Should You Paint Your Own Car? The Pros and Cons of a DIY Paint Job

Your vehicle is one of your biggest investments, and deciding how you are going to repair and maintain it should always be carefully considered. Maintaining a clean looking paint job, especially after any body damage, is no different.

There is no right answer when it comes to whether you should attempt to paint your own car, or opt for a pro. It depends on your experience, time, and goal for the final look. We’ve broken down a few factors you should weigh in your decision.

Pros:

Cost. It’s no secret that body shops charge a lot of money for the skilled work they provide. By painting your own car you can cut down on some costs. You can also cut out a lot of the labour by providing some of the work yourself, including stripping the existing paint and fixing imperfections. A little prep work can go a long way when it comes to the final bill.
Waste not, want not. By purchasing your own paint, you can avoid paying for paint you don’t need and won’t use on your vehicle. Many paint companies offer incredibly accurate colour matching in various quantities, and some even provide pre-filled aerosol spray cans.
Avoid wait times. Many professional shops have long wait lists, sometimes for weeks or months. By doing the paint yourself, you can have it done and dry within a day or two.

Cons:

Inexperience. Painting a car isn’t easy. You need patience, experience, and the space and time to do the job properly. Unfortunately, one of the only ways to get good at painting a car is to try it, and often the first paint job isn’t exactly professional quality like you would get at a Vancouver Auto Body Shop.
Paint is finicky. Any fluctuations in temperature and humidity can affect the final product’s quality. Even dust and pollen in the air can have a negative effect on the quality of the paint job. Temperature and humidity problems can result in paint curing, running, and sagging.
Tools of the trade. At home jobs lack the tools of the professionals, resulting in less clean and polished results. Aerosol spray cans can result in a clean finish, but the precision of professional tools is almost impossible to recreate with products available for the hobbyist.

Due to the steep learning curve, lack of professional tools, and difficult nature of car paint, it’s generally cheaper and easier to have it done professionally. Although if you’re looking for the DIY experience, you can always give it a try. It’s best to research the steps involved to get a realistic picture of whether or not you have the skills and experience to take on the project to completion.

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