Maaco "Presidential" paint service

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Anyone know if this is any good? They are advertising it on TV, regularly $500, on sale for $250 in their shops around the country.

I'm a little skeptical that this is any good because I've read that paint jobs really do cost a lot and the cheap ones are going to start peeling early (are generally inferior). Does anyone know what this service entails, and how long the completed job might last?

I should also mention that their "Ambassador" service is what normally costs $250.... or maybe they're just BS'ing us and changing the name here and there but it's the same thing :roll:

posted by  JaneiR36

Maaco paint is Maaco paint, no matter how much it costs.

There is one way to get a good job from Maaco. Do all the prep work yourself, mask it yourself, and supply them with the paint from a real bodyshop supply company. And then pay them to take the time to do it right. Might as well go to a real shop.

Maaco uses cheap synthetic enamel it buys in large drums, and when you specify a higher grade paint, they add a urethane catalyst to it. If you specify a clearcoat, it's the same cheap paint manufacturer that supplies the clear. In no case do they pay their people enough to do decent work, so the people working there are not usually very experienced, or careful. Masking is a lost art there, as is careful prep (sanding properly, etc).

Funny thing is, by the time you get to where you think you are getting their good work, you are paying almost as much as a real body shop would charge to use proper materials and spend a decent amount of time prepping.

The ONLY cars I've been close to being impressed with coming out of Maaco have been cars that the owner partially disassembled (so there was no trim to mask), and had been prepped, sanded, and primed before it got there. AND that the owner fully assumed would have to be color sanded and buffed out afterwards, and didn't care that the solid color paint was a cheaper catalized synthetic enamel...

Their bodywork generally costs the same as other shops, and it's done by the same underpaid people that paint the cars there.

The only reason to use them is to get a dirt cheap paint job on a car you are just getting rid of.

posted by  ChrisV

Costs more than $500.00 for the supplies to properly prep and paint a car.

posted by  DPelletier

i have been working with maaco for the last two years and don't believe all you hear. We do take the time time tape and the paint is all top quality. i would go for the deal. talk to the shop and find out the experiece of the taper. good luck.

posted by  gageplate

I wish I could believe that, gageplate. To tell you the truth, a Maaco paint job was done on this car about three years ago, and now its peeling terribly at the hood, mainly on the area towards the grill. Strangely enough, the rest of the car is okay! well.... except some areas on certain panels that are just starting to dull. The color is dark green.

That's pretty interesting what you've said, ChrisV. In order to get a decent paint job, I'd have to prep it myself, AND buy the paint... :mrgreen: he he. At this point, I'm strongly considering just renting some tools and doing it myself. It's only one panel that's really horrible, the rest could probably be maintained as is.

Oh, one more question, must you have an airtight (is that what it is?) room before doing any stage of painting a car? How badly would it come out if you did it outside?

posted by  JaneiR36

Well ill put it this way, the lady who owned my camaro took it to Maaco, and Now the everywhere from the hood to the back of the car (basicly from bummper to bummper) is pealing(AFTER two years!)... Now if that is the kind of paint job you get from Maaco then i can see that Maaco wont be around in my area much longer...


posted by  83camaro

maaco = poop... in my opinion... my mom had her truck painted, with the presidential package... chippin on away and its not even a year gone by

posted by  mazda6man

maaco is the BEEEEEEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by  gageplate

well of course you're going to say that, you work for the damn company. :screwy:

posted by  SuperJew

lol.... I wonder if he would accept a Maaco paintjob in place of one of his paychecks :laughing:

It's as if they treat painting like something you'd do for regular maintenance....... ie, drain and flush coolant, Automatic transmission fluid, paint car, etc........ Most people just want a car that has paint, period. and not want to have to think about it another day in their lives.

posted by  JaneiR36

Sorry gageplate but we cant believe someone who works for them, of course you are going to say good stuff about them! About Maaco: I have heard the same about the jobs, cheap and crappy. Take it some where else Janei! :thumbs:

posted by  StiMan

i have had both of my cars done with them and all look good. going on two years

posted by  gageplate

Airtight? :laughing: Yeah Sure go ahead and get an airtight chamber and paint a car. You'll be as stiff as a doorknob by this time tommorow. Haha, airtight.... No Jane you need air circulation, and lots of it. This can be done with fans and filters.

Well depending on what you mean by outside? I've seen guys make paint booths out of pvc and plastic sheets. Some air gets in, but not to the point it will flaw the paintjob. I would'nt consider doing any kind of automotive painting outside because for 1.) Its illegal and 2.) You'll get contaminents in the paint.

posted by  DSMer

well, that bites. :ohcrap:

lol @ airtight. :laughing: I think the phrase I was going for was "dust proof." I certainly had no idea it was illegal to paint outside.

posted by  JaneiR36

Have you ever used a paint gun before? It creates large ammounts of what painters like to refer to as overspray. So if you're painting your car blue(outside of course), generally you'll have a large dusty-like cloud of blue atomized paint particles floating arround. I don't think the government is fond of that floating arround in the, nor your next door neighbors.

posted by  DSMer

I actually have not :smoke: I guess that explains that. heh.

posted by  JaneiR36

Actually, I've painted quite a few cars outside, or in carports, though I try not to. Touch ups and panels are easy to do outside. If you use an HVLP gun, (like my SataJet) there is hardly any overspray. I painted my Fiat in my garage and didn't even have to put up plastic, the only overspray being directly under the car (you can see on the masking how far the pattern extends...)

Again, part of it is in getting good tools and good materials. Acrylic urethane or polyester urethane basecoat/clearcoat like this is easy, as you really don't need to go for gloss in the color, meaning it's easy to put on without runs or dust. And the clear can have a bit of dust in the upper surface, as you're just going to hit it with 2000 grit sandpaper and buff it out when done.

posted by  ChrisV

wow...... that is one shiny coat. You da Man, ChrisV! :mrgreen:

How long did a job like that take you?

posted by  JaneiR36

Haha, proabably a few hours for an experienced person like ChrisV. For a newb, about 3 hours reading directions alone and then another hour doing practice shots to calibrate the gun. Then another few hours to paint the car, that is once you get your mojo going.

Notice how he has a fan though Jane. Circulation is key, and you would'nt really want overspray getting into your house in a connected garage. Also notice that ChrisV has a SataJet gun. Sata is like the Ferrari of paint guns(Is'nt that their motto?). Very good stuff but extremly expensive.

ChrisV if you don't mind embelishing me with a little of your knowledge. What kind of paint are you using? What kind of air compressor do you have and what kind of filter system are you using with that?

posted by  DSMer

painters do spraying all the time outside. if your careful, the overspray is no big deal. as for the Government, do worry about them. who's checking.

posted by  gageplate

Pretty much spot on.

Actually, I have a fan to keep the dust down. You want air and dust to be pullled away from the car, to minimize what ends up in teh paint. Iv'e seen pros in big-dollar paint booth's end up with dust in the paint. it's just going to be there. It's surprising, however, how easy it is to minimize with good airflow.

Yeah, my gun was almost $500. But I bought it about 8 years ago to do a high end job and it paid for itself the first time out. Before that I had been using a very similar Sharpe gun (DeVilbiss has a nice one, also) that I lent to a friend who ruined it by putting catalized Imron through it and didn't clean it out.

You can get cheap SataJet clones for about $100, and for a first paint job would be just fine. As long as it sprays even with no splattering or spitting.

Normally I use PPG (Ditzler) basecoat clearcoat, but there is only one store locally that carries it, and they are closed anytime I could get there (open 9-5 M-F), so I tried R-M Diamont. It took a bit to get the right ratio of components, but it sprays very nice and even.

My compressor is a 45 gallon Sears 6 hp unit. It's still a bit small, as it has a hard time keeping up with the D/A and larger air tools, though it's overkill for the paint gun. I used to have a dessicant setup and dryer, but for the most part, a good disposeable filter at the gun end is all I use (one per paint session) and the gun itself has another water trap on it.

Here's the car after the last coat of color went on, before the clear. Notice how much it shades to purple, which doesn't show in the final color unless under the right light. Also notice the color being even, but zero gloss. This is the way you want the basecoat to look.

posted by  ChrisV

Yeah I have a DeVilbiss gun. Costed $150. I was planning on using it to paint a car on my upcoming project once it gets warmer(damn Chicago weather). I was'nt really sure that I could get good performance out of the gun, but I guess since you've used one similar to it it has to be at least decent :)

I'm not to familair with popular brands of automotive paint. I was simply going to order some basecoat and clearcoat from House of Kolor(HOK).

45 Gallon? Hmm, thats probably one of their older models. The newer stationary are about 60 Gallon 7HP. Overkill for the gun? Are you saying it has more than enough power for the gun? I could work arround crappy power with air tools, but I'm just worried about a compressor that may not be able to keep up with the gun.

How many coats were your base and how long did you flash each coat?

Also I know alot of HVLP guns run at arround 10-16CFM @40PSI. Your compressor is 45Gallon 6HP and it has got to be lower than 10CFM. I can't seem to find any compressors short of a 60Gallon 7HP(These things are huge like 5 feet tall) to support at the most 12CFM @ 40PSI. Is there an alternative solution, or could a mini HVLP gun with a larger cup work. Do you know any particular brands of guns that run at generally 8PSi and lower?

posted by  DSMer

DeVilbiss or Sharpe HVLP guns will work fine, as long as they are gravity feed. Never had a problem.

This is my Sata:

House of Kolor is where I'm getting the paint for my Comet. I've used their stuff on a lot of customs, but it's pricey. Absolutely easiest to buff out though, with excellent ability to be taped out for multi-color jobs.

Actually it's only 2 years old. But it's a 110V unit, not a 240, as i coulnd' trun a 240 in teh garage.

it's this one with the larger tank:< br />
An even smaller unit will work with the paint gun, as it doesn't use much air. But the 30 gallon and up units are better, as the compressor doesnt' have to run as much, keeping the amount of water in the compressed air to a minimum. A 60 gallon is best. My last setup had a 10hp compressor on a 60 gallon tank, hard lined to a second 60 gallon tank with a large water trap and dryer attached. But that was more for a production shop. A hobbyist (which is all I am now) doesn't need much more than what I have.

3 coats total on the base: one "mist coat" then 2 wet coats, along with a bit of evening up misting in differnt spots to ensure complete coverage and no striping of the metallic. Flash time is the time it takes me to get around to the lasdt panel. It's ready for the next coat immediately. Then it sits overnight before the clear goes on.

All of them do. The rating is the MAX flow, but in reality, you'll never use that much. Ever. My Sata is the NR95 (since discontinued, the 2000 is the replacement) and it has no problem painting with not just my compressor, but smaller ones. I used a 5 hp laydown 25 gallon compressor at one shop to do a paint job, and it was still fine. Could NOT use the D/A, but painting wasn't an issue.

posted by  ChrisV

So a gun that rated at 10-16CFM should work fine on a 33 Gallon 6HP model rated at about 8-9CFM? I never knew that. I was also told that if the gun can run for 2 minutes on a compressor without loossing pressure(by having a regulator at the tip of the gun and viewing) it should be fine. So I may replace my DeVelibiss for a better SataJet model because I sacraficed the quality of the gun attempting to purchase one that was rated more towards a CFM that I would expense wise be able to afford in a compressor.

posted by  DSMer

you get what you pay for. the Macco hear in Boise doesnt do bad qwork if you know th e guy and the owner does the work, the Paint is Sherwan Williams, so its not bad, but its the prep that could suck.

posted by  klnshavn

surprised to hear that a less than 60 gal. compressor will do a good job. Been looking to buy a paint system for home/hobby car painting but the price of a 60 gal., 220 compressor is a problike to hear some options...

larryG   07 Dec 2012 00:09

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