View Full Version : $100 dollar paint job... on a caddy???

10-16-08, 02:29 AM
looking at my car just amazes me. the thing looks amazing. every time i drive it i get compliments like "nice car!" or "my grandparents used to have one of those!" and it makes me smile. But something that bothers me is the fact that I really can't make it look nice... I can just make it look clean. The paint is so messed up in places it makes me pretty sad because if it wasn't messed up it would be a beautiful color! So I decided to paint it myself the cheap and easy way. Thanks to http://www.rickwrench.com/index79master.htm?http://www.rickwrench.com/50dollarpaint.html I have an easy to follow guide on how to do this. Well, time to paint the ol girl rustoleum gloss black!

here's some before pictures:


you can even see how bad the paint is in places: take a look at the fender


i got 3/4 of her sanded down tonight and tomorrow i'll start the body work. i'll post pics as she comes along! wish me luck!

10-16-08, 03:04 AM
Good luck with the paint job. And I'm glad you're not selling her after all; I just have to see how this beaut' turns out!

Cadillac Giovanni
10-16-08, 04:21 PM
Hey, nothing wrong with some faded paint! I think it gives a car character.

Black is a nice color as always, but it's a shame to cover up that beautiful gold!

10-17-08, 01:07 AM
i know i know, half of me wants to paint it gold... if this whole $100 dollar paint job doesnt work out im gonna just get it painted professionally. but at least im trying!!!!

10-18-08, 07:01 AM
Save your money for a while and do it right.

10-18-08, 09:46 AM
If you're willing to put in the effort, it oughta come out looking pretty good. Heck, make it a $150 paint job. Go to an auto body supply store and pick up some metal flake and throw it in the rustoleum. Find a friend with one of these electric paint sprayers and go nuts! Best of luck.


10-20-08, 03:01 PM
You're better of leaving it the way it is. If there's no rust then don't worry about it. I love black on cars but in my opinion, painting that black would be a sin.

The factory paint with a little fade is far more nostalgic than spray can black.

If i did anything I would save the money and have it done right.

10-20-08, 03:55 PM
The original faded gold does give it that Richard Nixon, Moon-landing look. I like.

Can you do the original color?

10-21-08, 12:01 PM
i know i would love to save the money and do it right but the truth is, i'm probably never going to have the money to do that. plus if i get a scratch in a $5000 dollar paint job im going to be losing sleep over it wheras if i scratch my $100 paint job then i wont think about all the money i spent on a paint job. and yes i am definately going to be doing a lot of the body work on it to make her as perfect as i can. i've been getting a little behind on her but she really will turn out great i think.

10-21-08, 02:33 PM
OK Here's my thinking. I'm sort of in the same position. That being I have a nice older Caddi I love. I don't have the money to give it the care it truly deserves.

I made the decision that it would be better to sell the car to someone who does than to let it go or to cheap out on it.

You have a great car there and it's not the kind of car that should be driving enough to worry about scratches. That car should rightfully be restored and garaged.

Just my opinion that was derived form a lot of struggling with myself.

10-22-08, 12:42 AM
thats kind of my plan. well sort of. i would love to do it right... but hey. if it isnt satisfactory then atg least it will look better and it will look better until i can do it right

10-22-08, 03:37 AM
Personally, I like the origional gold paint color. It doesn't look all that faded. I'd keep her as is for now. Just my 2 cents...

425 Dual Quad
10-22-08, 07:30 AM
I'm going to chip in for gold too!!
If you can't get a gold colour can you get some white rustoleum and have it tinted gold? The gold looks really nice and I think black would kill it.

You know getting a set of cheap hubcaps off ebay would make it look a lot better than an black paint job.

Good luck whatever you dcide to do.

regards, ncik

10-22-08, 12:17 PM
I have the factory caps off my 78 Coupe in wire and standard. Would they fit? I'd love to sell them to you, cheap.

10-22-08, 02:09 PM
hey i appreciate your input guys... probably the opinions i most respect come from this place. yah i have a set of wire hubcaps off my '85 i'm going to throw on there soon. i think you guys might be suprised! i really think it is going to look really good.

and yes... if it does turn out totally crappy, i'm going to save money and have it done right... im only out $100 bucks. but if it looks good, then why not?

believe me, i HAVE lost sleep over to keep or not to keep the gold problem. love the color, love the way it looks on the car, but it's time for something new i think. what no one can see in the picture is the paint is really bad in some spots. and if i were to spot paint it, i would never be able to match the original color so i would have to do the whole car over again. there are spots on the paint that just make me cringe every time i look at them and they're only from someones stupid neglect and attempt to "fix it yourself"

will continue soon as soon as i have a couple of sunny days off of work. will take pictures!

p.s. i painted a small spot under the hood the black i'm going to paint it. it dried perfectly and looks great!

10-22-08, 05:47 PM
You'll never have the money? You're 19. Five years will go by like a blur, and by then you'll be gainfully employed with plenty of $$$ to drop on her.

Since you're in California, you can afford to wait as corrosion isn't a concern. This spray job will only complicate matters when you decide to fix her down the line, or make her considerably less valuable should you decide to sell.

Put bluntly, you will regret it.

10-22-08, 09:08 PM
Nah, he won't necessarily have money.

10-22-08, 09:49 PM
I have seen a couple of those Rustoleum jobs in person and they are SWEET! the black ones honestly looked better than 90% of the black cars i see on show room floors. Of course they rubbed the hell out of it and spent DAYS on end doing so... My paint job is costing me about $150...

But i am just doing PolyUrithane Enamel (gold metallic) and will be spraying it myself, cutting/buffing and all so thats saves a TON of money right there. But i paint for a living so... It really isn't that hard though, probably easier then the Rustoleum job IMO

11-01-08, 03:57 PM
I've painted numerous old Wheel Horse garden tractors with spray cans. It's not the easiest thing to do, it's hard to keep from having the "strokes" look. I'm not just walking outside and start painting, everthing was wet sanded and cleaned to remove oils silicones(keep amor-all VERY far away) and I tried to make it look as good as possible. To make it look the best, the final coat needs to be sort of thich which makes it easy to run. Plus unless ALL grease, oils, armor-all mist etc is removed, it'll fish eye etc Plus, black is a very unforgiving color, it's hard to make it look nice, at least in my experience. I would have no desire to do it myself. It would be hard in my opinion to make it not look like you painted with a rattle can.

But, that said, it's your baby and I wish you the best. Take your time, make sure it's all clean before you paint and watch for runs.

durrk johnson
11-06-08, 09:18 PM
There are certain cap adapters you can buy that will let you spray long and flat just like they do in the shop but smaller... They have a handle and everything. Then you get a can of gloss and youre set... If you do it right, It will come out decent...

I wouldnt listen to much to the people telling you not to do it... Its your car, and if you want it, then you can do it... I mean guys, This seems to be an old project car anyways...Some of you dudes are acting like hes doing this on a brand new DTS or something.

11-07-08, 08:51 PM
Oh, well, who cares about screwing up a paint job on a new DTS? Let us know how it comes out!

11-08-08, 08:45 AM
After reading all those posts about Rustoleum paint jobs, I decided I'd love to give it a try. Unfortunately I don't have any car I'm willing to attempt this on right now. Too bad I sold my 1993 Ford Thunderbird - that was a prime candidate for an experiment like this.

If I ever try, on a Caddy, I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.

11-08-08, 06:14 PM
You all need to check out the link on the very first post of this thread. The OP is NOT talking about a spray job - this technique of using rollers to paint is very interesting - some people have had really good results with it!

11-21-08, 10:07 PM
DO it! I did my 1984 olds 98 with rustoleum. It came out pretty much perfect. And I hurried. It's just a winter turd pretty much anymore.

I scuffed up the old paint, masked it off, and mixed 50/50 rustoleum Gloss Almond paint and reducer. I sprayed it on with my sprayer and compressor in about an hour, and then did another coat. It dried smooth and mostly shiny. If I felt like buffing it, it'd look like new. I'd get pics, but it's burried under a heap of snow.

Rustoleum is good stuff, and extremely forgiving. The only thing you have to be mindful of is that it takes FOREVER to dry. I could still smell it when I walked out in the driveway, days later, in the middle of summer when it was 85-90 out. Low humidity would be helpful, it was kind of humid the weekend I did it.

You have a beautiful car, and I'd certainly have it painted professionally if I had the money. That car deserves a good paint job. The thing you have to consider is that changing the color is quite a big job. You have to wrap the finish, remove parts of the interior, and the door sills, make sure that none of the gold is visible if you don't want it to look half assed. Make sure you cover the ENTIRE interior. The dust will find it's way in there. Rustolem sticks to everything, that's one of it's selling points.

The other thing to consider, and it was mentioned once, if you DO screw it up, it could easily cost more than the $100 you think you'll be out. Depending on what the shop rate is where you may eventually decide to have it professionally refinished, you'll be tacking hours on for the amount of time it's going to take to sand through the thick coat of rustolem, which when dry is extremely hard.

If you do a good job, it'll be better looking and more durable than the finish on ANY new car, and many average body shop jobs.

Another option would be to prep the car for paint yourself. Remove all of the old paint (get a compressor and a D-A for this, it'll save you a lot of pain and suffering), do any needed body work, and prime it for paint. Then take it to a shop for a spray job, which would be fairly inexpensive.


11-22-08, 12:51 PM
hey thanks aaron! i appreciate your feedback! lately i've been SO busy with work and finals and everything and i dont think i'll get around to it until winter break... i should probably wait and paint it in a warmer season...

11-22-08, 06:25 PM
Aaron, did you do yours in a garage? I've often considered trying this job on a car, but am worried about debris since I don't have a large garage. Also, I have one of those automotive paint guns with the pump all-in-one. I'd also be faced with the question of doing the car with a roll-brush and severely wet-sanding or just using the spray gun.

Also, I read that if you thin the paint down it will dry much faster. But you need like 6 coats.


11-23-08, 09:36 AM
I know the original idea is to roll the paint on, but thinning the paint and using a spraying is a much better idea, it would not only dry much faster, but would allow many thinner coats which would look a lot better than a few thick gloppy ones. It would make wet-sanding a hell of a lot less painful too. When I did the black stripe on my '90, I did 4 coats of black and 3 of clear. Wet-sanding didn't take too long.


11-23-08, 02:22 PM
When I did the black stripe on my '90, I did 4 coats of black and 3 of clear. Wet-sanding didn't take too long.

I assume, you used an electric spray gun then, but did you do it outside? Again, the original article says debris "vanishes" when you wetsand those sloppy layers. But I don't know if that's true with thinner sprayed layers.