How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? (2023 Estimates) - Pro Paint Corner (2023)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending to get your car painted, then keep reading for all our tips and insights below!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

The price range for painting a car is anywhere from $300-$2000+ for the most basic of paintjobs, and if you want high-quality, you'll be paying well into the thousands, so keep that in mind when hiring paint services.

Average Cost To Paint A Car If You Do It Yourself?

Painting a car yourself will cost anywhere from $100-$1000 depending on the type of paint you use, and how many materials you need to purchase beforehand.

For example, if you don't have a paint sprayer, you're going to have to buy one. Check out our recommendations for the best paint sprayers on the market.

Can't remember what supplies you are going to need for DIYing your car's paint job? Here's a quick refresh:

Paint sprayer

HVLP paint sprayers work great for painting cars, and you can find them on sites like Amazon for cheaper than ever before.

Paint masker/masking tape/film

The paint masker is your best friend when painting because it helps cover up undesirable surfaces to help you start painting quicker.

Drop cloths

Drop cloths work well at covering up the floor and other cars that you might have parked next to the one you are painting.

Remember, you don't want to spray paint close to something like your spouse's car that could get overspray on it.

Read More >>How Much Does It Cost To Paint Just A Car Hood?

Average Cost To Paint A Car If You Hire a Professional Company?

An experienced service advisor from North Carolina says theaverage cost for a fully auto paint job with minimal bodywork costs anywhere from $2-4k,and we can back up those numbers as being relevant.

And sure, you could go and get the cheapest paint job on the market, but it's probably not going to last you for the years to come as a higherquality paint jobwill.

Each professional painter will likely bid you slightly(or drastically) different prices for the paint job you are looking to get, so that's why you should get multiple bids from painting contractors to make sure you aren't being ripped off.

How To Estimate The Cost To Paint A Car?

When estimating the cost of painting or repainting your own car, there are a few factors that play into how much it's going to cost. Here are a few:

  • Type of carpaint used/purchased
  • Bodywork necessary
  • Prep work necessary
  • Size of the vehicle(in square feet)

Now that you have some data to dig up about your paint project, scroll down for some more info on how to make the most out of painting your car.

$1.50-$20.00 Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

DIYCost 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 ShopCost 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

Read More >>How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car's Rims?

Estimated Cost of Paint For A Car?

We did some research to give you some good paint options. You can find the most accurate paint costs by searching for something like 'automotive enamel' on websites like Amazon.

Remember, the typical automotive paint job is done in three coats:

~2 coats of primer/sealer + ~2 coats of base coat + ~2 coats of clear coat

Note:Every painter has their opinion for how many coats the job will take, and it also depends on what color you are painting over, for example, if you are painting a red vehicle white, it's going to take more primer and possibly, even more, paint to cover the job.

Types of Paint


Shops like Maaco use it, and you should too if you want a quick, cheap, and solid solution for putting a coat of paint on a vehicle.

Synthetic Enamel Paint

Enamel is an oil-based paint that has been used to paint cars since the 1930s.

You'll see a lot of classic paint jobs that have enamel paint, however,urethane paints are a more futuristic option.

Plasti dip

You could always apply plasti dip on 4x4 vehicles that protect the body panels with a rubber layer that can be peeled off in the future. Plasti dip is also a relatively inexpensive option.

  • Lacquer/Clear lacquer

Lacquers are good for automotive painting, especially for a clear coat.

  • Vinyl Wrap

That's right, you don't have to apply a high-quality paint--you can apply a vinyl adhesive wrap quickly and easily that changes the color of your vehicle instantly without the hassle of dealing with spray paint.

Truck Bed Liner

Want to try a new look? Older vehicles and offroad vehicles look great with a heavy-duty truck bed liner sprayed onto the body panels.

This is another great way to avoid having to detail the outside of your vehicle - instead, you can just spray it down with water and it will look good as new.

Note:The quality of the paint really does matter, so if you care about your ride, you'll get a professional paint job or at least use high-quality paint.

Read More >>How Much Does It Cost To Paint Just A Bumper?

Estimated Cost of Labor For A Car?

Estimated DIY Cost Of Labor:

It typically takes car owners anywhere from 10-40 hours to paint the entire car themselves.

Car paint jobs and car painting isn't cheap when doing it yourself, but it is a time-consuming task without any doubt.

Estimated Pro Cost Of Labor

Quality paint jobs on repaints are going to cost you significantly more than doing it yourself, but hiring a professional might save you time in the long run.

For example, professionals remove all the doors to paint the door jambs/jams, and they also have to remove or mask trim pieces which can sometimes be a lot of work.

Some pros might even take off the hood of the car for it to be painted on both the outside and the inside.

Like we stated earlier, the average cost is anywhere from$2-4kfor hiring a pro for the job.

Why Hire a Pro?

  • More attention to detail

Professional autobody painters know sanding and body filling techniques that take years of experience. Your car will look like a show car once a good body shop gets ahold of it for some paintwork.

  • Saved time

Chances are a pro painter will really only take a few hours to paint your vehicle despite the number of labor hours charged for the job--the good part about this is that you saved a lot of time by not having to paint yourself.

  • Licensed and insured

Nobody wants to talk about legal situations, but it's something that you should always take into consideration.

  • High-quality paintjob/showroom quality

If you hire a high-rated pro painter for a basic paint job, you can be sure to expect showroom quality on your respray.

How Can You Save Money When Painting A Car?

Sell extra paint on the web/purchase old paint from a leftover project

Depending on the quality of your project, you are either want to buy double the paint to ensure you have enoughORpurchase paint from someone else's leftover project to stay on a tight budget.

Either way, trading with other people who are DIYing saves both parties money in the long run.

Read More >> How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Door?

Use The Internet To Find The Best Option

The internet is your best friend when getting auto bodywork, touch-up paint, a new paint job, or basically anything else when auto painting.

You can search for different companies, read cost helperguides, and more just by pulling out your cell phone for a quick search.

Go check out ourpainting supplies and toolspage for some great recommendations on what to buy.

Ceramic Coating/Clear Bra?

Putting a ceramic coating on directly after the paint job is a great way to save money in the long run because it protects the paint from scratching and fading.

Customers who purchase ceramic coating care the most about their vehicles, and you basically never have to detail a paint job that has ceramic coating placed over the top.

Questions? AskOur Page

Don't hesitate to ask us any questions you might have. We hope your car looks awesome!


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.

What is the price for an average paint job? ›

Most painters charge $2 to $6 per square foot for interior jobs including two coats of paint. If you choose to have the window and door trims, moldings, and doors painted that number will increase a bit. You can also expect to pay a bit more for painted millwork such as cabinetry or built-in furniture.

Is it cheaper to paint or wrap a 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.

How much does it cost to paint a car the same color? ›

On average, most people report spending around $500-$1,000 to have a car repainted. Of course, this price can go up or down depending on your specific needs and wants. If you're looking for a high-quality paint job that will last for years, be prepared to spend more than if you were just looking for a quick fix.

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 will a paint job last on a car? ›

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.

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 professional paint job last? ›

The easy answer is around 10 years for interior paint and 5-7 years for exterior paint. But the more accurate answer is that the longevity of your new paint job depends on a variety of factors such as paint quality, the environment the paint is in and the preparation and professionalism during the painting project.

Why are paint jobs so expensive? ›

Materials. Material costs have risen significantly over the past decade. This is in part due to VOC regulations, and also in the production costs of the paints themselves. Pearls, flips, glass, flakes all have become more common but that also adds a significant cost to the paint.

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.

Is wrap stronger than paint? ›

Vehicle wraps are generally more durable than paint. While a top-tier paint job can last the life of a vehicle, standard paint jobs typically only last a couple of years. A high-quality vehicle wrap will last up to 10 years.

What color of car paint cost the most? ›

Let's get nerdy about paint. For many new cars, exterior paint is included. Automakers often offer several different colors free, though special pigments and hues can command a premium, with red often being the most expensive.

Does a car lose value if painted a different color? ›

Which Paint Colors Depreciate the Most? A color's rarity is no guarantee that it will resist depreciation. 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 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.

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 holds value best? ›

A 2022 study from used vehicle website analyzed over 650,000 used model year 2019 cars sold between August 2021 and May 2022 and found that yellow vehicles have the smallest three-year depreciation rate2.

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 is the best month to paint a car? ›

Automotive Paint in Fall

With mostly dry, warm weather conditions in the fall months, and rain typically holding off until the latter part of November, autumn is an ideal time to apply a coat of paint to your car.

Does a new paint job increase car value? ›

Painting (Usually) Adds Value

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. You can also raise your asking price when selling a used car directly to a buyer.

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 is the best paint to repaint car? ›

Urethane paint is the most durable auto paint and is also chip-resistant—when properly maintained, a coat of urethane paint will outlast most acrylic paints. Acrylic paints are generally water-based.

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.

How can you tell a good paint job? ›

When you look at a great interior paint job, whether from far away or close-up, you will see true colors and consistent coverage.
Even Color Coverage
  1. Roller marks.
  2. Drips and splatters.
  3. Patches of thin coverage.
  4. Tiny spots that didn't get any paint.
  5. Obvious brush-strokes near the edges of walls and windows.

How many coats of paint do professionals use? ›

As a rule of thumb, you should always expect to apply two coats of paint regardless of what the label says. Colors such as reds, bright yellows, and oranges may require three or more coats.

What paint lasts longest? ›

Acrylic paint lasts the longest and is also known for resisting all sorts of damage caused by weather and other natural variables. Acrylic paint is also excellent for resisting fading or damage caused by exposure to the sun, making it perfect for homes located in hot regions or climates.”

What is the most expensive paint color? ›

Google "the most expensive pigment" and you'll find that Lapis Lazuli is believed to be the most expensive pigment ever created. It was pricier than its weight in gold.

Can I negotiate price with painter? ›

If your contractor is a professional, they likely have a very good idea of how long the job will take them and how much it will reasonably cost. That doesn't mean that there's absolutely no leeway, however. According to an “Ask The Expert” column on, you absolutely can negotiate with a contractor.

What is 3 stage auto paint? ›

Every year, more and more cars are made with pearl finishes. These are known as 3 stage finishes. The first coat is a basecoat color, then a translucent pearl is applied and finally a clear coat finish. Pearl colors have been around since at least the sixties.

How much does it cost to paint 2000 square feet? ›

The average cost to paint the exterior of a 2,000-square-foot home is about $5,200, but that number rises to the $5,000–$12,000 cost range for a three-story house.

How much does it cost to paint a 2000 square foot room? ›

With an average cost of $3.50 per square foot, painting the interior of a 1,000 square foot home would cost $3,500, a 2,000 square foot home would cost $7,000 and a 3,000 square foot home would cost $10,500.

How much does it cost in labor to paint a 12x12 room? ›

For the average 12×12 room, the cost will usually range between $350 and $850 with around 70% of the total projected charge covering labor costs. With the highest quality and most experienced painters the cost can go over $1,000.

Do contractors use cheap paint? ›

“Production” Home Builders for example, are generally concerned with keeping costs down in order to offer the most attractive selling prices they can while still maintaining desired profit margins. This generally means using inexpensive (and therefore low grade) paints.

How much does 1 gallon of paint cost? ›

Paint Can Costs and Sizes
Paint Can SizeAverage Cost
One Gallon$10 – $100+
One Quart$10 – $100
One Pint$25 – $80
Half Pint$4 – $20
Nov 23, 2022

How much does it cost to paint 500 square feet? ›

The cost to paint a room usually runs between $2 and $6 per square foot. Total painting costs range between $955 and $2,890, with a national average of $1,892.

How much paint is 400 square feet? ›

One gallon can of paint will cover up to 400 square feet, which is enough to cover a small room like a bathroom. Two gallon cans of paint cover up to 800 square feet, which is enough to cover an average size room. This is the most common amount needed, especially when considering second coat coverage.

How much paint do I need for 1500 square feet? ›

HOW MUCH PAINT DO I NEED? McCormick Paints recommends one gallon of paint per 300 square feet of interior. For an easy reference, you can use our paint calculator. Once you know the total square footage of the room you want to paint, subtract the square footage of windows and doors in that space.

How much does paint cost for 1000 square feet? ›

1,000 square feet: $800 to $3,200. 2,500 square feet: $2,100 to $8,400. 4,000 square feet: $3,400 to $13,400.

How much does it cost to paint a 300 square foot room? ›

Answer: The average cost to paint a room in the U.S. can sometimes estimate between $2 and $6 per square foot. Total painting costs for a single room can range from $955 to $2,890, with a national average of $1,892 (

How many square feet can a professional painter paint per hour? ›

On average, a painter covers approximately 150 – 200 square feet an hour. To paint the walls with a two-coat painting system in a regular office (14' wide x 14' length x 9' high = 504 square feet) it will take him or her about 3.5 hours of time. (An average painter should be able to cover about 150 square feet an hour.

How do painters calculate square footage? ›

To estimate the square footage, you multiply length x width. For example: If you are painting a bedroom, you should measure from corner to corner of a wall and then measure the height. So if your wall is 12 ft wide and 8 ft high, that wall is 96 square feet.

What paint finish is most popular? ›

Satin: Satin finishes are the most common interior paint finish. They have a velvety sheen and are easier to clean than flat and eggshell paints, which makes them a great choice for high-traffic areas like kitchens, playrooms, family rooms, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive paint? ›

Expensive paints contain more pigment and binders that provide more coverage (meaning you need fewer coats). In addition, many high-quality paints are fade-resistant, meaning the color will last longer, even in rooms that get lots of direct sunlight.


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