultra)High Solid Clearcoats that tend to have a rather bad "flow" when landing on the part.

EDIT: Btw, here are some pics of the front bumper and papier mache sund i painted with Profix products, as described in post #20 (http://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?3030-New-paint-job&p=27604&viewfull=1#post27604):

08-21-2012, 07:03 AM
Thanks for all the input guys. At this point, The $6200 paint job will have to wait. Just not enough $$$ to go around these days. I have decided to focus on properly maintaining both 500Es and do a Euro light upgrade in the near future!

08-27-2012, 01:13 PM
Generally speaking, a ballpark figure for a high-quality respray at a shop that knows MBs, with quality (Sikkens, Glasurit, Spies/Hecker) European paint should run between $7,500 and $10K.

+1 I am looking at quotes for a partial respray or full paint job on my car and Gerry is right on target. I probably won't do the full paint on my car, but the estimate was $9K including replacing front and back windows. This is from a shop that does a few special cars at a time and does excellent work.

We are still negotiating the partial respray, so no numbers on that yet...

08-29-2012, 09:46 AM
My problem is that most of the mechanical issues have been taken care of (at great expense) on the 93'. The 92' still needs new rubber in a few spots, but those parts have been ordered.
Mechanically, the cars will be as up to date as I can make them.
That leaves aesthetics. There are other cars out there that are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If you buy one, you still have to go over all the mechanical.
If I had it all to do over again, I would pay up front for one great example, instead of two that needed differing items. ie. . . paint for the 92' and mechanical issues on the 93'.

08-29-2012, 09:47 AM
The paint estimate is for a PPG paint system.

08-31-2012, 11:33 AM
MB Classic Center uses BASF paint. Glasurit is owned by BASF.

09-05-2012, 11:38 PM
I was quoted 15k for a complete job by a reputable restoration shop. Unfortunately, I have some really annoying yet not major rust issues, but I still think that 8-10 K extra for these is just way too much. Any suggestions for good shops in westchester/connecticut.

09-25-2012, 01:45 AM
See, if your car is bit rusty and desperately needed a paint job and the guy which you have been telling about is really good at what he does then it would be worth shedding $5k on your car,expecting it to be new all again...!!! Go ahead...If you can afford..!!

Stevester 500E
09-26-2012, 08:20 PM
Take it to Mexico, they use non-water based paints. De-trim it your self as they may brake parts, but when it comes to prepping and painting, they can do a very very good job. You would think it was a $5000 dollar paint job for $2000.
You take it to the wrong place and you will be very very dissapointed.