How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Van? (2020 Estimates)

Are you wondering how much it costs to paint a van?

You’ve come to the right place!

In this ProPaintCorner.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • The typical cost of DIY painting a van
  • How to save money when painting a van
  • How much it usually costs to hire a professional vs do it yourself for painting a van
  • The estimated cost of labor and supplies to paint a van

And much more!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Van? (2020 Estimates)

So, if you want to learn how much you should plan on spending to get your van painted, then keep reading for all our tips and insights below!

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Van?

Whether you decide to buy 10 cans of spray paint or purchase a high-quality enamel or urethane coating, your paint job is going to differ in price with the number of variables that are involved. 

We're going to say your project will cost anywhere from $50-$1000+ depending on the quality of paint job you want, type of paint used, size of the van. 

Bodywork is one of those curveballs that can significantly change the price of auto painting, however, get ready to pay more when repainting with big dings and bumper replacements. 

Average Cost To Paint A Van If You Do It Yourself?

We'll say a reasonable price for painting your van yourself ranges from $100-$500 - it just depends on how into detail you want to go.

You will definitely save money by painting a van yourself, but one thing that you won't save is time. 

Car painting is a time-consuming process, so if you earn more than the painters do at your day job, then it might be more advantageous to hire out the work. 

Average Cost To Paint A Van If You Hire a Professional Company?

Hiring a professional to paint your van will cost you from $500 all the way up into the thousands. 

Get multiple bids, and look at Google and Yelp reviews to find the best automotive painters in your area.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

How To Estimate The Cost To Paint A Van?

DIY Painting Cost

For example, say we want to paint 75 square feet of a van. 

Now that you know your square footage, it's time to pick the right car paint for the job. Important factors when purchasing paint are:

How many square feet does each unit cover?

Each gallon, quart, liter, etc typically covers a certain area(anywhere from 150-300 square feet per gallon, and you'll need a minimum of a gallon of basecoat and a gallon of clearcoat to get the job done. 

If you are doing a professional-style paint job, you'll want to start with 2 gallons of primer, 2 gallons of basecoat, and 2 gallons of clear coat.

We highly recommend painting your own car because vans typically don't depreciate in value with DIY paint. Let's just say it would have to be a pretty botched paint job to reduce the value of your van considering most people purchase a van for transporting people and goods. 

Tip: Don't spray your car anywhere close to another car because you could get overspray on your other car when painting in the same garage.

To estimate the cost, you must first measure the square footage of the surface you are looking to paint. 

Auto Body Shop Cost

The best way to estimate a professional cost for your specific van is to get bids from auto painters in the area.

We say anywhere from $500-$1000+ for a full paint job on a van that is in good condition.

Simple tasks like touch-up can easily be achieved by purchasing the touchup paint that corresponds with the paint code on your vehicle.

$2.72-$10+ Cost To Paint Per Square Foot?

DIY cost/square foot

To calculate the cost per square foot you’ll have to measure your van and add up the total area of all the body panels.

After that, you’ll want to check the paint label on your specific paint to find out how much square footage each unit covers.

Let’s say we are painting a van that is 100 square feet. 

If we spent $222 on paint, and an extra $50 for masking tape, sandpaper, and other products needed for prep work, the paint job ended up costing $272 for paint and materials. 

$272 total cost / 100 square feet = $ 2.72 per square foot

Professional Paint Job Cost

Say you paid $1000 to have your van painted by a reasonably priced bidding contractor.

$1000 / 100 square feet = ~$10 per square foot. 

Read More >> What Are The Best Auto Paint Sprayers For Beginners?

Estimated Cost of Paint For Painting A Van?

Using the measured square footage of the van will help you get a good idea of the estimated price of paint. Here's a ballpark estimate that we came up with based on Amazon products. 

For reference, most auto painters get away with fully repainting a vehicle with:

~1+ gallons of primer + ~1+ gallons of base coat + ~1+ gallons of clear coat 

Higher quality paints are generally sold in quarts, and 3 quarts(~3/4 of a gallon) is a good quantity for the color coat. 

You might need more paint depending on the size of the van. And who knows, maybe you’ll have some leftover.

We recommend reading paint labels and measuring accurately if you want the project to go smoothly. 

So if we hypothetically bought 3 quarts of this Rust-Oleum paint in jet black, 3 quarts of this clear coat that means you'll be purchasing six cans of paint at $22 per can. 

3 quarts will allow you to get a couple of good coats of paint from each different stage.

FOR REPAINT/RESPRAY: 

6 quarts of paint x $22 = $132 for a repaint.

FOR NEW PAINT JOBS:

If you must use primer, you'll need  ~3 cans of this high build primer that costs $30/quart. That adds $90 to the cost.

So $222 is a good price for starting a paint job from scratch.

Read More >> What Are The Best Paint Primers For Rusted Metal?

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Professional For Your Paint Job?

Click here to check out our pro painter search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) painters in your local area.

Process Takes About 30 Seconds

Estimated Cost of Labor For Painting A Van?

Each individual body shop will have their hourly rate for painting. 

If the shop gives you an estimate for 20 hours at $60/hour, you'll be paying $1200 for a professional-looking paint job.

And that price isn't that unreasonable.

You just have to consider how much you would normally make in 20 hours; if you are a doctor that makes $200+/hour, then it obviously makes sense to hire the job out to a professional.

We estimate that it will take you anywhere from 5-40 hours when painting the van yourself.

5 hours being a cheap paint rattle can job where the car looks like it's simply covered in spray paint, and 40 hours being a showroom quality job where you really did some research and took your time.

Read More >> How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Bumper?

Did you know: A typical car paint job costs anywhere from $1000 to $3500. But, in some cases the value of the car will increase more than that with a new paint job which is a great reason to DIY!

How To Save Money When Painting A Van?

Use Rattle Cans

Let's be honest, not all vans are designed to look impeccable. Sometimes you just need a quick layer of paint to cover up rust spots. 

Purchase something like a synthetic enamel paint, and get down to business!

After sanding/resurfacing and smoothing out the surface of the van, spray paint is just as effective at adding a fresh look, and rattle cans work surprisingly well when done correctly in an enclosed environment.

Sure, it won't be the highest quality in the world, but at least you'll get rid of the rust. 

You can even buy a rattle can clear coat and apply it after the base coat. We've done it! Don't forget the door jambs.

Hire A Chain Company

Companies like Maaco are a decent option for painting older vehicles because they have a single-stage paint process that looks decent and doesn't cost very much. Maaco standard paint jobs generally cost under a thousand dollars, so this isn't a bad option when looking to save some money.

If you simply want a different color or a less rusted look, cheap painting companies aren't a bad option. Just don't expect the paint job to last a long time.

Get Multiple Estimates

When getting prices from paint shops to paint your SUV, Chevy, Honda, or another automotive paint job, you'll get the best price by asking for multiple bids.

This makes each company price more competitively for a paint job on a new car.

Meet Your Pro Paint Corner Author

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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Got Paint Questions? Search For In-Depth Answers Below!

Ryan Nichols

Ryan Nichols

I first painted professionally in my late teens. I have painted everything from long military base walls to spraying cedar wood siding on cabins in the mountains of Utah. I am also an automotive technician with plenty of auto body and paint experience. In my spare time, I even enjoy artistic oil painting.

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