Paint job on 1980 C3 Corvette.

I am currently working on repairing and restoring the engine of my project 1980 Corvette. then I will replace whatever needs to be improved in the interiors and
dash. I am leaving the paint job for last after the hood doesn't need top be opened so often. Here's my question. It is Paint related. I know all of you have some paint related story you have learned from.
The paint is faded in many areas and there are a lot of nicks and wear on the nose of the corvette, so I assume, sanding, filling and priming will be the order of the day before painting. The body is more or less blemish free.
1.) Paint jobs seem to cost the Earth (I had a quote for $7000 from a dealer who seemed a little too eager to sign me up and used the emotional blackmail approach to "restoring my car to its original beauty" approach, I hate that kind of pressure and being talked down to.)
2.) Since the car body is fiberglass, is there any other pre-paint process, or do's and don'ts I should be aware of sooner rather than later ?
3.) If the car is a dark color like grey, will it be necessary to completely sand out the original color, or can I leave the original color underneath.. ? I want the new color to be a very deep metallic blue (on the darker side of blue)
4.) Clear coat gives gloss right ? or am I mistaken ? If I give it one or two coats of the metallic blue and 2 coats of Clear coat, is that more gloss ? What about an Enamel finish, is that needed ? how effective is it really against light brushings (example if bushes rubbed the side of the car, or someone's wedding ring or some jewellery made minor scratches in it. A friend of mine wearing levis once leaned against my '99 passat and the little rivets on the jeans pocket left tiny scratches.. nearly gave me a coronary...)
5.) Would anyone recommend the volume paint shops ? example http://www.maaco.com ? Anyone had any experience with them ? Or would it be a case of "I get what I pay for" ? I just heard of them, so I'm asking...
6.) Do paint shops cover up the emblems, chrome bits, lights etc on the car before spraying ? or do they remove them completely before the spray to get the paint on the insides evenly ?
haha, i realize there are way too many questions, but I am dead set on my vette being a heart stopper when it is out on the road with me piloting it. Problem is my budget leaves me just about $800 per month to spend on the car, so I'm trying to get the most value. I am seriously considering going to one of the "ricer" paint shops in my area (lots of oriental teens where I live.. close to stanford). Ricer cars seem to have nice paint jobs done on them sometimes.
Thank's in advance for all the help, and a very Happy and Successful New Year to you all !
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Hello E_Tar,
I'm working on an 82 restoration. I've had the repaint and mechanical done at roughly the same time. Both were done by shops in Tampa. My mechanic was on the assembly line that built my car and not he has his own shop. We're taking the time to do it right.
My body had a fair amount of nicks on the nose, a few cracks near the rear license plate, and some other minor areas that needed filled in. I'm making a daily driver, so it won't be show quality. My paint shop stripped the car bare, fixed the damaged areas, applied four layers of silver/blue enamel paint, and three layers of clear coat. All emblems and metal were removed. It was down to the frame and body. I also had to replace all the rubber around the windows. A rubber kit was $250 and the rework/paint job was $3000. The paint shop is in the class of being a collision center and wanting to add restorations/customizations to their business.
IMHO, do not use Maaco for anything you want to last. They are okay for touching up some things. You will be able to notice where the work was done and it may be noticable from a distance in a few years. I prefer to find a local shop that does quality work. Most will show you examples of their work or allow you to talk to customers around the shop. We have lots of Ricer groups here. They are on the expensive side but they do provide custom work that isn't usually available elsewhere. We also have lots of Corvette-only shops that are extremely expensive. For a large sum, they will look at your car, keep it for a week or two, and return it all done. That kind of takes the fun out of it.
There shouldn't be much of a problem building up your car as you go. Restorations take time. My body was good and the engine ran. No the engine and mechanical is all new and the paint jobs done. I may elaborate on the paint later on; I started with a classy mono-color that no one else has, plus some inlaid detail with silver. The interior is next and I've already chosen a shop for that.
Have fun,
David

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Oh, In answer to my own question about Maaco, I don't think I'll take it to them.... I just typed in Maaco in the search and it seems they don't vlue customer satisfaction as they claim on thei site...
hmm... But I do need as much advice on the other stuff as possible..
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I knew a guy who had his '73 painted at Maaco for something like $500. Except for a small nib in the paint on the rear deck it looked darned good. Not a show car, but for a daily driver it was very respectable.
Here's waving to ya - \||||
Owen ___
'67BB & '72BB
-- not affiliated with JLA forum in any way -- alt.autos.corvette is original posting -- ___
"To know the world intimately is the beginning of caring." -- Ann Hayman Zwinger
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E_Tar wrote:

Volume paint shops are mass-market operations and do work that makes the mass market happy - meaning those who really care about craftsmanship will be sorely dissappointed in their work.
A good paint job involves removing all trim before painting. Masking it off is the sign of a very poor (by our standards) job.
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E_Tar wrote:

If you really want to talk to a guy that knows paint, go to
www.paintucation.com
Kevin sells a couple videos for DIYers, but he is happy to answer questions even if you're not doing it yourself.
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I had a1984 Vette and the clear coat started to peel off. took it to MACCO and for about $800 they refinished the entire Vette including the interior door sills/etc because I changed from Red to Caddy off white..did an excellent beyond belief job..sold the car this year and it still looked factory new..I KNOW no one wants to go to Macco but they will pay some joker in a local custom paint place several grand to get a paint job to be factory original..( yes value was down brcause of the color change..but so what.. it was not worth that much any way.)
Let me tell you..once the car is painted by any one any place it is no longer factory original..it is now restored/repainted..maybe to factory specs...some $5000 -$7000 paint jobs I have seen have been awful....ALSO please note that since you are going to repaint to a metallic color the resale value of the VETTE is now down the tubes..value will be no when near what even a restored Vette would be worth....NOTHING SCREWS up a Vette more than a custom metallic way out paint job.no matter how beautiful it may look...since you are going that route I don't think it matters much who paints it...( they sell spray cans in Walmart )
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