Tuesday, December 5, 2023

How Much Does It Cost To Paint My Car

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Size Of The Vehicle Being Painted

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Car or Truck?

The size of your car will have a big influence on the total cost you can expect to pay.

If youre painting a large SUV, you can expect to pay nearly double that if youre going to paint a small hatchback. If your vehicle is large, youll want to add 70-100% on top of your budget to account for all the extra materials and paint needed.

This might be overkill, but its far better to have more paint than less. If youve ever painted a car before, youll know how frustrating it is to run out of paint mid-way.

A Basic Professional Paint Job

This is going to be as few coats as possible and they arent going to do a super detailed job. They likely wont take the time to do the door creases or inside the hood and they definitely wont be sanding the existing paint down, but who is going to see those parts anyways, right? This style of paint job will cost you somewhere between $500 and $1000.

Diy Like A Professional

If you decide to repaint the car yourself, you have to come at it like a professional. Painting a car is not something you can take lightly.

Paint fumes can be toxic and dangerous when inhaled and massed in the body, and most paints contain ethanol, a clear liquid thats volatile, flammable, and explosive.

Put your safety first by always wearing proper protective gear and painting the car in an open, well-ventilated space thats free of children and pets and far away from fire or any other chemicals that can cause combustion or an explosion.

Dont be fooled by paints that are advertised as odorless. As with other paint, they are still often made with hazardous and volatile chemicals that can harm your health and catch fire.

As for actually painting the car, make sure to prepare the surface before repainting it. Cover the parts of the exterior you dont want to be painted and repair any damage before applying the paint.

You have to be meticulous. If you find that the job is beyond your skill set, pay a professional to do it.

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Car Painting Prices May Vary

Prices for car painting depend on a few different factors mainly prep work required, the number of parts and panels to be painted, and the quality of the painted used. When you request an estimate for a car painting, ask the auto repair shop to put the included surface prep measures in writing. You will want to assure that damage will be repaired or minimized before getting repainted and know exactly which parts will be painted. This may include fenders, the inside edge of the car door or under the hood. Be sure that the estimate also includes a final clear coat for a long-lasting paint job.

Estimated Cost Of Paint For Painting A Car Door

How Much Does It Cost To Paint a Car?

You can spend anywhere from $10 a can for spray paint , and depending on the color of the vehicle the paint could range up to $20+ for an 8-ounce can that is sufficient to get the job done.

We’ll say the estimated cost of paint is anywhere from $20-$40.

$20 would be rattle can spray paint, and $40 for higher quality car paints like enamel paint.

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Can I Paint My Car Myself

If you want to do it yourself, youll need a well-ventilated area where dust and dirt wont fly onto the wet car and ruin the new paint job while its drying. Youll also need a spray gun, primer, and glossy car paint. For a professional-looking job, youll need specialized tools and a lot of time and patience.

Are There Any Cheaper Alternatives To Paint

The simple answer is no, there arent less expensive options than paint. There is the option of wrapping the car, but this isnt that inexpensive of an options and in addition, a wrap is not permanent.

A professional wrap will start with a cost of around $2,000 dollars and go up from there. It can be less expensive if you just want one small section of the car wrapped like the hood, but it isnt a permanent solution to bad paint.

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How Can You Keep The Cost Low When Repainting A Car

Auto painting isnt cheap as far as car detailing is concerned, as even lower-quality paint jobs can cost hundreds of dollars. But paying more often gets you better, longer-lasting results.

A good way to keep the cost of painting your car or truck low is to be realistic with your needs. For instance, if its determined that only some sections of the vehicle need to be repainted, you dont necessarily have to incur a huge expense to paint the whole vehicle.

Consider getting quotes from several professional car detailers before choosing someone to work with.

Painting the car or truck yourself is another great way to cut costs, particularly on labor however, this is only recommended if you know what youre doing. Car painting is not an easy task, and the smallest oversight can ruin your efforts.

How Good Does The Paint Job Have To Be

How much will it cost to paint my classic car?

Some shops offer good, better, best levels of paint jobs, while others may offer only one level and it might not qualify as best. Here is how one shop owner outlined his options:

  • At the low end: No trim is removed, just masked, and the existing finish gets sanded before repainting. The estimated cost is $1,200 to $2,200, and the warranty is for six months to a year .
  • Midlevel: Some trim and the bumpers are removed, theres more surface preparation, and higher-quality paint is used. The cost is $3,500 to $5,000, and the warranty is three to five years.
  • High end: All exterior trim is removed, the body gets extensive repair and preparation, and the paint is top quality. $7,000 to $15,000, with a lifetime warranty.

In all three cases, the job only covers outside body panels and does not include painting door jambs or the underside of the hood or trunk. Those add cost, as will painting a car a different color.

There are shops and chains that advertise that they can repaint vehicles for less than these estimates, but those might not provide the same level of preparation, paint of the same quality, or a clear-coat.

The best way to find out what options they offer and their costs is to visit three body or paint shops for estimates and compare what you would get. Despite what the TV ads used to say, body shops need to see your car in the metal before they can accurately estimate the cost.

Use the Carfax Service Shop Directory to find the top-rated shops in your area

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Color The Car Is Being Repainted

Different color paints are priced differently with basic colors being the lowest cost. These colors are Black, Grey and White. All other colors are considered Special. These come at a premium price.

Also when estimating for paint you have to figure the paint that is for the door jams and the engine bays.

Price Ranges Based On Quality Of The Paint Job

As mentioned earlier, how much it costs to paint a car will depend on the quality of the paint job.

Several Hundred Dollars

If you only have a budget of several hundred dollars, you can definitely get your car painted, but you should not have high expectations. Expect the painters to use low-quality paint that is not as durable or visually appealing as the original paint on your auto.

There will also be minimal preparation in one of these low-budget paint jobs. At most, the shop will likely just cover the areas that are not painted. It is unlikely that they will perfectly block off all of the appropriate areas and even more unlikely that they will take care of dents and dings.

Keep in mind that most people who choose one of these budget-friendly paint jobs for their car will be unhappy with the results. Taking a closer look will likely make it obvious that the paint spills over into areas it should not be, and the exact shade may not match in spots.

A Few Thousand Dollars

Those who want their car to look very nice after a paint job will need to pay at least $1,000, but it can be up to $3,500. If you are quoted less than this, then expect that it will be a poor-quality job.

For this price, you should expect an even application of good-quality paint and a reasonable amount of attention to detail.

Even More

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Body Shops And Premium Options

Fancy spending a little more money for a luxury finish? In this case you will probably want to take your vehicle to a body shop. This is better if you have a higher budget.

For that extra cost, the paint job will even cover areas like the door jams and other minor crevices. If you want more attention to detail, paying a bodyshop to do the work for you is a smart move.

Chosen Color And Paint Quality

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Though a white shirt and a yellow shirt may carry the same price tag in a department store, paint color does not work in the same fashion. Color affects the price, and standard colors like black, gray, and white are much cheaper than specialized colors. Furthermore, you should expect to pay more if you choose rare colors used by premium automakers.

The paint quality will determine the cost of the overall paint job, as well. Higher-quality and long-lasting paint are more expensive than the industry standard. But its usually well worth it since youll have to repaint your car far less often – if ever again.

For example, one coat of synthetic enamel paint might cost between $300-$700 for an average-sized sedan. On the flip side, multiple coats of high-quality paint can run several thousands dollars or more. Youll also have to consider any additional paint art or stylistic touches you may want. Looking to add racing stripes? In many cases, youll need to pay a few hundred dollars extra.

All in all, the more elaborate the project and the higher the quality of paint, the more expensive it will be.

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Does A Ceiling Need 2 Coats Of Paint

The general rule is that you should use two coats of paint. It will cost you more to apply two or more coats of paint on a surface, but your coat will last 3-5 times longer. As youll see, there are rare cases where higher quality paints like Benjamin Moore Ceiling Paint only require one coat after primer.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint Your Own Car

Painting your own car, on average is going to cost you somewhere between $200 and $300 dollars. Which is around 10% of the cost of a professional paint job that is done well. You can save a ton of money painting your car yourself, but it will be a laborious job. If you want to do a professional quality job, the cost will be around $750 as the materials are more expensive.

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Diy Cost Per Square Foot Cost

Your typical vehicle has anywhere from 50-150 square feet of the painting surface, but you’ll have to whip out your tape measure to be sure.

On the most basic of levels, a single-stage polyurethane coat of paint will cost around $150 for a decent kit.

Here’s the price per square foot when painting a 100 square foot Jeep Wrangler with a cheaper polyurethane option:

$150 total cost / 100 square feet = $1.50 per square feet

Body Shop Cost Per Square Foot

Let’s say your car comes back from the body shop, and it cost $2000.

A Jeep Wrangler, for example, has typically around 100 square feet of surface area to cover.

$2000 total cost / 100 square feet = $20 per square feet

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Average Cost To Paint A Car Hood If You Hire A Professional Company

How Much is The Cost To Paint a Car? DIY Painting

Hiring a professional company to paint just the hood will cost you anywhere from $200-$1000+, depending on if there is damage to the hood that needs to be repaired beforehand.

Take into consideration also that some body shops will want to completely remove the hood on your Chevy, Honda, Toyota, SUVs, Mercedes, etc to do the job correctly, so that will add to the labor time.

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Quality Of New Paint Car Color

Just like everything in life, there are quality paints and less expensive budget paints. Also, the quality can be affected by only doing one coat versus several coats. While a single coat with grey, black, or white budget paint can be completed for $300-$1,000. Higher quality paint raises the price, especially if you need body work due to rust or entire car sanding. A higher quality job like that may run you upwards of $3,500 including body work.

A multi-coat quality paint job with body work with specialty items like racing stripes or metallic specks may run you as much as $8,000.

Paint Costs In Summary Then

In summary, weve considered the question, How much does it cost to paint a car?

The answer is quite a lot, depending on a wide range of factors. As a general estimate, I would expect somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 for most cars, although it could be more .

Finally, we thought about whether or not its worth it. And is it? Only for those of you who genuinely love your cars and their appearances.

Good on you.

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Can You Do A Diy Paint Job

You might be wondering if you could potentially paint your vehicle yourself. If youre itching for a new look for your car but dont want to spend a lot, this might be a good option. However, its important to remember that repainting an entire car is a lot of work. There are reasons that professional shops charge quite a bit of money for this kind of job. If you dont have the equipment or know-how, a quality paint job is going to be difficult to achieve.

Knowing what the pros and cons of a DIY paint job are can help you make your decision. Should you choose to paint your own car, be ready to do a lot of prep work. If you arent happy with the results, you can always take it in to be repainted at a professional shop.


Perhaps the most prominent advantage to a DIY paint job is the money you can save. For the cost of some sandpaper, spray paint, and urethane clear coat, you can rejuvenate your vehicle. If you are confident that you can do the job correctly, this could be the way to go. However, if you want your paint job to look as professional as possible, it is highly recommended that you get a spray gun. This will help you get a clean, even coat that will last a lot longer.One of the other benefits of painting a car yourself is the experience. Doing a job like this on your own can be incredibly rewarding and if you are the type of person who likes learning experiences, this could be a good project.


How Much Exactly Does It Cost To Have A Car Painted Professionally

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The answer is going to vary based on what you need to have done, who you go to have it done, and the technique they use.

A professional paint job can cost you as little as $500 or as much as $20,000, but an average cost is around $2,500 for what most consumers are looking for. This will include sanding and rust removal which will give you the like new finish.

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Dont Paint Over Problems

It would be wasteful and even deleterious to paint over damaged surfaces on your car or truck. This includes scratches, dings, and especially rust.

If you dont address these issues before painting over the surface, they will only get worse and cost you more money down the line. In fact, applying a fresh, shiny coat of paint quite often makes body damage even more noticeable.

Any paint job that involves covering up exterior damage should be avoided at all costs.

The Average Paint Job

On average, there are three different levels of paint jobs. They can be broken down into low, mid and high-end paint effects, which all differ in their price ranges, paint effects, and longevity. The low-end paint effect cost an average of $566 if you are looking to apply one coat of synthetic enamel to your car. If you choose to use a higher quality of paint, then you will probably want to do some small repairs to your car, too.

This usually includes things like dents, chips and rust removal. When applying one coat of paint at this mid-level, you are looking at spending anywhere between $1000 and $3,500. High-end paint jobs involve basically anything above this which includes high-end paints, multiple coats and any repairs at the same time.

On average, a high-end finish costs an average US driver $5000. Really, to get to the crux of the matter, the cost of painting your car can be altered to suit you and your budget.

Want to do the job yourself? Check out our guide on how to paint a car.

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