How Long Does It Take To Paint a Car? A Detailed Guide

How long does it take to paint a car?” is something you might be wondering if you have to leave your car in the auto body shop for a long time. Painting your car takes a long process, whether you’re doing it yourself or giving it to a professional to do it for you.

How Long Does It Take To Paint A Car

If you’re thinking of getting your car repainted, expect to spend a long time on it, and you will be without a car for a while. In this guide, we take a closer look at how long it would take for you to paint your car and other factors you need to consider.

How Long Will It Take To Paint a Car?

It would take 40 to 80 hours to paint a car, depending on the size of your car and the bodywork that is required. You also need to consider the timeline between the paint coats, as this would contribute to the overall time.

There is no exact answer to how long it would take for your car to be painted, as it depends on the extent of the job, the make, color, and size of the car, the extent of the damage to the car, and what type of paint is needed. So, the timeline can be from a day to several weeks.

It is not easy to paint a car, as the process can even take up to a week. You also cannot drive a freshly painted car, so you would have to wait for at least 48 hours before you can drive. This contributes to the time it takes to paint your car before you drive.

One of the hardest phases of painting your car is the preparation. This also contributes a lot of time to how long it would take to paint the car. You might spend time looking for the ideal paint that you need for your car and setting up the garage to avoid getting paint everywhere.

What Is the Timeline Between Paint Coats?

The timeline between paint coats can be as little as 30 to 90 minutes, but as high as 24 hours, depending on the type of paint. Paints that take up to 24 hours to dry between coats would make the car painting procedure very long.

Painting The Fuel Cap of Car the Car With Red

If you have to wait a day for your paint to dry and you are applying 10 coats, you would most likely spend two weeks completing the entire paint job. You can consider going for paints that can dry within an hour, especially if you’re working with a tight deadline.

As for the primer, it usually takes less time to dry between coats. It would dry in 15 to 30 minutes between each application. When painting your car, it’s important to read the instructions to learn more about the time needed to apply around 10 coats of paint.

What Determines How Long It Takes to Paint a Car?

What determines how long it takes to paint a car includes the bodywork, the model of the car, the preparation phase, and the paint application process. All of these are factors that influence how long the car painting process takes.

Body Work

One of the most important factors that influence how long it takes to paint a car is the bodywork of the car. If you’re taking your car for a new paint job, it might be because there is some damage that has affected the car’s body, even past the paint level.

Technician Repairing The Damaged Part Of Car Before Painting It Again

If there is a lot of damage to the body of your car, it will make the painting procedure longer. This is because the dents and damages have to be repaired before you can paint the vehicle so that it looks its best. You might have to meet a professional to do the repairs for you.

Prepping Phase

The preparation phase is a highly important factor that determines how long it takes to paint a car. This phase involves getting the car ready for painting, and it involves sanding the surface and priming the car. You would also add the base coat. The bigger your car, the longer this will take.

You need to ensure that the car’s paint sticks properly to the surface. If you don’t prepare your car properly, the paint won’t look good. The preparation stage can take from a few hours to a few days, depending on how much work you need to do.

Car Model

The make and model of your car would also play an important role in how long it takes to paint your car. Some car models are easier to paint than others, shortening the time. For instance, a smaller car is faster to paint than a pickup truck or an SUV because it has a smaller surface area.

Different Models Of Car Parking Beside Each Other

Keep in mind that this might not always be the case if you’re simply touching up the paint rather than getting a full repaint. Also, you might have to disassemble some parts for some classic car models to cover all the visible areas with paint. The disassembly process is an important factor in how long it would take.

Paint Application Process

The paint application process for your car would definitely affect how long it takes to complete the job. You would have to apply the coat, wait for it to dry, and then apply another coat. It depends on how many coats you want to apply, the drying time of the paint, and even the type of paint you are using.

After all the layers of paint coats have been added, you will then apply a layer of clear coat. Then once the coat has dried, the car would have to be polished and buffed. The polishing would take place 24 hours after the coat has hardened. With all of these in mind, your painting procedure would take a pretty long time. That’s why it’s best to visit a paint booth.

When Should You Paint Your Car?

You should paint your car when the paint is peeling, discolored or damaged in different parts. If you have an old car, there would be obvious signs that you need new paint, whether it’s a new paint job or just refreshing the look of your car.

Many people are concerned about when they should get their car painted. If you don’t notice any of the obvious signs of damage to your car, your vehicle might still need a new paint coat. For example, there might be rusting or oxidation on your vehicle. Even if you have a small patch of rust, it can quickly grow without maintaining your car and adding a new coat of paint.

Also, if the paint on your car is fading, you might need a paint job to remove the old paint. The paint would also remove the rust and oxidation on your car before you apply new paint and primer. Furthermore, if there was an accident or a collision that scratched your car, you would need a paint job to cover it up.

A common reason why you might have to paint your vehicle is if you want a new color. If you simply want something new after having the same car exterior for a long time, or you want to revamp your car after a long time, it’s a good idea to paint the car.

What Factors Should You Consider Before Painting Your Car?

The factors that you should consider before painting your car include the paint prices, how long it would take to paint the car, the damage done to your car, the different types of paint, and the value that it would add to your car.

You also need to consider how long the new paint would last and the fact that you need to remove the interior of your car. It’s best to keep these in mind before making the decision to paint your car.

How Much It Costs to Paint Your Car

Whether you’re painting your car by yourself or visiting a car shop, you still have to consider the costs of painting your car. You can ask the auto body shop to give you an estimate for your vehicle painting, including the prep measures and parts that need to be repaired.

Giving Money For A Service

It can take between $500 and $3,000 to paint a small to mid-sized car or up to $10,000 for a premium job.

If There Is Damage to Your Car

You also need to think about whether there is any damage to your car before applying a new coat of paint. If you paint without fixing the damage to your car, a new coat of paint would just make the damage look more pronounced, even if its quality paint. So, you should repair scratches, dents, rust spots, gouges, pits and holes before painting.

Car With A Major Damage On Backseat Door

How Long It Would Take To Paint the Car

You also need to consider how long it would take to paint the car. Most paint shops can take care of your paint job in about three days, but you should expect the car to be in the body repair for up to a week. New paint cannot be applied to old paint directly, so the time it would take to prepare the car should be considered.

The Value That the Paint Will Add

Painting your car would add a lot of value to it. If you’re planning to sell the car, the paint job would add a lot of value. For a car that has been repainted, you can increase your asking price. But keep in mind that there won’t be much value to the car if it is more than 10 years.

The Type of Car Paint

You also have to consider the type of car paint that you’re going for before painting your car. The types of vehicle paint you can use include water-based paint, urethane paint, acrylic lacquer paint and acrylic enamel paint. You can ask the auto body shop to know more about the ideal type of paint for your car.

How Long the Paint Would Last

You should also think about how long the paint will last before you apply it. Vehicle paint can last for between 10 and 15 years, but it depends on the type of paint, the quality of the paint, and the final touches on the car. You should get your automobile painted every five to ten years.

Painting Involves Removing the Interior Features

It’s important to note that painting your car would involve removing the things in the car’s interior. Most people don’t know this, but you would have to remove the dash, console, and sometimes the seats of your car. If they touch the paint, it will cause damage.

Is it Possible to Paint a Car While Streaming Entertainment?

Is it possible to transform commutes with entertainment by painting a car while streaming? While it may sound like an innovative concept, painting a car requires utmost focus and attention to detail, which could be compromised if one is engrossed in streaming entertainment. It’s best to prioritize safety while driving and keep entertainment activities for moments when you’re not behind the wheel.


Now that you know how long does it take to paint a car, you can plan how long you are leaving your car in the body shop. Check out our article summary below:

  • It takes 20 to 40 hours to paint your car, but in some cases, it can take up to 7 days.
  • The timeline between paint coats contributes to the time for painting your car, and be between 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  • The factors that determine how long it takes to paint your car include the car model, bodywork, preparation phase and the application process.

When you want your car to get painted, you should ask a professional auto paint shop for an exact quote and how long it would take.


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