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Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Is Van Painting Day

This is the van at the paint shop getting an estimate. $1000 if they remove the stripes - $500 if I remove the stripes.

This is the van after 5 hours of removing all 32 stripes. 

You may recall that we bought a 1994 Dodge Van before we went to London this summer. The van has 109,000 miles on it and only had one owner the whole 18 years. 

It has a V6 engine and gets 18 MPG. The 3 speed automatic transmission is very smooth. The AC blows cold.

The van is in great shape - inside and out - but the paint is pretty worn and faded. I went to my favorite paint shop (Maaco) to see how much they would charge to paint it. This is the 5th paint job they have done for me and I have been pleased with the results. They wanted $1000 to paint it all one color - white. Much of the work was remove the 32 stripes that were on the body. Steve - the owner of the shop - said that if I removed the stripes - the price would come down to $500. I thought he was nuts. 

Then Steve showed me how to do it. I bought an eraser wheel for my drill. The wheel reminds me of the brown gummy erasers that we used in school - except it was more solid. He said it would take about a half of a day. 

I ended up buying 3 eraser wheels at $12 each. Then I started erasing. It took 5 hours and to my surprise my hands were very forgiving. A little aspirin helped. Finally after all that erasing - I pressure washed the entire van using a bleach solution to get rid of any residue or wax.  

The van looks like a big marshmellow now. Monday they will paint the van white - including the blue running boards. After that - we will decide if it needs a tiny garnet and gold pinstripe on each side with spearheads.

So far - here is what we have into the van - purchase price $1200 - tag/title/tax $260 - new windshield $240 - new paint $500 = total $2200. 

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