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How much does it cost to get a car painted in St. Paul Minnesota?

How much does it cost to get a car painted in St. Paul Minnesota?


a car in a St. Paul paint shop

Asking how much it costs to paint a car is often just like asking how long is a piece of string. The short answer is, it always depends. Are we changing the color of the car, are you just repainting a portion of the car, is there any existing body damage, is the car currently disassembled and ready for paint, is the existing paint in decent shape, are just some of the many questions that could influence the answers.


 I am not a fan of blog posts that answer a specific question with a series of additional questions and no real answers, so I’ll break down some of the costs associated with painting cars in the St. Paul Minnesota market, and you can get a ballpark from there.


Matching the existing color, or changing the color of the car


Most body shops in the St. Paul area have very sophisticated paint matching computers that can actually scan the car and match the paint. If you are doing an all over paint job, you could just mix the paint using the color code on the vin number.


For a really top notch professional paint job where the paramount body shop takes apart the entire car, paints the door jambs under the hood, and any area where the old color was you can expect to pay $8,000 to more than $10,000.


Lets say you bought a used car and just want it repainted the same color, you might be able to get your car painted for around $3,000 to $5,000 here in Atascadero.


You can get it done for less like any of these $499 paint job shops in Atascadero, but you won't be satisfied with the results.


Auto Paint job pricing break downs in St. Paul Minnesota


First, consider any work that is done to the car you are on the clock for labor. Figure on at $50-$100 per hour for labor. You will also need to pay for any materials used on the vehicle.


To get a decent paint job  all of the trim must be removed. Also the head lights, tail lights, turn signals, side marker lights, grille, radio antenna, etc. Figure 3 hours labor.


The vehicle must be cleaned. All wax must be removed. Figure 1 hour labor and  $50 for materials.


The entire vehicle must be sanded. Estimate 4 hours labor and $100 for materials.


The body preparation must be perfect. Any underlying defect will stand out like a sore thumb. These must also be repaired. You may think existing body defects are minor, but no quality body shop in St. Paul will paint a car that needs body work. So you can estimate another 8 hours or more to repair any body work and  $150 for materials.


The car must be masked off prior to painting. Figure on 2 hours labor. Estimate $50 materials.


Just before your car enters the paint booth, it must get a final cleaning and get wiped down with solvent to remove any surface contaminants, fingerprints and smudges. Your car will also get wiped down with tack rags to remove any remaining dust or dirt. Most Paramount area body shops will estimate1 hour labor and as much as $50 for materials.


If you are painting over a decent existing paint job, the original paint must be sealed. Figure 1 hour labor and $100 in paint materials.


If your car had bodywork done or was sanded sown to bare metal in any spots, the car must be primed. Figure 1 hour labor and up to $150 materials.


Your car will most likely need some final sanding after the primer coat. Figure 2 hours labor and $50 materials.


Base Coat / Clear Coat systems


By now, the car is finally ready for Base Coat (Color). This is usually 2 or more coats of paint. Estimate 3 hours of labor and at least $300 materials.


Next is the Clear Coat. This is also done in about 3 coats. Figure 3 hours labor and about $200 materials.


After the paint is dry the masking materials must be removed. Figure on 1 hours labor.


It is not uncommon to have the final coat of paint buffed and polished to make it look like a new car. Figure on 2 hours labor and upwards of $100 in materials.


Next, the trim,  head lights, tail lights, turn signals, side markers, radio antenna, etc. must be reinstalled. Figure on 3 hours labor.


The vehicle will now get a final inspection.


Add this up


35 hours labor @ $100 per hour = $3500 labor

$1250 in materials


Add it all up and it easily comes to $4750.


Add about 10% if you are changing the color. This is because of the added steps, labor and materials to paint the door jams, trunk / hatch area, under the hood, etc.


This estimate assumes an average size car with no rust or excessive body damage.


Beware of the too cheap to be true advertised automotive paint jobs.


There are places here in St. Paul that will paint your car for less but with less cost comes many shortcuts. For example a cheap paint job shop might skip steps like sealer or primer that could cause your paint to peel later on. I can guarantee that the cheaper shops will merely mask off components that should be removed. If not done perfectly the end result looks tacky and it will be easy to spot the repaint since there will be overspray in areas that will be easily visible to the eye.


The gimmicky paint job specials offer zero repairs before they paint. I have seen cut rate paint shops paint over stone chips, bugs, rust, road tar, etc. They may not sand the car between coats. You will have little bumps from dust or dirt in the paint. They may skip the clear coat. They may use cheap inferior materials. The paint may quickly peel or fade. All these shortcuts affect the end result, and you usually will not be satisfied.

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