Having your vehicle painted is an undertaking that can bring a lot of satisfaction. Not only will your car look like new, but its exterior durability can also be significantly enhanced. Choosing to have your vehicle repainted also requires an investment of money and time.

When to Get a Car Painted

Many people may have concerns about when to get their car painted. In some cases, you will have an obvious sign that you need new paint. For example, if the paint is peeling, damaged, or discolored in various areas, then you need a paint job to refresh the look of your vehicle.

You may assume that your vehicle does not need new paint when you do not have obvious signs. You may be correct in some cases; however, if you notice any rusting, oxidation, or fading, you need new paint on your vehicle. Even if the rust is a small spot and doesn’t seem important, it can grow quickly without proper maintenance and new paint. A paint job removes the old paint, rust, and oxidation before applying new primer and paint.

You can also get a paint job on your vehicle if you want a new color, want to maintain your vehicle after several years, or you simply feel that it is time for new paint.

8 Facts to Consider Before Getting Your Car Repainted

Before bringing your vehicle to a paint or auto body shop, take some time to get the facts. Understanding what the painting process entails makes it easier to choose whether or not to have your vehicle repainted. Armed with the facts, you can make a more informed decision.

Car Painting Prices May Vary

Prices for car painting depend on a few different factors – mainly prep work required, the number of parts and panels to be painted, and the quality of the painted used. When you request an estimate for a car painting, ask the auto repair shop to put the included surface prep measures in writing. You will want to assure that damage will be repaired or minimized before getting repainted and know exactly which parts will be painted. This may include fenders, the inside edge of the car door or under the hood. Be sure that the estimate also includes a final clear coat for a long-lasting paint job.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car?

The cost of having a car painted can vary widely depending on several factors such as the type and quality of paint used, the size and condition of the car, and the location and expertise of the painter. Generally, the cost of a basic paint job for a small to mid-sized car can range from $500 to $3,000, while a high-quality paint job with premium materials can cost $2,500 to $10,000 or more.
If you are looking for a more accurate estimate, getting a quote from a professional auto body shop in your area is best. They can assess your car’s condition, discuss your paint types and quality options, and give you a detailed breakdown of the costs involved.

Painting a Vehicle Takes Time

Some vehicle paint shops boast a turn-around time of three days or less, but in general, you should expect your car to be in the shop for at least a week. Why does it take so much time for the car to be repainted? New paint cannot be applied directly to old paint. The fading, oxidation, and irregular surface of a vehicle’s existing paint does not allow for the smooth application of a new coat. Removal of the existing layers of paint and other prep work must be completed before new paint can be applied. If a car requires extensive prep work, it will also raise the total price for the paint job.

And a car can’t be painted in just any environment. The booths where paint is applied need to be clean, free of dust and other particulates, and free of moisture to aid in application and drying. This requires advanced exhaust systems, heaters and computer controlled mixing systems, so they can roll onto the road looking their best after the treatment.

New Paint Won’t Fix Everything

It’s important to have realistic expectations with repainting or paint repair. “Sometimes new paint has the opposite effect,” says Brandon Badell, owner. “If you want to paint over damage without fixing it properly, a fresh coat of shiny paint can actually highlight problem areas.”

For the best results, the auto body shop should first remove the old paint on the car and fix any damage that is present. Damage can include:

  • Scratches,
  • Gouges,
  • Dents,
  • Pits,
  • Rust spots,
  • Holes.

Painting (Usually) Adds Value

Having your car repainted is an investment in many ways. Not only will you treat yourself to a vehicle with a like-new finish, but you will also add to its residual or resale value. You can get a higher trade-in value for an older vehicle by investing in repainting. You can also raise your asking price when selling a used car directly to a buyer. But, for cars more than 10 years old, you should consider if the improved trade-in value will outweigh the price of repainting the car.

A functional older vehicle can be transformed with a coat of fresh paint. Just make sure that it will be a valuable investment. If the car isn’t in good condition otherwise, repainting it may turn out to be more expensive than the car is worth on resale.

Some insurance policies cover the cost of bodywork if the vehicle was damaged in an accident. Check with your insurance company to see if your coverage will help pay for the costs of repainting your car.

There Are Different Types of Car Paint

One factor to consider when painting your vehicle is the type of paint used by a professional repair and auto body shop. You should be aware that different types of paint are available, and the quality of the paint may vary significantly across brands and types.

Generally, the types of paint fall into four main categories:

  • Water-based paint
  • Acrylic lacquer paint
  • Urethane paint
  • Acrylic enamel paint

In most cases, urethane paint is used when you want a long-lasting paint job on your vehicle. You can also opt for acrylic enamel paint on your vehicle for long-lasting results. Water-based paints are the sustainable option that is ideal if you want your car’s paint to be environmentally friendly. The acrylic lacquer paint is the thinnest option and does not last as long as other paint jobs; however, it is the lowest cost, and you can have a top coat added to make it last longer.

By taking the type of paint into account when looking at paint for your vehicle, you can evaluate the benefits and the durability of the paint over time. It helps you find the right option for your vehicle.

Car Paint Doesn’t Last Forever

The short answer is 10-15 years. The long answer is that paint durability on a vehicle varies based on the type of paint, quality, and the final touches used by professionals. As a general rule, you want to get your car painted every five to ten years. If your vehicle is kept in a garage with limited UV damage, then you may be able to get your paint to last longer. Vehicles that spend most of their time outdoors in the sun may need new paint more often.

You should also consider any maintenance details put into your vehicle. For example, if you regularly wax your vehicle, then your paint lasts longer. If you do not wax your vehicle, then you can expect lower durability.

If you choose water-based paint or acrylic lacquer paint, then you can expect the paint to last around five years. You can increase the paint’s lifespan with a topcoat; however, exact durability is relatively low compared to other options. If you choose urethane paint, you will have the most long-lasting results and may hold off on new paint for over five years.

Painting Requires Removing the Car’s Interior

Many people don’t realize that vehicle paint shops may have to remove everything from the interior of the car during the painting process. This may include the dash, console, and even the seats. There is some risk that these items could be damaged by the painting process and so they’re removed beforehand. Additionally, some step in the process may be inhibited by the presence of these interior components. Removing them allows painting to be done the right way.

It’s helpful if car owners remove their belongings from the vehicle before bringing it in for paint repair. This decreases the risk of accidentally losing something important and saves the body shop time.

The Car Will Need Car After It’s Painted

To keep your paint job looking vibrant and shiny for as long as possible, wax your car soon after it has been repainted. Read on for expert more advice on car maintenance

If you see signs of flaking or peeling in the months following, be sure to review the repair shop’s warranty policy on paint work. 

Learn more from the experts about Paintless Dent Repair.

Trust the Car Paint Professionals at Badell’s Collision

Badell’s Collision has two shops in Aston and Malvern, Pennsylvania. Interested in getting your vehicle painted? Fill out our online estimate form and one of our reps will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and help get you started.

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