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How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car?

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The price will range from $299 to $3,000 for a professional paint and quality finish, including a full paint and buff. If you’re looking for platinum extras, such as a gloss finish or base coat clear coat, these prices begin at $1,200.

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Professional Paint Service


If you choose a professional car service to re-paint your car, there’ll typically divide their prices and standard into three tiers: basic, standard, and platinum. 


Basic usually costs between $300 and $900 and is a budget-friendly paint job that focuses on re-painting any visible areas. For this price, the service won’t include painting areas that aren’t visible, such as under the hood or between the tires. This is a one-stage job and features a typically features a limited warranty, since the cost is fairly low.


Standard costs between $1,000 and $3,500 and involves sanding the car’s body and removing any visible rust before beginning the paint job. As a result, your car will have a more attractive finish and be less likely to experience rust. Some vehicle owners can expect to pay this price if their car has a glossy finish or requires a unique color match. 


Platinum generally costs $2,000 and can be as much as $15,000 in some cases. This significant price increase is typically down to the amount of labor involved as the project will cost weeks if not months, compared to a basic service, which takes a day or two. You’ll require this high level of service if your vehicle has chips and scratches that need to be sanded down and sealed before being painted. In some cases, a mechanic will remove rust and dents before applying multiple layers of paint to the body for a thorough finish.


DIY Paint Service


If these prices deter you from using a professional service, you can always attempt to prepare and paint your vehicle by yourself. Most of the time, the entire process will cost less than $200, depending on the amount of rust and scratches you may need to remove first.


Prepare the Car


Park your car in an area that isn’t under direct sunlight. You’ll also need a large area to paint so you can reach all angles. Begin by thoroughly washing your car to remove any loose dirt and debris. Use a hose at first instead of rubbing with a sponge to prevent massaging any stones into your vehicle’s body and expanding any scratches.


To avoid getting paint in the wrong places, remove trim pieces, tail lights, and headlights form your car. You may even want to take off the side mirrors and bumper to prevent paint from splashing in any crevices. 


Any areas that you’ll paint should be wet sanded down sandpaper. Doing so will remove any dirt and scratches from your car’s body, helping to create a smooth surface to begin with. Use gentle massaging techniques and ensure the sandpaper is designed for wet use. Pay particular attention to any areas where the paint has chipped or you can see the body’s base. Spray primer is great for using on chips because it creates a smooth area to apply the paint, though, you’ll need to wait for it to dry before continuing.  


Get to Painting


Now that your vehicle is prepared, you can get to painting. Mix 50 percent paint and 50 percent mineral spirits to create a thicker consistency than water that prevents drips from going all over your car. However, don’t make the texture too thick or it’ll be difficult to spread across the body and will take a long time to dry. 


Start painting the car’s roof, the passenger side, driver’s side, passenger side of the hood, driver’s side of the hood, and continue in small panels across the vehicle. You don’t have to follow these exact steps, but it’s best to prepare the areas you’ll work on so you have a plan. 


Pour some of the paint into a tray that you’ll need for each section. You don’t want to apply too much in the tray if you won’t use all of it at one time, because there’s a chance it’ll dry up. The best painting technique is to use the brush properly to prevent brush strokes from appearing on your vehicle’s body. Apply one large blob of paint to the section you’ll be painting and run the brush through the area, spreading it across the section. 


All the while, focus on the brush’s weight to do the work for you and using the same direction for each stroke. Before you move to the next section of your vehicle’s body, ensure you spread some of the new paint over the edge to create a smooth coverage and transition. 


Look back at the sections you’ve just painted to get if there are any noticeable paint drags. If so, remove any excess paint from the paint brush and brush over the area, helping to blend out the paint drags. 


You may wish to apply multiple coats to your car. If so, ensure you allow around six hours for the coats to dry before re-applying. If once you’ve finished painting your car’s body, you notice areas of drips or sagging, take out your sandpaper and apply it to the areas to remove any imperfections.


Is Painting a Car Hard?


If you’re considering painting your car yourself, you might have wondered this question. The short answer is no, because the actual technique involved isn’t that strenuous. However, the process requires a lot of preparation work in removing components and preparing the car, so the main issue is the amount of time and effort involved.


Factors to Consider When Changing Your Car’s Color


Are you contemplating changing your car’s color? It’s a great strategy for enhancing your vehicle at a low-cost, though there are some considerations you’ll need to bear in mind.


Might Affect the Resale


Not everyone keeps their car for life and chooses to sell it and update the model. But once you’ve taken the plunge of changing your car’s body color, you could affect its overall cost. Studies have found that the most preferred car color is black, followed by silver, and then grey. If you’re contemplating blue or green, you might be massively decreasing your car’s value in the long run. 


Changing Color Won’t Fix the Real Issues


Some car owners choose to re-paint their car and change the color to mask issues, such as scratches and dents. However, adding a new layer of paint won’t fix the real issues but will just mask them and delay the time for making these fixtures. 


It’s highly important that you prepare your car before changing the color, otherwise, you could end up with a total disaster. If you’re not a professional, there’s a large chance that you could make the situation worse by highlighting the issues and creating uneven surfaces.


Time and Effort


Changing your car’s color requires a lot of time and effort. If you’re drastically changing the shade, you can’t afford to leave any patches, even in unnoticeable areas. To ensure you perform a thorough job, you’ll need to remove all components of your car—sometimes including the interior if the door panel matches the car’s body.


Things You Should Never Should With a Freshly Painted Car


Let’s say your car’s had a paint job. Here are some important factors to bear in mind post painting.


Avoid Washing it for a While


You should wait at least 30 days after the paint job before painting your job. Doing it sooner could result in wiping away areas of paint since it requires time to properly cure before experiencing soap and water.


After this timespan, ensure you use cold water and a microfiber cloth. Use gentle, soft motions to prevent any scratches, and always dry using a microfiber cloth to avoid any swirls of paint in your finish.


Avoid Wax for a While


You should also refrain from using wax for 60 days after painting. You might be tempted to think that wax will protect the new paint, but doing so hinders the curing process and creates a barrier from the gasses that the paint needs to let off.


Prevent Driving Much


With a newly painted car, you might be tempted to drive more often. But we advise against unnecessary drives until the paintwork has fully cured. Driving a lot exposes your car’s paintwork to rain and dirt, and other environmental factors.


Shelter Your Car


You should try to shelter your car anyway, but this is especially true with a new paint job. Acid rain can stain an unprotected clear coat. Plus, changes in the weather’s temperature can affect curing and leave your paintwork looking patchy and unattractive. Bird droppings and tree sap are some other factors that can affect your paintwork. The best way to prevent this is by sheltering your vehicle in a garage for added protection.


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