How to Price a Paint Job for a Car

by Meaghan Ellis

A paint job is an automotive service done to restore and/or customize a car to a specific preference or style. Paint jobs have become quite creative over the years, ranging from one color to multiple colors, along with graphic designs and other digital stencil art designs. The price of the service can vary vastly depending on the paint quality and finish, the make and model of the car being painted, and technicality of the graphic design. The reputation of the paint shop is also an important factor in the price of the paint job.

Compile a list that contains exactly what you want done to the car. Whether the car needs a touch-up or full paint job is a large factor in the cost. This can be used as your brainstorming session, so you can begin building a foundation for the paint job cost. (Use the rest of the following steps to compile the entire list.)

Decide the color you want the car to be. If you want to change the color of the car, the price will increase, as more labor is required. The older paint car will have to be scraped from the car before new paint can be applied.

Choose the type of paint you want. That choice will affect the cost. The cost of the paint varies greatly, as low quality paint prices compared to premium paint prices can vary from between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.

Determine the number of paint layers you want to have applied to the car. The deeper the layers and number of paint coats, the better the paint job looks.

Factor in the size of the car. Most paint shops consider this a large factor in determining a price, because the size of the car affects the cost of paint and labor.

Visit your local paint shops to see their work in person, and get a price quote based on the preferences you've compiled.


  • check A full paint job can cost anywhere from $5000 to $10,000, based on the paint's quality and durability. Be sure to keep the concept of quality in mind when pricing your paint job. Paint jobs that are in the lower price bracket tend to come with cheaper paint that chips over time. The paint job may also look dull over a shorter period than it should. In most cases, if the price falls directly in the median or higher, the quality will give you much more satisfaction, as the paint coats and layers will be deeper, the shine will be evident, and the paint job will show more signs of longevity.


  • close Avoid paint shops that are not reputable or licensed. Most unlicensed paint shops do extremely good work for much lower prices, but unfortunately, accidents and mistakes are always bound to happen in any situation. In most cases, if the shop is not licensed, it will not accept blame for any accidents, mistakes, or damage, as you chose to use their shop. So use only reputable, licensed paint shops unless you are more than sure you can trust their work.

About the Author

Meaghan Ellis has been writing short stories, newspaper articles, Web content and product research reports for over 12 years. While double majoring in business management and marketing at Southern University, she runs a home-based graphic design and Web content business.

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