How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Truck? (DIY Vs Pro Jobs)

Great trucks can outlast their initial metallic paint for years to come. However, leaving your pickup truck's paint to peel and chip will expose its body.

The raw metal body panels becomes a rust magnet and will destroy the vehicle and its color. 

Read this guide to understand how much does it cost to get a pickup truck painted and whether it's better for you to DIY painting or hire a professional.

If you are driving an older truck, it may not make much sense to have it painted by a professional. To ensure that your truck professional paint jobs cost is kept down, you should consider doing it yourself.  

The materials you will need are easily accessible; they include: 

  • Paint (or you can use Durabak for best protection) 
  • Masking tape 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Primer
  • Foam brushes 
  • Solvent 
  • Paint trays 
  • Filtered Mask 
Newly Painted Truck

When looking into how to paint your vehicle, you must first consider where you will be professional painting it. A clean and well-ventilated garage is the ideal place to paint your vehicle. Since you will not have a climate-controlled booth, you must evaluate your location's dust and dirt content. 

You might be under the impression that good automotive paint must be sprayed on via an aerosol can. If you are thinking of mimicking a professional sprayer application, it will not be possible with an aerosol can.

Plus, the finish may not look smooth and won't last long. Even though you may find automotive spray gun or cans for as low as $7, you may need dozens of them, which will cost you hundreds of dollars.  

However, if you use an air compressor and HVLP spray gun on paint, you only need to invest in a big enough oven to fit your truck in and then dry it! 

Even if not, you will have to spend extra resources in terms of money and time on Bondo (a putty for filling imperfections) and wet sanding since that paint may magnify your truck's imperfections, so reserve a week for this project.  

You do have another option, Durabak. Durabak was created especially to address all the problems in a small DIY painting package. This paint is not essentially a regular paint but a military-grade one, making it extra challenging. 

It is also thicker than regular paint, so you do not require a perfect surface to apply it on. For only a simple sum of $300, you will have enough Durabak to coat your truck thoroughly.  

How Much Does Professional Truck Painting Cost? 

If you are thinking of getting a professional paint job for the truck you own and do not have the necessary DIY skills, the best option is to have it done via a professional service shop. There are basically three options for you to choose from for your complete paint job: 

The first one is an essential service, and it costs around $300-600. However, some may argue it may range from $500 -1000. Most possibly, it is based on the current rate of the locality you reside in, and only the visible areas of your truck are painted using synthetic enamel.  

The second one is the standard service which may range from $1000 to 4000, and it typically involves rust removal and sanding before professional painting the truck. The cost of the paint may depend on the amount of bodywork needed on your vehicle.  

The final one is the showroom quality finish service — the best and most expensive option you can select. It typically involves stripping your truck's old paint down to the bare metal, then removing all the dents and rusts while sanding the surface to land with a perfect finish.  

Then they will apply multiple or few coats of high quality paint to the truck's surface. And once finished, the truck will look like it has been delivered straight from the showroom. Usually, the new paint job may take a month and cost up to $20,000.  

Professionally Painted Truck

Per Square Foot Cost 

Your truck can range anywhere in size from 200 to 400 square feet.

If you were thinking of professional painting a small truck like the Ford Ranger, which is usually 200 square feet, and if each synthetic enamel paint gallon were to cover the area, then you would require at least 6 gallons to cover all the few coats. This will include the color coat, clear coat, and primer.  

Therefore, you must be ready to spend at least $100-300 on some excellent paint to paint the entire truck by yourself.  

Factors That Determine The Cost Of Painting A Truck 

Trucks typically outlast the body paint by many years. However, if your vehicle has a paint section that is already peeled and chipped, your truck's body will be at the mercy of these factors.

The damaged sections will act like rust magnets and further destroy your truck's body. UV light can also oxidize the paint and cause it to need restoration.

Instead of waiting for the rest of your paint to fall off, you must act fast. Has the truck been coated with new paint to stop further decay? But, do you know what factors will affect your paint service cost before that? These include: 

  • Your truck repainted size 
  • Paint coats your truck repainted requires 
  • The needed bodywork and preparation 
  • The paint quality 
  • The paint color 
  • DIY or professional service 
  • Paid from your pocket by insurance 

Truck Painting Money Saving Tips 

Here are specific essential tips you must consider while thinking of a truck paint job cost:  

DIY will essentially save money you would have spent on labor. Though, you must only opt for this option if you have the right skill-set in automotive paint and if only certain portions of your truck need to be painted.  

When turning to professional service providers, select the one you will be able to afford. However, do not select the cheapest quote.

It would be best to attain quotes from a minimum of three car's paint workshops before making up your mind. Also, asking for quotes will show you the typical rate in proximity.  

Paint Sprayer for Trucks

Common Questions On Truck Paint Costs

How long does it take to paint a truck yourself? 

An entire paint job with typical bodywork will take approximately 40 to 80 hours. However, this varies depending on how severe the damage may be. Certain factors decide how much it costs to repaint a truck and how long it takes.

What type of paint is used on trucks? 

The paint used on automobiles is used not only for decoration but also for protection. Water-based acrylic poly-urethane paint reduces the paint's environmental impact and is presently the most widely used paint for trucks globally.  

Can you paint your truck over existing auto paint? 

Yes, you can paint over the existing auto paint, particularly with modern paints. Just make sure that the existing paint is in suitable condition before painting it over. Furthermore, wet sanding the surface lightly will make the entire process a success.  

What is the cheapest color to paint a truck? 

Selecting a mainstream color such as white, black, or gray is the most cost-effective. However, you will have to pay more if you require a specialty color, especially those used by premium automakers.  


If you were thinking about how much it costs to repaint a truck, hopefully, this guide could help you out. Whether you DIY or get a the professional paint job, it will cost you a lot of time or money.