When you paint a house or a barn, you can basically just paint over any imperfections. A car is a different animal.

Maaco is a mixed bag budget paint shop. Either you get a great job done or a mixed job with overspray etc. they cost to 1k fully for a car or valuably for different paints and quality standard. Dedicated shops would probably cost at least 2k or more.

You could repaint the car, or for much cheaper get a vehicle wrap in any color that protects your car body and can easily be pulled off with a heat gun if you ever want to change. Else DIY yourself with spray cans and or buckets and rollers of plastidip. Same concept thought that is super easy to peel off right there and then.

How Much Does A Repaint Cost?

Let’s say that you have a brand new mid-sized car that you just drove off the lot yesterday and drove it 1/4 mile to your home. It is clean and undamaged but you hate the color.

To prep and paint the car a similar but darker OEM color and you don’t want the door jambs or underhood/trunk painted you can expect somewhere around $1500. For door jambs and underhood/trunk add $500.

For the same car, same conditions with a radical color change or a custom color (not including pearls, candy, or metalflake) figure around $2000.

Same car with a pearl, candy, or metalflake job expect to pay at least $3000, and don’t be surprised to see a bill exceeding $5000.

If the car requires significant prep work these prices could easily increase 50% or more… and that doesn’t include bodywork and paint restoration.

What Prep Work Is Involved?

  1. Removing as much of the original paint as possible.
  2. Fixing any dents or imperfections in the body, so you don’t get a “fish eye” look when the new paint goes down.
  3. Apply primer so the paint adheres.
  4. Sand after priming to avoid bumps and the “orange peel” look that will show through the paint.
  5. Apply a few coats of paint for good coverage. Sometimes sanding after that is necessary too.
  6. Apply a few coats of clear.
  7. Wet sand after clear coat until the entire finish is smooth and dull, then polish it back to a shine.

Painting is not hard at all, it's the prep work that is a pain. Sooner or later, you have to put down the line board sander and the random orbital, then start sanding with a block of wood and sandpaper.

If you thought you did a lot of sanding before priming, The sanding begins when you start applying primer. When the car looks smoother than an egg, its time for your first stage of paint, and you keep sanding. After the final coat, you may or may not bake the finish, then you start buffing. Some of the new polymer paints are kinda tuff to avoid orange peel. You will have to do a little experimenting to get rid of it.

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