Got back from the body shop a couple of hours ago, and they've just completed painting the doorsills and inside of the trunk. I opted against painting the engine bay because it seemed like a waste of money and the thought of the entire engine and transmission being removed gave me shivers! I'm already freaked out enough that the hood, doors, and trunk are currently missing
Here's a couple of pictures I took of the drivers-side doorsill. See if you can tell the difference between balloon white and the still very alpine white exterior
**End Update 1**
Well, this has been done by at least 2 members of this forum and their cars transformed into absolute stunners; so I bit the bullet last week and sent my car into the body shop for a little pearl-white makeover.
Before I begin, I should probably explain how this all started. I had no intention of doing any extensive exterior modifications to my Alpine White beauty. I purchased a set of M3 GTS replica wheels as soon as I bought my car, and was perfectly content. Then, one fateful Sunday morning, I was lined up behind a bunch of fellow E9x's waiting to park in a crowded rural lot. While I was sitting there, I noticed a makeshift parking space between two trees directly behind me. I cranked my wheel to right to guide my car in, but as fate would have it, a low-lying fire hydrant clipped off my front bumper as I was swinging around. It was a horrible sound, and when I got out to figure out what had happened, I realized that not only was the bumper a goner, I'd also lost the right hand side plastic fender which had been torn at the point where it connects to the bumper. Here's a picture of the fateful incident.
So this is where my crazy, completely illogical thought process started. Here's what ent on inside my brain: I definitely need to buy and repaint a new front bumper and right-side fender...well, instead of getting the original front bumper, i might as well go for the Msport, right? Well, if I'm getting the Msport front, it's not that much more to expensive to buy the entire Msport kit with side skirts and rear bumper. Well, if I have to repaint all of that, we're practically painting half the car, so what if I just, well, paint the whole car a different color. Believe me, I almost took it a lot further. I was thinking about a new hood and trunk for a while, but thankfully I was able to stop myself there!
I like the clean look, so I'm keeping things pretty simple. The only aftermarket part i ended up buying was the 3 Fin Duke Dynamics Quad Diffusor. The Msport diffuser just looks too plain to me. The entire car is going to be Balloon White apart from the kidney's, window trim, and diffuser; all of which i am painting metallic gunmetal gray to match my wheels. I was originally thinking about painting my roof gray as well, but since BW is such an awesome color (it literally looks different from every angle), I figured it would be a shame not to have it covering every possible part of the car.
The entire project is going to take about 4-5 weeks. Another Hong Kong forum member recommended the bodyshop to me, and so far they seem very professional and courteous. I'm a bit anal-retentive when it comes to my car and they've been looking after all of the removed parts really well. A big plus is that their foreman speaks excellent English, and we haven't had any communication problems so far. The shop is a little bit out of the way, so I'm going to try and drop by every weekend to take pictures and check on progress. Here are some from last Saturday.
Apparently the Balloon White Paint code I found online (PPG 224009) has 4 different formula's, so they prepared all 4 for me too choose from. You'll see them lying on my hood. Under direct sunlight they all look very similar, but in low light conditions they look extremely different, ranging from pure white to yellowy and silvery. Guess which one I chose