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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to buy the Cadillac ground effects kit. I stopped at a couple body shops to get an estimate with photos of the kit, and the average price was about $500. That included painting the front lip and side skirts (rear requires no paint). The unpainted kit will cost about $1,100-$1,200 so with another $500 on top that's pretty damn expensive. Probably why very few people have it. I can choke down paying the cost for the kit, but I'm having a hard time accepting to pay another $500 on top, so here is my idea.

Now keep in mind I have painted many things before. On my old neon I painted side skirt from a mopar kit with rattle cans, and had a body shop clear coat it. Turned out very nice and was happy with the results. I was thinking of going a different route.

I was going to buy two cans of paint from online to match the body color. Adhesion promoter, scotch brite pads, etc and thinking of clear coating myself. Amazon sells a clear coat that once activated has a 48 hour shelf life, but the quality is supposed to be comparable to professionals. Total cost of going this route should be about $100-$125 or so compared to $500 from a pro.

I figured since these are pieces that are easily removed, if the paint doesn't last I can always take them off and have a pro do them. Does anyone have advice for painting plastic? I know I will get some dust in the clear coat, but since it's so low to the ground I can't see it bothering me too much. I will research more online and watch youtube videos as well. Maybe I can build a small quarantined area to help control the dust once I clear coat.... I know dust is hard to control in an environment like a garage.
 

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It's worth a try if you feel you can do it. Depending on the actual material of the kit you may need to apply a special primer and paint that will flex with the part or the paint will crack. I had a ground effects installed on my Sky roadster last year and it was made from urethane and required the special paint. Cost me about $450 to have it painted I believe but it looks great and no cracks.
The other issue is when you clear coat yourself you will end up with a lot of orange peel that you will have to wet sand and buff out, it's a lot work. If it were me I'd pay and have it done correctly the first time and with a shop that will stand behind their work, but that's me :)
Good luck and post some pics when your done!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. I think I'm going to give this a shot and see how it turns out. I don't think these parts will flex very much, but the front piece will be impacted by rocks and bugs so I don't want it chipping and cracking. I will ask whoever I buy the paint from on what they recommend.

My next decision is buying the red kit for $927.68 or the ready to paint for $1,127.18 (not sure why red is cheaper). Maybe leftovers from the Crimson edition.

Is a $200 savings worth me having to sand down the three pieces? Honestly I'm not really sure. I like saving money, but how much time is it going to add to this. If I could sand it down in a couple of hours I think it's worth it, but I also want the paint to stick as best as possible, and I feel a primed piece will achieve that. I wish Cadillac offered this in my color so I wouldn't have to deal with this BS.
 

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Current 2014 red CTS Vsport/ Black Raven 2013 3.6 ATS4 gone
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For me if the kit came red for cheaper I would get that in a second. They always say something is ready to paint but never is. I always have to sand and fill before painting anything. Have had many body kits I painted but said it was ready to paint. Yeah right. But who know it could be ready to go. I would try and have it clear coated by a shop though. In the past I have used some and looked great out of my spray gun but after 2 years it started to yellow. I had to wet sand it again to get rid of the yellow as it was on the surface from the sun and elements.

For me it's a no brainer. I would buy the prepainted one and that serves as a primer. Wet sand that to rough it up and start painting. No primer needed in that process and should come out great. The painted one should cost more and is easier to repaint than the plain one. They just did all the steps for you and you can tell if there is any defects right off the rip that need extra attention. Instead of a primer to then find out you have highs and lows that need to be filled.

Good luck and show us some pics when done. You already know what you are going to do so just go with the gut.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For me if the kit came red for cheaper I would get that in a second. They always say something is ready to paint but never is. I always have to sand and fill before painting anything. Have had many body kits I painted but said it was ready to paint. Yeah right. But who know it could be ready to go. I would try and have it clear coated by a shop though. In the past I have used some and looked great out of my spray gun but after 2 years it started to yellow. I had to wet sand it again to get rid of the yellow as it was on the surface from the sun and elements.

For me it's a no brainer. I would buy the prepainted one and that serves as a primer. Wet sand that to rough it up and start painting. No primer needed in that process and should come out great. The painted one should cost more and is easier to repaint than the plain one. They just did all the steps for you and you can tell if there is any defects right off the rip that need extra attention. Instead of a primer to then find out you have highs and lows that need to be filled.

Good luck and show us some pics when done. You already know what you are going to do so just go with the gut.
Exact post I was looking for Duneless, thanks! Photos will definitely be posted.
 

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Alright good luck. You know what you are doing. Some would buy the ready to paint not realizing something painted is much easier to deal with. That's already a great base for painting buying the painted one. You do the right steps it will turn out good. It's just the bottom of the car not at eye level.
Exact post I was looking for Duneless, thanks! Photos will definitely be posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I had to buy the ready to paint kit since it was the cheapest that included the rockers. I ordered several items from automotivetouchup. I bought two cans of base coat paint, Acrylic laquer primer, adhesion promoter, 600 grit sand paper, masking tape, tack cloth, prep solvent, and a can of Spraymax 2k clearcoat. To those who are familiar, is there anything else I should look into? I own a good quality respirator and googles for the clear coat. I plan on doing it all in my garage, and for the clear I will be putting up some plastic and wetting the floor to help with dust.

Based on what I researched. I should wet sand the pieces with 600, clean with prep solvent, then tack cloth. Spray 2 coats of adhesion promoter. 2 coats pf primer, sand smooth, tack cloth, three coats of paint. Tack cloth when fully dry, then 3 coats of clear.

Am I on the right track? I'm going to ask the body shop at the dealer for advice as well when I pick up the kit. I find those guys are usually very helpful when you ask questions. My one concern is the heat and humidity in NC. It's now in the upper 80's to 90's daily. I'm guessing this will add quite a bit to the cure time.
 

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I would do some test painting on something and let dry for color match and dry time. Paint your pieces the same day if all looks good. Your on track. Just don't put to much paint on first couple of coats. I sometimes put to much paint on and will get some runs. Then I have to wait for it to dry. Then sand again and paint again. Pain in my a$$. But my fault.
I had to buy the ready to paint kit since it was the cheapest that included the rockers. I ordered several items from automotivetouchup. I bought two cans of base coat paint, Acrylic laquer primer, adhesion promoter, 600 grit sand paper, masking tape, tack cloth, prep solvent, and a can of Spraymax 2k clearcoat. To those who are familiar, is there anything else I should look into? I own a good quality respirator and googles for the clear coat. I plan on doing it all in my garage, and for the clear I will be putting up some plastic and wetting the floor to help with dust.

Based on what I researched. I should wet sand the pieces with 600, clean with prep solvent, then tack cloth. Spray 2 coats of adhesion promoter. 2 coats pf primer, sand smooth, tack cloth, three coats of paint. Tack cloth when fully dry, then 3 coats of clear.

Am I on the right track? I'm going to ask the body shop at the dealer for advice as well when I pick up the kit. I find those guys are usually very helpful when you ask questions. My one concern is the heat and humidity in NC. It's now in the upper 80's to 90's daily. I'm guessing this will add quite a bit to the cure time.
 
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