How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? (2023 Estimates Guide) (2023)

If you are looking to paint a car but don’t know the cost of painting a car, this blog post is for you. Read on for an overview of what is needed and how much does it cost to paint a car!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Ca...

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? [+ Labour]

We will also provide you with information on different types of paint jobs so you can decide which one is right for your vehicle.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? (2023 Estimates Guide) (1)

Finally, we will give our best estimate of average prices based on several factors, such as location. Now let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Why you should paint your car

Paint not only provides the exterior appearance of your car but also protects it in many ways. Like the skin on your body, the paint on your car protects against environmental influences.

Most car chassis is made of steel, which in turn means that it is prone to rust if it comes into direct contact with the environment. Paint makes this process more difficult, which leads to longer longevity of the car.

If your car is damaged in any way that exposes the car’s body, you should prioritize its repainting. This can happen, for example, if there are deeper scratches or if you had an accident, where the paint is leveled.

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Car dent repair is very common in the automotive business. Fortunately, technology advances and leads to more effective repairs, without the need for repainting.

Another reason could be to repaint your car in another color. The color of your car affects not only your subjective perception of the car but also its value.

The most popular types of colors such as white, black, and silver generally do not increase or decrease the price of the car. Each model may have some special colors that are sought.

Painting your car to increase value is generally unprofitable due to the cost of the paint job.

Professional painting or DIY?

When deciding between professional or DIY painting, consider your purpose of painting – do you want a quick cosmetic fix before selling the vehicle, or are you working on an exciting restoration project?

A DIY paint fix can add some value to a damaged car, but ultimately it won’t make it better.

While it is possible to paint your own vehicle, it takes patience, skill, and a variety of paints and tools that you may need to purchase specifically for the job.

Do-it-yourself paint jobs are best suited for older vehicles or ATVs that often have dings and scratches.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Car?

The costs of painting a car vary depending on where the work is done, the size and complexity of the vehicle to be painted, and the quality of the paint job itself.

In general, expect to pay between $300 and more than $10,000 for a professional paint job.

The higher end of that price is where we find custom, multi-color, metal-flaking paint jobs, so unless you’re getting your car ready for a show, there’s really no need to spend that much.

If you feel like you are skilled enough to do the work at home, and keep in mind that this is a big deal, you can get a similar result for a lot less money.

Supplies can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,500, depending on what you already have at home.

Professional auto painting costs

Many auto body shops offer various levels of service to serve customers with different budgets and requirements.

The main types of painting service are:

Basic – The cheapest paint job involves the fewest coats possible, using synthetic enamel paint.

For basic work, painters are unlikely to paint areas that are not normally visible, such as the inside of the hood. Basic costs range from $300 to $900.

Standard – The cost of a standard paint job generally includes sanding the bodywork and removing rust before painting to obtain an attractive finish. Standard costs range from $1,000 to $4,500.

Showroom Quality – This process involves sanding the body to bare metal, removing all rust and dents, and then applying up to 24 coats of high-quality paint.

The project can take up to a month and showroom quality costs can be as high as $20,000 in some cases.

DIY auto painting costs

For older vehicles, the cost of a professional paint job can be steep. In these cases, you may want to try painting the vehicle yourself.

The necessary materials are widely available in hardware and automotive stores for as little as $200. Your only other costs are time and effort.

Materials and tools needed include:

  • Bright paint.
  • Primer.
  • Foam brushes.
  • Paint trays.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Mineral spirits for cleaning.

One of the biggest concerns with a DIY project is finding a place to paint the vehicle. Many professional paint and body shops have climate-controlled booths designed to limit the amount of dust and dirt that can come into contact with the paint and ruin the finish.

Consider quality vs. price before painting your car

Everyone wants cost-effective service, so when you contact auto body shops for quotes for your auto painting project, it’s tempting to go for the lowest-priced offer.

However, you get what you pay for. Lowball quotes can be for a poor quality paint job, using inferior materials, and skipping important steps.

Instead of removing the trim, painters can simply mask it and may not paint the areas that are not visible.

The quote may not include certain services that car painters charge as an additional fee, meaning they may choose to paint over issues like rust or dents rather than take steps to address those issues first.

Before committing to a service, ask painters what steps and details their price covers.

Check to see if sanding and prepping are part of the cost, and ask to see previous examples of their work to make sure you’re happy with the quality.

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What Affects the Cost of Painting a Car?

Like many things in life, you will absolutely get what you pay for when it comes to professional paint jobs.

You can walk into a low-budget store and go out for $500, but don’t expect it to be a top-notch job.

Car wash with magic fingers. A solid, high-quality paint job costs around $5,000.

Vehicle size:

Painting a Geo Metro is going to cost a lot less than painting a Cadillac Eldorado, based solely on the fact that the Caddy has significantly more space that needs paint.

Additional Repairs Needed:

If you can’t get out of the Starbucks parking lot without navigating the curb, you will have to pay more to repair any damage before painting the vehicle.


Choosing a conventional color like black, white, or gray is the cheapest way to go. If you want a specialty color, especially one used by a premium automaker, you’ll pay more.

Also, keep in mind that changing the color of your vehicle will cost more due to the labor it will take to paint the engine compartment, door jambs, and more.

Quality and paint preferences:

  • You can get a single coat synthetic enamel paint job for as little as $300. Prices can be around $1,000 for this type of paint.
  • A higher quality paint job that includes bodywork, such as dent / rust / damage repair, can cost up to $3,500.
  • High-quality, multi-layer paint jobs can cost up to $8,000 or more, depending on color and vehicle. Extras like racing stripes, metal flakes, and caramel coat colors add to that price tag.

Low Budget Paint Job

The cheapest professional paint job would cost you between $350 and $900.

Although it is a professional job, the reason the paint job is cheap is due to the quality of the paint, the number of layers painted, and the areas painted.

For this type of paint job, don’t expect your car to appear fresh from the factory.

Some companies avoid painting car parts, such as the inside of the doors, the B-pillar, and under the hood, to save time and money.

Medium Budget Paint Job

A mid-budget paint job will cost you between $1,000 and $5,000. This type of paint job is appropriate for someone who wants to make sure the paint job is done correctly, without rough surfaces, and with a proper finish.

This paint job includes all textbook work like removing rust and sanding the car body. This equates to a more pleasant surface and also a better appearance.

High Budget Paint Job

There is no limit to how much a paint job can cost. Rolls-Royce did paint with powdered diamonds. While the price has not been revealed, we can leave it to our imagination.

A paint job that is more expensive than $10,000 is in most cases for those who want the more modern type of paint job.

If you decide on this type of paint job, be very careful not to scratch it.

Alternatives to Painting a Car

Plasti Dip is a good way to easily change the look of your car. It’s easy and cheap, so if you don’t like the results or want to try something new later, you can easily remove it!

The good thing about Plasti Dip is that it is easier to use and if the result is not satisfactory, you can simply remove spray paint.

Another alternative would be to wrap your car. Wrapping your car is a limited option, as the paint under the wrap must be in good condition.

The cost is very similar to that of car paint when it comes to volatility. Factors such as the type of vinyl used, the size of the vehicle, and its appearance. If your car has a lot of edges and hard-to-reach areas, the wrap will be more expensive.

Another alternative would be to wrap your car. Wrapping a vehicle is limited because the paint underneath must be in good condition, there is volatility, and the cost is similar between wrapping and painting.

Factors like the type of vinyl used, vehicle size, and appearance also affect the price – if you take a lot of edges or hard-to-reach areas, your costs are higher than average because more time is spent working on working those well. parts.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Is Car Paint So Expensive?

Car paint is expensive because people are eager to pay for it. And receiving that paint to apply equally on the support and on the metal components, for some, for several years, is not as simple as you may suspect.

The explanation for it being so expensive is that people are happy to meet that cost. Like most vehicle parts, vehicle manufacturers push for an ideal price from paint makers.

What is the most expensive color to paint your car?

Red and yellow paints are usually the most expensive due to the higher cost of creating and finishing these colors.

Red car paint is very expensive because the pigments used in red are expensive. The paint is essentially tones suspended in the fluid, and those red colors are the ones that charge the most to produce.

That has nothing to do with accessibility or metal; the way the world around us works is simple.

Is it a good idea to spray paint a car?

Even if you spray a clear coat over your work, spray painting a car just prolongs the inevitable – the need for a professional paint job at some point in the future.

For more information on how to spray paint a car, talk to an expert at your local auto parts store.

Do some colors fade faster than others?

There is no evidence that some colors fade faster than others. What you might be seeing is that dark colors show a more visible fading than lighter colors.

When should you consider painting your car?

Well, as with many decisions in life, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to deciding when to paint your car; it really depends on how much you value a clean trip.

Some people decide to paint their cars only every 5 years to save money and others feel they need a new coat of paint after any noticeable scratches or scratches occur.

In general, if you have any type of bodywork, such as major dent removal, it usually indicates some type of collateral damage to the surrounding area that will require repainting at a minimum.

Now, this is not a law, but it is generally cheaper, faster, and easier to have a paint shop repair your body than to pay for a minor wear-and-tear accident.

How long does it take for car paint to dry?

Technically, car paint dries completely in 24 hours, but you’ll still want to be careful with a freshly painted car.

Read our guide, how long does it take for spray paint.

Avoid washing it with soap for at least 30 days to give the paint time to cure. Also, stop waxing and polishing the car for at least three months.

How long does it take to paint a whole car?

Depending on the complexity of your paint job, it could take anywhere from 3 days to 1 week to paint your car.

As you shop around to find the best shop to paint your car, consider how long it takes. Stores that quote you a quick turnaround time may not provide the quality of work you want.

What color car paint is easiest to maintain?

White, silver, and gray are the easiest colors to maintain. Even without washing these colors for a few weeks, dust and debris remain well-hidden as long as the car remains dry.

Is it cheaper to wrap or paint a car?

A basic or cheap paint job can cost less than the cost of wrapping your car. But any specialty paint job or high-end paint choice can cost more than a basic car wrap job.

Paint is a permanent option, while car wrapping is temporary, which can also influence the cost/benefit of your choice.

What color car paint is easiest to maintain?

White, silver, and gray are the easiest colors to maintain. Even without washing these colors for a few weeks, dust and debris remain well-hidden as long as the car remains dry.

What size air compressor do you need for painting a car?

The most basic painting jobs can be done with an air compressor with 15 psi of air pressure and 10 horsepower that can paint approximately 20 cubic feet per minute. You can also check out our guide for thebest spray gun for small compressor.

Stronger air compressors will be more efficient. Some colors depend on more air pressure or CFM, so see the paint job recommendations you have in mind for more details.

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4 Factors Should Consider When Paint a Car

Painting your car is an undertaking that can bring a lot of satisfaction. Not only will your car look new, but its exterior durability can also be significantly improved. Choosing to repaint your car also requires an investment of money and time.

Before taking your vehicle to a paint or body shop, take some time to learn the facts.

Understanding what the painting process entails makes it easier to choose whether or not you want to repaint your car.

1. Painting a Car Takes Time

Some auto paint stores have a turnaround time of three days or less, but in general, you should expect your car to be in the store for at least a week.

The discoloration, oxidation, and uneven surface of an existing vehicle paint do not allow for the uniform application of a new coat.

Removal of existing paint layers and other prep work must be completed before new paint can be applied. If a car requires extensive prep work, it will also increase the total price of the paint job.

2. New Paint Won’t Fix Everything

It is important to have realistic expectations with repainting or repairing paint.

For best results, the body shop should first remove the old paint from the car and repair any damage that is present. Damages can include:

  • Scratches
  • Gouges
  • Dents
  • Wells
  • Oxide stains
  • Holes.

3. Painting Adds Value

Repainting your car is an investment in many ways. Not only will a vehicle be gifted with a like-new finish, it will also increase its residual or resale value.

But, for cars over 10 years old, you need to consider whether the improved trade-in value will exceed the price of repainting the car.

If the car is not in good condition, repainting it can be more expensive than it is worth reselling.

Some insurance policies cover the cost of the body if the vehicle was damaged in an accident.

4. Painting Requires Removing the Car’s Interior

Many people don’t realize that auto paint shops may have to remove everything from the car’s interior during the painting process.

This can include the dash, console, and even the seats. There is some risk of these items being damaged during the painting process, so they are removed beforehand.

In addition, some process steps may be inhibited by the presence of these internal components. Removing them allows the painting to be done the right way.

It is helpful for car owners to remove their belongings from the vehicle before bringing it in for paint repair. This reduces the risk of accidentally losing something important and saves the body shop time.


Painting your car is not as easy as taking some paint and starting to brush. Many components make up the car paint and give it its special shine, effect, and aesthetics.

Paint not only makes your car look good, but it also protects it from rust and degradation. Make sure there are no deep scratches affecting the paint.

When choosing to have your car repainted, make sure you understand how much it costs to paint a vehicle.

Therefore, after discovering the expenses, consider your financial plan with caution.

If you try to go about business as cheaply as could reasonably be expected, the job may not have a high expectation, leaving you disappointed with the outcome.


Whats a good price for a paint job on a car? ›

Standard costs range from $1,000 to $4,500. Showroom quality: This process involves sanding the bodywork down to the bare metal, removing all the rust and dents and then applying up to 24 coats of high-quality paint.

How much would it cost to paint a car by yourself? ›

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.

Is painting a vehicle worth it? ›

Painting (Usually) Adds Value

Having your car repainted is an investment in many ways. Not only will you treat yourself to a vehicle with a like-new finish, you will add to its residual or resale value. By investing in repainting, you can get a higher trade-in value for an older vehicle.

What is the cheapest way to change the color of your car? ›

The cheapest way to change a car's colour is repainting.
Car re-painting process and difficulties.
  1. Can Be Expensive.
  2. Have to Remove Everything.
  3. Requires a Lot of Prep Work.
  4. Can Take a Long Time to Complete.

Is it cheaper to wrap or paint car? ›

Cost is a likely factor in a wrapping vs painting decision: is it cheaper to wrap or paint a car? Paint jobs run from $500 (low quality) or anywhere between $1,000-$5,000 (high-quality). A professional wrap runs between $2,500 to $5,000. There is also a labor cost to remove the wrap that may range between $500-$600.

What car color is best for long term? ›

White is the longest lasting colour among all car paint options. Or, if you choose to pick faster fading car paints such as red and blue, keep the vehicle shaded to protect it from dust, dirt and UV rays.

How long does it take to paint a whole car? ›

A complete vehicle paint job will take between 40 and 80 hours, depending on the size of your vehicle and the bodywork that is needed. Read about the different factors that go into how long it takes to paint a car with Eli's Collision Repair below.

How do you price a painting job? ›

Some contractors use a rough base rate of $1.50 or $2.00 per square foot, some multiply 4 to 6 times the paint cost, some estimate the time the job will take and add it to an estimate of materials—and some may simply offer the lowest price to outbid the competition.

Is repainting a car as good as factory paint? ›

No matter how hard an auto body shop might try, they'll never be able to reach the same level of quality in a paint job as a car factory would. In both appearance and durability, modern automotive paint jobs are guaranteed to last from 10 to 15 years. By comparison, problems can arise in repainting quite easily.

How long does a Maaco paint job take? ›

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PAINT MY CAR? A: 80% of all vehicles we paint are ready in 2-3 business days. You can add a day or two if you have a significant amount of bodywork, need replacement parts or if your vehicle requires extra preparation to repair existing paint damage.

How long will a repainted car last? ›

The paint on your vehicle should last 10 – 15 years if it's properly cared for, but exposure to the elements, long-term exposure to sunlight, and acidic substances can damage your car paint or make it age quicker. The type of paint your vehicle has will also be a factor in how long it lasts.

How long should you wait to drive a freshly painted car? ›

Avoid unnecessary drives

It is advisable and safe to leave your car in a garage for about two months. Only drive when necessary and during fair weather conditions. During this waiting period, you could use taxi services or use a second car if you have one. Your patience will pay off.

What color adds the most value to a car? ›

According to the iSeeCars report, yellow is the most valuable colors among convertibles and SUVs, while orange does it for coupes, beige is best for pickup trucks, and purple, being among the rarest of colors in any segment, boosts the value of sedans the most.

How much does it cost to paint an entire car a different color? ›

Cost of painting your car

In general, expect to pay between $300 and $10,000 for a professional paint job. The upper end of that price range is where we find metal flake, multi-colored, and custom paint jobs, so there's no need to spend that much unless you're prepping your car for a show.

What color is best for car? ›

There isn't a single best car color: it all boils down to your personal preferences. You may decide to go for neutral and simple colors like black, white, silver, or gray because they guarantee a good resale value and easy maintenance. You may choose a bright color like red or blue if you want a sporty look.

What lasts longer paint or wrap? ›

A wrap typically lasts about five years, while a good paint job can shine for decades if it's cared for. And although you won't have to wax the wrap or tend to it the same way you would paint, an automated car wash with brushes or a power washer can tear the vinyl.

How long does a wrap last on a car? ›

You should expect your car wrap to last roughly five to seven years, depending on the finish and proper maintenance.

Why do you wrap car keys in foil? ›

Prevent car theft by wrapping your car key fob in foil. Yes, that's right — a piece of tinfoil can stop your car from getting stolen. Key fobs might be convenient, but there's a security risk associated with them. Thieves can use devices that will amplify fob signals to cars or copy the code to get into a vehicle.

What color car stays cleanest? ›

White is the easiest color to keep clean over time.

It's the best color for hiding imperfections and scratches, as well as water spots. White also hides dirt easily, so you don't have to worry about black or grey making it look like you have a dirty car.

What color car is hardest to clean? ›

The truth is white-colored cars are the number one most common car paint color, and most people believe that it shows dirt and grime the most quickly. Contrary to belief, black cars or darker colored cars have proven to be the hardest to keep spotless.

What color car loses its value the fastest? ›

Brown, a shade that is uncommon across most vehicle types, also happens to lose its value faster than any other color, depreciating at a rate 1.2 times faster than the industry average.

How many coats of paint should you put on a car? ›

Typically, it will take three to four coats to completely cover the surface. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's drying time – this can vary from 20 minute to an hour.

How many layers of paint are on the average car? ›

It's comprised of three layers: Primer, Base Colour Coat and Clear Coat (lacquer).

What is the best automotive paint for beginners? ›

1. Best Automotive Paint—Dupli-Color Car Paint. Not only does the Dupli-Color BSP200 Paint Shop Finish System lacquer provide a beautiful finish, but according to many of the reviewers it's also great for beginners too since there's no mixing involved, it applies very easily, and isn't inclined to run.

How do you calculate paint estimate? ›

How Much Paint Is Needed for Walls?
  1. Start by adding up the length of all the walls to be painted, from end to end.
  2. Then multiply that number (the perimeter) by the height of the walls, from floor to ceiling. ...
  3. Finally, divide your total number by the approximate coverage of one gallon of paint (about 400 sq.

Can you negotiate the price of a painting? ›

Unexperienced art buyers are often reluctant to inquire about a discount. However, if you are unable to afford a full price, you shouldn't be afraid to ask for a small reduction. Many galleries even expect a bit of negotiating. After all, it's better to sell an art piece with a discount than not to sell it at all.

How much commission do painters get? ›

On average, the price for a commissioned painting from an experienced artist starts at $100 and can go as high as $10,000.

Does a car lose value after a paint job? ›

While paint color can affect resale value by a couple thousand dollars, its quality, including scratches and dings, plays a factor. You may see a lower value if: You didn't regularly wash your vehicle when you owned it. Scratches, swirls and dings have built up on the surface.

Is it cheaper to repaint a car the same color? ›

If you're looking to save money, keeping your original color is usually the less expensive choice. However, this decision is up to you. You can paint your car any color you want it to be.

Does Maaco do body work before painting? ›

We'll coordinate with the insurance companies involved, schedule an appointment for your car to be inspected, and even find you a rental car while we make your repairs. Maaco delivers certified bodywork and painting.

What does a good paint job look like? ›

Smooth, Consistent Walls

A budget paint job will either paint right over those flaws, or patch them halfheartedly, in a way that still shows through the paint. To see if a wall has been expertly prepared, look at it from an angle so the light reflects off it. This will show you the quality of the surface preparation.

Does Maaco prep your car? ›

At Maaco, our estimators examine your vehicle and suggest condition repairs. We offer affordable surface prep options that ensure your MAACOVER looks great. A little surface repair before the paint goes on can ensure it holds that gloss and shine for years to come.

How much does it cost to fully repaint a car? ›

Average Cost to Paint a Car

Most national chains will offer to repaint a vehicle for around $500 if you just need a basic paint job. However, professional paint restoration can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000.

How long does clearcoat last? ›

A clear coat that comes with the car applied by the manufacturer can last up to 15 years if cared for properly. Dirt, grime, snow, mud, leaf stains are the usual suspects that can eat away your car's clear coat. So, in short, the better you care for your car's clear coat, the longer it will last.

Do you have to sand off old paint before repainting car? ›

Things You Should Know

If the old paint on your car is solid and uncracked, you don't need to sand before repainting. Just add a coat of primer before applying the new paint. If you do need to sand your car, use a power sander. Go over your car once with 180-grit sandpaper, then again with 300-grit sandpaper.

Will rain damage a freshly painted car? ›

The good news is that regular water marks do not generally damage your vehicle's paint, they just take away from the shine factor. However, not properly washing your vehicle after several rainy days can result in a build up of water marks which means a build up of dirt. This can, over time, become harder to remove.

Is it cheaper to paint myself? ›

After collecting quotes from professional painting companies, you may find that the project costs less if you do it yourself. You have to consider: Your ability to do the work well, access to high areas, tools and also how high of a value you place on your property.

Is it easy to repaint your own car? ›

While it's not easy to do your own paintwork, it's not an overly difficult task either. With the right preparation, the right materials, and correct skills, you can “DIY” your way to a new paint job.

How much cheaper is it to paint yourself? ›

On average, to paint the interior yourself will cost between $1 and $3 per square foot, about half what a professional charges. A gallon of paint runs about $20 per gallon for low-end and $30 to $55 for higher-end brands.

Can I just paint my car? ›

The supplies to paint a car yourself can run from $100 to $1,500, depending on the materials needed. 1 The biggest cost of painting a car yourself will likely be the headache that comes along with it. The pros often add several coats of primer, paint in your preferred color, and a topcoat to ensure a quality finish.


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