How Much Does It Cost To Repaint a Car?

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How Much Does It Cost To Repaint a Car

When driving a new car, you feel that other motorists and pedestrians respect and acknowledge your presence. You feel proud when you see people gazing at your car with a sense of admiration. As the day goes by, your car ages get affected by weather or even get into an accident. As the paint peels of, its beauty starts to fade. Regardless of the model of your car, you feel like everyone ignores your vehicle. Instead of selling the car, you need to repaint it. It will reclaim its “lost glory”.

Before considering the cost of repainting, you need to know the benefits of repainting. If you were to sell your car in that condition, you would resell it at a lower price. Once you repaint it, its resale value automatically increases. Again, when the paint peels off, it leaves the metal exposed to water and oxygen. When oxidation occurs, rust starts to build up and may corrode the entire area. Repainting helps to prevent rust.

When repainting, the mechanic is supposed to repair scratches and marks. If these marks and scratches were to be left, they would result in rust. After repainting the car, it gets a brand new outlook.

Different Types of Painting Options

You can’t wait for the car to have a brand new outlook. Do you trust your painting skills? If you do, it will save the overall cost of repainting the vehicle. But if you fear that you may end up messing your vehicle, engage the gurus in that field. So, how much does a car paint job cost if you seek professional paint service? Professionals offer three packages. The packages include;

Basic Cost

The first one is Basic painting. For budget-constrained car owners, you can go for a basic cost. The professionals only paint the visible areas and leave out the invisible ones. When budgeting for basic repainting, get ready to part with 300-900 dollars. It takes less time. Unfortunately, rust will continue building up and corroding the invisible parts. Eventually, repairing and replacing some parts will be more expensive. Again they don’t fix the scratches and marks.

Standard Cost

Maybe you require the car to have a unique color match. Or could be your car has a glossy finish. Get ready to pay between 1000-3500 dollars. The cost is worth it since before repainting, they start by sanding the body. They get rid of any rust on the body surface. That means once repainting is over, you will have a better finishing compared to the basic repainting. Again, the chances of rust building up are lower.


It’s expensive than the two and takes longer. The work involved is also high. A car with chips and scratches requires this type of service. The mechanic begins by sanding down the entire surface before sealing the chips, scratches, and debts. If there is any rust, he should remove it first before repainting. Once he is through, the car will have a perfect finish. Depending on your location and labor, get ready to pay 2000-15,000 dollars.

DIY At Home

If you don’t want to involve professionals, you can paint the car. If you have no ideas on the paint to use, you can get overwhelmed when choosing the right paint. To avoid confusion, check the info below on types of paints.

Types of Paints


It’s a base coat that acts as a binding layer. It helps the paint to stick on the car and bond consistently. Failure to put it, you will see flaking and chipping on the surface. You can also go for a spray paint premier that keeps off moisture from the metal surface, thus preventing rust.

Base Coat

After applying premier, you put a colored base coat on top. Since it lacks strengtheners or hardeners, you can’t use it directly on the metal before putting premier. If you do, the moisture will sneak in; oxidation will occur, resulting in rusting.

Clear Coat

It lacks color and pigment, and you should apply it on top of the base coat. It makes the base coat shine and prevents the UV rays from fading color.

Acrylic Lacquer

For a long time, the paint has been widespread. But lately, different states prohibit its use due to its environmental impact. Though it’s easy to apply, once exposed to UV, it fades faster.

Acrylic Enamel

It’s long-lasting but avoid it when doing DIY projects. It’s hard to apply, so it’s suitable for professionals.

Acrylic Urethane

It’s easy to apply, and it’s long-lasting. Once you mix it, use it immediately. If you delay, the catalysts in it will dry it faster. 

Also read: [Top 10] Best Paint Sealant for Black Cars

How to Repaint a Car

Luckily, you don’t have to incur all this cost. You can save the platinum cost by painting on your own. Note that repainting isn’t rocket science. With the right material and the proper precautionary measures, you can achieve a perfect finish. Follow these steps when painting your car.

Safety First

Note that paint fumes are potentially lethal and can harm your body. As you spray the paint, the fumes accumulate in the room. If there is a furnace or a water heater, it can easily ignite a fire. With that in mind, what’s an ideal place to do the job? Are you thinking of your garage? Check if there are restrictions about it.

To be safe, you need a well-ventilated area with no furnace or anything that can ignite a fire. Use an enclosed room with minimum dust. The lighting should be excellent and should be spacious enough for your car to fit in.

Since paint fumes are harmful, protective gear is vital. There are respirators designed to protect people when painting. You need to buy one. Go for nitrile gloves and also goggles to protect your eyes. You can’t afford to ruin your clothes with paint. Use disposable coveralls and ensure that it has a hood.

Gather The Right Items

Timing is vital when repainting your car. You can’t afford to be running all over looking for some equipment when repainting. Here is the list

Spray Paint

If you decide to use spray paint, you need to match it with your car’s color code. Check if the driver’s door frame has the color code. The retailers and local automobile supply shops can also help you identify it. Alternatively, consult the manufacturer. If you are adventurers and daring, you can change the color. Other than the spray paint, you also require clear paint.

  • Sandpaper (600-grit and 1200-grit) -It’s useful for sanding the surface of your car.
  • Others include painters tape, paper, primer and warm soapy water. You also require a cloth and a towel.

Also, consider getting plastic sheeting to cover the interior of your working station. It will protect the car from getting dust while it dries.

Prepare The Surface

Part of the surface could be having dents, scratches, peeled-off paint, dust, wax, and rust. You can achieve a perfect finish by sanding the area using 600-grit. It’s tiresome but rewarding in the end. With all the might, start sanding any area that you want to repaint, including areas with rust.

Finish sanding with 1200-grits. Fill any dents and holes with putty and wipe any excess putty. After it dries, sand the area using 1200-grit. To deal with dust and wax, use a cloth to wipe the dust off. You can wipe the wax using cellulose thinner.

Priming The Car

Use painter’s paint and paper in a well-ventilated room to cover any area you don’t want to paint. Spray three coats of primer on the surface that you want to paint. After each spray, take 15 minutes before applying another one. Leave it for 24 hours.

Once it dries, use a wet 1200-grit for sanding the surface smooth. Wipe off the surface using an old cloth. Once the area smoothens, it will have dust particles. Wash the body using warm soapy water. Rinse the surface well before drying it with a towel.

Paint Your Car

Shake the spray vigorously to recombine the pigments that separate with time. To test if it’s okay, test it by spraying some paint on cardboard. If it’s patchy, shake it again. Once you finish, use forth and back stoke when spraying the car using a constant speed. Keep a reasonable distance between the spray bottle and the vehicle. If not, the surface will have large paint lumps forcing you to start again. After the first coat, take 10 minutes before spraying a second coat. Finish by spraying clear paint to protect your car against UV sun rays. Give it time before driving the vehicle to your desired destination.

Seek guidance from an experienced person if you’ve never painted before. You don’t want to mess with the dangerous fumes. When priming and painting, ensure that you have your protective gear. What happens if the finishing isn’t pleasing? You can wait for the area to dry first. Take the grit and sand the area again before repainting.

Painting Mistakes to Avoid

Waxing/Washing Immediately

After painting the car, you can’t wait to drive it. After all, how will people know that the vehicle has a new outlook? In a hurry, you wax the car immediately after painting. As a result, the car will get fish eyes. However, sanding can help to remove them but will ruin your finishing. So, avoid washing/waxing until a few days later after painting. When water touches a freshly painted surface, it causes fish eyes. That means, after painting, park the car in a place where raindrops can’t get it.

Painting Over Dents/Cracks

Does the car have scratches, dents, or even cracks? Painting on top will not seal them. Before painting, first fix the dents and cracks then paint your vehicle. If you are unable, professionals can fix it.

Painting Without Experience

You can pick paint and paint part of your house quickly, even without experience. But with a car it’s different. Maybe you are trying to save on the cost of engaging professionals. Messing with the car can be costly. If you must paint on your own, get someone with experience to guide you. If not, engage the professionals to do the job. Quality is assured.

Painting a Different Color

You want a fresh outlook. Could be you are bored by driving a car that has the same color. Or maybe your real intention is to resell your car after painting it. But is it worth it? Think of cost implications. So, how much does it cost to paint a car a different color? You need professionals to do the job. It takes time and lots of work. It’s not like repainting where you can restrict to the affected area only.

Painting a different color requires the professional to deal with the entire car. As a result, it will cost twice the cost of repainting. For high-quality paint, you can pay 2400-7500 dollars. Unlike repainting, which you can paint on your own, painting a new color requires a professional. If possible, avoid painting on your own. The average price stands at 5,000 dollars. Other than the cost, consider other factors before changing the color.

Color Changing Factors to Consider

Why are you changing the color? Think of the reason if it is worth it. Consider these factors.

To Resell The Car

Are you thinking of changing the color of your old trunk to increase its value? Think about its sounding engine. Will the customer be interested in the color alone? After painting, you may incur an unnecessary cost that will only dig into your resale value. Start by comparing the car’s value, its condition and the painting cost, and its implication on your finances. After that, decide if it’s wise to change the color.

Geographical Location

In many countries, most cars have white, black, silver, and grey color. If you decide to color the car to get a green color, what will happen when you want to resell it? The resell value will be lower. But if the initial color is green and you want it to be white, it will positively affect the resale.


Before repainting the car using a different color, consider the restriction in your area. In some regions, there are strict laws that prohibit/regulate color change. You can seek advice if there are provisions in the law that allows color change.

The Implications 

What are the general implications? Will painting the car help to fix the dents and scratches? Will it help your aging engine in any way? Other than affecting your pocket on the negative, you may get undesirable results. Again, the interior may get damaged when painting a different color. To avoid that, the professional will have to remove almost everything in the car’s interior. But the question remains, how comfortable is that to you. So before painting a new color, consider the implications.


Your car won’t remain new forever. After a couple of years, the paint will become dull. The surface may get scratches, rust, or even dents. Disposing of it isn’t the option; you need to repaint the car. The cost may differ depending on the labor involved. You can also paint on your own if you have experience or guidance from an experienced person. Other than repainting, you can decide to change the color of your car. Painting a different color is expensive compared to repainting. Think of its implications on the cost, resell, restrictions, and even its geographical location. When repainting, the workstation should be well-ventilated and have excellent lighting.

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