A Guide to Full Car Painting Process

car paint process

Classic cars are a thing of beauty. They give people today a glimpse into the past and are an iconic representation of yesteryear. If you own one, you know the painstaking process to keep the car in the best shape possible. The attention to detail is imperative to ensuring the car can last for decades to come- and a lot of that starts with the paint job. There’s nothing worse than going through the process of restoring and maintaining a classic car just to have a poor paint job.  That’s why it’s best educate yourself and know that you are working with a professional who understands the car paint process!


Since restoring a car can be a long and expensive process, there are a few things to consider when beginning the process and can help you determine the best path to take if and when you arrive at the time to get that classic beauty ready for a new paint job. 

What do you want to do with the car?

  • What is the condition of the vehicle?
  • Is it a rare car?
  • What is your budget to restore the vehicle?

Answering these questions can give you a better idea on how much time, money, and effort you are willing to get that classic ride looking just like it did in its heyday. 


Painting your classic car is an essential part to keeping the vehicle in the best shape possible. If you notice rusting or other damage, it’s important to get the car repaired. More extensive bodywork, rust removal and replacement parts will be necessary to bring the classic back to life. These are all things that can factor in your future plans for the car to determine how much work you’re willing to put into it. 

Once your vehicle is ready to be painted, you want to make sure you make the best selection for paint. One thing you do not want to do is spray paint. Not only will it take forever, but it will also look rough, and it won’t last. What is important in preparing your vehicle for painting is to make sure you remove all the dirt and grime. Basically, everything that will cause inconsistencies. Once you have primed, cleaned, and sanded the car, you then need to mask off your vehicle. Pay attention to make sure you do not miss any spots on your car that need to be covered. You don’t want to wreck all your hard work!


When painting your classic car, it’s important to try and stay true to the original look and color. This will have a great impact on its value- especially if it is a rare classic car. If you have no plans on entering shows or competitions you can really choose to do whatever you want but do keep in mind that the closer you keep the car’s original color and style, the higher the value will be. Certain cars have distinguished looks and colors that are iconic to making sure the classic car still remains a “classic”. 


While preparing your classic ride for painting can take a while, so can the actual process of painting as well, depending upon how intricate a paint job the vehicle requires. All in all, the process of getting your classic car a new paint job can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Obviously, this will ultimately depend on how much body work and prepping is needed to get the car ready as well as the paint job itself. The painting itself is a multi-step process. It starts with the primer coat. From there, depending upon the number of coats, paint type, and specialty designs each step can take a multitude of hours or even days. 


A big part of preparing your classic car for painting is ensuring the proper body work and restoration is taken care of. If you are making the large investment on your vehicle’s paint job, you want to also make sure you do all the steps to ensure your efforts are not wasted. This can be included in your total expenditure when you take your vehicle in for restoration and painting. 


The cost of getting your classic ride a new paint job can vary greatly. The average price of a new paint job is in the $3,000-4,000 range. In some cases, it could even be as high as the tens of thousands of dollars depending on the car, paint scheme, trim, and bodywork needed for the vehicle you are restoring. If you have an elite car, you can expect the paint job to be more on the expensive side. Keep in mind, to maintain the “classic” status, the car has to be 100% original- paint and all. On top of the painting, bodywork and restoration can also add greatly to your costs. The largest contributor to this is the cost of man hours. Body work labor can rack up quickly, but it’s important to correct these issues to make sure your new paint job lasts. That’s why it’s best to trust the car painting process to the professionals.


Wrecktify Collision and Restoration provides complete frame-up hot rod, streetcar and classic car restoration services in Wisconsin. We pride ourselves on quality workmanship and the ability to provide all your body, paint, and mechanical needs. Our team has a passion for cars and 100% Customer Satisfaction is what we pride ourselves in. So, if you are looking to build a dream ride from the ground-up or restore your “first Love” back to its original condition, look no further than Wrecktify! Contact us today!

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