Do-it-yourself car painting is like so many other DIY projects in that while it's entirely possible to effectively paint your own car, it's almost always more difficult than DIY guides suggest. They are trying to sell you an idea based on the best-case DIY scenario; we're trying to sell you on the idea that ServiceMagic car painting professionals deliver a reliable paint job well worth the cost. It's not hard to find an online tutorial for painting your own car. So try this: Compare their step-by-step guide with this cautionary warning and then see if you still feel comfortable tackling this project yourself.
The General Difficulty for DIY Car Painting
Few people can overcome the tedium of proper surface preparation, the difficulty in creating an adequate environment to completely eliminate dirt and dust, the deft touch needed for even application, and the keen eyesight to spot patches that require putty touch-ups. And finding reliable online tips for choosing car paint is also more difficult than most people realize because the best products depend on a number of individual factors including the climate in which you live, how much money you want to spend, and whether you're going for short-term visual appeal or long-term durability. You may have an old car on its last legs that you no longer need and don't care if it, in effect, gets ruined. In this case, go for it. But where your primary means of transportation is at stake, stick with the professionals or paint at your own financial risk.
Specific Pitfalls for DIY Car Painting
This is far from a comprehensive list, nor will it allow you to troubleshoot every possible pitfall you might experience along the way, but you can catch a glimpse of the minefield you're entering with DIY car painting, while identifying some of the most common pitfalls that people fall into....
Hire a Pro: Spot Checks, Warranties, and Other Guarantees
If you hire a professional, you can spot check the job when it's done so you know that it starts off meeting with your approval. Match that with the shop's warranty which might run anywhere from six months to five yearsoften directly related to how much you're willing to payand you already have a nearly stress-free paint job. Depending on what you're looking for and budgetary resources, you can pay a few hundred dollars, a few thousand dollars, or even tens of thousands of dollars for custom detailing. Of course, like anything else, you need to make sure you get your money's worth by avoiding the scammers and less professional paint shops out there. But you should also be able to see what's available in your area, beyond the nearest Maaco, to make sure you're getting the best deal possible. This is where ServiceMagic can help. Take a minute to let us know you're looking for local car painting shops, and we'll find local professionals in your area that have passed our rigorous screening process. You can also check out our quality-controlled customer ratings and reviews to see what other local car owners have thought about their experience with individual paint shops. In the meantime, you may want to stick to changing your own oil.