13. If you have no artistic skills, then have a rendering made. Get your ducks in a row before you contact an artist though. At least have a general plan and color choices in mind before you hire an artist for a rendering.
14. If you are going to a shop, then talk about the body mods you want during the estimate. Be specific and don’t forget to mention any work you want the shop to perform. Nothing is worse than having your final bill jump up substantially from the estimate because halfway through the job you added more work and forgot about the added cost.
15. If you are going to do the body mods or fix damage yourself, then talk to the painter you plan to use and find out what materials he recommends. This will cut down on the chance the paint will have an ill reaction like wrinkling if you use the wrong primer.
16. If you unearth a lot of thick filler or more than a little rust then it might be a good idea to just replace the entire fender. Let us put that into perspective for you. A new fender will run you on average around 300 bucks and since time is money some times its better to replace the part then spend more than three hours to get it ready for blocking.
17. Look at a shop’s brag books to see the quality of work and style. This will be a great way to know if the shop can produce the idea that’s in your head.
18. Be patient and don’t decide on the first shop you stop at. Get several quotes then pick the one that best suits your needs/budget.
19. Look inside the shop to see how clean and organized it is. Some dirt is fine, but piles of trash and a foot-thick layer of sanding dust is not. Check out the booth, prep, and bodywork areas as well. If the booth is real dirty, then there is a chance this shop relies on color sanding to get the dirt out of the paint job. The crummy part of that is, they will most likely charge you for that work.
20. Go back several times. Are the same cars still there being worked on? This is a sign that the shop might take a long time to finish your work. Also, never pay for the entire job up front. A deposit to cover materials should be good enough to get the job going. This will avoid you getting burned if the shop goes out of business and/or doesn’t finish the work.
21. If you’re going to drive your car every day, it’s best to avoid complicated or detailed graphic jobs that go near the front of the hood. These will be hard to touch up or repair once the rock chips start to show up.
22. When picking a color, put all the options out on the table and see which one looks the best in the sea of sameness.
23. If you plan on having your frame powdercoated to match your exterior color, it’s a good idea to pick the powder color first. It’s easier to match the paint to the powder.
24. Get everything you need at once. Some paint supply houses will give you a discount when you make a larger order and mixing paint afterwards if you run out can sometimes lead to mismatched colors.
25. Keep in mind that changing the color of the car will almost double the price over just reshooting the original color. If you still want to spend all that money and like the original color, then apply the saved money for graphics.
26. Another cool but cheaper option is having the car two-toned. That way the painter isn’t using as much material or spending as much time to complete the job. As we all know, materials and time equal money.
27. If you want to save a little cash, take the car apart yourself. Disassemble as much as you can to aid the shop and prevent any of your parts getting damaged or lost.
28. Remove audio equipment or anything of value. Bodywork produces a lot of dust and dust doesn’t mix well with audio equipment.