So I've got to decide what kind of paint to spray. I spent some time at a paint shop across town looking at House of Kolor paints, and boy they sure are expensive. I even debated doing a $50 roll on job after looking at prices. I was also pretty overwhelmed my what is needed to get the paint color I want.
In an ideal world, I'd have to strip all of the crappy paint off the car, then spray on an epoxy or etch primer, then high-build primer, then dark colored sealer, then silver base-coat, then an orange candy coat, then a gold pearl coat, then clear-coat. Ugh. This is not going to be a show car, and there are too many steps that I could screw up. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that metallics and candys and pearls are all pretty difficult to spray without errors. Inconsistent patterns lead to noticable tiger-striping, and any runs can't be sanded out easily or at all.
I think I'm going to have to keep it simple, and after the primer just spray a regular metallic orange and clear-coat. The paint will be a little flatter, but it will be way cheaper, easier to spray, and won't be worth 10x what my car is worth.
I found out that about 2 miles from my house they just opened a Sherwin Williams Automotive Paint store. They say their paint is technologically better and gave me loads of sales mumbo-jumbo. I'm bummed, because most of the books and info I've read all reference other paint lines that are more common, like PPG or DuPont. Oh, well. This place is close, the jobbers there are really nice, and they are slow enough that they have time to give me loads of advice, which should be helpful seeing as how I really don't know what I'm doing.
I priced out what it will cost to get all the paint I'll need for the car, and the total came in at about $400. That will get me Etch Primer, High-build primer, Orange metallic paint, and Clear. I figure another couple of hundreds for tools, sandpaper, and other miscellaneous stuff. I'd better start saving.
This is as good a place as any to set the record straight about my skill level. I have done absolutely no body work in my life ever. I've never touched bondo. I have a few little dents in my car I've never fixed because I don't know how to use a hammer and dolly. I have used a paint sprayer, but it was a big wagner for painting walls in my house. The skill of keeping the gun straight and overlapping well translates a bit, but it has been 6 or 7 years since I did that, and a HVLP gun has got to be a ton different. So, I really am a beginner in every sense of the word.
Still 0 hours of work done on the car, and $0 invested.