A while ago, I got a free topper on craigslist for my 2000 Tundra. It was perfect for our needs - just an enclosure for the dogs when we got to the dog park.

Topper was the wrong color, all the clear coat has peeled off, lifters were broken... I replaced the broken stuff, installed some bars on the windows so that the mutts can’t jump out in summer when I keep the windows open for them.

But, the paint issue is still there

Illustration for article titled Painting a truck topper at Maaco - yay or nay?

Missus would like me to deal with this before we move (in September) to our new fancy house and fancy neighborhood, and she’d like it to be color matched.

Local topper place wants $600-700 for an unknown paint finish.

Maaco wants $400 for Urethane + IC (integrated clear coat) and it is a 4 year warranty, good for vehicles exposed to elements. Or, for $500, they would do Base coat + Clear coat with a 5 year warranty. Prep is included in both, and they would be done in about 2 days.

I am also waiting on a buddy that fixes and flips cars to talk to his painter buddy to let me know how much he would charge me. If it is cheaper, it will be without warranty (I presume).

Does anyone have any experience with Maaco? These guys have a surprising 4.7 stars on Google - surprising as in all I ever heard about Maaco is they do shitty work with shitty prep.


If I didn’t just spend $1370 on timing belt replacement with a new water pump and serpentine belt, exhaust manifold and oxygen sensor installation and a new radiator, I wouldn’t care too much, but whatever I pick will send me over $3000 invested into this truck in the last 6 months or so, and all we ever do with it is drive the dogs around.

I do have a compressor and can get this paint and I also have a garage, but what I don’t have is any experience painting cars.


Decisions, decisions...

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