Painting a car is almost always an expensive and time consuming task, whether you pay to have it professionally done, or choose to paint your own car. For those interested in doing the job yourself, there are a variety of benefits and downsides that should be thoroughly looked into before settling on the do it yourself option.
Benefits of Doing It Yourself
Cost is generally the most appealing factor when it comes to painting a vehicle yourself. By taking care of the prep work such as stripping the paint, sanding down the body and fixing any imperfections in the body panels, you can potentially save a large amount compared to what a body shop would charge.
There are several automotive paint companies that specialize in small quantity original equipment color matching. These companies can supply you with professionally matched colors of paint available either by the quart or gallon, or in pre-filled aerosol spray cans that allow you to purchase only as much as you need, so you aren’t left paying for paint you won’t use.
A major complaint with professional paint and body shops is the large potential waiting list. Popular establishments can have a waiting list of several weeks or months, which can mean several weeks or months of inconvenience. By doing it yourself, you can often have an acceptable paint job done in a fraction of the time a professional shop would’ve taken. In the case of painting done via aerosol spray cans, a serviceable paint job can be had in as little as one to two days.
Downsides of Doing It Yourself
Painting a vehicle yourself is incredibly labor intensive and requires a high degree of both patience, preparation and most of all experience. The amount of work you put into the preparation stage of a paint job directly affects the quality of the finished product, and it is very unlikely that you will produce great results on your first try.
Painting requires as clean an environment as possible, with humidity and temperatures that remain as constant as possible. Even the slightest bit of dust can cause noticeable blemishes in the final product, and excessive humidity can cause problems with paint curing and contribute to running or sagging in some areas, which can completely ruin the job.
While high quality paint jobs can be obtained using simple methods such as aerosol spray cans, the average results of such methods will generally leave much to be desired. Professional paint jobs require professional application methods, and these methods require extensive equipment which may be overly cost prohibitive for someone just looking to repaint a single car.
Professional Paint and Body shops produce professional paint jobs both due to high quality equipment, and extensive knowledge and experience in the field. Even using the same equipment, it may take several tries to achieve results that are comparable. Because of this steep learning curve, and extensive amount of required equipment, it is often cheaper to simply pay to have your car painted professionally, especially if you only plan to paint one car.