Looking to get your car painted? Consider this first.

By Dara Solomon, Contributing Author on Friday, July 22, 2011

A sleek, new paint job can make practically any vehicle look brand new. There are a number of reasons why you’d consider getting a full paint job for your car or truck:

  • Faded paint
  • Cracked or peeling paint
  • Extensive scratches or paint chips
  • Color matching for new parts (i.e. new bumper or body kits)
  • Maximize resell value

Before you make any decisions, you should consider the following:


Along with the make and model, color is one of the first things people notice about a vehicle. The choices are endless. Remember that if you ultimately plan to sell or trade your vehicle, choosing a less common color might make it more difficult. Plus, not every color is suitable for every car. Be sure to consider the interior of your vehicle – both the dashboard as well as seat coverings – when choosing a new color. If you’re unsure of what color to go with, poll your friends and the body shop employees.

DuPont's 2010 Automotive Color Popularity, North America
Top Vehicle Colors in North America. (Click to enlarge.)
Source: DuPont Automotive Systems.

Don’t forget to factor in maintenance and climate when choosing a color for your car. Dark colors like black and burgundy tend to show every blemish and every spec of road dust. Lighter cars, like white, in contrast don’t show dust as easily as darker colors, but still show dirt very easily.  As you’d expect, the paint and interiors of dark painted vehicles heat up exponentially compared to white and lighter-colored vehicles.

What about the myth that red cars cost more to insure? It’s true and false.  Statistically speaking, however, red cars might not be the “ticket magnets” we’ve all been led to believe.

Darren Priest, an auto detailing expert for over twenty years, has some good insights that might help you choose your next color.

Don’t forget the clear coat

Nearly 95 percent of new cars come with clear coat finishes today. Clear coats are non-pigmented paint finishes that help protect color paint. If you want to ensure that your new paint job will stand up to the test of time, be sure to inquire about clear coat. You can learn more about them at the Auto Detailing Network.

Quality and cost

Quality and cost can’t really be discussed separately. Both are equally important factors when it comes to getting any work done to your car. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.

It might be tempting to skimp on quality when it comes to superficial things like paint, as opposed to paying top dollar for engine work that will ensure your safety. But consider just how labor intensive and complex painting a vehicle properly is: Before one can even apply the first coat of paint, prepping the vehicle may consist of removal of bumpers, lights, door handles, grills, and even windshields and engine parts (depending on how detailed of a job you want), as well as removal of previous paint coats.

The price will vary, but on average you should expect to spend around $3,000 for a professional paint job. Because of the high price for a professional job, be sure to do some leg work before choosing a shop. Get a few estimates and ask to see some examples of the shop’s work. Don’t forget to ask if there’s a warranty, too.

Paint job gone wrong

Warning: A friend of a friend repainted this car after an accident.
Photo by Mark Jones, via Flickr Creative Commons.

Top image by Ben Hosking via Flickr Creative Commons.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Adryunne Adryunne Wilson

    Very informative! Thanks!

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