Car Painting

Automotive Painting Through History

People have been painting cars ever since cars have been invented. Custom cars, and painting them, became popular in the 1950s. The term "custom car" refers to people's interest in customizing the cars performance and appearance, whether through engine building or custom paint jobs.  Over the years, people have grown more interested in their cars appearance, whether it's the color, having a company logo painted on, or to make the greatest, coolest, and most stylish design. Painters have also grown in popularity and many car painters are sought out for their particular style or ability. While anyone can pull off a simple logo or words, only a pro can truly make your car "rock".


Car Painting Process

The process used for painting cars is long, time consuming, and important to be done correctly. Failure to adhere to all the steps, or be lazy during certain steps, can result in shoddy paint results including bubbling paint, peeling paint, and missed painted areas of the car altogether.

Unless you're a giant car enthusiast, you'll probably want to focus on using a professional car painting service for your needs. While they can be costly, you can expect quality results without worry of permanent damage to your car.

Custom Car Painting

There are many car painting shops out there for getting your car painted. People have many reasons why they need a car painted, sometimes its to get rid of key marks, other times its because of rust, or finally, they want to paint their car to make their car look cool. Whether you're looking for flames, racing stripes, or a whole new car color, there are many car painting shops that specialize in custom paint jobs.

There are many great custom car painting companies out there that specialize in a variety of different paint styles in techniques.  While just about any paint shop can do racing stripes, not every one can do "wicked looking flames" or amazing art murals featuring robots.  Just like traditional artists may be better at portraits, cartoons, scenery/nature, etc., car painting businesses will also be better at certain styles and be poor with other styles.


Do it Yourself Car Painting

Car Painting Prices

Car painting prices will vary based on the company you go through as well as what type of paint work you want.  Custom paint jobs will be much more expensive than basic color jobs as well.  The most basic paint job from national chain, MAACO will be $250 - $400.  A basic paint job would entail getting rid of unwanted scratches, chips, or other marks. 

If you go to another paint shop, you could be looking at a price of around $300 to $1000 (depending on the amount of work requested).  Jobs in this price range could be to add another coat of paint to the car, fixing severe scratches or key marks, etc.

Finally, custom paint jobs for cars can start anywhere around $2000 and soar to over $8000.  The more fancy, detailed, or difficult paint jobs will cost much more than simple ones.  So, if you're planning on a custom paint job, choose a car that's worth the hassle.


Comments 5 comments

Brian 6 years ago

How much should the paint cost to paint an entire car? and what about primer?


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

very informative hub, thanks


painter 5 years ago

places like maaco that charge 400 for a job are crap!the only thing you might want one of those jobs on is some old beater you're trying to sell.if you are looking for a quality,factory looking job from a legit shop who knows what they are doing you are looking at anywhere from 1200 on up to 2000 or more depending on several factors such as the condition or size of car.


Nia 19 months ago

Hi Irene!When you seal your wood canvas with Gesso you have to allow it to dry copeemtlly. I usually do multiple ones that way they are ready to go when I'm ready to paint on them.I usually do at least 2 layers of Gesso on all sides including the back (3 layers is ideal) for longevity.Once the Gesso is dry, then you can sketch on on it.I sketch on Vellum or Tracing paper first so all the erasing and corrections are done on that and not on the wood. Once I'm happy with the drawing then I transfer it using another piece of Velum that I have rubbed copeemtlly with a 4B pencil, you can purchase transfer paper, but I just make it my self.By transferring the drawing, you keep the Gesso clean and then begin to paint.If you do not want to deal with transferring, you can always add a layer of clear coat to the pencil sketch that is on the wood, let it dry and then start painting. The lead will be sealed and will not mix with your colors.I hope that helps.You've given me a nice idea for a blog post and I'll be explaining it using pictures.Take careMaggie


Paint man 11 months ago

I've been painting autos for 35+ years and the prices quoted in the article is a joke. If a paint shop purchases all the correct materials for a quality paint job the cost alone for the materials would be close to $2000.00. Most base coats cost $400 to $1000 a gallon. Reducers $65 to $95 then other things such as primers, sealers, sand papers, body filler, glazing puddy, clear for clear coat and a list of others materials. At most a low end paint job is around $3500. Lets be real its not 1970.

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