Costopedia / Automotive / How Much Does Painting a Car Cost?

How Much Does Painting a Car Cost?

$ Basic: $300 to $900 $ $ Standard: $1,000 to $3,000 $ $ $ showroom-quality: $2,500 to $20,000+

There’s nothing more satisfying for a car owner than looking at a newly painted car, especially if that car is yours.

Having your car clean and in good condition will make it look nice, but the unique thing about painting a car is that it will look brand new with just a painting, no matter how old it is.

But painting a car is not just for aesthetics, as the paint of a car works as a protective layer that prevents the corroding of the steel body of your car that’s underneath the paint, protecting your vehicle from the wear and tear damage it undergoes when driving.

Even when there is no specific time to paint your car, experts recommend repainting a vehicle every five years to keep the cover that protects your vehicle from wear intact and save your car’s steel body from corrosion.

What Factors Affect the Final Cost of Painting a Car?

Painting a car can go from a regular price of $300 to the incredible amount of $20,000; this will all depend on different factors that will change not only the final cots of the service but also the final results.

The price you pay for it it’s directly proportional to the quality of the job, so to summarize this, the more expensive it is the service and results will be better, so it’s important for you to know them:

  • Vehicle size. Depending on the surface area that needs paint, the service will be cheaper or more expensive; that’s why painting a truck will always be more expensive than painting a car.
  • The make and model. These are important factors because more specialized shops for specific brands will charge more for their quality.
  • Paint color and quality. Standard colors like black and white are much cheaper than specialized and personalized colors. Also, the type of paint you use and its quality will make the price change. Check this guide about different automotive paints that discuss the difference between them.
  • Body repairs. If your car has scratches or any other surface imperfection, the price will be higher because it needs more time and effort to repair it or cover it, depending on the case.

So, shops offering paint job services may have different price ranges depending on the quality of the products they use and how you want the final results.

The most basic service can cost $300 to $900; this typically involves inexpensive synthetic enamel paint with just a few coats, and some areas that are difficult to see may not be painted like the door jams.

A standard paint job can cost from $1,000 to $3,000; this typically includes a more thorough pint job, using high-quality paint, and taking care of little surface details.

Then, there also exists a showroom-quality or customized paint job service that can cost $2,500 to $20,000 or more; this typically includes the highest quality automotive paint, a thorough prepping process before painting, applying around 20 layers of paint, and also many layers of clear coat.

You can get an automotive painting service at shops specializing in auto painting and bodywork, which usually are small, local businesses, although there are big chains like Auto Paint.

Things to Consider

Before Buying:

  1. First, check if your car is in warranty. Some of them can get you six months to a year on low-cost paint jobs with basic paint or a more specialized deal.
  2. As we mention, body repairs make the final price of this service higher. That’s why you can lower it by doing some prep work by yourself.
  3. If you own an older vehicle, you may want to rethink the idea of a professional paint job as the price may be excessive. A DIY job will work better in this case, and you will be spending around $200 for the necessary materials.
  4. DIY car painting has its cons and pros. Although you will bet the job done for cheaper as you buy everything yourself, the final results won’t have the same quality and life span as a professional job. Also, a very common concern about this type of DIY project is finding the right location to paint the car, as it needs to be closed and ventilated (a garage is a good substitute). The cost of this DIY project will vary depending on the quality of the paint and materials you buy, making it about $100 to $1,500. And, you also have to consider that this is a very time-consuming project. Here’s a video that shows you how to paint a car yourself.
  5. Lastly, before selecting a shop, take a look at their painted cars to see the quality of their work.

When Buying: 

  1. Before painting, the specialist will check on the surface of your car to look out for scratches and other details. A preparation process should be done, so it must be cleaned, sanded, and primed first.
  2. The car is typically painted in a well-lit and climate-controlled paint booth. The purpose of this is to minimize dust and debris that might damage the results.
  3. Then, professionals will use paint spray guns to apply automotive paint all over your car in layers evenly.

After Buying:

  1. After painting your car, many shops offer also finish services like wax or seal as a final touch that also has the purpose of prolonging the life of your car’s paint. This additional service can add another $100 to $200 to your final price.
Giovanna Soto