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Repainting my Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Obsoletion, May 1, 2014.

  1. Obsoletion

    Obsoletion Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    Alta Loma, CA (Southern California)
    We had some 100 mile per hour winds here in Southern California and I got caught in it on the freeway yesterday and my S was peppered with pebbles and debris which really chipped up my beautiful black paint (which is only 2 months old). So, I am going to have repainted and I am looking for the toughest paint I can get being that the factory paint isn't the best strength due to California emissions allowing only water based paints to be used. I am looking at Dupont Imron which is a urethane. I realize I will have to take it to another state to get the Imron or another urethane paint. Has anyone else done this and/or have recommendations about the repainting?

  2. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Skaneateles, NY
    This time might I suggest fully wrapping the car with XPEL Ultimate film to protect the paint?
  3. Tacket

    Tacket Member

    May 31, 2013
    Mukilteo, WA
    Take it to a reputable detailer first (unless you already have). I had some pretty gnarly rock chips in my black paint and several large spots when I ran into my garage (doh!) and my detailer was able to use touch up paint and wet sanded/buffed the area and I really can't tell that the work was done unless I'm really really really up close (like 12 inches or less).
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    May 17, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    Is there a way to paint cars with more toxic paint but minimize the pollution? Seems these water based paints are a problem.
  5. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    FWIW my OptiCoat Pro guy said that he has heard of some high end European car owners who took their cars from California to Nevada to have body work done in order to be able to use 'non low-VOC' paints as done in the factory.
  6. stephenpace

    stephenpace VIN S00219

    Dec 22, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I agree with the XPEL Ultimate solution, but instead of painting it, have you considered doing a full colored wrap? Should be cheaper than painting the car and there are a lot of cool color options. How about matte metallic blue?

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  7. ilg

    ilg Some guy on the Internet.

    Feb 8, 2013
    A color wrap may be your best bet. I don't know. But, if I were going to repaint with something other than factory paint, I'd go with a good quality aircraft paint system. Those paints are specifically made to adhere to aluminum. DuPont Imron is one of the best, it seems. Other options would be Sherwin-Williams Jet Glo or Randolph Ranthane. A company called PTI offers regular polyurethane, as well as a water borne type. Stewart Systems offers a water borne polyurethane that folks seem to like, although application is a bit tricky.

    You might also want to talk to local (as in NV) aircraft refinishers about doing the job. With any of these, the key is to find a painter that is experienced in using the system. For instance, don't go into a Sherwin-Williams shop and insist that they use Imron. That's asking for trouble. Find a shop that you like that uses the system you want. It's a package deal.

    Best of luck!
  8. Moparposterchild

    Oct 27, 2013
    Los Angeles
    It is my understanding that everyone (body shops included) in CA is required by law to use the new water based paints, so if you want your car painted with something else you'll most likely have to take it out if state.
  9. jbruce

    jbruce Member

    Oct 14, 2013
    Venice & Newport Beach, California
    #9 jbruce, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014
    Yes, CA paint restrictions are a total PITA especially if you are trying to restore a vintage car with the type of paint. Now you often have to send it to shop in a more lenient state or sometimes even out of the the country. I have a friend who had to send his Aston abroad because he wanted it absolutely original and it could not be shot here in U.S.. For your case I would argue that you should shoot it with the original soft water-based paint and if you really care have it clear wrapped as mentioned above. Repaints always raise suspicion and the closer you can get it to factory the more value you will retain.
  10. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Jul 31, 2013
    Southern California
    Keep it simple...just have a good body shop repaint it and match thickness and orange peel. Then wrap it with clear bra.
  11. boll123

    boll123 Member

    Oct 20, 2013
    If you repaint your Model S, future buyers may look at this as you damaged your car at some point and repainted it. You should opt for a full XPEL wrap instead. Typically cost $3K and usually done in a day or two.

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