DIY Car Paint: How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

No matter how well you maintain your car, time will take its toll and leave scratches, dirt, grime, etc. on the body, while external elements like sunlight and rain also contribute to significant damage. It is necessary to
paint your car to get rid of these defects and give your vehicle a new look altogether!

Car painting jobs can easily be available at your nearest auto shop at any price. If you plan to paint your car and want to know what would be the expense, keep reading this article to find out the answer.

AutoWagons brings to you a guide on how much does it cost to paint a car and how can you paint your car yourself if you want to save cost and do some DIY!

Factors that affect Car Paint Job prices

The average price for car paint jobs can fall anywhere between $200 to $5000. But the final price of the car paint job will depend on the factors mentioned below:

1) The Right Auto Shop

Car Paint job price varies from place to place. Different shops offer competitive prices and services vary from one city to the next. So it is difficult to find the right auto shop that will be the best for your vehicle and that will get the job done quicker and better. It is advisable to ask around about particular shops before making any final decision.

2) The Size and Design of the Vehicle

The most important factor is the size of the car you own. The larger your vehicle, the more paint would be required to get the job done. This means more money would be required. Car design complexity is also a critical factor that is taken into consideration in order to estimate labor costs.

3) Materials Used

DIY: How To Paint Your Car Yourself And How Much Would A Paint Job Cost?

The choice of material depends on what the metallic qualities, pattern, shade and finish your car has at present. Based on this the paint can be selected. Your paint material choice can be-

  • Acrylic Lacquer Paint ($ 40 per gallon onwards)
  • Enamel Paint ($ 50 per gallon onwards)
  • Urethane-based Paint ($ 80 per gallon onwards)
  • Water-based Paint ($ 120 per gallon onwards)

Choosing the right brand is important as you don’t want to be stuck with purchasing cheap paint and end up ruining the finish of your car. So it is recommended taking advice from an expert before making any decision.

4) Hours of Labor Invested

This factor is tough to estimate accurately. This is because the quality of labor work cannot be quantified. Labor cost also varies from region to region and that is why you can’t have a fixed price. Nevertheless, for any quick car paint jobs, you could expect the labor cost to be below $500, as there won’t be any preparations done.

The labor cost also gets calculated based on the size of the vehicle and what auto shop you choose. So, if you want to go for more upper-end labor costs, you could expect the costs to touch or go over $ 5,000.

5) Quality of Paint Used

Another factor that affects car paint job pricing is the quality of the paint that will be used. High-end paints cost more money, but last longer. These high-end paints are better, more durable and make your car more resistant to chipping or peeling.

When it comes to long-term car care, these paints can also offer a warranty that is something to think about. Cheaper paint will cost you a lot less, but it is tough to get the benefits of high-end paint. It’s a trade-off that’s really up to you to decide.

6) Other factors

Other factors like touch-up, full paint job, type of color selected, number of paint layers, etc. have to be considered in order to estimate the actual paint job cost.

Its recommended that you should check out different Auto paint shops that are reputable and/or licensed in order to get the final estimate for the car painting job.

Types Of Auto Painting Jobs & Costs

Auto body shops offer many levels of service to match varied budgets and requirements.

Based on the factors mentioned earlier, different types of Auto Paint Jobs can be classified as follows:

Basic Paint Job

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This is the most inexpensive paint job as it involves as few coats as possible, using synthetic enamel paint. It costs from $300 to $900. Painters generally don’t paint areas that aren’t visible, such as under the hood.

Standard Paint Job

Standard paint jobs typically include sanding the body and removing rust before the paint job. Costs are between $1000 and $3500.

Premium Paint Job

DIY: How To Paint Your Car Yourself And How Much Would A Paint Job Cost?

This is showroom quality service where the bodywork is sanded down to bare metal, so rust, dents, and scratches are totally removed. Several coats of top quality paint are applied, and the costs could go up to $20000 or more.

DIY Auto Painting & Cost

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Professional painting isn’t normally advised for older vehicles as the costs might be quite high. You can purchase the contents from hardware and automotive stores, but significant time and effort have to be invested.

You will require

  1. gloss paint,
  2. primer,
  3. foam brushes,
  4. paint trays,
  5. masking tape,
  6. sandpaper,
  7. mineral spirits for cleaning.

DIY projects can be completed within $100!

Check out this video if you want to paint your car using the DIY method:

Quality or Price – What Is The Priority?

Every car owner looks for a cost-effective service that is easy on the pocket, so when you get in touch with body shops for quotes regarding car painting, the lowest price offer is definitely the most tempting.

But low ball quotations might mean a low-quality paint job, using inferior materials. Rather than removing trim, the painters may simply mask it off; and they may not paint areas that aren’t visible.

Furthermore, the quotation might not include certain services that the auto painters charge as an additional rate.

Talk to the painters beforehand and find out what their price covers. If possible look at previous examples of their work, so you can rest assured about quality.

Those attempting a DIY project have to find an appropriate location to paint the vehicle, because they won’t have access to climate-controlled booths like body shops that are designed to limit the amount of dust and dirt that might come into contact with the paint and ruin the finish.

It is best to paint your car in a clean and thoroughly ventilated garage.


Painting your car is an opportunity to try a new look with a different color or may be even rejuvenate its original look. However, car paint job is a long process that involves special tools and skills. That is why many believe it is a job best left to a professional.

If you try a low cost car paint job, the work may not be as per your expectations, leaving you upset with the results.

For the best results go for a reliable paint job where the auto body shop should first remove the old paint on the car and fix any damage that is present. Damage can include:

  • Scratches
  • Dents
  • Pits
  • Holes
  • Rust spots

These would be slightly expensive but worth it!

Whenever you make your mind, always be sure to figure out How Much Does It Cost To Paint a Car.

After finding out the overall costs, consider your budget carefully. Also you can consider paying by credit card that can give you reward points or even cash back.

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11 thoughts on “DIY Car Paint: How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car?

  • July 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the article. I wanted to ask you something though… Would you recommend someone try painting their car themselves? Or should a shop do it? I’m getting ready to paint my Suzuki in my garage so I’m gathering up any advice I can get. Eagerly awaiting your reply.

  • July 10, 2019 at 3:26 am

    Hi there, great post! Quick question though, Do you know what the average price is to paint a car a different color? My brother is wanting to paint his jeep but he doesn’t have a ton of cash to work with. Looking forward to your reply! 🙂

  • July 10, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!|

  • September 8, 2019 at 2:36 am

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  • September 26, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    A car might last forever. But the paint of the speed machine may only last 4-5 years. A fresh coat of paint can revive your ride effortlessly. The condition of paint affects the value of the speed machine. Depending on the kind of paint you are using, the cost of paint will vary. A single-coat enamel paint job costs ~$500. A mid-level paint job can range from $1000 to $3,500. Better you do paintwork at a reputable car service center to do the task effectively at a genuine price.

  • October 1, 2019 at 10:16 am

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