Contemplating a Color Change?

Consider this before repainting your car

Spray on the car
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If you want to have your car, truck, or SUV repainted, you don't have to stick to the old color. You can change it entirely, especially if the original color is now outdated. Color trends come and go, and changing that bright yellow that was so popular 20 years ago to a more up-to-date deep blue or sparkly silver will give your vehicle renewed life, especially if it still runs great. Before you make the leap and commit to a color change, though, there are some things to consider.


First and foremost is the matter of cost. Automotive painting is expensive, even if you try to keep things as cheap as possible. But a new paint job can do wonders, and it is certainly less expensive than buying a brand new vehicle.

Do keep in mind, however, that changing the color can almost double the cost of some paint jobs. That's because when you repaint a car the same color, you can usually just paint the parts of the vehicle that are regularly exposed to weather—in other words, the top, sides, front, and back. The hidden bits, the parts that don't get baked in the sun and pounded by rain, usually still look fine. These include things like the inside of the trunk, the underside of the hood, the inside of the engine compartment, and the door jambs, which are the surface of the door openings that carry the latches. Take a look at how many parts of your vehicle are painted. If you change the outside color, all these components should be changed as well.

However, if you need to save a few bucks, there are certain spots where you can get away with a two-tone look. Paint shops usually charge a specified amount per area, so depending on how drastic your color change is and how much you care that everything matches, you might opt to skip some of these areas. For instance, you can opt to change the color of the door jambs so you don't see a sharp contrast every time you open the door, but then skip the engine compartment and the inside of the trunk, which few people will ever see. Skipping these by and large hidden areas can save you at least a couple hundred dollars on the overall job. 


Several other factors are likely to inform your decision. A change in color can drastically affect a vehicle's resale value, usually in a negative way. No matter how ugly your color was, to begin with, a repaint with color change will almost never increase the value of the car. In the case of higher-dollar or antique vehicles, the value can suffer as much as 20 percent. People expect a certain make, model, and year to have a certain factory color.

Another consideration is how long you plan to keep the vehicle. If you're in it for the long haul, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy your new paint job without worrying about the value of the vehicle. If you plan to sell or trade it in soon, you may want to suffer through the original color a little longer. All this being said, if your vehicle isn't especially valuable, you may want to go for it. There are always things to consider when you're going to be spending money on your car, so make a decision you're comfortable with.

Avoid DIY

Don't be tempted to paint your vehicle yourself, either all or part. Unless you have automotive painting experience, you're likely to do a less than satisfactory job, which means you'll only have to pay someone to fix your mistakes. The bottom line is that painting a vehicle is best left to a professional.