If you decide to do your own body work discuss it with the paint shop first. They'll probably have recommendations on the type of primer you use. Some brands will be more compatible with their primers or color coats. The rule of thumb is to stay within the same brand of paint, both for prep and color. Even the cheapest paint shops typically use a brand name on their intermediate and higher paint jobs. Find out what it is and use the same brand as your primer coat. This will ensure you don't create adhesion problems for yourself down the road.
Before you start painting, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the weather for rain or snow. You don't want to start painting only to stop abruptly because of the weather.
Cheaper then doing it yourself. Some would argue that if you're going to all the trouble to fully prep the car yourself, then why not just shoot the paint as well? Why get a shop involved? The answer is simply that you'll get a better job and for less money. Some would argue with this, but the fact is that if you've never sprayed a car before then your first car will have a steep, and expensive learning curve. Laying down an even, consistent coat of paint takes considerable practice. Also, paint and equipment is not cheap. You'll need to buy primer, color coat, clear coat, reducers & catalysts. None of these are inexpensive and you can easily spend as much in paint materials alone as the cheapest paint job at Maaco or similar shop.
How Much Paint You Really Need. How much paint you will need to satisfactorily complete a paint project is determined by 2 factors. The first, paint coverage, is a familiar concept to most people. It simply concerns the square footage of surface area to be painted, and "paint coverage calculators" abound on the web. However, the second concept, paint color coverage, has a much more pronounced effect on how much paint will be needed and the cost of paint projects. Unfortunately, paint color coverage is a novel concept to many painters and, in fact, is poorly understood even by many professionals. Knowing the secrets of paint color coverage will allow you to reduce the number coats you have to apply and minimize how much paint you have to buy.
Proper brush technique: When "cutting in" with a paint brush you should dip the brush in paint and tap the sides of the bucket on each side of the brush, leaving a good amount on the brush so you are able to minimize the times you will need to dip/load the brush. Next, take the brush and make a one foot to two foot line down the wall about an inch or two away from the trim or surface you are going to paint up next to, this is much like taking a knife full of butter and spreading it across an entire slice of bread. After, spreading the paint over the section, go back and even the paint out evenly across the section and cut up next to the trim with the brush. You want to paint up next to the trim or surfaced to be cut-in with the paint brush after you have released most of the paint on the wall, it is easier to cut in with the tips of the brush exposed and not loaded with a lot of paint.
Step four: the key to a finished looking painting is to build it just like a house...and by that I mean layers. Paint it in the reverse order in which the eye sees it to make it three-dimensional. By this I mean paint what's farthest from the eye first, and build layer upon layer towards the eye. In other words, do the background first because it should be the farthest from the eye, then add the objects on top of that, and then add the shadows to complete the look. Ultimately it's common sense. If you paint a bowl of fruit, the bowl and fruit need to sit on top of that background, much as it would in real life.
Another idea keeping Paint Brush moist until the next paint coat is applied (but not leaving for extended periods) is leaving Brush in container, wrapping top with plastic, sticking handle out the top, and taping around the can. This resembles the Maxwell House Coffee Container mentioned earlier. If plastic and masking tape is still not available, and time between coats is not very long, take that sopping wet rag, draping over the top of paint bucket with Paint Brush still in it. This technique works best when using Latex waterborne paints.