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How Much Does It Cost To Get a Car Painted?

A professional painter painting a car.

Painting the body of a car is the best alternative to renewing the original image. It will even make it look completely different and attractive.

The paint job can fluctuate in price depending on what is chosen; the basic level, which starts at $300 and goes up to $900; the standard level, which begins at $1,000 and increases to $4,500. In the showroom quality, the cost can go up to as much as $20,000.

In the meantime, the DIY painting service is priced at $200, but it will depend on the color of the paint, quality, the workshop and the budget chosen.

To know how much it costs to paint a car in the USA, the most important thing is to always look for the best professional service, since the cheaper it is, the worse the paint job is in most cases.

What Are the Factors That Impact the Actual Price?

A professional painter painting a car.

If I were interested in painting my car, for example, it would be important to first consider a series of factors that intervene in the price to improve the appearance of the vehicle. There are some essential things that I would do and consider below:

Car dimensions: the type and size of the vehicle are aspects to consider because it is one of the main factors that affect spending. For example, painting a large SUV is not the same as painting a small coupe. Of course, the price would be higher.

Paint color: the tone of the paint is important when choosing it. Not all paint colors are the same, they vary according to color, quality, and price. Painting in popular shades can come out cheaper. Black or white colors are easier to paint.

On the other hand, paint made with higher quality offers longer life and is therefore more expensive, while standard car paint colors are cheaper. Changing the paint color from its original color is going to cost more because it requires additional work.

Paint Finish: The paint finish is established by the extent of gloss the paint has. Everything will depend on the style. Prices also differ for cars that already have a semi-gloss, matte, or gloss or finish.

The category of the establishment: in the first place, it is essential to carry out an investigation of the body shops. It is possible to find places where they carry out painting work at affordable and quality prices.

However, care needs to be taken with this, especially with the price and the quality. They must be associated, especially as it relates to painting a car in the USA. a very cheap body shop is chosen, the quality of work may not offer a high level of attention and dedication.

Should I Go for the Professional Car Painter or Just Do It at Home?

A clear shot of spray gun for painting.

It is important to carefully consider whether to choose a professional or settle for Do-It-Yourself paint job. There are specific things to take into account, such as:

  • The objective of the painting:
  • Fast solution prior to the sale of the car
  • Painting the car just to get attention

 A DIY option can add to the price of a wrecked vehicle, though, it won’t make it any better. Admittedly, painting a vehicle as a DIY project involves perseverance, expertise, specific tools, and various choices of paints necessary to do the paint job.

Without the appropriate expertise, it is likely that the painting result will not be as high quality as desired. This type of do-it-yourself work is sometimes best on older cars or ATVs, which often get scratches and dents.

For those seeking restoration service of a family car or collector’s car to its initial condition, it’s best to look for the professional services of an auto body shop where experts use up to 24 coats of paint for an  even finish and great gloss that will last over time.

What Are the Professional Car Painting Prices?

A professional painter painting a car.

Many auto body shops dedicated to painting services offer customers various prices, depending on their requirements and budgets. The main types of service are described below. 

The Basic Level – This is the least costly paint job that requires fewer layers of coats. Most times, the auto body professional will use synthetic paint. 

With this kind of basic painting job, it is common for painters to focus on the areas of the vehicle that are not noticeably visible. For instance: the inner part of the hood.  Usually, the basic price starts at $300 and goes up to $900.

The Standard Level – The cost of this level of painting will usually include sanding the car to prepare it for painting and then removing any prior rust. The goal is to achieve an eye-catching finish. The standard level cost could start from $1,000 and go up to as much as $4,500.

The Showroom Quality Level – This process calls for sanding the car down to its bare metal. This means that all the dents and rust have to be removed.

After this is done, the auto bodywork professional will apply as many as 24 coats of high-quality paint. The process could take up to a month and the cost for showroom quality could be as high as $20,000 in specific cases.

The cost of Do-It-Yourself Car paint?

A man holding a spray guy.

This type of work on older cars, the price of professional painting can be highly exaggerated. In cases like this, the other option could be to learn how to paint a car to save on expenses.

The materials needed are available at any auto and hardware store for $200. The other aspect to consider is putting in the labor, time and effort.

What Materials Are Needed?

It is important to have the right tools and materials for the job. Make sure they are all available once the work begins. These could include:

  • Brightly colored paint
  • Paint trays
  • Foam brushes
  • Heavy duty tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Alcohol and other cleaning products

With such a project, there may be concerns such as the adequate space availability to paint the car. The best thing is, if you have a DIY project to paint the car, it should be done in a clean and ventilated garage.

It is important to note that many body shops have special places with temperature and climate control attributes. They have been designed for the restriction of dust and dirt from the paint, so it does not damage the finish.

Should You Think About the Quality Over the Price?

A man finishing a car paint.

The goal should be finding a cost-effective service. This means doing research to find the best price. Once contact is made with the auto body professional or company, ask for price quotes and compare them. It is quite tempting to accept the lower cost.

However, that may not be the best decision or option. Playing lowball may end up being a nightmare, since most of those options involve poor quality work, cheap materials and avoiding certain important requirements.

For example, in a lowball quote, the auto bodywork professional may not remove the vehicle’s trim, but instead mask it. In addition, they may avoid painting those non-visible areas.

Added to all this, the quote may exclude important steps that other auto body workers would include as additional fees. For example, they may not sand the vehicle well, painting over dents and rusts.

Prior to making a choice, ask certain questions such as the steps taken to paint the vehicle. In the quote, there should be details given for every price point. It is important to double check whether prepping and sanding is included in the cost.


There are varying factors for consideration as to the cost of painting a vehicle. It is essential for good research, comparison shopping, and learning what to look for.

It is easy for an auto body shop to do a subpar job, charge the same fee and then the vehicle has hidden things that cannot be disputed afterwards. Be careful.