kia stinger store

Cosmetics- DIY vs the Pros

DrMario86

Member
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86
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Hey folks. Just picked up the Stinger in March and getting started with customizing. Wanted to get some public opinion on what cosmetics are home DIY friendly and what's best left to a shop. I've got experience with loads of basic maintenance and some mechanical work like brakes and suspension but never done anything for show. Can I get a rating of "Easy Peasy", "Risky Biz", or "Le Nope" if anyone wants to share their struggle?
Tint- it's stinkin' hot in the Gulf Coast of the US already but I've seen lots of home jobs turn into a purple mess
PPF- the generic 3M hood strip seems pretty straight forward. Bumper kits are pricey but I do lots of interstate and country highway driving so log trucks everywhere so may be important
Ceramic- Some people dig the "ceramic" waxes, others swear by the actual hardened SiO2 formulas
Vinyl Covers- hood, mirrors, vents, roof, trunk- mostly seen cheesy carbon print but the 2-tone look can be pretty classy
Paint Correction- loving the BOOST LYFE but Kia isn't known for their prowess in factory finishing. Dig the matte of the Ceramic Silver but I think part of that is due to the Orange Peel XD
Feel free to add some things you found to be a big deal as I've most certainly missed a few things. I'm planning to leave the badges alone so I won't have to deal with "wHaT's WiTh ThE sPaRtAn DoOd?" questions. o.o7
 

MerlintheMad

Sustaining Member
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West Jordan, Y00TAW
Ceramic Silver is not "matte". It's the most subtle Stinger color and is actually metallic. I have to wonder if you got a "weird" vehicle if you see yours as matte?

Anyway, yes to PPF, hands down, absolutely the single most important "cosmetic". And you are more daring than I am if you are even considering an attack on this yourself.

My car doesn't need "paint correction". Maybe I got lucky. I'd take it to a pro for all of the things that you asked about. But then, you already made a short list of things that you do to your own cars that I never have. So, I guess that makes me a Le Nope. :p
 

DrMario86

Member
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86
18
There's some metallic flake but the gloss is really scattered by the orange peel on the hood and rear panels. (Evening lighting makes almost desert tan. Kinda dig it...)
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Aarvix

Active Member
488
276
68
North TX
If you're gonna get PPF (and I highly recommend t), get the whole panel done.
Don't skimp and only get the half hood "bra". The seam may look invisible now, but it will collect dirt and be painfully visible in no time. There's several cars in my work parking lot with this and they all look like crap.
 

DrMario86

Member
67
86
18
Keeping up so far. Question on precut vs bulk then. It's about $550 for the hood kit from Invisible Mask or $875 for the front end. Under half of what a shop would ask for. How awful is it to trim as you go from something like the $150 Vvivid 48"x60" bulk rolls? Trimming a hood might be reasonable but I could see something complex like the bumper being a major PITA. Convenience of precut worth the price?
 

87and66

Active Member
376
231
43
Pittsburgh, PA
Tint - don't do it yourself. It will look terrible. have a professional install quality ceramic tint like xpel or 3M.
PPF - probably better to have a pro do it
Ceramic coat - easy DIY. I've done my car twice with Avalonking
vinyl wrap - easy DIY depending on what you're wrapping. I did my side reflectors and fuel door with ease. But I've tried doing the hood 3 times. First time, there were crease marks from pulling it up when applying. The next two times, I couldn't get rid of the wrinkles at the last 10% of the wrap. Small parts, try it yourself. hood or roof, have someone else do it.
paint correction - You can probably do a good enough job. I learned how to do paint correction on my stinger, and while its not professional level, it looks good enough that only I notice the remaining imperfections.
 

SafetyPilotCal

Active Member
326
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43
I'm really big on "DIY". I have rebuilt engines, swapped plenty of drivelines, tuned my own stuff, got big in the "OEM+" thing installing HUDs and whatnot in cars that didn't come with one, done rather intensive rust repair when I lived up north, etc. However, you've managed to stumble upon most of the things I just would not attempt myself because the majority of them require experience and know-how that make them easy for a n00b to screw up.

Tint - Granted, the Stinger really has no complex glass to speak of, however.. there's a reason why it's one of the FEW things I gladly take my car to a professional for. If you were only applying tint to the front windows of a Suburban or something, fine. Give it a shot. Otherwise, you're going to end up with crap. It's also hard to find decent tint if you aren't an authorized installer for someone. Years ago my buddy and I tried tinting windows *that were out of the car* and it still ended up looking pretty shit in the end. If you insist on attempting this, do not buy cheap tint. In other words, nothing that is just dyed. Buy premium 3M, Llumar, Suntek, etc.

Paint correction - try this yourself on an old beater first. If you've never done serious paint correction before AND your objective is remove orange peel, don't try it on your brand new car. The clear coat is very thin on these cars and it would be VERY easy to burn right through it. At the very least if you want to attempt this you need a paint depth gauge. Read as much as you can on this subject on places like Autogeek.

PPF - Like tint, you're not really paying for the film. You're paying for someone's expertise on how to do it right. The front of these cars have a lot of complex edges and curves and even precut, it would likely be extremely difficult to lay down well. If you insist on trying this, again, buy precut. Otherwise you're taking the risk of cutting the film directly against the paint. I've seen plenty of shitty "professional" jobs where they've cut paint, so I would find a shop with a plotter, and specifically a shop known for doing high end cars. I do this for tint as well. If they have no experience touching cars with six figure price tags and dealing with their neurotic owners, I'll look elsewhere.
 
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