How I bought Car Paint & SAVED $3500 painting just as good myself as Pro Automotive Paint!
It drove me crazy. I loved my car but the peeling paint, the white clearcoat, it sucked. It SUCKED. What sucked more was that respraying my 1984 Toyota 4Runner was going to cost $4k, money I just didn’t have.
My 4Runner is really really supposed to just be my hunting truck, I take it everywhere, just as long as there’s no tarmac, LOL. I didn’t realize that my hunting trips and the thick brush and tree branches were scratching up my paint and scratching OFF my clear coat.
I realized that clearcoat coming off, exposing the actual paint, meant that rust was becoming inevitable, and with it the depressing and sad end for an awesome, awesome truck. I couldn’t bear to lose this thing, but to rust!?? That just sucked.
I looked online, checked 4Runner forums, paint forums, watched loads of YouTube videos and read and read and read online and I knew that I just couldn’t get away with a cheap rattle can spray job - it wouldn’t last and it would look like garbage.
So I started thinking of how to save up for a professional respray, $4k, four thousand dollars! FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS! It was a lot of money for me, heck, it’s a lot of money for anyone! I’m not Bill Gates! How am I supposed to pay four grand for a respray!?
“It’s a big truck”, “there are deep scratches”, “it needs a bigger booth, a lot of paint” I decided that I had to pay, to respray a 35 year old Toyota. I had to respray, because there was nothing made like this again, and no way that anyone was selling one in as good condition as mine! And, if they were, I was sure they’d be asking WAAAY more than $4K! Turns out you can’t even buy an ‘84 4Runner, not for love or money, and definitely not in the same condition as mine - so the car paint piggy bank got started.
One Sunday in late April I went for some off-roading at a trail that just reopened for Spring about two hour from my place, so I took the 4Runner for some fun and the place was packed. I was following a couple of Jeeps and showing that my 4Runner could stand up to their TJs. It was a really great time, got muddy like anything, ooh so much fun.
One of the Jeepers, a guy named Tim, was joking around making fun of my 4Runner, as you do… and then said to me, seriously, why don’t I Durabak it? I didn’t know what he was talking about. He showed me that his Jeep had been covered in olive green bed liner, it looked totally badass. He told me he did it 8 years ago and takes it off-road all the time, I didn’t believe him cos it looked way too perfect for that.
He explained that he bed lined his Jeep with Durabak and the whole thing cost less than $200! LESS THAN TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! I couldn’t believe this guy, I thought he was still making fun. He pulled out his iPhone and showed me Durabakcompany.com and showed me that he bought one can of Durabak textured and including shipping it was just over $150. Well, I was shocked. I’m not usually lost for words, but this was a surprise. He was more surprised that his cell-phone had reception and I was just thinking about my piggy bank at home and how I was about to save $3800!
He told me he did it all himself, with rollers. WITH ROLLERS. Let me repeat that, he painted his truck WITH ROLLERS. Oh and did I mention it looked awesome? He then showed me one of the other guys had used smooth Durabak, he told me it was just as tough as the textured bed liner but smooth. He forced me to check out his truck up close, the thing looked perfect, no scratches, and real smooth. He told me it was 4 years old and he beats it up every weekend he can.
We sat down for some beers and I started checking out their site, mainly reviews. they weren't disappointing.
Well I wasn’t wasting any more time, I knew exactly what to do. On the ride home I called Durabak Company, it was a Sunday, but I was so excited I couldn’t wait. And they actually answered. The guy on the phone was so super helpful it made me feel super comfortable using their product. He explained the prep and application, I told him what I wanted to coat and he told me exactly how much I needed, I ordered 2 gallons of smooth sand Durabak 18 on the phone barely 3 hours after first hearing about the stuff.
When I got home I binge watched Durabak videos on their site and on YouTube, this stuff was really the best, I couldn’t barely sleep I was so excited!
Wednesday night I came home to see the big box outside my front door, I just wanted to do the painting then, but I knew I needed to give it a full day and waited for the weekend. In the meantime, I got my truck scuffed head to toe with 100 grit, got rid of that ugly clearcoat once and for all - what a good feeling!
The big day came, I was so nervous. Did I tell you how much I love my truck? I started bugging out that it was gonna look terrible and I would destroy the truck with some lousy orange peel finish. I maybe painted a bedroom like 15 years ago, what the heck am I doing?!?! But I had already scuffed off the clear coat and scratched up the old paint, there was no turning back now. I was past the point of no return, so I took a deep breath and decided that I’m focusing every one of my brain cells on this for the next 6 hours. I felt like I was a Jedi Master. I was so focused on this paint job, you could have shot me in the leg with a .22 and I wouldn’t have noticed!
I rolled on two coats, just like they said. Used the mohair shortnap rollers, thin coats to make sure no curing bubbles, waited 2 hours between coats and I sweated bullets! I just had to get this right, but the first coat looked REALLY bad. It was half see-through, blotchy, uneven, I was freaking out. I called Ben at the Durabak company, he calmed me down BIG TIME. Told me that’s a good sign, means I didn’t put it on too thick and the second coat would be solid, opaque. Phew!
Second coat went on beautifully. This stuff is soo darn nice to work with. It’s thick like goo, but it just goes on so smooth and even. It must be the ‘self-leveling’ I’m not sure what that means, but it was just awesome to work with. Really enjoyed every minute of it. By the end, I’d mixed up the Durabak so much, done so much painting, prepping, blue tape, oh man, I was freaking EXHAUSTED!
The next morning I went outside before the Sun was even up, I was trying to figure out how smooth it went on, I was just so scared of runs and drips and pinholes, I was still bugging out. It wasn’t long till the Sun came up and I was just buzzing. The truck looked AWESOME! Like way better than I even hoped! I think it looks better than new, the color is a beaut and it’s just night and day from what it looked like before, I suddenly started to regret that I never took a ‘before’ picture to show people what it looked like. Then I started regretting that I didn’t take pictures of myself doing the job - NOBODY WOULD EVER BELIEVE ME THAT I DID THIS MYSELF!!!
The hardest part was giving it 24 hours to dry, I was so desperate to drive it, show it off! Everyone thought I got a new truck, nobody can believe this thing is 35 years old, and NOBODY can believe I painted it MYSELF with a ROLLER in my FRONT YARD for $300!!!
This has got to be the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I never write things like this, but I just had to share this story with y’all. So many people have no done the same with Durabak, my brother did his Raptor in smooth Sand like mine, my Mom did her Honda Civic in Light Blue Smooth and my mate did an old army Jeep with textured OD green. Everyone is so happy and we’ve all saved so much money!
They didn’t even have bad clear coat, they just saw how tough my Durabak is and how it doesn’t scratch or crack but just flexes and bends like rubber. This stuff is just amazing. Not only is it so much cheaper than paint, it’s WAY better!
You really should speak to Ben at the Durabak Company about Durabaking your car, he’s full of great advice and super helpful, give him a call.