300D 124 body paint tips

Want to paint the car but don't know whether or not to take moldings off or mask them. The lower door moldings have to come off to fix the rust so I know I'll have to spring for some new clips there. Are they difficult to
reattach? The roof rails? Do they just pop off similar type clips? and they appear to be made of metal and go down each side of the windshield. Should I leave them alone? I ordinarily like to remove as much trim as I can but I won't if it's too much trouble or expense. Any tips?
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If you don't need to paint your car, don't... because no professional painter will be able to match the factory paint in terms of durability, rust protection, finish quality... etc.
Every car that has been painted will eventually form a rust somewhere... or the paint will fade... even those $2000 paint job... I know this from experience.
Always try polishing before painting... I always managed to bring cruddy looking car into showroom quality... Some really really cruddy repainted car... I really have not much luck... marginal looking.
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My answer would be if someone was going to paint my car, I'd expect them to have the knowledge to know how to do it right. If whoever is doing it doesn't know the answers to the basic questions you're asking, I'd find someone who does.
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In my opinion $2000 is a cheap crappy job. I paid $4000 to have my 1968 buick painted(12 years ago), and it still looks good, although it is a little faded as I have no garage (gasp).
Also for a grade a paint job expect to have to give the car up for at LEAST a couple of months, anyone that says they can do it faster is cheating you, or should be charging less. This is due to the labor involved in dissaembling everything, and the longer drying times of modern primers and paints (ie no lacquer).
Tigers point is still a good one. Never repaint a factory painted car when possible...
Marty
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said:

Deciding to paint an older car depends on several things. For example, how much is the car worth now and how much will it be worth after a "good" paint job. In my opinion a 300D is not worth the price of a $4,000 paint job...unless you intend to keep it till the wheels drop off. Even then I wouldn't spend more than $1,000-$1,500 for a paint job. If you look around you can find a good painter who might be willing to do a "side job" for a lot less if you prep the car yourself. However, just the materials that go into the painting portion alone can easily run $500 or more so be prepared, even if you do all of the initial work yourself. The prep work depends a lot on whether the paint you are going over is original or if some of it has been repaired in the past. If you're doing the prep work yourself expect to spend a lot of time getting everything ready for the paint booth. I used to do this sort of stuff and it's a longer process (and more expensive) than most people think. Good luck.
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Dan,
There's no question, MB had no end of difficulty with metallic, clearcoat paint in the late eighties. It is necessary to remove the door handle covers, door bumper trim, and roof rails. The headlight and turn signals need to be removed. After almost 18 years, the roof band clips should be replaced. They snap off, and need to come off to replace a windshield. You can cheat a little and lift rubber window rubber, cover with tape, and tuck twine under the rubber to keep it lifted. Don't forget to paint the backs of the mirrors to match the body, and to paint the gray bumper fairings to match. P.

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