Because we know it can be hard to find enough good information buried in a short, four-page tech story, we decided to cut through the flowery descriptions and long-winded explanations and compile this list of 101 paint and body tips. Some of the tips are common sense items that are easily overlooked, and some tips might make you say, "Hey, that's a great idea." To keep in line with this article's structure, we'll also keep this introduction short. So just read on already.

1. Performing an Internet picture search will give you the fastest results, but it might be hard to find any specific details about paint materials and techniques used on the specific paintjob you're looking at.

2. Watch movies, because you never know where inspiration will come from. Look at that-we just made watching television educational again.

3. Hot Wheels are not just for collecting, they can be a great source for painting inspiration. Plus, you get to keep the toy.

4.Of course, car and truck magazines are a great place to look for designs and styles.

5. Go to a new-car dealer lot and look at the new cars. OEM paint colors have become pretty cool of late, and this is a good place to see colors on sheetmetal in the sun.

6. Rummage through your old car show pictures. Trends recycle over time and you never know, that booger graphic may come back in style in another decade.

7. Go to a truck show. This will be the best place to find vehicles like yours and see how things look.

8. Check out your local cruise night. You'll be able to closely inspect the paint and find out who sprayed it.

9. Go to an automotive swap meet because there should be a selection of custom vehicles for sale and the owners are usually standing right there. You might even find a deal on sandpaper while you're there.

10. Visit custom fabrication and body shops to get ideas from other rides being worked on. It's not stealing, and imitation is the best form of flattery.

11. Tape out graphic designs on your truck in the driveway. Tape is cheap and it won't damage your paint.

12. Don't go too wild with your first paintjob. The loftier the plans, the bigger your wallet needs to be. Besides, you might want to change the paint scheme later on.

13. Have the neighbor kids draw pictures of your truck so you can see what other people think it should look like.

14. Have a rendering made. Get your ducks in a row before you contact an artist though. At least have a general plan and color choices in mind before you bug an artist for a rendering.

15. If you can track them down, talk to other truck owners about their experiences with a shop you want to use. If the shop is reputable, they'll put you in contact with clients they've made happy in the past.

16. Talk about the body mods you want during the estimate. Be specific and don't forget to mention any work you want the shop to perform. Nothing sucks worse than having your final bill jump up substantially from the estimate because halfway through the job you added more work and forgot about the added cost.

17. Trace/draw your own rendering. Take a picture of your truck and print the picture. Then trace it with a felt tip pen that will bleed through the paper. Flip it over and you will have a coloring book type outline of your truck that you can make a bunch of copies of. Now you can go wild. Heck, you can even give some blank drawings to friends and see what they come up with.

18. If you are going to do the body mods yourself, then talk to the painter and find out what materials he uses. This will cut down on the chance the paint will have an ill reaction like wrinkling if you use the wrong prep products.

19. Don't decide on a shop until you do some shopping. Get several quotes then pick the one that best suits your needs.

20. Look at the shop's brag books to see the quality of work and style.

21. Look inside the shop to see how clean and organized it is. Some dirt is fine, but piles of trash and a foot-thick layer of sanding dust isn't.

22.Check out the booth, prep, and bodywork areas as well. If the booth is really dirty, then there is a chance this shop relies on color-sanding to get the dirt out of the paintjob, and they will be charging you for that.

23. Go back several times. Are the same trucks still there being worked on? This is a sign that the shop might take a long time to finish your work. Also never put down more than a 20-percent deposit to cover materials for your paintjob. This will avoid you getting burned if the shop goes out of business and doesn't finish the work.

24. Pick your wheel color at the same time you pick your graphics or color. Be sure you can get the wheels you want in the color that works for your truck.

25. When picking a color, put all of the options out on the table and see which one looks the best in the sea of sameness. Example: When Calin was picking the yellow paint for his S-10, he pulled every yellow out of the color books to see which looked the most like yellow in the group.

26. If you're going to drive your truck every day, it's best to avoid complicated or detailed graphic jobs that go near the front of the hood. These will be hard to touch up or repair once the rock chips start to show up.

27. If you plan on having your frame powdercoated to match your exterior color, it's a good idea to pick the powder color first. It's easier to match the paint to the powder.

28. Get everything you need at once. Some paint supply houses will give you a discount when you make a larger order, and mixing paint afterward if you run out can sometimes lead to mismatched colors.

29. Keep in mind that changing the color of the truck will almost double the price over just reshooting the original color. If you still want to spend all that money and like the original color, then apply the saved money for graphics.

30. Another cool but cheaper option is have the truck two-toned. That way the painter isn't using as much material or spending as much time to complete the job. As we all know, materials and time equal money.

Prep It For A Shop
31. Unless you're rich, take the truck apart yourself. Disassemble the truck as much as you can to aid the shop and prevent any of your parts getting damaged or lost.

32. Put old wheels/tires on your truck so your new ones don't get wrecked while at the body shop.

33. Remove audio equipment or anything of value from inside the cab. Temptation is a powerful thing.