How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? - In 2023 - The Pricer (2023)

You might need to get your car painted for a number of reasons. Regardless of whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, you just bought a second-hand car, or simply want a new car look, you might be asking yourself “how much does it cost to paint a car?”

When trying to determine the costs of painting a car, there will be many factors that can impact the final price. The most important aspects to be considered are the size of your car, the level of labor involved, the quality of the paint, and the painter you opt for.

To get an idea of how much painting a car will cost, consider these:

The Car Painting Process

In general, if the work done is of quality, the process will start with the washing of the car. This will make the painting process easier by removing mud, dust particles, or any other foreign bodies from the car’s surface.

After this part, the original paint will be sanded down and the workers may repair parts that are uneven on the surface of the car if any of them are visible.

Some garages choose to cover the windows and chromes as the next process, but the more expensive and professional shops could even remove them completely.

Then, after the car preparation for the painting is completed, it is time for the colorless primers to be applied, to make the paint last longer. It’s then time for the painters to apply the paint by using spray tools. Next will be applied a protective cover, that is transparent in general.

You must understand that some body shops will follow these steps and add some more, while cheap painters might avoid most if not all of the steps above.

Cost of Paint and Other Materials

There will be a lot of materials and equipment required when painting a car. The first thing you’ll have to buy is the actual car paint, after that comes the cost of the primer, and the price of the clear coatings. All of these will cost about $200 for the cheapest quality and can go over $5,000 for top-shelf products.

As an average, these products can cost you anywhere between $1,000 and $1,500 for a decent job.

You will need different types of paint for different types of cars and this will also be affected by the type of finish, shades, patterns, and all of the metallic qualities.

If your needs and budget can handle it, you can use one of the most commonly known types of car paint, described below.

Check Out This Detailed Article on The Price of Reupholstering a Car

Enamel Paint

Although they are not easy to apply, after they dry into a hard shell, synthetic enamel paints are tougher than lacquer paints. In addition to the paint, many enamel colors will need a two-stage process where a clear top coat of paint is applied.

There are some enamel paints that will only require a single step, so ask before you pay. You will spend around $50 for a gallon of enamel auto paint.

Acrylic Lacquer

One of the cheaper options you’ll have will be the acrylic lacquer auto paint. It will chip easier but it also costs less.

Because of the fact that they aren’t resistant to chemicals, you may have to apply regular coats over the car. Their average cost is between $30 and $40 for every gallon.

Urethane-Based Paints

The good paints that have qualities from both synthetic enamel and acrylic lacquer paints are Urethane-Based ones. They will beas strong as enamel paints but easier to apply.

The ugly part is that urethane-based paints need three other products to be used for a complete finish. These three will be the color, the catalyst, and the reducer. All of these cost between $70 to $90 per gallon.

Water-Based Paints

Water-based paints are gaining popularity in the market, although they are considered new car paints. They can be used on primer, on existing paintwork, and on metal, which makes them very versatile.

You won’t have a lot of color choices and they will be more expensive, at around $120 per gallon.

Will Your Car Also Need a Tune-Up? This is How Much Tune-Ups Cost

Labor Costs

If you’re looking for unskilled or unprofessional manual work, then you should get a team of painters that charge around $300 or less.

However, at that price, the paintwork will most likely be sloppy and uneven, with no preparation to start with.

Most average-price garages will charge between $1,500 and $3,000 for decent manual work. Some things that will determine the final cost of manual labor will be the quality of the work, the need for bodywork, the size of the car, and the level of preparation.

So how much it costs to paint a car?

Expect prices that range from a few hundred to many tens of thousands, as the total costs for painting your car, the materials, and manual labor.

Low-End Prices

For a regular-sized vehicle, there are a lot of national chains that will offer prices as low as $200 for a basic paint job.

Typical service of an inexpensive paint job will involve cleaning the surface of the car to remove any dirt and old paint, masking some areas to reduce the chances of overspray, and providing a heat-cured finish. Another great part is that they will typically offer a one-year warranty even though they’d offer a cheap paint job.

Mid Range Prices

Any mid-range car paint job costs$1,000 to $5,000, but they will use better materials and a lot more preparation and finishing.

A quality paint job can involve interior painting and areas near the engine getting re-painted at the same price. They generally offer a warranty of 2 to 5 years for the job.

High-End Prices

Professional paint jobsreach prices of $4,000 to $10,000 although they can even go as high as $80,000 for really specialized services.

The higher quality paints that will be used in the process have prices that can reach hundreds of dollars for every quart.

Before the sanding begins, these garages will remove the windows, mirrors, bumpers, and headlights, for better results.

After the paintwork is finished, the process will involve buffing and wet-sanding, long-lasting results. A high-quality paint job can even have a lifetime guarantee.

For Other Similar Articles, Check Out Our Auto Category

How Much Does It Cost to Paint Your Car Yourself?

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car? - In 2023 - The Pricer (1)By doing this job yourself, you can greatly decrease the costs of the painting. You must understand that this work will take a lot of time and may require investment in equipment.

You will have to get spray tools that will set you back $200 to $800 and sanding materials that can cost anywhere from $50 to $200.

You can choose to use more environmental-friendly or green products for the job and reduce your carbon footprint by doing it yourself, which can be a great reward for your hard work.

Don’t try to cut corners! You might choose to paint over problems like rust or damaged surfaces as a way of making the job cheaper, but this might cause you to have to spend more in the future.

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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 does a whole car repaint cost? ›

Consumers spent between $1000 and $3500 for what they described as good-quality, "thorough" paint jobs. According to consumers who reported their prices to the site, it takes at least $2500 to obtain a "showroom quality" paint 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 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.

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.

How long should 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.

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.

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.

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 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 many coats of paint is a good for 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.

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 car color sells the most? ›

America's Most Popular Car Colors (according to iSeeCars.Com) Grayscale colors (white, black, gray, and silver) represent a total of 78.5% of all vehicles on the road in the United States. White sits atop the list as the most popular choice.

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.

How long does a good paint job take? ›

The color coats can vary in how long they take to apply. Some paints, like Rustoleum, can take about only 30 to 90 min to dry, while others may need to dry overnight. All in all, an entire paint job, including any final touch-up work, can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

How long does it take to prep a car for paint? ›

This phase is important because it ensures that the paint will adhere properly to the surface of the car. If this phase is not done correctly, it can cause the paint job to be less than perfect. The prepping phase can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the extent of work that needs to be done.

How long does a 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.

What is the hardest color to paint on a car? ›

Black and red are—by far—the hardest colors to care for.

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.

What can you not do after painting a car? ›

Things to Avoid Doing to a Newly Painted Car
  1. Don't Leave the Paint Shop Immediately. ...
  2. Don't wash the car immediately. ...
  3. Avoid unnecessary drives. ...
  4. Don't wax your car. ...
  5. Never leave your freshly painted car, outdoors, or under a tree.
Nov 20, 2019

What is the cheapest color to paint a car? ›

Choosing a mainstream color like black, white, or gray is the cheapest way to go.

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.

How much should I charge for a paint job? ›

The most common way to be charged for a paint job is by the square foot of wall space to be painted. 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.

What is the longest lasting automotive paint? ›

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.

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.

Why is painting a car so expensive? ›

And, cars today use more exotic materials than in the past. Materials like carbon fiber, certain plastics and multi-stage finishes require more knowledge to paint properly than steel and aluminum. All of this adds up to a labor force that must have the correct skill set and training—which also means higher costs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What is the best weather to paint a car? ›

For any type of automotive paint, the minimum temperature should be 55° F; however, most paint companies recommend you to be above 70° F with a relative humidity of 50%.

What are the 3 layers to paint on cars? ›

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

What color car holds its 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.

Is painting a car better than wrapping? ›

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.

Is it worth spending money on paint? ›

If you know that your walls are going to take a lot of damage or that you will need to wash them frequently, more expensive paint is an investment that will pay off. If you have kids or pets, your walls will probably pick up some damage. More expensive paint can help minimize the scuff marks and stains.


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