A spray can paint job can look half decent, I've done alot of rims in my day, and if you take your time and do it right(clean the surface thouroughly, use primer, multiple thin coats instead of one big thick one, and a nice clear coat) it can look damn near professional. I painted the rims on my Prelude gunmetal, I also masked off the lip, and highights so I had a polished lip/other stuff. The owner of the local bodyshop wanted to know who powdercoated my rims. I'm pretty proud of that.
The least expensive way and for it to still look good is to paint it the same color here is how to do it. Sand down the clear coat and have them color sand the paint. And then go back and have 2 or three coats of clear coat put back on it. That way you dont ahve to touch the color coat at all. You will still pay something like 800-1000 for this. but it will look brand new BRAND NEW
Nah, he already said he doesn't much care how it looks. You can paint an entire car for $150 in rattlecans, masking tape and newspaper. You can spend another $100 in decent spraypaint and sandpaper and get a pretty decent finish if you're careful. If you have a decent air compressor, you can get a cheapie HVLP gun from Harbor Freight for less than $100 and start buying paint by the gallon. (Much cheaper in the long run)
1987 Base model (No sunroof):
CSP beastie in progress...
If you wanted to, you could spend about 40 bucks and use pvc pipes to build a paint booth big enough to put the car in. You could use clear plastic sheeting for the roof & walls. Seal off the floors and seams. Then if you had a big enough fan you could use that on one end for venting out the fumes while putting air filters on the other. This will keep the air born particles down. There now you have a cheap portable paint booth that will work just fine.
I'm going to paint my own car in the near future and this is what I'll be doing.
I like that. All you need to make it complete is a sunny place to put it in to cure the paint and maybe some foil for the ground around the car to hit the underside. You can use cheapie furnace filters for your air intake and seal in whatever fan(s) you can find. I think you could get a pretty decent finish that way, if you decide you care enough to keep airborne dust out of your finish. Plus, it'll make you really popular with any neighbors you might have.
I painted a bug with rattle cans once upon a time. It took a surprising number of cans (like 25) to spray on a decent coat.. and at $5 a can it was stupid. Especially when it looked like *** in two weeks.
If you know someone with a spray gun and a compressor that you can borrow, the actual materials to paint with automotive enamel won't cost that much. You should be able to buy a few quarts of single stage enamel in a base color (like black or white) for like $20 a qt. You'd probably need 2 qts for a 1st gen. (I don't know what you're painting..) some reducer ($25) and some hardener ($40).
For that same $100 you can have paint that might actually look good and be much tougher than rattle cans.