Yes, it’s tempting to try to do it yourself and save some money - but you need to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Odds are you’ll realize that it will save you time, money, and more than a few headaches if you call a reliable body shop.
How Much Is This Going to Cost Me?
If you paint your car yourself, you’ll need some supplies. At the least, you’re looking at 1 to 1.5 gallons of base coat or primer, 3 to 4 gallons of topcoat, and between 2 and 4 gallons of clear-coat lacquer. This will cost you a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on your vehicle and the product brands you choose. (Be sure to select the right products for your model - this makes a difference.)
Ok… still cheaper than an auto body shop?
Maybe it is at this point (but maybe it isn’t). Remember, though, you haven’t started working yet. You haven’t applied the base coat/primer. Waited for it to dry. Applied the topcoat. Waited for it to dry. Applied the clear-coat lacquer. Waited for it to dry. Applied another layer of clear-coat lacquer. Waited for it to dry. Applied another layer of…. You get the idea.
While all of this is happening, you will need a well-ventilated space to work that is protected from the elements. You need to protect your lungs, so make sure you have air flowing. The environment also needs to contain dust and dirt, and mitigate the damage they can do while your car is drying. So obviously, tackling your car’s paint job in the driveway is not the best idea. What about a garage? That’s better, but it needs to be very well ventilated and super clean.
Time to Get to Work
But that’s the easy part. Now comes the hard part. Your car has rust. Maybe a spot. Maybe a few spots. Maybe lots of spots. You’ll need to add to your supply list: sandpaper, sander, masking tape to mark areas for treatment, spray gun, primer, and glossy car paint to match your exterior. If you have a sander, adding the rest won’t cost you that much more. At least not in dollars - it will add more to your labor and time.
So, get to work sanding. You need to remove all rust and get down to the bare metal. Even a flake of rust will impact your vehicle’s paint job. Why? Because rust spreads like wildfire. You need to be diligent and get rid of it all. Then you’ll prime, wait, paint, wait, clear-coat, wait … and hope all of your hard work pays off.
Oftentimes, DIY jobs do not remove all rust or corrosion, and any temporary improvements are largely aesthetic. In other words, your vehicle will look better for a little while… but the problem is still there.
Get What You Pay For
If you think a professional paint job is too expensive, consider the alternative. Your vehicle is less than pristine, so your resale value decreases. You have rust, so, again, your resale value decreases. You have more rust… and eventually, you’ll have issues with inspection and even repairs. Some maintenance and repair jobs cannot be completed on cars that have too much rust. You’re left with a heap. Sure, this is the worst-case scenario - but you do not want to get to this point.
You may only need a basic paint job to address a few minor issues; you may need one that involves sanding parts down to the metal to remove rust. You may need to move to the next level and get showroom quality work. Let’s break it down:
Basic: $1000 or less
Standard: $1000 - $3000
Showroom: $2500- It Depends (on the severity of damage and make/model of vehicle)
These are approximate values. The real cost depends on the job you need to be completed. Whether you want to fix a few dents and dings or you need to repair damage from hitting an animal or being involved in a collision, we can help.
SRM Paintwerks Is Here
How much is your time worth? A lot. You have work, responsibilities, and hobbies. Your time is valuable - and your car or truck is a necessity. Make sure it’s in top shape.
If you drop your vehicle off at SRM Paintwerks, you can be assured of the highest quality results - and zero headaches. Our prices are competitive, and our expertise and experience are unsurpassed. Don’t DIY. You need your vehicle, and we can keep it in top shape.