While cars come off the lot looking brand new, that look eventually fades with age, weather, wear and tear, and potentially accidents. When that happens, it might be time to consider a new paint job. Here’s what to keep in mind before you do it.
You need to determine your budget and desired quality ahead of time
As with most big purchases, you should figure out what you want, and how much you’re willing to spend ahead of time. That’s definitely true when it comes to having a car painted. Painting your car can range anywhere from $500 for a pretty crummy version to $20,000 for something that will make your car ready to be entered in shows.
Only you can know what quality you’re aiming for, and what price point you’re comfortable with. But you need to figure that out before you take your car to a painter. The last thing you want is to be talked into spending more than you can responsibly afford, or getting a really bad paint job that you’ll immediately regret because you were intrigued by a low price.
Figure out what you want from your car: a low-quality touchup? A paint job that restores it to original quality? A high-level showroom paint job? Then, do your research and find the right price point.
You should be sure that other physical issues have been taken care of
One thing you should never do when getting your car painted is have blemishes covered up by paint. It won’t look good at all, and whenever you go to have the blemish removed, you’ll have to repaint that part of the car.
Before having your car painted, have the blemishes fixed. Or go to a painter that will fix them as part of the painting process.
Remember that a paint job isn’t going to solve all your car’s problems
A fresh coat of paint will make any car look a lot better. But the operative word is “better,” not “best” or “fixed.” If you’re disgruntled with how your car looks or behaves, a paint job isn’t going to fix all of that. It’s not going to make dings, dents, or scratches go away (unless you have them addressed). In fact, it might just highlight them more. And it’s certainly not going to fix any mechanical issues with your car. If you’re getting a paint job to increase the resale value of your car, be aware that a buyer won’t be tricked.
Know that a good paint job will take some time
Many paint jobs, especially good ones, take some time, so plan in advance. You may need to leave your car at the painter for a few days. When in doubt, call the company you’re having paint your car so you can get a time estimate. The last thing you want is to be stuck without a car for a few days when you have to get to work and don’t have a backup plan.
Your car might need to be disassembled, so make sure it’s clean
If you’re having a full paint job, the interior of your car may need to be slightly disassembled so the paint job can be thorough. Before sending your car to the painter, make sure to empty it out and clean it. Not only does that help you avoid having any embarrassing items uncovered, but it’s the nice and respectful thing to do for the people painting your car.