Auto painting prices can vary greatly depending on if you're doing it yourself or a professional is handling the job. The price can also depend on whether you only need repair paint work or are looking for something a little more custom.
Professional Paint Shops
There is a wide variety of professional auto painting shops to choose from regardless of where you live. Maaco is a nationally known company that offer affordable paint jobs. They boast low prices because they simply do more jobs than the average paint shop. A mid-size or private owner shop will cost a bit more, but you will have the personal connection with the painter on your project. Custom shops charge significantly more, but you also get an amazing, one-of-a-kind paint job. If you're looking for something custom or an off-manufacturer color, you'll need to consider a custom shop for your car painting needs.
You can do your own car paint job with the right materials and a few tips. Before you decide to take on the job yourself consider what an auto body shop does. You will need to wash the vehicle, sand the spots to be painted, cover all windows and chrome. This prepares your car to take paint. Next you will need to lay down a layer of clear primer. Then the colored paint goes down with the use of a spray gun and the last step is to lay on a clear coat to protect the paint.
Materials & Equipment Needed
If you decide to embark on the process of painting your own car you will need a few materials and pieces of equipment. The basics include sand paper, wire, primer, urethane-based paint, clear coat paint, body putty (for repair or body work), protective tape for chrome and windows and wax/grease remover. If paint matching you need to work with the manufacturer of your vehicle or a paint shop that carries specific colors based on make and model. You will also need a spray gun set up which will include an air compressor. Don't forget about protective gear for yourself.
Cost ComparisonMaaco boasts prices ranging from $250-$400. A mid-size shop will generally charge $1,000-$2,000. A custom shop will run you between $4,000-$8,000. It's hard to gage the cost of your own labor and the time your vehicle is down. You can only really figure this by actual lost of money or the potential for money- like if you have to miss work while your car is in the process. An average cost for a full set of auto body paint supplies is $1,000-$1,500. This includes all the equipment and prep. Note the cost of paint can vary depending on the quality, scarcity and reds cost more as well.