Maaco, how bad of an idea?


New Member
The paint on the car is dull and has spider web cracks in it, in short it needs a good paint job but doesn't have any bad rust spots. I've just put a good chunk of change into a engine, tranny, turbo, etc. Funds are low and summers coming!

I was thinking about getting a maaco special, after putting the stuff that turns rust into "primer", to make her look half way decient for the summer and then do a good paint job on her next winter. What are the pitfalls of this idea other than a litle more sanding to get to bare metal to do a propper job this coming winter?

How bad of an idea is this?

Well every Maaco is different...For instance we had a good one in Delaware, that did some pretty nice work and refused to do crap cuz he had a reputation.

But if I were you I'd wait and do it right the first time...If you were poor like me I'd tell you to go ahead cuz I don't have the money to paint mine right anytime soon.
I agree with Slow91z...every Maaco is different. I had a Maaco paint job on a different car years ago and rather than remove the license plate, they simply masked around it...ugh.
I'm with Slow91z, depends on the Maaco. We had one here in town that if you had chips or spiderwebbing, it got painted over. They did no prep work whatsoever. Also, do it once, and do it right. If you have it painted, but plan to have it painted better later, it will take more work then to "correct" it.
Uh Oh...gonna get MAACO?????

If u want a quick cheap fix...sure...BUT if u want a job worthy of what these cars were known for? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! took mine to Maaco down here in Miami and I can say this with was BETTER looking AFTER Hurricane Andrew got to her! I can still see/feel DA swirls under the paint! not to mention the orange peel finish...wet sanding or mirror finishes are NOT their forte'.....sorry done ranting now. Oh BTW they did AIR a MAACO tv ad that actually had a glass black TR with smoke lens covers in the center of their car collection...go fig.
Like the others up and do it right the first time from a reputable body shop. God knows what a minimum wage earning peice of crap will do once he gets your keys in his hands.
I might take the wifes Camaro there but not a GN. :wink:

But seriously, if you're willing to strip it down and do a lot of the prep work yourself and have Maaco shoot the paint then it could be ok and could save quite a bit of money. I've known a few people that did it this way and it turned out much better than I thought.

Otherwise just keep saving more money and bite the bullet and do it right the first time at a REAL body shop.
I had Maaco paint my WE-4. They did a fantastic job. They took the car down to bare metal, and fixed several door dings. They charged me a thousand dollars, and now I have a good looking car that I am not afraid to drive. I took the car to a local dealership and the body shop guys could not beleive how good it looks. They said they would not have sanded the car for what it cost me to do everything. Oh yeah, I had my car back in three days. I say go for the Maaco paint job. It will look better than it does now, and can be redone in the future when you have six months and 7-8 grand to blow.
seeyabye said:
now I have a good looking car that I am not afraid to drive.

Hey thats a good point to consider.

Is your car a daily driver? I know if I spent 5k on a paint job I'd be paranoid about driving it around. I spent about 3500 on a paint job on my old Camaro and was pissed when it had a small rock chip on the hood...and it was a semi-daily driver.

Maaco might not be so bad after all, as long as you find a good one. You wouldn't feel so bad if you got a chip or scratch in it.
I agree with the statment they arent all the same. Its a franchise, I suggest going to a few places in a different car and just looking at what is coming out of their booth, if it looks good start asking about prices and then bring the actual car for a full estimate.
They can do expensive jobs when you get into body work/sanding etc.
So I did 90% of the prep myself sanding, removing tail lights, trim, etc. and they did the final wash and masking.
Try to go to a busy shop so that the paint and solvents are fresh...but schedule a time when they arent too busy so that they dont do a rush job.
I was luck 2 times 1 in NJ; guy had 30yrs spraying expirience and in HI place was there 15 yrs; guy had 10yrs shooting paint.
I will reiterate if the car is driven frequently and parked outside all the time big dollar paint job will break your heart.
(I had a shopping cart scratch my 92 Caprice 25 hours after it was painted)
Man thanks for all the replies!

I'll only be driving the car on the weekends. After getting her running again I'm gonna want to drive her all summer!!!

So I figured just the cheap paint job to make her nice and shiny for the just this summer... Then when winter comes I would do it right. As some have suggested above I plan to then strip her back to bare metal and dismantle all the necessary parts myself. I'll take the parts to a good local shop for painting and then I'll reassmble her. I'll do it right this time

Thanks again!!
ive heard they can paint well... its just the prep that ruins it. If you feel like putting in some effort and taking the paint off and prepping it well and then dropping it off there just for paint, i bet it comes out pretty nice.
The first thing to do is hang around there for a few days and look at what comes out of the spray booths. While working for a car lot as a puchasing agent, I had first hand experience with one of the Maacos here in Indy. I wouldn't let them paint a wheelbarrow if it belonged to me. As stated: every painter is different. Some know how to spray a nicely flowed out/no runs or sags cover coat, and some don't. Some do: but don't care to. If you do your own prep: you are increasing the chances of it coming out nice, but: there's still the "painter factor". ;)
I have a VW that's won car shows with a Maaco paint job. Mind you, I removed everything and prepped the car. On the other hand, the previous owner of my Buick had Maaco in Orlando do it and it's ****ty. As said, it's gonna depend on the shop. I'm going to have them do my Buick because with the high miles and daily driver status, I can't stomach a really good paint job. If it's ever removed from daily service and I want it to look really good, then I'll spend the money.
I've been restoring cars for a living for the last 15 years. Before that I restored them for fun. I have been painting sence I was 13 years old and I'm 47 now.

I have a 87 GN that has the same problem that you do now. My problem is the time to do it. I'm too bussy with paying jobs. These cars where painted with laquier from the factory. They polish up nicely. What I would sugjest would be to polish the car for now. From a distance it will look good. Then this fallowing wither you can do it right. If you paint it just for now. You'll be spending money very needlessly. One for the cost of the just for now paintjob. Then the extra layer of paint will have to come off with the factory paint witch will cost more also. The paint that Macco puts on their cars is not of the best quality. Its made by Du Pont but it their lower line and will not hold up the way it should. If you don't strip the old laquer off. The spider webs or checking will return faster then you think. Then at best it will look just as good if you had just buffed the car in the first place. I buffed my car after I got it from a friend and now I polish the once a year and keep it under wraps. It looks better then when I bought it (about 2 years ago) and is still passable entill I can get to it this summer. Just my two cents