How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

Car paint gives protection and beauty to your automobile. If you want your car painted or repainted, here are the necessary information that you will need.

The paint of your car not only adds to its visual appeal but also provides protection. In time, you might decide that you want to repaint your car, either to refresh its original colors or to give it a brand new look.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about painting your automobile.

We will start by explaining why painting your car may be a good idea.

Let’s start by covering the reasons why you should paint your car.

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Why You Should Paint Your Car

Fast car paint peeling off

Not only does the paint determine the exterior appearance of your car, but it also protects it in various ways. Like the skin of your body, the paint of your car protects it against the surrounding environment.

The chassis of most cars are made from steel, which means they are prone to rusting if directly exposed to the environment. A complete coating of paint prevents this exposure, leading to greater longevity of the car.

If your car is damaged in any way that leaves its body exposed, you should prioritize getting it repainted. For example, this can occur if your car is badly scratched or if you had an accident that resulted in the paint being damaged.

Repairing dents on a car is very common in the automotive business. Thankfully, technological advances have led to more effective repairs, without the need to repaint. To find out how much it costs to repair a dent, read our article here.

Another reason to repaint your car is that you might simply want it to be a different color. The color of your car not only affects the appearance of the car, but it can also affect the value.

The most widespread colors such as white, black, and silver, are unlikely to increase nor decrease the price of the car. Each model may have a few rare colors that are sought after.

Painting your car solely to increase its value is rarely profitable due to the cost of repainting. However, if you need to paint the car for other reasons, it’s worth considering the effect on its overall value. 

Painting The Car Yourself

painting car

Before you grab a brush and start painting your car, you should know that it is not very easy. Painting a car is a complex process that requires a lot of experience.

If you are not experienced in painting, we advise against painting your car as it is unlikely that the paint job will turn out how you hope.

There are many steps that must be taken and lots of materials and equipment needed. If you do decide to paint the car yourself, make sure you use high-quality paint and practice before you start painting your car.

An alternative is to Plasti Dip your car. This is much cheaper than a traditional paint job, and if it turns bad you can simply remove it.

If you decide to paint the car yourself, there is a great guide on wikiHow, showing you how to do it in a few steps.

Car Paint Composition

car paint colors

Painting a car is not done by simply applying the paint and being done with it. In fact, the paint itself is composed of many things that contribute to the overall quality of the paint.

The cost to paint a car is not only determined by labor costs but also the materials used. The paint consists of various additives, binders, fillers, pigment, and much more.

After reading the following text, you will have a greater appreciation and understanding of everything that goes into creating car paint.

Binder

A binder ensures that that paint, or more specifically the pigment, holds together. In other words, it is necessary for the paint to stay on the painted surface and result in a smooth finish.

Pigment

The pigment determines the color and tone of the paint. It not only affects the color of the paint but also strengthens it. Some pigments even have properties that provide additional protection against rust and corrosion.

The pigment itself is a powder, consisting of many fine-grained particles. Special effects of the car paint such as metallic paint are due to the pigment powder.

Filler

The filler is applied just like spackle used in homes to cover holes in the wall due to nails or other building work

Based on the extent of the damage, a different filler is used. Again, it is important to have significant experience in applying fillers as they may produce horrible results if not applied properly.

Solvent

The solvent gives the paint the consistency it needs by dispersing different components. The solvent evaporates after the paint is applied.

Traditionally, solvents were very popular. However, due to environmental and health concerns, water-based paint has been on the rise.

Alternatives To Painting The Car

putting car wrap vinyl foil or film on car door

Plasti Dip was mentioned earlier in this article. It is the cheapest way to change the look of your car and the process is simpler.

The best thing about Plasti Dip is that it is easier to use and if you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can simply peel away the “paint”.

Another alternative is to wrap your car. Wrapping your car might not be the best option as the paint beneath the wrap needs to be in good condition.

The cost is very similar to painting the car in terms of how much it varies. These factors include the type of vinyl that is used, the size of the vehicle, and its overall shape. If your car has many edges and hard-to-reach spots, the wrap will be more expensive.

Related:How Much Does It Cost To Wrap A Car?

A benefit of wraps is that they are not permanent. This can also be a disadvantage as a good paint job will outlast a good wrap.

In any case, you can always remove the wrap if you become bored by the design or color. Usually, this is done by those who have a bit (or a lot) more money to spend.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

Worker painting blue car.
Painter working with a blue car.

As previously mentioned, there are many factors when painting a car. The price will be affected by the type of color, any special effects, the size of the automobile, and other things.

It is also important to determine if there is only a small part of the bodywork that needs to be painted or if the whole car should get a new paint job.

It might be tempting to repaint a body panel yourself, but keep in mind that the panel needs to match the rest of the car. This is one of the most significant challenges that even professional car painters face.

We only recommend painting the car with no experience if you really do not care about the paint job of your car or you want to practice painting cars.

Nine times out of ten, it is better to let the professionals handle the job. You should choose a paint shop with a good reputation and significant experience.

Cost Estimator

To help you estimate the cost for a paint job, we have listed various scenarios below with an estimated price for each.

Low Budget Paint Job

The cheapest professional paint job will set you back around $350 to $900. Even though it is professional work, the paint job is still relatively cheap due to the quality of the paint, the number of layers painted, and the areas painted.

If you choose this type of paint job, you can’t expect your car to look like it just came from the factory. Some companies avoid painting certain parts of the car such as the insides of doors, B-pillar, and under the hood, to save time and money.

Medium Budget Paint Job

A medium-budget paint job should cost you anywhere between $1000 to $5000. This type of paint job is for someone who wants to ensure the paint job is properly applied with no rough surfaces and a proper finish.

This paint job includes all appropriate work such as removing any rust and sanding the body. This results in a nicer surface and a better overall appearance.

High Budget Paint Job

There is no limit to how much a paint job can cost. Rolls-Royce has made paint with pulverized diamonds. While the price has not been disclosed, it is probably outside of most people’s budget.

A paint job that is more expensive than $10,000 is reserved for those who want a state-of-the-art type of finish. If you decide on this type of paint job, be extra careful to not get it scratched.

If you’re interested in reading about some of the most expensive types of factory paint jobs, Carbuzz has a great article listing them.

Summary

how to buy a car with no title

Painting your car is not as easy as just grabbing some paint and starting brushing. Many components make up the car’s paint and give its special glow, effect, and aesthetic.

Not only does the paint make your car look good, but it also protects it from rust and degradation. Make sure you have no deep scratches affecting your paint.

With little or no experience, it is not recommended to try painting the car yourself. A bad paint job will be hard to correct and is unfortunately something that will be noticed (especially by you).

A paint job that costs $1000 – $5000 will be enough to ensure your car looks brand new when looked at from the outside. As previously mentioned, various factors make up the cost.

Special types of paint with metallic, pearlescent, or matte finishes will be more expensive.

If you decide to repaint your entire car, make sure the color is compatible with the market, so you can sell the car later (unless you plan to keep it forever). Colors such as brown, pink, and purple tend to have a lower resale value, though there are exceptions.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.