Updated at: 05-06-2022 - By: Lucas

Whether you want to make your old car look new or you just need to paint a damaged car, you can be sure that a new paint job will make your car look good.

Even if you are getting ready to sell that car, a fresh coat of paint can make it worth more. But you might wonder if you have enough money to pay for a new paint job on your car.

Factors That Affect The Cost Of Painting A Car

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The truth is that the cost of getting your whole car painted will depend on a number of things. Here are some of those things:

The size of the car or truck

How good the car paint you want to use is

The level of detail in the process of getting ready to paint

Also, what do you want to achieve with this new paint job? Do you just want something cheap and quick that will do? Or do you want something of higher quality, like a restoration project or fixing up your favourite car?

When you look up how much it costs to paint a car, you’ll find prices that range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. But before you get too excited about the low prices, you should think about what it really costs to go cheap.

A cheap automobile painting quote means:

The quality of the paint might not be the same as what was on the car before.

Most new cars have a clear coat finish, which you probably won’t get.

The car won’t have any small dents or dings fixed before it’s painted.

Basically, if you choose a cheap quote for painting your car, you won’t get the same level of care and quality as if you paid more.

Price Ranges For Vehicle Paint Jobs

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CostHelper, a website that tracks prices across the country, says that painting an auto can cost anywhere from $300 to more than $20,000. Yes, that’s a huge range of prices, and it doesn’t tell you much about what to expect from a quote.

So, let’s look into this a little more.

Low Priced Auto Painting Jobs

In the United States, the average price for painting a car on the low end, or the cheapest end, is between $300 and $900. And the average amount paid by people who choose this price range is about $550.

In this price range, you can expect the following:

cheap enamel paints made from chemicals

the least amount of paint that was put on the car

places like the door jams and inside the hood don’t get painted.

Instead of taking off the trim and parts that can be taken off, they are covered up.

CostHelper says that about 33% of people who choose this price range are unhappy with the results.

Mid-Level Priced Auto Painting Jobs

In the United States, the average price for painting a vehicle on the medium end of the scale is between $1,000 and $3,500. And the average amount paid by people who choose this price range is about $1,300.

In this price range, you can expect the following:

brand-name, better-quality paint

three to five coats of clear coat paint to protect and give the car a shiny finish

Painting could be done inside or on the engine.

sanding and getting rid of rust spots and dents are usually part of the process.

CostHelper says that most people are happy with the results when they choose this price range.

Expensive Priced Auto Painting Jobs

In the United States, the national average for the most expensive car painting jobs is between $2,500 and over $20,000, which is the high end of the price range. And the average amount paid by people who choose this price range is around $5,000.

Keep in mind that a paint job that costs this much is considered to be of show room quality. So, it’s the best you can get for your money.

In this price range, you can expect the following:

highest quality paint for cars

20–24 layers of paint, including 6–8 layers of clear coat, are applied.

There are high-end options like details done by an air brush artist and two-tone metallic paint jobs.

sanding the car down to the bare metal and getting any dents out

process takes at least a month

CostHelper says that people who choose this price range are happy with the results 100% of the time.

Things To Keep In Mind

Before picking a price range and calling a local auto body painter, there are a few things you should think about.

What Type Of Paint Job Do You Really Need?

You might like the idea of giving your old car a fresh coat of paint, but you should stop and think about whether you really need to.

Is it only a small part of the car that needs to be repainted? Or does the paint need to be touched up on a lot of the car’s frame?

Of course, if you live in a very sunny place, you might not have any choice but to repaint the whole house. This is because the sun’s rays fade and damage the paint, making it hard to just touch up parts of the paint.

Or, you may live in a cooler climate where the salt on the roads or salt from the sea has caused a lot of rust spots on your car’s frame. In this case, you’ll also have to do a full paint job instead of just a touch-up.

If you know this ahead of time, you can make a better choice about the best price range for your needs.

Does Your Budget Meet Your Needs?

Now that you know what kind of car painting you really need, you should check to see if your budget can cover it.

If the car is very old and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on painting it, you should choose a cheap option. But if you’re restoring something like a classic car, you should shell out the cash for the best paint restoration.

Are You Using The Paint As A Coverup?

Are there problems with your car that are much worse than the paint job it has now? If so, don’t waste time and money painting it instead of taking care of the real problems.

If you did this, it would be like putting lipstick on a pig, which is a phrase you might have heard.

Plus, the new paint will probably make any visual flaws even more obvious than they were before, which is something you don’t want, do you?

Know What’s Included In The Quote

Not all auto body painters include the same services in their quotes, so make sure you know what’s included before you agree to use the company.

For example, if you need to fix some dents and dings, make sure that this is included in the quote you get from the vehicle painting shop.

This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re paying for, and there won’t be any surprises when the job is done.

What’s The Warranty

Before you agree to hire painters, you’ll also want to know what kind of warranty they’ll give you on the job.

On the low end, the cheapest car paint jobs will come with a warranty of six months to a year. Most of the time, the quotes that cost more cover you for five to ten years. And for the middle-priced quotes, you can expect a warranty that lasts about three years.

Check Their Work

You should also look at the other cars the shop has painted before you agree to use them. The best thing to do is to go to the shop in person and look at the cars that are already done.

You can also ask them for names of customers they’ve worked with in the past who you can call. This will tell you what people who have used the company think about the work.

What About DIY Auto Painting Costs?

If you know a lot about cars and are good with them, you might be tempted to do it yourself and paint your car. Even though most people shouldn’t do this, it is possible.

And yes, it is cheaper than paying a place like Maaco to paint your car. In fact, the time it takes to finish the project will be your biggest cost.

Some of the things you might need are:

Gloss paint


Foam brooms

Paint trays

Sprayer for paint

Masking tape


Mineral spirits are used to clean.

You will also need a good place to paint the car. And unlike auto body shops, you probably don’t have a climate-controlled garage that keeps dirt and dust from getting on the paint and ruining the finish.

As you can see, we don’t think you should paint your own car.

Why Is It So Expensive To Paint A Car?

After learning how much it costs to get a car painted, you might wonder why it costs so much to get it back to “showroom quality.” This is especially true if you have an old car that is worth less than what it would cost to paint.

There are a few factors that add up to make the price so high.

There needs to be a lot of paint, so the cost of materials goes up.

Getting the car fixed costs more if it has any damage.

It is possible to take off the original paint, which takes a long time.

There may be parts of the car that need to be taken apart, which takes time.

As you can see, painting a car involves a lot more than just the cost of the paint and the time it takes to spray the frame with the new colour. There is a lot of time involved, so quotes also include the cost of labour.