Your car is like a member of your family, and, like the rest of your loved ones, you only want the best for your car when something breaks or your paint starts to peel. Why recycle your car or sent to the car removals if it’s not needed?

Some paint jobs, however, can cost in excess of a thousand dollars, even for the simplest of colors and the smallest of cars. For those who can't afford to have an expensive paint job done on their car, a few affordable yet quality alternatives are available.

3 Cheap Alternatives To Repaint Your Car

Do-It-Yourself: Head to the Hardware Store

That's right. The hardware store isn't just for homeowners or contractors anymore. Many people who want to breathe new life into their vehicles can head down to the hardware store, pick up a few items, put in some quality hours in the garage and have it all done for under $100.

To begin, purchase some sandpaper, painter's tape, foam brushes, paint trays and primer spray paint. Depending on the size of your car, you may need to purchase between four and six quarts of paint. A good thing to remember when purchasing paint is that you will likely need to apply at least six coats of paint to your car before the job is done.

Once you have purchased all the supplies you need, begin the prep work. Remove any and all pieces that come off easily. Doing this will help you avoid any unnecessary cleaning that may arise should you accidentally paint any headlights or other parts that should be left untouched. 

Next, thoroughly wash every piece of material that you plan to paint. Make sure your work area is clean and free from any extra debris. Dirt and grime that is left on the vehicle will cause a number of problems during the painting process.

Next you must mix your paint. Make sure the paint is mixed to the point where it looks and feels similar to milk. This will ensure that every part of the car is covered evenly and that there is no extra runoff after you are finished. 

It is also important that you plan how you want to paint your vehicle. Keep track of every part of the vehicle that you have already painted and remember to evenly spread the paint over each section of the car. 

While a significant amount of elbow grease is required for a decent paint job, doing it yourself certainly beats heading to Maaco to spend $1,500. 


Rustoleum offers a wide range of products for individuals looking to paint their cars at home. 

Head to your local hardware or automotive store and pick up four quarts of gloss Rustoleum, four cans of Rustoleum primer spray paint, sandpaper, acetone, painter's tape, a spray gun and air compressor. 

After you have completed the prep work, removed all necessary parts and cleaned the outside of your vehicle, you're ready to begin painting. If you plan on using a darker color for your car, make sure to apply a dark colored primer first. If you plan on using a lighter color for your vehicle, apply a light colored primer first. 

After you have completed the job, you'll want to let the car sit for a few days to let the paint cure. Similar to using regular paint, this will set you back between $100 and $200, depending on the size of your vehicle. 

Because Rustoleum products are exclusively made for automobiles, the process is relatively easy. Similar to other do-it-yourself jobs, you must have proper knowledge of how to use the products and what to do if you make a mistake. 

Good Old Fashion Spray Paint

A few cans of spray paint can go a long way for someone who knows what they're doing. 

Before you try this method, however, make sure you have had some training on how to properly use spray paint and have a backup plan in case it doesn't work out.

First, buy as much spray paint as you need from your local hardware store. Remove any parts of the vehicle that you don't plan on spray painting and set them to the side. 

Next, remove the hood completely and spray paint it by itself. This will make the process much easier and will keep the engine clean. After the entire car has been painted, let it sit for a couple of days to cure, wet sand the exterior of the vehicle and then apply a coat of polish.

While this is a very affordable alternative to spending thousands of dollars at a local collision and paint center, it is a very risky process. You may end up using too much paint and may have to repeat the process multiple times to get the look you want. 

Author Bio

Rebecca Smith’s is a car enthusiast that stems from working on cars with her Dad when you was just a young un’. She is interested in finding creative ways to reuse car parts or modify cars that are at the end of their years. In her spare time she runs a Car Removalist Company.


Jean Lou Laborte said...

What an informative blog.. thanks for posting this professional detailing tips..

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