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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-18-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
vorceb23
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E46 paint job costs/options-help!!!!

I just got my first bmw, which is an 04 325i and I'm loving every second of it. My only minor concern is the color, which as of now is a metallic steel blue (picture attached). I'd like to paint the car either grey, silver, or navy blue ( I really like the interlagos blue), all of which I attached pictures. Which of these options would be easiest, what do I need to do, and how much would I be looking at shelling out. I'd like the finished car too look as stock as possible, like it had actually been produced in that color. ANY HELP is greatly appreciatedhttp://s1.E46Fanatics.com/forum/images/smilies/thinking.gif

THE TOP PIC is what my e46 looks like now- the newt 3 are my color options.
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Last edited by vorceb23; 06-18-2012 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
maurer
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If you'd like a correct answer you should really contact a body shop and ask them. Diff shops charge diff amounts. I'd deff go with interlagos blue
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Honestly man it isn't going to be worth it. To switch colors properly the car will have to be jammed (all door jams, hood and trunk painted to match) and this is where it really starts to add up.

I used to work in a body shop 15 years ago and we would have charged no less than $3.5k for a 4 door color change, and that was 1997 money. I am not saying you couldn't find it cheaper, but to get a paint job that is even close to what you have stock, it is not going to be cheap.

The good news is that there is nothing wrong with the paint color on your car, if you don't like it, sell it and buy something in the color you like.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:59 PM   #4
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You should go with make sure every bit of maintenance that should done is.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:10 PM   #5
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Looooool thread!!!! There is a lot more to do on maintenance then change that nice Color

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Old 06-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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thanks for all the insight- still wanna explore my options
if anyone knows of a good body shop in/near sarasota florida or Gainesville please let me know (most convenient locations)
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
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shouldn't have bought a car with a color that dosent appeal to you. its a free country sell it and buy a car with 1 of those 3 colors that you want
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
vorceb23
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I purchased it from a family member it's the only way my mom was going to let me have a BMW- very low miles (35k and its an 04!) and i got a good deal
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Only color that would work, I'm afraid, is Fern Green Metallic. Something about the chemical make up of the Metallic Steel Blue that only allows Fern Green Metallic on top. Forget where I read that, but it was on Fanatics, so must be true(ish).

Do not paint it. You'd be devaluing it.

Only thing I can say is that you'll grow out of thinking you have an ugly color. When I got mine, color was the last thing on my mind (obviously!). Now, 6 years later, it's beginning to grow on me--mostly because it's different and excellent camouflage--no one wants to steal an ugly colored bmw!

Oh, also, drink heavily and don't look at the car so much...pay attention to the road. Also, pick driving attire that complements your color. Again, something like a Fern Green driving suit would be perfect.
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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painting it is not worth the cost, unless you can do bodywork, and paint prep, and even then you're still over $1000 in materials and paying a good painter/shop to give you a quality job.

and if your mom is still playing into your car decisions then save the $4000+ it would take to paint it and get out of the house.

to improve the look of the car as the paint stands would be a better option IMO.
Little things like:
window tint
new grills
lighting mods to clean up the look
and a good buff and wax would go a long way.
The color's not a bad one, it just needs something to compliment it, I just hate the chrome grills and yellow reflectors all over stock E46's and yellow definitely clashes with that nice metallic blue.


the guy that mentions painting all the door jambs/underhood is right, it's too much work/money and it does devalue the car which will hurt you when you grow out of this car and try to sell it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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Keep da steel blue color, dont paint it, trust me grey/silver is zzzzz cause everybody has these colors ! listen to the fanatics do some maintenance checking oil, brakes etc if any at 36k mi... wash and wax it with detailed care .. consider yourself fortunate getting a great car from your mom ! many of us search are asses off for low mi e46s .. if you feel like spending $$$ update the dampers all around and get some brand name performance tires ... your oem wheels look good

btw whats the interior color trim ? auto or mt ? me thinks your a lucky guy to get a 36k mi e46

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My only minor concern is the color, which as of now is a metallic steel blue
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #12
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no... just no. Do your maintenance, enjoy your car. If you have enough money sitting around to do a proper all over paint job, then you have enough sitting around to sell the car and buy one in the color you want.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
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My car is also steel blue, when i got it i hated it...
Once i got clears all around the car, i wouldn't trade the color for any other.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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shouldn't have bought a car with a color that dosent appeal to you. its a free country sell it and buy a car with 1 of those 3 colors that you want
See, thats great and all but when you have a 5speed manual xi touring, and theres no way in hell you'll ever find another one, let alone one in interlagos Blue/lemans Blue, you kinda have to stick with the one you got and get it painted the color you want.:p
although, if its just a 325 sedan, yeah, just buy one in the color you like.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vorceb325i View Post
I purchased it from a family member it's the only way my mom was going to let me have a BMW- very low miles (35k and its an 04!) and i got a good deal
Are you still breastfeeding Bro?
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:04 PM   #16
Gus330vrum
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Spend money on maintenance first...

Read e46fanatic threads untill it adds up too 100 pages ...

Go to the Do-it-yourself mods etc and you will love it

With 3k that car can go back to new!!!

New suspension all around.
New Cf wrap.
New good used wheels.
Angel eye
Rear tail light LED
And a lot more ...

If you paint it, it will drop car value.

You making teenager choice changing the color


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Old 06-18-2012, 09:18 PM   #17
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Hated my car with ambers, start modding an SB look saweet
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #18
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Don't forget mate, no matter how expensive the paint job is, it will never hold up with the same quality and durability as the original. It also won't look as good. There is nearly no way to match an original paint job because we can't match the process they used. It's also the single most expensive thing you can do to a car. For your own sake please don't paint it, there are SO many more things to spend money on with these cars. Even at that mileage, it still needs a number of maintenance items due to the age.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:11 PM   #19
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you need to spend thousands to make it look good. final answer dont do it. keep the color that you have and use the money on nicer wheels and maintenance.

what you are doing it's like throwing money away.

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Old 06-18-2012, 11:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Oh, also, drink heavily and don't look at the car so much...pay attention to the road.


But OP, Steel blue is a killer color. I immediately chose it over TiAg. Give it a few months. You'll change your mind.
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