Low Cost Paint Job vs Proper Paint Job


People nowadays keep their cars longer than they used to. According to a recent study, the average car on the road is 12.1 years old and people keep their cars 79 months (almost 7 years)

Cars last longer mechanically and drivers take better care of their vehicles. cars and trucks are getting more expensive every year and, let’s face it, who does not like living without a car payment? Unfortunately, paint, headlights and plastic parts do not age as well, especially in our climate where cars constantly bake in the sun.

We end up driving older cars that run great but…do not look that good.

As a result, we often get requests for quotes to repaint older cars.

Repainting a car or part of a car varies widely in price, from a couple of thousands of dollars to $7000 and up.

So, what’s the difference? What are the pros and cons? What is the best for you and your vehicle?

The first thing you need to evaluate is the value of your vehicle and how long you are planning on keeping it.

Next, why do you want to repaint it? Do you just want your vehicle to look a little better ordo you plan on keeping it several more years and want it to look like the day it came out of the dealership?

A low cost paint job is not necessarily bad if you just want your car to look better. However, if you have a classic car or a luxury car you want to keep a long time or if your car has an emotional value, then a proper paint job may be what you want.

Now, to show you what makes the difference in price, we are going to take you through the different steps both price points require and what you are getting for the money you are spending.

Low Cost Paint job

Proper Paint Job


Complete Detrim

  • Mouldings

  • Handles

  • Glass where necessary

  • Plastic bumpers

Detrimming is the proper way to do it. Masking is faster but eventually, the paint will flake/chip around the edges that were masked


Remove all damage paint


Remove/Repair paint chips, door dings and other dings


Prep and prime repaired areas

Lightly scuff for painting

Block and sand after priming

Lightly scuff for painting

Sand entire exterior surfaces 


Wash with soap water and mild solvent

Mask windows, moldings, handles, bumpers

Mask openings, door jambs, hood, sunroof opening


2 or 3 stage high quality paint (including bumpers)




Nib and polish




Clean/wash inside and outside for delivery

As you can see, doing a proper paint job requires a lot more steps, these steps take time. When it comes to paint, different price points mean different quality. We only use PPG paints. PPG Lifetime Limited Paint Performance Guarantee assures customers that all refinish products used to repair their vehicles are of the latest state-of-the-art technology and will perform to optimum standards for as long as the consumer owns the vehicle.