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How to Choose the Best Among Classic Car Paint Shops in Orange County, CA

Finding a classic car restoration company that, among other services, provides quality classic car custom paint jobs in Orange County shouldn’t be too difficult, right? You just find the perfect paint and that's it! One would assume so and, all too often, one would be proven wrong in the most frustrating way imaginable. There are countless stories of beloved cars disappearing into classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA for months or even years.

When this happens, it’s a nightmare. All deadlines are breached, the painter keeps asking for more money to finish the paint job, or they just stop picking up the phone or answering e-mails. The best the hapless owner can hope for is to get their car back in one piece, the same as it was when it was dropped off. Not only are you unlikely to get a refund on your deposit, your car will possibly be missing parts when you do finally get it back, and whatever paint had been put on it will be uneven, peeling, and overall shoddily applied.

Here at Chimera Motors, we don’t think any car should be treated in this way. In this article, you will find in-depth tips on how to avoid bad classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA.

Do they have a paint booth?

The first thing to check is if they have their own paint booth, or if they outsource their painting and bodywork to someplace else. Needless to say, not having an in-house paint booth is a huge warning sign. A typical classic car restoration takes more than a thousand hours, and on average half of that time is spent on the paint & bodywork. Do you really want to farm out such a huge part of your restoration to some shop you didn’t even choose yourself?

Even if the initial paint job is done well, there are still future problems to consider. Let’s say the paint starts to peel or fade two years down the line. Who are you going to ask for a warranty? The shop you took the car to, or the shop that actually applied the paint job? It’s best to avoid such future headache and just have everything done by one of the classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA that have its own in-house paint room.

What’s their paint booth like?

Inspect the paint room yourself. The orange peel a fresh car finish produces as it dries needs a clean environment or it won’t be done right. What’s more, bits of dirt that get into the paint can result in all sorts of imperfections that will be extremely hard to fix. If the paint booth looks dirty and rundown, get your car out of there as soon as possible.

If you’re still not sure, take a look at the rest of their shop. Are these classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA using old equipment that looks like it hasn’t been maintained too well? If that’s the case, chances are they aren’t going to be too careful with your car, either. Does the shop own some of the cars they’ve restored and keeps them on display? That’s usually a good sign, as is the presence of state-of-the-art tools such as TIG or MIG welders, and spot-welding equipment.

Classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA - the biggest red flag

The primary warning sign is if the painter asks for a large sum up front. This either means they know they’re unable to provide a high-quality paint job, or they're bad businessmen who are going to use your money to finish a paint job someone else previously commissioned from them. Either way, they have no real incentive to actually work on your car, which means that 30-60 day job may drag on for three months or longer, or never get done at all.

A serious painter will ask for a few thousand upfront, then invite you back after they've disassembled the car and found any issues you weren't aware of. As the job progresses, they will keep inviting you back, and getting a few more thousands from you for each step, and so on. This way, you’ll always know what you're paying for, and the painter won't run the risk of trying to extract a large sum from you after he's completed the job.

How long should a paint job done by classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA take?

For a paint job to be done right, the paint needs to be stripped down to the bare metal and the car needs to be disassembled. This is a slow, difficult process that should take one to two months even if the painters can devote all their attention to your car. Anything less than that is suspicious and unlikely to result in a paint job you can be proud of.

What do people have to say about them?

A great way to tell if a shop is dependable is to look for referrals. The easiest way to get other people’s opinions on various classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA is to read online reviews and check out what’s said about them on classic car enthusiast forums. Visiting car shows requires more dedication, but it’s worth it because you can see high-end paint jobs and ask the owners where they got their cars painted, how much it cost, how long it took, and if there were any complications during the process.

The foremost among classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA

Have you recently bought your first muscle car and are now looking to give it the loving restoration it deserves? Or are you a long-time enthusiast who wants to bring a brand new paintjob to this year’s car shows? Whatever your needs, you can’t go wrong with Chimera Motors. We are Orange County’s premier company specializing in classic car maintenance and restoration.

If you want to learn more about how to choose a right paint shop for you, or you have any other questions about our service, feel free to call 714-907-0609 today. Our polite & experienced mechanics will gladly help you out. Visit our premises and see for yourself why we’re the best of all classic car paint shops in Orange County, CA!


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