How Much Does it Cost to Repaint a Car? [Touch Ups vs. Full Paint Job]

Repainting a car can transform a dull and scratched paint job into an eye-catching paint finish that looks good as new. To help you budget for a new paint job, we researched this topic to give you the average cost of repainting a car. 

The average cost of repainting your car is between $1,000 to $3,000. The price is dependent on factors like the paint used and necessary body repairs. If you are looking to touch-up your car's paint only, it will cost $150 to $250. 

Read further to get the full breakdown of the factors involved in the price of a car repaint. 

worker painting a car black blank parts in special garage, wearing costume and protective gear, How Much Does it Cost to Repaint a Car? [Touch Ups vs. Full Paint Job)

How Much Does it Cost to Repaint a Car? 

Repainting a car takes a lot of time, and the majority of the cost for repainting a vehicle is in labor hours. The average price of labor hours in an automotive body shop is between $75 and $100 per hour. 

To help you get a more accurate estimate, below are some of the most critical factors associated with repainting a car. 

Body Damage 

A man in protective overalls and a mask holds a spray bottle in his hand and sprays black paint onto the frame of the car body after an accident during a repair in a vehicle restoration workshop

Dents or scratches in your car's body could result in an unsightly paint job that will bring even more attention to these blemishes. 

To begin the repainting process, the body shop will look at the current condition of your car. A car with significant body damage like rust and dents will need body repair before applying any new paint to the car.

This process could cost anywhere from $0 to several thousand depending on how badly damaged your car's body is. 

Paint Quality

The quality of the paint used to repaint your car is also a significant factor in the overall price. At the lowest price, the body shop will use single-stage enamel paint to refresh the look of your current paint. This basic paint scores low on durability and will show signs of wear after a year.

A national chain like Maaco offers basic car repainting services with a one year warranty starting at $399.

If you choose higher-quality paint, you will need to pay more. However, this high-quality paint job gives a glossy-finish that lasts longer. The premium-quality paint is scratch-resistant and can last for many years before needing a touch-up. 

Protection and Paint Finish 

For a more customized finish with high amounts of gloss and shine, you will need to pay a higher price. Glossy and clear-coat finishes typically start at $1,200 and will increase for higher quality and customized options.

These high gloss paint finishes are typically used for showroom cars but can also be used for any car paint job. These premium finishes are more protective and will not chip if struck by an object.

What Parts of the Car are Painted

If you are looking only to repaint a small portion of your car like a door, this will cost around only $150 to $250 on average. If you are changing the color of your entire vehicle, you will need to pay for a complete paint job.

Most complete paint jobs will cost you $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the factors listed above, like the paint quality and finish. In some cases, you can pay upwards of $5,000 for a customized paint job with designs. 

Is it Worth Getting a Car Repainted?

Man with protective clothes and mask painting car using spray compressor.

To determine if repainting your car will be worth it, you need to ask yourself why you want to repaint the car. 

If you are repainting the car for restoration purposes, it will be worth it because the value will increase. A vehicle that is in excellent condition otherwise but has an unsightly paint job will lose thousands in value. 

Other than its monetary value, a car repainted to your color of choice is also worth it. Making a car customized to your liking will make you proud of the vehicle you drive.

Does Repainting your Car Decrease its Value?

In most cases, repainting a car will not decrease its value. A new paint job will only drop a car's value if it is unprofessional and negatively affected the car's appearance. When done by a professional body shop, repainting a car can increase the value significantly.

A fresh paint job is a great way to restore a car to its original form. After years on the road, a vehicle will accumulate scratches, scuff marks, and faded paint. By repainting the car, you will increase its value by giving it a fresh and new appearance. 

However, if you are considering selling a car in bad mechanical condition, repainting it may not be the best idea to increase its value. A new paint job may cost more than the return you receive from the car sale. 

Is it Hard to Repaint a Car on your Own?

Repainting a car is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process that requires lots of preparation and numerous coats of primer and paint. You must also purchase or rent the necessary tools needed to repaint your car that automotive shops use. 

Some of the necessary tools needed for repainting a car is an electric sander, an air compressor, and a paint spray gun. 

Prepping the Car for Paint

Prepping the car for paint is a very lengthy process that requires you to sand every square inch of the car's surface multiple times. Sanding the car will remove the old paint and create a smooth surface for the new paint to be applied

Depending on the state of your car's metal and paint, this sanding process could take over twenty times. You need to sand the car down until you reach the bare metal or original primer paint.

After you have sanded the car and are ready to paint, you will need to apply masking tape and newspaper to cover any spots that you don't want the paint to cover. After you have finished this preparation process, it is time to start painting the car. 

Priming and Painting the Car

Now that you are ready to paint, you must find a properly-ventilated location indoors. In most cases, people who have repainted their car will use their home's garage for this process. 

You will start by painting three to four coats of primer onto the car's bare metal surface. The primer will ensure that the new paint will adhere to the car's exterior properly and not peel off.

For sufficient coverage, a car body shop will paint the car with three or four coats. After each time you paint, you must wait for the paint to cure before applying the other layers. This waiting process takes anywhere between 20-minutes to 1-hour for the paint to dry. 

What Do You Have to do When You Change the Color of Your Car?

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After changing the paint of your car, you may need to notify your automotive insurance provider. You would not need to report the color change to your insurance company if it was a basic paint job. However, if you added custom paint and designs to your car, you will need to speak to your car insurance provider.

Insurance companies adjust their rates when a car is significantly modified. A car insurance company understands the typical costs of repainting a vehicle after it's damaged. When your car's paint is different from the average vehicle, the insurance company will need to raise your rate to cover potential damages.

Automotive companies use variables to create your car insurance rate, and a customized car is viewed as a high risk.

Do I Have to Let DMV Know if I Paint my Car?

While it's not necessary, it is an excellent idea to let the DMV know that you painted and changed the color of your car. The DMV has a record of your car in their files that includes the color of the vehicle for identification purposes.  

These files will be pulled up by law enforcement during traffic stops and may result in confusion when the color on file does not match up with your current car's color. To prevent any possible misunderstandings, let the DMW know that you have painted your car if the car color changed. 


Repainting your car with the help of a professional autobody shop will cost you an average of $1,000 to $3,000. If you opt for the most basic repaint, you can pay as little as $500. 

Talk to local automotive body shops for an estimated price for repainting your car. 

Click Here to Read More About the Costs of Painting a Car. 

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