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As long as I've owned my Insight I've also known that the stock silverstone metallic was the wrong colour. While I won't ever say the car didn't wear it well, it seems every second car in the world is some sort of silver and the Insight deserved better. Of course if I had my choice on the initial purchase I would have gone for citrus yellow, but with so few citrus yellow Insights produced, any Insight purchaser knows it is sometimes a case of accepting what's available.

So for 10 years I've been talking about repainting the car. For the last three years I've been deep into the total restoration of my '76 Mazda Cosmo but at the same time, thinking more and more repainting the Insight. It was a minor collision outside of Dundas Ontario this past spring which made the decision. Apparently I'm crazy enough to take on a total colour change on the daily driver while knee deep in the restoration of my Cosmo.



It took some time to find the perfect green (about 10 years!) but I have found it in the colour "snakeskin green" as used on a limited number of 2008 Vipers. It's a wonderful iridescent lime green with an undertone of subtle gold/yellow. Quite honestly I think it's the perfect colour for an Insight.



I took a 3 day weekend at the end of September to prep the car before it went off to the body shop. In that time I did as much work as I could. The entire car was wet sanded with 600 grit, with Scotch Brite used on all the curved panels, edges and areas like the door sills. All the exterior trim (think A pillar trim above the doors, wheel skirts, rockers, etc.) was removed and areas underneath prepped. The headliner and most of that area of the interior was removed (needed to remove the antenna and rear window squirter). All the door seals, door panels and other bits as well. A few dents and dings were filled and smoothed with glazing compound. It was a LOT of work for a weekend. I then delivered the car to the body shop the following Monday.



This was a proper colour change in that all visible areas of the car were prepped and painted. Bumpers and fenders were removed and painted, under the hood was painted, hatch removed and painted. The only compromise I made was to leave the rear quarter windows and windshield installed. The rubber seals were pulled away from th body and taped to the windows, then the glass was masked. Additionally, the engine bay remains silver as pulling the drivetrain was a bit beyond what I wanted to do. The shop (Fine Touch Collision in London Ontario) did a superb job in the final prep and spraying of such a challenging colour. The metallic is even without any hit of blotches nor tiger striping.



Compared to the silverstone metallic (note the damage to the drivers door which started this whole adventure) I couldn't be more happy! It's a beautiful colour, ready to show off all its variation and shading as the light changes. There's a depth to the car now that just sucks your eyeballs in. The Insight has always attracted plenty of attention. Now however, people driving by stop to look and pedestrians swivel their heads as I go by.
 

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Wow. Beautiful!

Sam
 

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Very cool! I just had my 95 S6 resprayed a factory emerald metallic; I did all the disassembly/reassembly, and it was a HUGE project, esp since I wet sanded/polished everything myself. What brand of paint did you use, and how much was it? I used Dupont Chromabase on the Audi, and it was $1200 for just the paint!
 

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Very cool! I just had my 95 S6 resprayed a factory emerald metallic; I did all the disassembly/reassembly, and it was a HUGE project, esp since I wet sanded/polished everything myself. What brand of paint did you use, and how much was it? I used Dupont Chromabase on the Audi, and it was $1200 for just the paint!
I am honestly not sure what the shop sprayed as I've not yet received the invoice. ;) I just didn't think to ask. As I didn't need to apply any primer because there was such little repair work needed there was no reason for me to worry about compatibility in products.

I'm reasonably competent behind a spray gun but know my limits. I would never attempt to spray such challenging colour myself and without a proper booth.

Funny though, it was about halfway through the Sunday when I was thinking to myself "Hm, I thought I swore I'd never do this again after the RX-7?". :D And no, I won't ever do it again. Oops, guess that's untrue since I still have the Cosmo on the go.

Most people don't have any idea what it takes to paint a car. Nor do they know the true cost of materials. Hell, I was at $200 just in sanding and prep supplies this time! Another $200 for plastic clips, a new H logo and other misc. fasteners.
 

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That's the dogs Aaron . Green is my favourite car colour and the one you have used is stunning .
With reference to your rotary passion, I wondered if you had ever been lucky enough to own a series 1 Cosmo ?
 

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Not bad. I saw dogbite after JimE had it repainted and it was one nice finish. Id say it was like a lime green metallic paint job with a yellow clear coat. It had some depth to it and different shadows depending on how you looked at it.

So, did you remove all the body panels and get them painted too or just shot the outside of the vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's the dogs Aaron . Green is my favourite car colour and the one you have used is stunning .
With reference to your rotary passion, I wondered if you had ever been lucky enough to own a series 1 Cosmo ?
I'm not a green person in general but I have a soft spot for lime greens. Done right they can be beautiful. Part of my inspiration for this colour was the way uranium glass looks under ultraviolet light.

I've never owned a Cosmo Sport, and only ever seen two in real life. One was on the wall at the Mazda booth during the North American International Auto Show the year the RX-8 was introduced. The other actually sits in the showroom of a semi-local Mazda dealer. I think the last time he was asked about price he responded "Over $100,000". Truthfully as cool as they are, I don't think I'd ever want to own one as I'd be afraid to drive it.

That is much nicer than the Citrious yellow color! looks wonderful in that green and I bet it would look great with the stock green interior from the Citrious yellow model.
As my original Honda "H" perished during removal from the hood, I did order a citrus yellow replacement from the dealer and received it a few days ago. It matches reasonably well. Now I just need to work up the guts to install it...only one chance with that tape.

Not bad. I saw dogbite after JimE had it repainted and it was one nice finish. Id say it was like a lime green metallic paint job with a yellow clear coat. It had some depth to it and different shadows depending on how you looked at it.
So, did you remove all the body panels and get them painted too or just shot the outside of the vehicle?
I did consider the colour "anti-freeze green" by PPG, which is a true candy. But that's exactly the reason I didn't use it. Having an $8,000 paint job on a daily driver which cannot be touched up is a real drag. :)

As I mentioned, all removable body panels were removed. Doors, fenders, hatch, all the urathane trim, bumpers, A-pillars, wheel skirts, etc. The only parts left on the car during painting were the windshield and quarter windows. The only chance the casual observer has of seeing silver on the car is under the hood in the engine bay.
 

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Whoa! That's an awesome color. I like it! Love the plates, too.

How much did the paint run you? Maybe you already said, but I missed it.
 

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Whoa! That's an awesome color. I like it! Love the plates, too.
Thanks! Had the plates ever since I got the car, so over 10 years now. They still generate a lot of questions.

How much did the paint run you? Maybe you already said, but I missed it.
I've not received the invoice from the body shop yet (they are very busy). I know that I saved a considerable amount doing the prep myself as that's just straight labor, typically farmed out to the most junior employee.
 

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Has anyone else painted their Insight besides Aaron? I have been considering painting my 2000 Insight this rare aquamarine blue color which was only sold in Europe, Japan and Canada. In Europe and Japan it was called oxygen blue.

What should I expect to pay to have my Insight painted? $3,000 to $4,000?


 

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The cost of painting a car is wildly variable. It costs very little to mask off all the windows, scuff the car, and shoot it with single stage. It will look good from 20 feet, for a few years until the paint starts to fade.

To really do it properly, a LOT of stuff has to come off the car. Hatch, doors, skirts, sills, window A pillar trim, bumpers, lights, hood, fenders, mirrors, window trim, door seals (that requires headliner removal). That alone is very labour intensive and you will break about $200 in plastic clips. Ideally the rear quarter windows should be removed, though by folding the molding back and holding it with tape, paint can be encouraged behind it.

Whole car needs to be sanded with 600 grit/Scotch Brite. Any body work needs to be done which may involve dent pulling, filler and primer. If there was primer, then really the whole car should be primed or at least sealed because most paints are somewhat transparent and will look different over a different base.

So if you do all that work, and have a friendly body shop, then depending on the colour and paint system you should be able to get it under $3000. But if you drop it off and have them do the work start to finish, properly, $6000 - $8000.
 

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I think this would have been, would be, a pretty cool color for the 1st gen Insight, kind of a yellow-green, new Dodge Dart, close to the Citrus Yellow. Saw one today on the road, looked good, almost the same color as the new leaves popping-out this time of year:

For comparison:

And:
 

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I love the maroon color the previous owner had mine painted. They did the full work-up, everything except the engine bay.

The only detraction is the big stupid solar panel they felt the need to install on the hood, but the paint itself is awesome.
 

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