If your car isn’t looking as new as it once did, it might be time for a new paint job. Getting a professional paint job can increase the value of your vehicle and make it look brand-new again.
However, you need to think about the price you will pay. So, how much does it cost to paint a car?
The average cost of a standard paint job on a car is $2,500 done professionally. However, you can expect a cost between $300 and $10,000 or more, depending on the amount of space that needs to be painted and what type of paint is being used. DIY paint jobs cost far less, but might not yield the same results.
In this article, I help you decide if professional painting is the way to go, or if you should do it yourself. I also look at the factors that affect the cost and give you a breakdown of what you could spend. In the end, I look at the most common questions about painting a car.
Professional Paint Job vs DIY
It’s important to think about your goals when deciding between DIY or professional automotive painting. Are you looking for a small fix before you sell the car, or do you need to restore a classic? While DIY paint can help you cover up a few dings for a better resale value, it’s not going to improve the overall quality of the car’s body.
Painting your own vehicle also requires a lot of patience, the right tools, and a little skill. In the end, you might not end up with the results you were hoping for, leading you to need a professional paint job anyway.
In many cases, it makes more sense to have a professional paint job performed, especially if you want the vehicle to be restored to its original condition. While it might cost more, the paint is going to last longer and typically will match better.
Cost to Paint a Car Professionally
1. Basic Paint Job
As the least expensive paint job, you will spend less on the basic service. With this painting service, you can expect the body shop to use a minimal amount of coats.
Plus, synthetic enamel-based paint will likely be used. The only areas being painted are the ones that are visible, so you can expect that inside the hood and other unseen areas will go untouched. In total, expect to spend between $300 and $1,000.
2. Standard Paint Job
A standard paint job is going to go beyond basic and perform some repairs. Before painting begins, the auto body shop will sand down the surface and remove any rust.
These steps help to ensure that the finish is perfect and lasts longer. Expect to pay anywhere from $750 to $4,000 on this level of painting.
3. High-Quality (Showroom) Paint Job
If you are creating a show car or restoring a classic, you want a high-quality paint job. With these services, the paint will be taken down to the bare metal. Additionally, all of the dents and rust will be repaired.
Some body shops apply more than 20 coats of paint during these services, so expect to be without your vehicle for some time. Additionally, the cost can far exceed $10,000, depending on what type of vehicle is being painted.
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How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Yourself?
You can expect it to cost between $100 and $500 for the supplies to paint a car yourself. However, this depends on what you are going to paint, and the quality of the products you choose. Painting a car yourself is not an easy job.
If your car isn’t worth a lot of money, but it needs some auto body care, you might prefer doing it at home. You can gather the majority of the supplies for $300 or less, especially if you already have a paint sprayer on hand. However, this DIY painting task will require a good amount of time.
Some of the materials you may already have on hand. Gather these supplies to get started:
- Foam brushes
- Gloss paint
- Paint trays
- Automotive masking tape
- Mineral spirits
- Automotive paint sprayer
The biggest challenge will be finding the spot to paint your car. It’s unlikely you have a booth that’s climate-controlled like a body shop. You can paint in your garage as long as there is adequate ventilation and there is a minimal amount of dirt or dust that will affect the paint.
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Car Paint Cost Factors
As discussed above, the cost is going to be dramatically affected based on the level of quality you are looking for. If you simply want a fresh coat of paint, you might spend a minimal amount.
However, if you need a paint job that provides a showroom quality appeal, the cost is going to be much higher. Expect to spend several thousands of dollars on a high-quality paint job.
2. Size of Vehicle
If you drive your compact car into the auto body shop, your cost is going to be far less than a large SUV. While the same paint job is being applied, there is more surface area to cover.
The body shop figures out how much area will be painted and charges you accordingly. Not only will more supplies and paint be needed, but the technicians will need to spend more time on the vehicle.
Any standard color, such as white, gray or black, is going to be cheaper than a custom color. Additionally, if the color is easily accessible because it’s used on popular models, it will be cheaper.
You can expect to spend more if you need to get a custom color from a premium automaker. Even worse, if the color needs to be created, you will need to visit a top-notch body shop, thereby adding more to the price.
If there are no repairs needed, the paint job is straightforward and costs less. However, if you have deep scratches or imperfections that need to be repaired as part of the paint job, you will be spending more.
There are some auto body shops that won’t paint the vehicle unless it is repaired first. This is a good business practice, since paint doesn’t adhere as well without a smooth surface.
What happens after the paint is applied also affects the price. If the auto body shop finishes the job with a wash and wax, you aren’t going to spend much more.
On the other hand, if you opt for a ceramic coat or another type of specialized finish, the price will jump dramatically. These extra coats can be expensive, but the value is worth the cost, especially if you want the paint to last.
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How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Black?
You can expect it to cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to paint a car black professionally. It doesn’t really make much of a difference what color you paint the car in, except that with some colors, it can be more expensive to mix the right hue. It can differ a bit whether you want a metallic or solid color.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Door?
It generally costs between $200 and $600 to have a car door professionally painted, depending on a few factors. Some factors that will affect the price of a car door paint job include the type of paint used, the experience of the painter, and the complexity of the design.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Matte Black?
Painting a car matte black is usually the cheapest type of painting, as no clear coat is needed in most cases. You can expect it to cost $500 to $2,000 to paint an entire car matte black professionally. You’ll also want to consider wrapping the car in matte black instead.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car A Different Color?
There is usually no difference in price if you want to paint a car in a different color or the same color, unless you want to change from solid color to a metallic color. Therefore, you can expect it to cost between $2,000 to $10,000 to paint a car a different color, with an average cost of $2,500.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix Chipped Paint on a Car?
It can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 to fix chipped paint on a car, depending on the severity of the chips, where they are, and how many there are. Usually, you will repaint the entire part where the chipped paint is, but you can also touch-up paint to get it done cheaply.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Hood?
It can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 to have a car hood painted, depending on the type of paint used, the size of the hood, and the shop doing the work. The car hood is very visible, so it is important to get it painted in the same color as the car.
How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Bumper?
It can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000 to have a car bumper painted, depending on the type of color and the type and size of the bumper. Before painting the front or rear bumper, it may need to be repaired first, which can be quite time-consuming – hence the high costs.
While it may seem like a simple thing to just paint a car, there are many processes involved. Painting the car is fast and easy, while the preparation beforehand is the time-consuming part that costs most of the money.
Some people choose to DIY their car painting projects, while others may choose a professional painter. When it comes to car paint, you usually get what you pay for. Anyone can paint a car cheaply, but the result probably won’t be very good.
Since paint is very visible on a car, I would recommend spending some money on a good car painter if you want a good result. You should also consider wrapping the car instead of repainting it.