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Auto Painting Cost

How Much Does Auto Painting Cost?

low costLow: $300-$900average costMedium: $1,000-$3,500high costHigh: $2,500-$20,000+
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Professionals generally use paint spray guns to evenly apply automotive paint. It is important that the colors are properly mixed and applied smoothly, and in layers; an auto paint job can include 12-24 coats of paint, or more.

Typical costs:

  • Some shops offer a paint job for about $300-$900. In this price range, a shop typically uses an inexpensive synthetic enamel paint with a minimum number of coats; they might not paint areas like the door jams or inside the hood; and, in some cases, they may simply mask off rather than take off removable trim and parts (which can result in harsh masking edges or paint in unwanted areas). CostHelper readers report paying $400-$875 for a basic auto paint job at an average price of $566; about a third of these readers say they are unhappy with the results.
  • Expect to pay $1,000-$3,500 for a more thorough paint job using higher-quality, brand-name paint, with costs varying depending on the make, model and condition of the vehicle (the amount of rust and number of dents or scratches), and whether any interior or engine-area painting is included. In this price range, the process typically includes additional prep work (sanding, removing rust spots and dents) and ends with three to five applications of clear coat car paint[1] to protect the base paint color and to create a smooth, glossy final look. CostHelper readers report paying $1,000-$1,800 for a mid-quality paint job, at an average cost of $1,316; most are happy with the results.
  • A showroom-quality custom or specialty auto paint job can cost $2,500-$20,000 or more, depending on the make, model and condition of the vehicle, the location, and what is included. This typically includes the highest quality automotive paint (some of which can cost hundreds of dollars a quart); sanding the vehicle down to bare metal, removing any dents, and applying 20-24 layers of paint, including six to eight applications of clear coat; and high-end options such as details by an air brush artist or a two-tone metallic paint job. The process can take up to a month or longer. CostHelper Readers report spending $2,400-$7,500 for high-quality auto painting, with an average cost of $4,975; all report they are satisfied with the final results.
Related articles: Auto Detailing, Window Tinting, Windshield Replacement and Repair, Towing a Car, Chrome Wheels, Tires

What should be included:
  • Before painting, the surface of the vehicle should be cleaned, sanded and primed. Professional auto painting is typically done in a well-lit (and sometimes climate-controlled) paint booth, to minimize dust and debris that might mar the paint finish. Precision Restorations in Saint Louis, MO, provides a video demonstration of auto painting techniques[2] in a paint booth inside an auto body repair shop.
  • Warranties can vary from six months to a year on low-cost paint jobs with basic paint, to five years or a lifetime warranty for custom paint jobs with high-end materials. The warranty terms will vary depending on the shop and the materials used; always ask what is covered.
  • Auto paint shops may periodically offer discounts of $50-$150 or more. For example, One Day Paint posts its monthly discounts[3] online.
  • Some consumers save up to $200-$300 or more by doing the prep work themselves -- sanding the vehicle, and removing or masking the parts that aren't going to be painted. has a photo gallery[4] illustrating the steps to prepare a vehicle for painting.
  • Do-it-yourself auto painting is possible, but it can be time-consuming and exacting work. Supplies can cost $100-$1,500, depending on the quality of paint ($100-$1,000) and the need to purchase tools like an automotive paint sprayer ($40-$600) or sander and sandpaper ($40-$250). Mopar Muscle Magazine explains how to paint a car[5] .
Shopping for auto painting:
  • Auto painting is typically done by shops specializing in auto painting and body work. Many are small, local businesses, although there are regional chains like 1 Day Paint & Body Centers[6] (in California, Nevada and New Mexico), and Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Paint[7] is a national chain of locally-owned franchises (policies and procedures vary between franchise owners). Always check for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[8] for a specific shop or franchise location.
  • Before selecting a shop, look at recently painted cars in its parking lot, to see the quality of work done; ask which level of work was done on each vehicle. lists tips for finding an auto paint shop[9] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

Page 5 of 5   -   << Previous   1   2   3   4   5   

painting cars
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Bobby Trent in Richmond, VA.Posted: December 17th, 2014 07:12AM
Car Make: allCar Model:
Painter: myself
i have been painting cars for forty years, starting out in the early seventies when I could paint a car for about a hundred dollars. A lacquer job would be triple the price because of the buffing required. Now paint costs hundreds of dollars per gallon and labor costs are upwards of 50.00 plus per hour. I as many others that have posted here refuse to enslave myself to a customer to paint his car. If you can get your car painted on the cheap then you will get what you pay for. Maaco serves a purpose for you just get color on it and don't worry about how it looks years from now. Just look at it like this : when I go off to work my boss is obligated to pay me a certain amount. If I am qualified I might make a lot of money if I barely do the job I might get minimum wage. When you hire body shop you are paying for his experience and hopefully you pick one that is not a low level criminal as many in this business are.
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Chrysler convertibel
Amount: $700.00
Posted by: Heinz Heller in Hallandale, FL.Posted: October 31st, 2014 11:10AM
Car Make: ChryslerCar Model: convertible 2008
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Do it yourself!
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Rwhprism in Rochester, NY.Posted: August 22nd, 2014 05:08PM
Car Make: Mid sizeCar Model: Sedan
Painter: You!
I use paints ordered online for about $200. Get a base coat, clear coat combination. Much easier for a novice. Paint for cars has several nice varieties and if you want to go crazy, add paint with pearl additives to the clear coat for nearly any sharp effect. Hard to get the pears right but do the research on hw to shoot these and you will be pretty good if you follow directions. Pearls cost another $50 or so. And they add into the clear coat. The hardest part is the spray set up.
I use a garage surrounded with tyvek and a furnace blower fan. You can get a great HVLP gun for harbor freight for less than $60. You will need some compressor power. the LEAST I would use is 2 hp. And then only if I was spraying small . you Can use 2/3 parallel compressors if you have a regulator to dial pressure back to about 60 psi. Here's what's critical :
Cool the air before you extract water. I use copper tube in cold water before $100 regulator
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Amount: $6,000.00
Posted by: willam in glasgow, KY.Posted: August 21st, 2014 09:08PM
Car Make: chevyCar Model: camaro
Painter: local shop
had my 99 Camaro completely re-painted from top to bottom from dark indigo blue to blood red by a local shop..i knew going in it was gonna be pricy and when he told me 6,000.00 I was not surprised..but his shop does amazing work and for amazing work you gotta pay a amazing price..from the time I dropped it off to the time I picked it up was 3 months..but if you seen my Camaro now you would is HOT!!!!!
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Paint job hell
Amount: $2,200.00
Posted by: Larry Hillman in Columbus, OH.Posted: July 16th, 2014 12:07AM
Car Make: MercedesCar Model: S 420
Painter: Mark Dunlap
Dropped car off 02/02/14 for paint job, was to be ready 02/12/14. Finally got it back 02/17/14 with white compound in cracks. I was told to bring back in a week and a half to have buffed to remove bubbles and dullness. It took until June 10th to catch him at the shop. Phone calls were unanswered, no reply to texts. Only surface rust was sanded, no trim or panels removed, was to repair trunk, did not, lines in paint, chips in paint were only painted over and areas not painted. After dropping off 06/13 he did not paint my car until 07/12 and each day there is another excuse why he has not finished. I will take my car, done of not, today and he has the nerve to bad mouth Macco.
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Paint job on a pre-runner
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: Lancer in Riverside, CA.Posted: March 10th, 2013 01:03AM
Painter: Macco?
I have a long travel pre runner ford ranger extra cab that just had all new fiber glass trophy bed sides and new badd ass front clip added.. It was silver stock.... But now it's cab is still silver and role-cage are the same but some are rusty... And new glass is blue.... So now is all jacked up.... Although I know it's a pre runner, so who cares right??? Well I do. Lol I don't know you get what you pay for, but I still want. Good job that won't peel of in a year... I want it to be at least prepped... Sanded , and sprayed Matt Black... And maybe a clear coat... How much will this aprox. Cost me? Can I expect it to be Decent for about $600??? Or am I to hopeful? And I would like to have the jams done as well... But I don't really expect show quality...
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What do you think?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Hugh in Nj, NJ.Posted: January 4th, 2013 07:01PM
Want to get a dodge charger painted white and get the trim changed to black. What do you think that the price would be for a quality job?
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maaco sucks !!
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Cadaver Puncher in Brockton, MA.Posted: September 17th, 2012 05:09PM
Car Make: CamaroCar Model:
Painter: nobody yet
I had my Camaro tboned on the drivers side. Went to maaco for an estimate to replace the door and respray the car black.
I was quoted $3500.
SO.... I got a door put it on myself, block sanded the entire car by hand, primered it, went back 2 months later for a respray estimate... $5500.

WTF? I did all the prep work. Hell rent me the shop for the next couple days and I'll spray it myself.
Maaco is the masters of deception. STAY AWAY paint it in your'll turn out 2346426798755% better than maaco.
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Botched Job by Amateur
Amount: $50,000.00
Posted by: Hazel in Toronto, Other.Posted: April 5th, 2012 05:04PM
Car Make: 1991 InfinitiCar Model: G20
Painter: Robert - On the Spot Auto
While the car works, it is old so didn't want to spend $2,000 on a paint job - there's no return on that investment. Robert ran an ad on Craigslist saying he would paint in your driveway and that he could fix rust holes small or large. His original quote was $450 and he added another $50 when he shows up to do the job for material costs. Turned out that I had a fairly large on on the right side rocker panel. He used some kind tin foil which is now hanging off the car bottom and the soft putty-like material that was there a day ago has dried to become brittle like parchment paper and now cracks. He painted the rocker panel area black with rust-proof paint. Robert answered my first call back about the problem but now will not answer my calls, he sends my call to voicemail every time. I have sent him a text message, in addition to a voicemail message so far to no avail. Anyone coming across his Craigslist or Kijiji ads needs to avoid him so as not to get ripped off. What an amateur.
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car paint
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: harland 123 in Decatur, GA.Posted: June 29th, 2011 09:06PM
Car Make: fordCar Model: mustang
Painter: local
hello,let me start by saying this,more than sometimes u get what u paid for but, if its also in the quality, of the painter and or body man i had little to 0 bodywork less than 200$ if u scale it,but the painter was on point, the car looks great I get rave reveiws every time i drive it,so the answer to the age old question ....just seek and u will find....
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Paint a car?
Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Caseyinidaho in Nampa, ID.Posted: June 23rd, 2011 10:06PM
Car Make: 1962 FordCar Model: Falcon
Painter: me myself and I
no offense.. but really your stupid... 8,000 for a new car paint job? get serious.. only spend that if you have a classic like my 1962 ford falcon where its gona matter more to the car in value terms lol.. i heard of really fancey paint jobs on classics starting 4,000 - 7,000 so IDK how your new car is costing more? lol sounds like you got ripped off bad- it only cost 150.00 - 500.00 for a amazing paint gun, 300.000 in paint, 50.00 in sandpaper, a 50.00 DA sander... 9.00 for plastic sheeting.. and body work with bondo and dent removing cost a few hundred if you can spend perhaps 50.00 - 150.00 in sanding blocks.... really wouldn't you just spend 800.00- 1500.00 on all the supplies for a really really good paint job then pay some guy 8K? lol.. my car is only worth 5,000 right now cause its being restored but come on 8K thats retarded.. plus each clear coat will cost probably 50 bucks in the paint terms... so get like 4-5 clear's for 250.00 why you ask? cause it'll save you hundreds down the road and your car will look slicker- all you needa do is learn this stuff * which i know a ton* take your wheels off, sand everything smooth, fill in dents, get the right paints for engine compartment/ body/ trunk/ etc. those are like eastwood 20 dollar cans of chassic black or w/e you get the idea. then paint away yourself the right way
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they only wanna spend $500 for a top notch color change with damage and rust on the car
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: what the fuk do u expect for $500-1200 in milw, WI.Posted: April 23rd, 2011 12:04AM
customer comes in with a 70's classic. typical body damage and rust . says i want my car to look like your restored 50's-70's car. you look at it and tell them $9000. they faint. you ask them what they want to invest into their car . they respond $500 . you openhand slap them. then they say can u paint it for $500 i just want it all one color . you explain to them what it would look like being a "quickie" scuff and shoot in one day out the next no wet sand and buff CHEAP kind of warrenty, and a dont tell anybody i did this deal, they say no prob i wont be picky for $500 at least ityll be one color. then they complain to everyone how its not show quality and rust is popin back up after a year or less,but they never tell any one they only paid $500 bucks.thats why reputible shops wont give a price less than $3000 for a complete.the're tired of dealing with jackasses that think $500-1200 is alot of money to paint a pile of shit car. i get between $200-400 avg. just to do a minor repair and paint on bumpers.
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local review
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Taylor, MI.Posted: March 30th, 2011 07:03AM
Car Make: n/aCar Model: n/a
Painter: n/a
Do you have any reviews @ the maaco in taylor mi.ON northline rd. I am considering having a car painted there and would like to know if you heard any reviews @ that location. Thanks if you can help; Jim
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Hickoy nc
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Rodney Long in Hickory, NC.Posted: March 26th, 2011 08:03PM
Car Make: mercuryCar Model: grandmarquis
Painter: maco
I made it a point to ask to see some cars that had been painted recently and what they showed me changed my mind about using them. When I asked about over spray on the window trim and door handles the mgr said well you get what you pay for! He assured me that my car would be different. I feel price should not dictate the level of workman ship. The paint, amount of paint, and amount of buffing should be effected but never basic masking to ensure that the paint doesn't go where its not supposed to be.
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paint job in NY
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Ranita in New York, NY.Posted: March 1st, 2011 03:03PM
Car Make: HondayCar Model: Civic
Painter: Local guy
Looks awesome. Love it.
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Paint Job
Amount: $3,500.00
Posted by: Galant Love in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: February 19th, 2011 11:02AM
Car Make: MitsubishiCar Model: Galant
Painter: no one yet
Hey everyone! I am a Indiana resident seeking a good paint job. I bought the car cheap because it needed one and isn't trying to pay too much for one. Its black and I want it to be black but has sun damage on the hood roof and trunk. DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE TO GET A REAONABLE PAINT JOB/SPOT JOB IN INDIANA??? I'm reading bad reviews of Macco and don't know where else to go! HELP PLEASE!
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need a godd paint job
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: ashley2010 in houston, TX.Posted: February 5th, 2011 02:02PM
Car Make: 2000 FordCar Model: Expedition
Painter: myself
Ok i have a green expedition that i would like to get it painted black. I hear all these stories about Maaco,but in other states is there anyone from Houston, TX on here who has had a paint jo done at a
Maaco and it actually looks good? If so please tell me where it was. I pai 3800 for my truck so I would like to stay below 1000 for a paint job.
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Amount: $8,000.00
Posted by: mypoorbabycar!! :( in long beach, CA.Posted: February 5th, 2011 04:02AM
Car Make: VolskwagonCar Model: 02' cabrio convertible
for my 16th bday (2months ago) i got a cabrio convertible it was silver as a gift from my mom! my dad told me he'd be paying for my college tuition as his gift! i had saved up roughly $2000 from baby sitting, my job, and allowences mainly for college, apon hearing it was going to be paid for i decided to go to maaco to change my silver paint job (with no chips dents fading or rust) to a pearly pink! the guy was super sweet and said it be around $299! so excited i agreed! 4 days later i got a call saying i had to pay $1000 due to all the labor and fee's he listed so many i was hesitant but agree'd! 3 days later i went to pick it up! i looked beautiful! i was so stoked i happily hand over $1000! about a month went by all was well! then i decided to wash my car,in an auto wash at a gas sation, the wax and the scrubbing with the soap i guess was too much for the maaco paint because it took it off in sploches!now its silver and pink in weird shapes because of the chipping!!!! i went back and showed them they said "im sorry miss but you didnt purchase warrentee!" now im on a payment plan from a nice auto paint place that cost $7000, i would of never done it if i knew id be down $7000! i would of stuck with my nice silver paint job! PLEASE DONT GO TO MAACO! i know a low price is exciting but remeber $299 turned into $8000 for me!
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Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: SHOP AROUND in Lakewood, NJ.Posted: January 21st, 2011 04:01PM
Car Make: 1993 MercedesCar Model: 300E
Painter: MAACO
I got Maaco's top paint job in 2008. It still looks great! Flawless? NO. But it looks great. They had a few freshly painted, newer high line cars on the lot to look at, & they looked good. Unlike some Maaco shops, the MAACO Lakewood N.J. has had a good reputation for a long time. I think It depends on shop ownership's pride in workmanship. Would I take a new car there? NO. But to spruce up an older car? Why not? I won't pay $5000.00 for a paint job on a $4-$5000.00 dollar car. Most if not all MAACO shops are independently owned. So I guess you will need to find a good MAACO shop. TIP! Don't get $199.99 special on a Bentley.
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Custom paint
Amount: $7,500.00
Posted by: mikebrowncustoms in Painesville, OH.Posted: January 8th, 2011 06:01AM
Car Make: 2007Car Model: DODGE NITRO
Here it is you can spend lots of money and get a really bad job that can cost you twice as much to have redone. The thing to do is talk to a real shop ask to see there work.
Look at the photos look for the clarity in the paint pick a object in the background and make sure it is clear like looking in a mirror . should be crisp and not distorted. The car should be completely dissembled so you have no bad masking no ugly paint edges and there is much more that goes into a good paint job. I own a high end shop and will answer and questions you have and send you pictures of what nice paint should look like. You don`t want to just pick any shop. Thanks
Mike Brown From Mike Brown Customs 440-415-2029 or or you can google us.
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Prep-Primer-Paint-Clear Coat
Amount: $120.00
Posted by: Larry888 in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: December 6th, 2010 08:12AM
Car Make: PontiacCar Model: Firebird
Painter: Myself
After looking at prices and seeing what it cost to paint a car Yes MAACO will paint it for 200-400 put that just pain over and no prep and no primer and no clear-coat Just Paint. If you want a quality paint job you need to pay the price from 2k-9k depending on what you want. Or if you have a compressor and dont mind a OK paint job do it yourself
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Amount: $1,635.00
Posted by: Kermit in Mesa, AZ.Posted: November 12th, 2010 05:11PM
Car Make: BMWCar Model: 1990 750IL
Painter: MACO
Personal were very professional and courteous
My car was damaged by a very bad wind storm.
Chips and dents on almost all panels. I chose the best paint with clear coat.
The job is not a factory finish, however, it looks great with a beautiful shine. I found two very minor dents, (about the size of pencil eraser) that they overlooked. VERY PLEASED!!!!
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maaco paint
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: chewy in fort worth, TX.Posted: November 8th, 2010 06:11AM
Car Make: 92Car Model: camaro
Painter: my self
I have not been to maaco but have seen there work and everyone is right you get what you pay for they do not paint the jams etc.
especially for that price I have gotten a quote from a real shop and that was for 3500 but there jobs are mint condition work I personally do my own work I can paint a car for about 200 myself but it won't look that good but for that same 200 dollar paint job maaco will charge 600-800 and it won't look half as good as mine but this is because they do not put the prep work into it the prep is what make the car look good not the final paint it's whats underneath and they do not deal with preping all that much I knew a guy that did work at maaco thought he would move on to a profesional shop after being there for 5 years he went to 6 or 7 different shops trying to get a job when he told them where he got his experience they told him that they could not hire him becuase he was taught tomany bad habbits by this company and did not want there poor quality coming into there shop now how is that for a maaco story I'm sure they have done good jobs sometimes but other paint companies will not even hire one of there employees just becuase he worked for maaco that scares me
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