Not So Cheap MAACO Paint Job

Project Off Road Toyota Paint Job

Mar. 01, 2007 By Justin Waters


With the front Hanneman fiberglass fitted for Project Off Road Toyota it was time for a paint job. The fiberglass comes with no finish on it and somewhat of a white color. If you spent all your money on the fiberglass and suspension, many people decide to go without painting the fiberglass and leaving it a different color than the rest of the truck. It doesn’t look the best and the fiberglass is somewhat un protected, but it will suffice if you can’t afford a paint job.

Project Off-Road Toyota awaiting a cheap paint job.

Choosing a Paint Shop

For quite a while now, Maaco has been the cheapest place to get your car or truck painted. With prices starting as low as $250, it was easy for me to choose them to paint our project truck. Other local body shops in my area wanted close to $2,000. Even with our location in rural Northeast Oregon we were able to find a couple different Maaco paint shops that were relatively close. And when I found out that either location could start on the truck the same day I called and have it done within a week, I was even more enticed.

Up, Up, and Away

Maaco advertises four different paint options ranging from $250 to over a $1000. Most of the time, if you watch the newspapers and TV commercials you can catch them at a time when they are offering some time of deal. I was able to upgrade my paint from an industry workhorse paint to an advertised more resistant and durable paint for no extra cost because of the time that I brought my truck in. Whether there was really that much difference in durability or not, I was supposedly saving close to $75 and getting a better quality paint. But that’s where the savings would stop.

First off they would charge me an extra $100 just because it was a truck. I wasn’t happy about this, but I guess it made sense. Or did it? Just how much bigger is a Toyota pickup? The salesman’s eyes then lit up when I asked for some color samples because I wanted to paint the truck orange. This would be another $150 added to my total because I wasn’t painting it the factory color. Before even leaving the office my total had gone up nearly double from $250 advertised special.

Next we received at least one call a day from the shop asking whether or not there were certain things that we wanted them to do. There were so many, we can’t remember everything that they tried to charge us for. To mention just a few, they wanted to know whether or not to paint the inside of the door jams. It does look just a little funny when the door is open and you can see the original green paint, but they wanted around $100 per door to add this. Also, they tried to charge us to fix the tiny pin-holes in the fiberglass. This is a normal thing in fiberglass, and I’m not sure what they were going to do to fix them, but they wanted another $150 for that. You can slightly notice in the paint where the pin-holes were, but only if you get up close and personal and we were not looking for a show quality paint job.

Project Off-Road Toyota after Maaco paint job.


Final Cost

Our final bill ended up being a little over $600 for paint only. No body work was done; A far cry from the original $250 that they boast. This is still LOTS cheaper than anywhere else that I found, but expensive compared to the $200 that it used to cost to get your vehicle painted at Maaco just a few years back. If we had allowed them to do everything that they had wanted to, it could have easily ended up being $1200 or more.

Side View. We had Maaco paint the rear fiberglass bedsides also but we will mount them when we install the rear suspension.



We ended up paying more than we thought, but there wasn’t much we could do about it. And our cheap paint job was still considerably cheaper than all the body shops we priced. If you ever take your vehicle to Maaco make sure that they know to call you before doing anything to your vehicle that will add even more to the bill. And don't expect to pay what is advertised.

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