How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Truck?

Chipped and peeled paint leaves the body of a truck exposed to the elements. A truck needs to be repainted over time, or the raw metal will act as rust magnets that will further destroy its body. But what about the cost? How much does it cost to paint a truck? 

To paint a truck, you can expect to spend between $500 and $1,000 if you choose the very basic painting service. The painting job will often include removing any rust that has developed on the truck body, sanding the surface in preparation for the painting, applying a primer coat, and then the final paint job.

More discriminating truck owners usually spend $1,000 to $3,500 to get a high-quality, thorough paint job. Some truck owners who seek the finest ‘showroom quality’ paint job could spend up to $20,000 to have their truck painted.

Read on to learn more about the cost of painting a truck, the factors that determine the cost, the cost of a professional painting job, the cost of doing it yourself, and how you can save money on this project.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Truck?

how much does it cost to paint a truck

For the most basic truck painting service, you can expect to spend from $500 to $1,000. The work will include removing the rusts that developed on the metal surfaces, sanding the surfaces to prepare them for painting, laying a coat of primer, and finally applying the car paint.

If you want a good quality, ‘thorough’ paint job on your truck, you should be willing to pay from $1,000 to $3,500. Truck owners revealed that to get a paint job with decent quality, you must be willing to spend at least $2,500.

Of course, there are car paint services that charge cheaper. These car paint shops do decent jobs for lower prices that can be anywhere between $300 and $1,000. But if you want a higher-end paint job, you can spend up to $4,000.

It is also wiser to look at this paint job not as an expense but as an investment. If your truck is still in good condition, you can ask for a higher resale price covered with new paint. Otherwise, repainting it may be more expensive than what it is worth on resale.

The Cost of Painting a Truck Depends on Quality

How much to paint a truck? The cost of a basic truck paint job, according to CostHelper.com, usually ranges from $300 to $900. [1] Synthetic enamel is the paint medium that is typically used in this class of truck paint jobs. This paint can mask off removable parts and trims, but it may not cover inside-the-hood sections and door jams.

Basic Paint Job

If you want a step up from the basic paint job, you can choose the standard type. This paint service typically involves rust removal as well as the sanding of the metal surfaces. The paint service shop will also use higher quality paint. Standard truck painting service usually starts from $1,000 to $4,000. The actual amount will depend on the work that needs to be done.

Showroom Quality Service

If you want your truck to really look gorgeous, then showroom quality service is what you need. Your truck will be stripped off of its old paint down to the bare metal to achieve this kind of finish.

The work will involve removing dents, sanding, rust removal, applying 20 to 24 layers of paint, and finally applying 6 to 8 layers of clear coat. You can ask them to airbrush your truck or give it a multi-tone finish too.

Naturally, this paint job costs much, much more than the first two options. It will also depend on the type, year, and model of your truck. Be prepared to spend as much as $20,000 if you want showroom quality paint for your truck.

Factors That Determine Cost of Painting a Truck

Trucks usually outlast their body paints by several years. But if there are paint sections that are already chipped and peeled, the body of your truck will be at the mercy of the elements. These sections will act as rust magnets that will further destroy the truck body.

Instead of waiting for the rest of the paint to fall off, you need to act fast. Have your truck coated with new paint to arrest further decay of its body.

But before that, do you know the factors that will influence the cost of the painting service? They are the following:

  1. Size of your truck
  2. Coats of paint that the truck needs, or what you want
  3. The required preparation and bodywork
  4. Quality of the paint
  5. Color of the paint
  6. Pro service or DIY
  7. Paid by insurance or from your own pocket

How to Estimate the Cost of Painting a Truck

cost to paint a truck

How much to paint a truck? There is a way to estimate the cost of the painting service even if you haven’t done it before. You need to consider all the materials required and the actual work that will go into the painting.

Paint Cost

For the basic paint service on a truck, you will need at least two gallons of primer, two gallons of basecoat, and two gallons of clear coat. It would be better to add a little allowance for each so you won’t have to stop the work because of the lack of paint.

Size of Truck and Quality of Paint Job

The number of coats you will end up applying will really depend on the size of your truck, the quality of the paint job you want, and the color of the base coat. For instance, if the old color is red and you want the new color to be lighter or white, you will have to remove all the old paint using a rubber pad.

To get the exact amount of paint, you have to consider your truck’s size and its total surface area that you need to paint. The paint cans usually specify the total number of square feet each can of paint can cover.

Generally, the cost of one can of automotive paint ranges from $20 to $50, depending on the quality and color of the paint. So, if your calculations show that you need 6 gallons of paint, you will need around $120 to $300.

Add some prep materials to your estimated expenses. These could include masking tape, sandpaper, paintbrush or paint spray, and so forth. The amount for this could be about $50. The surface area of a truck is anywhere between 200 and 400 square feet. Some special trucks are even bigger.

Ford Ranger Paint Job

If you have a Ford Ranger, its truck size is around 200 sq. ft. Let us say one gallon of the synthetic can will cover 200 plus square feet. Based on the estimates above, you will need 6 gallons of paints consisting of primers, color coats, and clear coats.

As has already been mentioned, a truck painting job could cost from a low of $120 to a high of $4,000. In the cheapest scenario, you will need 20+ cans of spray paint. This will enable you to cover up all the rust spots on your truck.

If it is standard quality paint that you want, about $4,000 is the amount of money you need to prepare. This includes all the prep work on the body to get your old truck up to this perfect state. If you really want this quality, you can use your auto insurance to cover up part of the cost.

Labor Cost

Another major expense that you need to consider is the cost of labor. The amount of time required to work on your truck will depend on its size. If it is a smaller truck, the time will be less than what you will spend to work on a much bigger truck.

It is simply because of the total surface area of the truck that requires a new painting job. The surface area of typical trucks is anywhere between 200 and 400 square feet. Some special trucks are even bigger. If you have a Ford Ranger, its truck size is around 200 sq. ft.

If you want a basic truck paint job, car painting shops usually charge from $300 to $1,000 for their labor. But if you want standard-quality paint for your truck, be prepared to shell out from $1,000 to $4,000 just for labor alone.

Professional auto paint shops usually charge their customers by the hour. They will provide you an estimate upfront if you ask them. Most of them charge an hourly shop rate that ranges from $60 to $80 per hour.

If a car shop tells you that it will take about 20 hours to do the job, and their hourly rate is $75, your total labor cost will be around $1,500. All decent pro auto paint service shops will paint your truck until its door jams.

Cost of a Professional Truck Paint Job

painting a truck cost

If you want a decent painting job for your truck and don’t have the DIY skills to do it, your best option is to have it done by a professional car paint service shop. There are three options that you can choose when using a car paint shop:

1. Basic Service

The cost of a basic service ranges from $300 to $900. Some say it is from $500 to $1,000. Perhaps it depends on the prevailing rate in a particular locality. The work only involves painting over visible areas. They use synthetic enamel to paint over these areas.

2. Standard Service

The cost of a standard service can range from $1,000 to $4,000. It usually involves sanding and rust removal before the actual painting of the truck. The actual paint job cost will depend on how much bodywork is needed on the truck.

3. Showroom Quality Service

This is the best service you can choose, but it is also the most expensive. It will involve stripping the old paint of your truck down to its bare metal. They will remove rusts and dents and sand the surface to a smooth finish.

Then several coats of high-quality paint are applied to the surface. On average, it will take one month to finish this job at a maximum cost of $20,000. When the job is finished, your truck will look as if it has just been delivered from the showroom.

Cost of Painting a Truck Yourself

If you have decent painting skills, you can do the job of repainting your truck yourself. But if you don’t, better leave the job to the professionals.

Materials

The materials are very accessible which include the following:

  • Paint (Durabak is recommended for DIYers and maximum protection)
  • Primer
  • Solvent
  • Foam brushes
  • Paint trays
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Filtered mask

The best paint to use if you want to paint the truck yourself is Durabak. For about $300, you will be able to coat your truck fully. It is also designed to be a simple DIY package that will satisfy the usual painting requirements. You can use a spray gun or a roll-on to apply it to your truck.

This paint is not your ordinary automotive paint because it is thicker. It has military specs, so it is really tough. You really don’t need to have the surface in perfect shape before you can apply it. It is also flexible and is not brittle when fully dried. This paint will not easily crack or break.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take to Paint a Truck?

On average, it will take from 40 to 80 hours to repaint a truck. The actual time will depend on how much work is required before the actual painting is done. If your truck needs major body repairs, it may take three to five days at 6 hours a day to bring your car to its proper surface finish.

The length of time will also depend on the quality of paint service you want to be done on your truck. Fewer coats of paint will only take a few days. But showroom quality paint will need several days between applications of multiple coats and drying time between each coat of paint.

How to Save Money When Painting Your Truck

Here are some important tips you need to consider when painting your truck:

Don’t Do It If You Don’t Have the Skills

Doing it yourself will really save you costly labor charges. However, take this route only if you have decent skills in automotive painting and if you only need to paint a few sections of your truck.

Choose the Paint Service Carefully

If you choose to go the professional route, get quotes from at least three car painting shops before deciding. But don’t choose the cheapest quote. Asking for quotes will only show you the prevailing rate in your area. Choose the best paint service that you can afford.

Conclusion: What Is the Cost to Paint a Truck?

The cost of painting a truck is about $500 and $1,000 for the most basic painting service. Painting the truck body will often include removing any rust that has developed on the metal surface, sanding the surface in preparation for the painting, coating the surface with a primer, and finally painting the truck body with appropriate car paint.

Again, here are the factors you should consider when you want to repaint your truck:

  1. Size of your truck
  2. Coats of paint that the truck needs, or what you want
  3. The required preparation and bodywork
  4. Quality of the paint
  5. Color of the paint
  6. Pro service or DIY
  7. Paid by insurance or from your own pocket