Paint / Rust / Collision

The It’s Alive Team is highly successful at providing quality paint work at a great value.  Achieving this requires a blend of knowledge, expertise, and materials combined with a well thought out plan and approaches that are both effective and efficient.  All of these elements must be tailored to the customer's end state in both desires and budget.  At It’s Alive Automotive, we pride ourselves in the execution of this very complicated process.  The results are seen in the hundreds of quality paint jobs we have performed . . . one of which took first place in class at Pebble Beach!  We were also selected by Hagerty Insurance to be part of their Hagerty Network for Collision repair . . . an honor!


The It’s Alive Team is highly successful at providing quality paint work at a great value.  Achieving this state requires a blend of knowledge, expertise, facilities and quality materials all orchestrated through a well thought out approach designed for both effectiveness and efficiency.   The magnitude of this challenge is amplified by the need to achieve the customer's end state in both scope and budget.  It’s Alive Automotive is proud to be part of the select-few that understand the “automotive car painting challenges” and have the capacity to overcome them all.


Defining the approach is extremely important.  Blending the condition of the car with the customer’s desired end state and budget is initially the greatest challenge.  Our approach has been refined over years of restorations and collision repairs.  The process is cyclical.  We listen to the customer and understand their desired quality and budget (see restoration).  We then assess the car and define and explain the approach that we would recommend.  Frequently, the approach necessary to achieve the customer’s desired end state and their budget are not commensurate so we recommend alternatives that bring the two together.  This process may involve many iterations until the blend of end state, budget, and approach all come together.  We are not always successful.  But at the very least, the process ensures the customer becomes far more informed should they elect to use another shop for their paint work.  Our Team is always glad to provide suggestions, recommendations and experience regardless of whether the work is performed at our shop or elsewhere.  We are here to help and our strong backlog allows us to be an honest broker when developing the plan for painting any vehicle.


Once a car is inducted for paint, the process involves many steps.  As described above, the process for each car will have been defined with the customer and may vary widely. However, typically the process follows a number of foundational steps.  We start by disassembling the car.  Generally we remove the windows, chrome, door strikers, weather stripping, etc.  A more comprehensive paint job could include the trunk, engine bay, dash and door jambs.  After disassembly, the car is usually stripped of existing paint.  Paint removal is achieved through either sanding, chemical stripping, or blasting.  The bare metal is then etched and epoxy primed to provide long lasting protection.  At this time we complete all metal work and rust repair.  If needed, we fabricate the panels that are welded into the car.  We do not allow any body work to be performed until the metalwork and the panel fit of the doors, hood, trunk and chrome have been approved.  The body work follows the approved metalwork and the body work is sanded to 180 grit.  We then apply 3 thick layers of epoxy primer which are blocked to 400 grit.  The epoxy is then sealed, base coated and cleared (all with the highest quality Glasurit products).  We generally bake the paint for 3 hours at 150 degrees and then let it cure for a couple days before color sanding and buffing.


One of the Seven Wonders of the World is how Earl Scheib could paint a car for less than a thousand dollars!  When you consider the countless hours involved and the astronomical cost of materials one can only ponder the recipe for Earl’s success.  At It's Alive Automotive we follow rigid processes, employ highly skilled artisans, leverage world class facilities, and utilize premium paint materials all designed to ensure a beautiful, durable and long lasting finish.  Of course, when you use the best of everything you expect to pay a premium.  Fortunately, our efficient processes, skilled artisans, and industry low rates (especially considering our amazing facilities) translate to the best value in the midwest.  Our customers achieve the highest quality at a very affordable cost!  While we can’t beat Earl, we are proud to achieve amazing paint work at between $15,000.00 and $30,000.00 and we will gladly explore alternatives for lowering the cost (scope, approach, material quality, etc.).


Quality paint work is a substantial investment and It's Alive Automotive has made that investment. The flagship of our body shop is our USI Italia downdraft, heated paint booth that ensures thoroughly baked, dust free finishes in all environmental conditions.   USI Italia Paint Booths are the only paint booths authorized for use in Mercedes Benz Dealerships (enough said).  Attached to our paint booth is a dedicated mixing room.  Using our spectrum analyzer, we can define the perfect paint formula and mix and compare that color on site to ensure perfection.  No more running to the paint store only to return and find a mismatch.  Also worth noting is our mixing room is populated with only Glasurit paint products.  The Glasurit brand touts over 100 years of paint history of the highest quality and perpetual research and innovation.  Glasurit has been the original equipment product on European sports cars for decades and recognized worldwide as the flagship of automotive paint products.  Lastly, our IAA screw compressors with electric air drying systems, Sata spray guns, hydraulic pressurized spot welders, dustless sanding machines, exceptional LED lighting, world class metal shaping equipment, plasma CNC cutting machines, and countless TIG and MIG welders are all available and utilized to ensure the highest quality at the greatest value.  See our facilities