If you know your car needs a paint job, you have a few options. If you have experience with auto body repair or have completed smaller jobs similar in nature, you may consider taking the DIY route. Hiring it done costs thousands, and the price depends on the paint quality and how much prep it takes to get the panel or panels back into good condition.
How long do you want to keep the car?
If you are restoring a vintage vehicle or plan to keep the car for a long time, paying a professional is worth the investment. You can expect perfection in exchange for the cost of a new paint job.
Newer cars may have a clear-coat made to last years longer than older paint jobs. If you have a vehicle with body damage that requires the panel to be sanded down to metal, matching the quality and durability of modern paint is crucial. Over time, a lower-quality paint job will show.
If you want a quick refresh due to sun damage or you want the car to look better so you can sell it, check out cheaper options. You could get a synthetic enamel paint job in a single-coat spray for between $300 and $900. Talk with a paint expert at a body shop and tell them your goals. You may be able to spend less than $1,000 to make your car look better without worrying that the paint will outlive the engine and transmission.
How much surface prep will your car need?
A full paint job, depending on the car’s size and color is likely to cost around $2,000. Clear coat may cost another $1,000. As with many things in life, paying more gets you a higher quality result. More expensive paint jobs can include removing tail lamps and headlights and removing glass, rather than just masking off those areas.
If you decide not to have a body shop fix dents and dings, remember that shiny new paint will make those flaws stand out. Talk with the body shop about surface prep, and ask whether they’ll include the fender edges, under the hood, and door jambs when they paint the car.
Does your car really need new paint?
Before you panic about the cost of repainting your car or worry about matching the paint of a scratched panel to the rest of your vehicle, consider simpler repair methods.
If your car has a few scratches and scrapes, it may not require a complete paint job. If you lease your vehicle, either pay a professional to repaint the panel that needs attention or leave the damage alone. Cover-ups will cost you when it’s time to have your car inspected. You may end up paying the dealership to repaint the panel you attempted to fix.
The exception to this rule is when you have surface scratches that you can feel with your fingernail, but don’t go through the car’s paint into the primer or metal. In this case, use the repair method that a luxury German car manufacturer uses on their vehicles.
Everything you need to permanently remove surface scratches from your vehicle is included with the Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover kit. It even includes a finish formula to restore the shine. This is the only kit on the market that uses patented Paint Deformation Technology to cause surrounding paint to flow back into the damaged area.
If rust prevention is your goal and the scratch goes down to the primer, you can seal off the area with Quixx Paint Repair Pen. Using genuine clear coat, the fine tip pen lets you close off the scratch, preventing further damage to the surrounding paint.
You can find both products at big box retail stores like Walmart, at your local auto parts store, and on Amazon.
Before you decide to repaint your car on your own, check in with your local mechanic and ask for a body shop recommendation. Explore taking on only part of the job (like the prep work) and most importantly; think about how much more it may cost to fix the paint job you started.
Unless you have a considerable amount of body repair experience and the proper tools and environment to complete the job, you may be better off hiring an expert so you can enjoy a perfect paint job for years to come.