WARNING: What Most Body Shops Won’t Admit To You When They Paint Your Car

Did you enjoy the video? Check out the LABAP VIP course that will help turn you into an auto body and paint pro, from home!

Hi, it’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint with another live stream.  Thank you for coming on. This is an interactive training. I hope you enjoy the show! Today’s topic is What Most Body Shops Won’t Admit To You When They Paint Your Car.

What’s up, everyone?!

Yeah, I’m here. There are two different links. One for my F1 AutoCashFormula 2.0 live stream and the other for this live stream, LearnAutoBodyAndPaint.

I literally just got up. It’s 10 in the morning. I was like, “Do I skip or just get on?” I decided to just get on because I got people waiting.

I went to sleep at 2am and got up at 6am and checked my emails then fell asleep again. My daughter woke me up at 930am and I was like, “Holy crap!”

Have you ever experienced the same, wherein you go back to sleep and woke up, jolting from the bed realizing that you went back to sleep for a couple more hours, but it just felt like a few minutes?

Man, I don’t like taking these sweet things in the morning but I need some extra boost. Let me just make sure that we are good here and then we’ll get rocking.

I think we’re going to do a lot more Q&A today. We’re going to talk about the dirty secrets of body shops. I’ve been in the game for a long time and I’ve seen what body shops do behind the scene.

We’ve got Chattanooga, Tennessee … Theodore … Trinidad … Michigan …

When you go to a body shop and get a paint job done, 80%-90% of the time, they’re going to put the cheap paint on your car, unless you specifically buy the material, or ask them to put a certain brand of paint.

We’ve had a lot of customers come to our shop and they check in every once in a while and that’s cool. A lot of people are paranoid about body shops because some shops do crappy jobs.

If you ask some body shops to sheet metal some holes, they’ll crumple up some newspapers and stuff the hole, especially the area where you can’t see, at the back of the panel.

They’ll just fill the hole and bondo it up. I’ve known some guys do that and I don’t know why they’re doing it.

If you do body work like that, they won’t last too long. If it lasts 2 years outside in the weather, you did pretty good.

If you don’t ask for good materials, good clear coats and make sure that they’re going to put good materials on your car, a lot of them use the economical brand, which is not bad, but they save a lot of money by using cheap materials.

One main difference that I talk about within the VIP program is, you can have a $100 gallon clear set up system. Spray it on the car, it will look great. Give it a week, it will look dry. The clear takes a while to dry and cure then it starts to look a little dull looking.

You’re going to get that in a lot of the inexpensive clears. You’ll get the same with the medium-grade, but not that bad and you won’t really get that in high quality grade.

Like if you’re using high end paints like Sherman Williams, DuPont and House of Kolor, you won’t really get that stuff. It will retain that gloss.

The one little cheat secret is, you could always buff out your cheaper clears. You spray it on and give it a week then it dries and cures and will look dull. Then, buff it out.

You can make cheap clear jobs look like a high-end paint job just by color sanding and buffing out. You won’t be able to tell the difference. It will last. 90% of the time, you won’t have any problems.

You might get a little bit of solvent pop or it might dry a little bit more, but most of the time it’s all good.

If you finish off with high end clears, you’re spending $350 a kit, for a high end clear coat, you paint your car and it’s going to stay glossy.

The only thing that you will eliminate if you color sand and buff high end clears, is the orange peel or the paint texture.

Have you seen a new car with orange peel? That’s because of thin paints. The machine sprayed it on quickly.

I have a brand new 2015 Toyota Highlander. When I was buying it, I saw an issue with orange peel. I asked for another model, another color. All of them have the same orange peel effect.

Not bad, but coming from a painter’s eye, if I really want to fix that, I have to sand it down with a 1200-grit. Put two coats of clear on it then buff it out, but why do that to a brand new car?

I got the car for my wife. She’s driving around with the kids and it’s got a couple of scratches on it, but I’m not going to make a fuss out of it. It’s a brand new car, but it’s not a show car.

Those are some of the hidden things that body shops do to most of your paint jobs, that’s why a lot of people don’t trust body shops and would rather do their own paint jobs. Especially if you’re doing something personal or sentimental.

One cool thing about learning the skill is, people start to respect you and you start getting jobs. Your car becomes your advertisement. Practice on your own car if you don’t want to practice on other people’s car.

If you do a nice paint job to your own car and get it looking nice, you go out, you have confidence and know you can get a job done.

Word of mouth in this business is number one. I can’t tell you how many jobs I got in high school by word of mouth. I have friends’ uncles paying me to do their car.

I was doing friends’ cars in college. One of my friends had a ’96 (or something like that) 240SX Drifter. We did a nice gold paint job. He put plastic tarps all around. We got clear coat going down the street.

It was a subdivision and he had fans blowing out and we were doing it at around 7 o’clock at night, so it wasn’t that bad, but when you look outside, you have a cloud of clear coat going down the street. It came out beautiful though.

If I was doing friend’s cars with sheet metal work, I would actually take pictures of my work as I go, just for proof, to document the entire thing.

If you put a magnet on a hole that you sheet metal, magnets don’t stick to stainless steel. It will stick if you use galvanized. In the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP program, I tell you how to use the stainless steel.

If a customer paid me high end, I would always get the good clear. I never cheat customers like that. I have a lot of pride in my body work, that’s why I never had to worry about customers. I was always busy and at one point, I had to give jobs to my dad.

Then, I had to slow down and had a realization that I want to start teaching this, I want to start sharing what I know and inspiring other people.

I still want to add more to the course, and we are adding more content to the course. I got the BMW project and may be doing the E46 BMW race car build when I get back to Texas.  It’s just been so busy.

A lot of you may not know this but my 2-year old daughter was born with a rare syndrome called Aicardi Syndrome which is a genetic malformation in the brain. Only 6,000 kids in the world have it. She doesn’t walk, she doesn’t talk.

My family has been struggling with it since she was been born, that’s why we’re in Japan to see other doctors because the health care here is better.

Question: What do you think of clear coat costs in Napa?

I think Napa puts out a good product. Definitely test them out. I’ve painted Napa a handful of times, maybe five times or so. I did some of the Napa guys’ trucks or I know somebody at Napa that can get me a good deal at some paints. Napa products are fine. I never had any issues spraying with them.

Question:  What’s flash time on base coat to mask out designs before the clear coat?

If you’re spraying in about 68 to 85 degree area, you want to look at about 45-minute flash time. Make sure your base is dry before you do any masking. Usually base will set up in about 20 minutes in 75 to 85 degree garage at ambient temperature.

When you spray your base coat and give out about 20 to 30 minutes, you always touch the masking tape to see how dry it is. Never touch the panel.

If it feels pretty dry, it give an extra 10 to 15 minutes to let it dry some more. Make sure you tack everything down and get all the overspray off. Then, do your fine line tape and your masking.

I would say flash time is 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your ambient temperature.

Question: What is your go to medium-grade base coat clear coat?

I would say a Nason set up isn’t bad, it’s pretty cheap. I tried the Advantage, which I didn’t like. My local auto body supply sells that. Sorry, but I forgot the exact number of the clear coat.

I had extreme dye back on it. That was what I did the moped one after two weeks. It means, it was glossy then it was dull again. For me to fix that, I had to scuff it out with maybe 1500-grit and put 2 more coats of clear on it.

You can put other brands of clear on it. If you’re unhappy with a certain clear that came out, you let it cure for about 2 to 3 weeks, you water sand it and you can just put a House of Kolor clear coat on it.

Question: I’m going to paint a white fiber glass hood black. I noticed the hood had a lot of imperfections I need to work on, what type of body filler should I use?

I would use maybe a kitty hair. It’s fiber glass mixture with bondo, but you can also just do a basic body filler as well.

If you’re doing patches and you’re patching holes, I would use kitty hair, but if you’re just filling in waves and little imperfections, a regular body filler is not a problem then, make sure you guide coat it out.

Cross sand with your block and then spray your flat black then, block it out. We have videos and blogs on that. Check out the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint blogs.

If you’re a LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP, we have all of that documented step-by-step within the members area.

Question: Can I do a full job with an LVLP gun with a series compressor?

Yes, you can do a full job if you have a 33-gallon tank. We talked about this in one of my previous live shows.

You’re going to run into pressure issues. If you’re doing a full paint job, you need a large air compressor to give you the volume of air. You need the backup, because when you’re continuously spraying, you’re going to lose air pressure in your tank, then you’re machine is going to kick on to compensate and refill the tank up.

When you’re continuously spraying, you continuously have air coming out. Even on an LVLP gun, you’re going to have a little drop, so sometimes you’re going to have to wait a minute or two for it to build back up then you can continue. It’s a little tricky to do, but you can do it.

We have videos within the VIP area on how to do jobs with little compressors and adjust, as well as jobs on a big 60-gallon 5HP air compressors with a lot more CFM.

Feedback: Even though I’m a newbie, I found Eastwood’s best clear to be awesome. It flows really well.

I’ve never really used Eastwood products. I suggest you test out products. I’m actually in the process of formulating my own clears, which is pretty cool. It’s a big fee, but I’m looking at creating my own brand of clears. It’s going to have some awesome finishes for an affordable cost.

Question: Why does my clear coat get foggy?

It could be because of cheap clear coat. A cheap clear coat will naturally have a yellow tint in it. When you spray it on your car, you’re not going to notice it.

There are a gallon kits out there that’s worth just 60 bucks and sometimes you’ll have tool guys going around and selling that.

I remember this guy with a snap-on truck, he always try to push his clear and when we used it, we were like, “Don’t sell it to us anymore.”

Question: Do you have any tips of keeping the moisture out of your system?

If it’s humid and you got your tank on and building up, you always want to have a water separator coming off your tank at about 10 to 15 feet away.

You always want to drain it before you start and midway through your paint job, just to check if you have water built up. You always want to have another water separator at the base of your gun. That’s very important. That helps to get water out of your lines.

Question: Is there a problem by adding too much flex add to paint? I’m doing a GTO bumper.

I wouldn’t want to add too much. It may cause dye back because of having too much in the mixture. Just go with the recommended. It’s usually very little. It may be 2% of the mixture, or whatever it says in your bottle or can.

I’ve painted cars with flex additive on bumpers and stuff. I’ve also done cars without flex additives. I haven’t really noticed a big issue with paint cracking with or without flex additives.

I usually don’t even use it, but that’s me. Through all my years of painting and seeing what it does and doesn’t, I haven’t noticed a difference.

Question: I applied it to my headlight after sanding it with 600-grit but the clear coat came out funky. Was it dye back or was it just too hot outside?

It could be just the clear. What kind of clear did you use? I would say a bad clear would do that.

A shout out to Gary in Prince George, British Columbia … Is that you?

Question: How do you dry sand for a long period of time without clogging out your paper? Is the pumps that you use or the quality of paint?

It all depends. Sometimes you’ll get clogged out very quickly because your paint is tacky. If it’s dry a couple of days and you’re sanding clear coat, in order to prep for buffing and the paint is still tacky, you’re going to go through a lot of paper because it’s going to tack up like that.

That means your paint isn’t cured enough. I would like the paint to cure a little bit more. You want to make sure what you’re sanding is dry. Clogging up comes from uncured paint.

Also, always hit your DA pad, and then sand. Then, hit it again and sand. If I’m using a 15-grit sandpaper, I’m basically cutting out the orange peel to go for color sanding and buffing, I’ll probably use four brand new sheets on a hood. I’ll use maybe one on a fender.

On a medium-sized door, maybe I’ll use one and a half sheets. You’re going to use maybe about 15 to 20 sheets, depending on the size of the car, just cutting out your clear coat, getting ready for buffing. That’s how much pads you’re going to go through and that’s only 1500-grit.

After I do the 1500-grit. I like to wash the car down by hand with 2000 to 2500-grit. For me, 2000-grit is the sweet spot because it’s enough to sand out the 1500, to blend it in.

While you’re doing that, your grit’s going to get finer anyway. That turns to like a 2200 to 2300-grit. You wash it all out, you make it glossy so it looks like a whale’s back.

You ever see a whale or a dolphin when they get out of the water? How they glisten and shiny they look? Once your paint looks like that while you’re sanding and you’re washing, when you buff it, it’s going to look like glass. That’s how you want it to look.

I hope you guys are liking this. Give me some feedback here. I know you guys are benefitting a lot from other’s questions as well.

Question:  What prep should be done before painting over rust?

You basically want to grind down your rusted area and treat it with vinegar and water. You can do a 50/50 with vinegar and water, get it on there so it kills the rust. The, let it dry and scuff it again.

There are two ways to do the next step, you can do it the cheap way or the correct way.

The cheap way is to just fill it up with bondo. You could put a tape, it’s like a metal tape that you could tape on to fill the hole and you bondo over it.

It depends what you’re trying to do. You could crumple up some newspaper and then fill it, if you’re doing a paint job on a car that you’re going to sell or you just want to do a quick paint job on someone’s car and the guy doesn’t care.

The correct way is, and what I always do, is sheet metal it. I cut out a stainless steel of sheet metal, I spot weld it on, then grind it clean. Then, you put bondo and body filler over that and shape it. Then, prime it, glaze it, water sand it, prime it again and water sand it and you’re ready for paint. That’s the process.

Question: How big of an air tank do I need to paint a car?

For a full car, if you have about a 60 to 80 gallon of air compressor with a 5 to 10HP motor, you’re fine.

In my DIY home garage, I have a 60-gallon Belaire compressor with a 5HP that puts out about 16 to 18 CFM. You’ve got a lot of air coming out.

You can get away with a smaller compressor, a 33-gallon Craftsman or whatever brand, but you’re going to have the fluctuation in pressure.

Question: $40 of pint versus $80 a pint. Really worth the difference?

It’s very hard to say. I’ve used both and really can’t tell the difference. It all depends on if it’s your car and you want to make sure you put the best on it and you have the budget. If double the price is not going to hurt you, then put the best on it.

I’ve noticed you’ll get better coverage with the more expensive paint. It will cover a lot more. Even though you reduce your paints and you have it mixed up the same.

It’s hard to give you a definite answer. You’re going to decide on your own. It all depends on your budget.

Question: How much will it cost for materials on two bikes?

It all depends. You could paint two bikes with probably a quart and a half of base and half a gallon of clear. You don’t have a lot of parts there, but when you buy a clear coat, you always want to invest and buy a gallon of setup.

You should always have extra. You don’t want to go buying a small kit of clear when you know you’re going to be doing other jobs in the future or re-touch ups.

I always get at least a gallon set up of clear coat. I have extra clear in my cabinets all the time in case I want to do a touch up job or a motorcycle project. Plus, it’s cheaper to buy a one gallon kit versus four quart-sized kits. You’ll get a better deal with larger kits.

Question: Can you add metallic to single-stage paint like rustoleum for a painting a car color.

No. If you mix in metallic in a single-stage, that thing is so thick it will bury your metallic. Even if you’re putting a whole bottle in there, you’re still going to have an issue.

The best way to do it is, spray your single stage and then clear on top of it. You can put a polyurethane clear coat on top of a single stage paint job. It’s going to turn out to be a two-stage.

Unless you buy metallic from the beginning. Why will you use rustoleum? Why don’t you use a professional automotive single-stage with metallic in it, with your desired color?

Forget the rustoleum. Just get a single-stage metallic. Nason and Dupont has them. You can get a single-stage for about $100 a kit or less.

To do a two-stage on a flat single-stage. You’re going to have to put clear coat on top of it with your flake or metallic or pearls.

Question: Can you put micro-flake in the base coat rather than in the clear coat.

This is the same thing. To get the maximum effect, you order your base coat with metallic in it, so they do the correct mixture. When you order paint, you can go through the book and pick your metallic.

Then, you can add your clear coat on top of that with extra micro sequence. You can add pearls and stuff like that.

I just booted somebody out who just talk a lot of crap. We’re doing an interactive show here and sharing insights. I don’t need someone who disrupts our show. We want to keep this positive. That’s how we roll.

Question: What is the benefit of wet sanding versus dry sanding?

I like both. I like dry sanding because you can easily see what you’re cutting. If I’m doing the color sanding and buffing and I have a freshly painted clear coat that’s dry, I have a 1500-grit on my DA and I’m dry sanding, you could see how much you’re cutting because you can see the craters and the dips that cutting down the mountains.

You’ll see all the glossy spots which means you didn’t go down enough. You could just dust it and you could see what you’re doing. That’s why I like dry sanding when I’m color sanding and buffing.

You have to be careful though, because if you go too much and you don’t have enough experience, you can burn corners. You can burn right through, so keep it always moving and checking.

Once it’s all flat, like a matte flat color, you know you’re down flat. That’s how I like to leave it. Then, I go over it, I wash it out with my 2000-grit wet sand, and with wet sanding, you can see the dullness turn into like a whale’s back.

I like to see it like an Orca. That’s how it should end up looking. It takes the cloudy out of the clear coat and then, it starts to look glossy, where the water is your clear coat.

Once you see that and you know it looks glossy looking, when you buff, you’re going to have the mirror finish.

I have all these step-by-step videos that show you exactly how to do this process within the VIP. If you are a newbie, I invite you to check out LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course and invest in yourself.

It’s a complete program that teaches you auto body and paint. You can read my story and how I got started. We have a special price right now for VIP, which gives you access to a bunch of training videos.

Over 100 hours of training videos. We just uploaded 2 new series and we got more series in the pipeline.

We hired a professional video editor so we’re going to get some new stuff out a lot quicker now. He’s doing all of our video editing for the members area and all the front-end YouTube videos, all the previews and sneak peeks.

Feedback: Appreciate all the great insight you pass on! Wish you continued success!

Thank you so much! Appreciate it, guys!

Question: Do you use a 2.0mm tip, or depending on how big your flakes are? I always spray at 50psi to make them come out.

You got to make sure to take out your filter. That’s one thing that could get you hung up. You could use a 1.8mm tip, depends on the size of your flake.

If you’re using jumbo flake, you’re going to need a 2.0 tip to get that flake out, but then you’re going to have to go through and bury that flake with four to five coats of clear coat, if you’re doing one of those jobs.

If you’re geared toward that kind of job, you’re doing a lot of work. That’s just part of the game.

Question: What are tip are you using for spreading bass boat flake?

If you’re going to be using jumbo flake, use a 2.0mm tip. You could mix your flake into an inner coat, look for the PPG DBC intercoat. It’s basically a flat base coat, you could mix that in and you got a pound your clear on it.

If you’re doing a jumbo flake like that, you’re going to be doing 4 to 6 coats of clear. Be prepared to lay on your clear coat. You’re also going to have to probably wait and let that cure and dry.

Then, sand out some of the imperfections. Because sometimes I see jumbo flakes and it feels like sandpaper. You got so much flake in it. Your finished paint job is going to feel like crap.

You’re going to have to flatten it out and may have to spray three more coats on top of that to fully bury it in, to get a deep paint job look.

Some of those boat paint jobs, those things have 10 to 15 coats on it. That’s how deep these paints are.

Question: Can you clear over paint if it has been a few days or longer? Do you need to sand it?

You’re talking about base coat? If it’s a day or two, just tack it down and you could paint over it. If it’s more than a week or two, I would re-base it. Tack it down, shoot another base on it, so you have fresh paint. Then, wait 30 minutes and do your clear coat.

Question: After spraying my base coat, how long can I wait to spray the clear airbrush?

Base coat flashes in about 20 to 45 minutes in that area. I see that 30 to 40 minutes is a good flash time. For base coat. Usually, when you’re painting a car, it will take you half an hour to go around the car, sometimes longer if you’re doing a big car.

By the time you go around, your first panel that you started off with is pretty much dry. Pretty much ready to go again. I wait 10 more minutes then you’re good to go around again.

Question: Have you ever used heat lamps to bake the paint?

No, not really. I’ve had heat lamps in the shop. The Halogen lights (Thanks for the reminder! LOL!), but not to bake paint. I’ve never really had to use them, because when it gets cold out, I just don’t paint.

Feedback: Calibre 747 says, I’m a VIP member here. Great info! I’m a VIP it’s been totally worth the cost, guys!

Thank you! VIP members, I am also in the process of getting some shirts made. I just want to do something cool and have some shirts for the VIP guys and put them in the store. It’s going to be cheap, they’re not going to cost a lot.

For those who are also joining the buy and sell cars show next week, I’m afraid we’re going to have to cancel it because I’m doing a live training with some interested people on how to build their own YouTube empire. I’m going to show them what I do and how I make money on YouTube.

We’re going to close it off in a bit. It’s 11am in morning here in Japan and I’m in my office spot.

I got some other cool things planned up. I’m going to be heading out to a Honda dealership here and will be filming some awesome Japanese cars.

There’s a lot of K-cars (Kei car), these are Japan’s category of small vehicles. It’s really cool. We’re going to try to pass by some automotive shop zones and see what they’re doing here in automotive.

I may be moving here and staying here maybe, six months out of a year because of my daughter. We’re planning on that. We’re going to move back here for a while maybe the first part of next year.

I would love to get in the Japanese auto scene and mix it up with what we have here, to give you guys an insider view of what it looks like.

I’m still making my connections here. I don’t know a lot of people, but I do know some drifters here. I would also love to have my own shop here and move back and forth from Texas, but that is my grand vision. I still have stuff to do.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. Please don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe to my videos. Thank you again for jumping in today and hope to see you again next week, same time at 9pm Eastern.

Don’t forget to grab your FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual and get your free information on auto body and paint.

Also check out the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Program, I share with you everything you need to know about DIY auto body work.

Talk soon! Cheers!


Other Helpful Links:

 How To Remove Waterspots With Compound With No Tools Needed

Make Money With Auto Body and Paint – Estimating Tips!

How To Apply Auto Body Filler (Bondo) Rasp and Shape

How To Repair Rust on Car Using Kitty Hair or Bondo Hair

How To Mix Bondo and Body Filler Talk 101

6 thoughts on “WARNING: What Most Body Shops Won’t Admit To You When They Paint Your Car”

  1. I just got my car back from having the trunk panel painted. When I got it back I was shocked and sickened to see that they sprayed down my leather interior with a deodorized greasy cleaner to clean the paint dust. Why would there be paint dust if it was a back trunk panel being painted and they had my doors and windows closed. Or do paint shops not bother closing the doors and windows leaving the interior vulnerable?
    Feeling sick over what they did!
    Thank you


Leave a Comment