Having Your Car Repainted - What You Need to Know
Are you in need of a fresh new coat of paint for your car because you’re just sick of looking at that faded and cracked clear, peeling paint, or those ugly scratches? If you are, the first thought that pops in your mind is probably “yes, I do… but how much will it cost?”
That’s a great question to ask, and there are several factors that come into play on pricing a paint job. First of all, if you choose not to paint your car, you’ll pay for it in the long run when you start developing rust on the panels. The paint on your car is not there just to make heads turn when your shiny vehicle comes around the corner. It’s there to protect that metal from oxidation damage, or rust.
As far as what goes into painting a car, there are 2 main factors that you’ve got to carefully consider: prep work, and paint quality.
The “cheap paint job” folks out there don’t focus on the first aspect, which is proper surface preparation. If the car isn’t sanded and prepped for a smooth surface, it will not only cause the paint job to look shoddy, but it will also contribute to adhesion problems. That means your paint will chip and flake off prematurely.
Sanding is labor intensive. Every square inch of the vehicle’s surface has to be sanded, and several different types of sandpaper with varying coarseness must be used. There’s no way around it, and it’s back-breaking work. Every deep scratch, ding, and dent must be fixed during this stage or it will stick out like a sore thumb when the new shiny paint is put on the car.
The second is the quality of paint. There are several companies that produce automotive paint, and some work better than others. The high-quality paints will stick to the surface better, and provide many years of protection. They will also stand up to the environment a lot better, resisting the sun, acid rain, and the effects of heating up and cooling down through the seasons.
In order to put those two pieces of the puzzle together and complete a fresh shiny paint job, the car has to be properly masked. Everything that doesn’t get painted has to be meticulously masked off with tape and plastic wrap. And in order to get into the cracks and crevasses correctly, items need to be removed from the car, like emblems, trim, and some moldings. That takes time.
Places that do “cheap paint jobs” will skimp over these important areas, and it shows in the final product. Taking short cuts on proper preparation will also have an effect on the longevity of the paint job, so it’s best to avoid saving money on a cheap paint job because you’ll pay for it in the long run.
Now that I’ve given you a brief understanding of what goes into a good paint job, We can answer the question… “how much will it cost?”
At Color Boss Custom Auto Body Shop, a complete paint job will generally run in the $2,000 to $5,000 range. Custom and specialty paint jobs can go far and beyond that range, but here’s the skinny on what you’ll get within that range.
$2,000 – Basic Single Stage Paint Job
This includes properly sanding and prepping a vehicle and shooting “single stage” paint. Single stage paint is a glossy version of regular base coat paint that comes out shiny, without adding a clear coat layer. It won’t have a mirror finish that looks like cars that pulled off the showroom floor, but it will look very nice out in the sun. The price adjusts a bit depending on the size of the car or truck being painted.
$3,500 – Two Stage Base/Clear Paint Job
The Two Stage paint job includes the same amount of prep work as the single stage, but the difference is the addition of a clear coat on top of a regular base coat. Adding a clear coat provides that extra shine and protection against the effects of the environment. This price range can vary plus or minus $500 depending on the condition of the car and the amount of extra bodywork required, plus the size of the vehicle. It also includes a moderate amount of finish work on the clear coat to make it shine.
$5,000 – Two Stage Base/Clear Premium Paint Job
The difference between the regular two stage job and the premium job is the amount of time spent doing the finish work on the clear coat. This is the level of finish work for people who want to see their reflection on the surface like it’s a mirror. It’s the head-turning shine that you see on brand new cars in the showroom. To make that happen, the clear coat has to be wet sanded with 1200 grit sand paper, then 1500 grit, then buffed with a cutting compound, and finally buffed again with a polishing compound.
It goes without saying that these are general prices, and each car will have specific needs that can affect the cost of the paint job. Things like rust repair, truck bed liners, undercoating, custom modifications to trim, or graphics can add to the price of the job.
You can also get fancy with the addition of expensive pearl layers that give the car more sparkle, and even give a color-changing effect. The sky is the limit on how far you can get into a job. Those who love their cars have been known to drop $15,000 to $20,000 on the paint job in a heartbeat!
If you have a car that does not require bodywork or refinishing, but you'd like to add a custom paint job that outlasts regular automotive paint with the advantage of removability that preserves your original paint, check out the AutoFlex™ page and see what the latest technology in automotive coatings has in store for you. You'll be surprised.
If you're serious about painting your car, whether it be a budget paint job or a concourse restoration project, get in touch with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and send pictures of your car. We’ll get the ball rolling and make a rough estimate, then set up a meeting time to have a firsthand look at your project!
Not local to Jefferson City, Missouri? Not a problem. We have cars shipped in to us from all over. Distance is not a problem if you're seriously looking for a top-rate job. Just give us a shout!
Check out the Color Page for our exclusive line of Starfire Brand acrylic urethane base coat colors!
The Airgun Artist
Owner, Color Boss Custom Auto Body LLC
2209 Ridge Road
Jefferson City, MO 65109