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Car Paint Job Cost – What You Should Know

Car RePaint Cost

 When your vehicle no longer looks like the shiny new car that you drove off the lot, you might be tempted to have the bodywork painted. Yes, having your car painting is a major investment but it’s well worth it if the paint on your car has taken a beating over the years. If you’ve been considering rejuvenating your vehicle and restoring it to its former glory, you might be wondering exactly how much a car paint job cost. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Before you take a trip to the nearest car body shop in your area, you should know that a car paint job cost is influenced by a variety of factors. You’ll find that every shop car paint job cost is dependent on the type of paint job you need to be done, skill, and quality level. 


Car Paint Job Cost – Professional Painting Job or DIY

If you’ve been obtaining expensive car paint job cost quotes from the body shops in your area, you might be tempted to repaint your vehicle yourself. However, you should first consider your reason why you want the paint job done. Are you looking to simply fix a minor cosmetic issue on your vehicle before trading it in or are you set on restoring an old vehicle that has sentimental value? A DIY paint job may be a great solution to quickly masking small cosmetic flaws. If you want to restore a vehicle and give it a full makeover the painting should be left to the pros. 


It is possible to repaint your own vehicle, this type of job requires a certain level of skill and patience. Attempting to repaint a car on your own could result in poor results. DIY paint projects are best suited for project cars you might enjoy working on during the weekends or for off-terrain vehicles that are frequently subjected to rough driving conditions picking up knocks and dings along the way. 


Car Paint Job Cost – Does My Car Really Need A Paint Job?

Some cars can last forever but the paint often lasts between five to ten years depending on the brand and of course the type of climate you live in. In areas, like Arizona where the temperature is always high, the paint on your vehicle is likely to fade faster than normal. What are some additional signs that it’s time to have your vehicle painted?


  1. Accident

If you’ve been in an automobile accident even a few scratches can begin to compromise the paint on the body. Yes, a single scratch can cause the paint to start bubbling and crackling. This can ultimately cause your car to rust and the paint to completely deteriorate. 

If you’ve recently had some bodywork done on your car after an accident you may need to have your part painted to match the rest of your vehicle.


  1. Peeling Clear Coat

Has the clear coating on your vehicle started peeling? Factory applied clear coating is a protective layer that protects the base coat from direct exposure to elements that can be harmful such as UV rays and even bird feces. When the clear coat starts peeling back not only can be unsightly but the base coat will be exposed and will likely wear away at a faster rate. 


  1. Rust

Rust is a major auto paint concern that can be destructive and affect your car’s overall appearance. Rusting usually occurs when the paint starts to chip and peel off. This can be a result of scratches and dents on the body of your vehicle. From high temperatures in the summer and really low temperatures in the winter; even extreme weather temperatures can cause rusting.


  1. Current condition of your vehicle

Overall, it’s important to consider the current condition of your vehicle before you go all out and invest in a new paint job. If the body on your car is starting to look like bare metal, the clear coating has completely peeled off or there are a lot of dings and scratches all over the body of the vehicle then it may be worth it to have your vehicle repainted. 


Is Your Car Worth A New Paint Job


When considering a car paint job cost, you’ll have to decide whether your vehicle is worth the investment. Most people end up purchasing a new car before they put the money into having their old vehicle repainted. That’s why before you make your final decision, you should take some time to analyze your relationship and commitment you have to your vehicle. Here are few questions you should ask yourself:


  • Will I be driving this vehicle five to ten years from now?
  • Is my car mechanically sound?
  • Is the car paint job cost worth thirty percent of my vehicle?
  • Why do I want to have my car repainted? Do I plan on reselling or do I need to fix some cosmetic issues?
  • Can you afford to be without your car for a long period of time while it’s being repainted?


No doubt, slapping a fresh coat of paint on your vehicle will give you a sense of pride as you cruise around town. However, this is a major investment and you’ll want to make sure that it makes sense.


Car Paint Job Cost – What’s the Average Price?


How much money can you expect to pay to have your car repainted? The average car paint job cost can range anywhere between $300 -$10,000 depending on the quality of the paint itself and the complexity of the vehicle. A single coat of enamel paint can cost a car owner between $300-$900 with the average cost being approximately $960. Yet a mid-level professional paint job that requires prep work such as eradicating rust, smoothing out dents, and then applying a higher quality of paint can cost about $1,000 to $3500. 


You’ll get the higher price range of a car paint job cost for custom paint jobs, multi-colored flakes, and higher end paints. Smaller jobs such as painting the bumper to match the vehicle or adding a racing stripe to a vehicle are much cheaper than having the entire vehicle repainted. 


The final car paint job cost is determined by a plethora of factors including;


 Size of the Vehicle

The car paint job cost is often determined by the size of the vehicle. Smaller vehicles typically cost less to paint while you can expect to pay more with vehicles that are bigger. Painting a small Rav4 is going to be a lot cheaper than having a Cadillac Eldorado repainted. Bigger cars are expensive to paint because more gallons of paint are required to cover the entire “real estate” of the vehicle. 


Body Repair Work Needed

Does your car have lots of dents, scratches, or even some rusting? Paint should be applied to a smooth and even surface so you’ll have to have these cosmetic issues repaired before paint is applied. The more prep work a shop has to do to prepare your vehicle to be painted the more money you should expect to pay. 


Desired Color

Mainstream colors like white, black, and gray cost less per gallon. Painting your vehicle in one of these basic and neutral colors is the cheapest route to take. If you’re interested in a specialty color or a custom color mix job then you should expect to pay more. 


Paint Quality and Preferences

High-quality paints that are applied in multilayers are very expensive. However, simple single coat jobs using basic quality paint are typically much cheaper. Metal flake and candy coat colors come with a hefty price tag. 


Finishing Time

In case you didn’t know, having your car painted will take some time especially if you’re investing in a premium or higher-quality paint job. It can take a week or two before your vehicle is ready to pick up so you should definitely factor in the cost of renting a replacement vehicle or using ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft to get around while your vehicle is being worked on.


Car Paint Job Cost – Different Types of Paint Jobs and How Much They Cost

Most auto body shops offer four main types of paint jobs each of which varies in price which includes:


Basic Level 

A basic level paint job is meant to simply refresh your vehicle’s appearance by applying a single-stage enamel During this type of paint job, all the necessary chemicals are applied in one stage so the process is usually quick. This is a great option if you’re interested in a moderate shine. You should know that a single-stage paint finish doesn’t include any type of clear coating to protect from exposure to the weather. The average car paint job cost for a single-stage paint job is less than $1,000.


Mid Level Paint Job

A mid-level paint job typically includes urethane paint which is also applied in a single application process will give your vehicle a nice glossy finish. This type of paint is way more resistant than enamel and offers some protection against natural elements. This paint is popular within the automotive industry because it’s durable and it doesn’t require any clear finishing coat. Quality urethane paint costs about $90 a gallon so the average car paint job cost using this type of paint is about $1500.


Premium Paint Job

Premium paint jobs include a two stage paint application process in which you can expect an accurate color matching, glossy finish, and a urethane sealer applied to the vehicle. During a premium level paint job high-quality paint is used such as higher end urethane paints. Also, premium paint jobs are ideal for cars that have minor cosmetic flaws that need to be buffed out. 


Platinum Paint Job

If you’re interested in transforming your car’s appearance by using high-quality paint a platinum level paint job is the ideal choice. This type of paint job is accompanied by scratch repair, priming, and block sanding. If you desire an expensive finish such as metallic you the car paint job cost can get quite expensive. A platinum-level paint job can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3500. 


Car Paint Job Cost – How To Save Money 

Auto body painting is an art and if you want a flawless finish you should expect to spend some serious cash. How can you get your vehicle repainted without breaking the bank? Fortunately, there are some ways you can minimize a car paint job cost. 


Fix Cosmetic Flaws Yourself

If you have dents in your car, consider pulling them out yourself with a DIY dent puller. This can greatly reduce the amount of prep work that goes into preparing your car for a paint job. Also, it will cost way more money to have the auto body shop where you plan on getting your paint job done to remove the dents from your vehicle. 


When it comes to chipped paint you can sand down and prime these areas yourself using auto body sandpaper which is similar to wood sandpaper. Using the corners of the sandpapers you can smooth out the chipped areas. You can use a toothpick or a nail brush to apply the primer. 


Remove All the Trim and Extra Stuff Yourself

When a vehicle is repainted all the trim and extra stuff such as headlights, wipers, and the taillights and moldings are removed. You can do this work yourself to cut down on labor costs. 


Clear Communication Is Key

There should be clear communication with the auto body shop when it comes to the final bill. Communicating your boundaries on your budget for car paint job costs is imperative so that the shop doesn’t go over your budget by repairing any discoveries they may uncover during the paint job without discussing it with you first. 


Car Paint Job Cost – The Bottom Line

Once you make the decision to have your car repainted, finding out the car paint job cost for the different auto painting services available can help you budget correctly. Like with anything in life you get what you pay for so you’ll want to make sure you invest in a quality paint job.


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