How To Make Money With Auto Body and Paint Estimating Tips

Hi, it’s Tony. Thanks for checking out the video and my blog. How many are curious about today’s topic: How To Make Money With Auto Body and Paint Estimating Tips!

I know a lot of you are just getting started with this. Of course, I started out doing jobs as well, making money and practicing on other people’s cars.

If you make a mistake, you need to do the job again. It’s part of learning. You can’t expect to learn and grow without making mistakes. It’s part of the process.

Everybody makes mistakes. If you don’t make a mistake, you’re not trying that hard and not putting enough work in.

When you’re just starting out, you can’t charge that much. You don’t have much experience and the credibility yet. As you do more jobs and gain more confidence, you can eventually increase your rate.

That’s how you go from $500 to $1000 paint jobs to an average of $4000 to $7000 paint jobs. The highest I’ve done was a $12000 paint job.

I know some who charge $20,000 paint jobs. That’s where you do a complete restoration, doing show cars.

When doing paint jobs, the first thing you want to consider is the quality of the customer wants. Does he want expensive or cheap paints?

Let’s say for example my Mazda Miata here. Your customer does not want to go crazy on a small car like this and just wants a cheap paint job. You can do a single-stage enamel.

It’s just a single-stage mixing without a clear coat. It’s shiny with usually 2 to 3 medium to heavy coats, which is an easy paint job. You can finish sanding with about 250-grit to 320-grit.

You don’t have to be too crazy with primering the whole car. It’s a very thick paint.

When doing a complete paint job, you need to consider the type of paint, either a base coat clear coat that is expensive or a cheap, single-stage enamel.

You also want to consider the size of car. Is it a 2-door car like the Mazda Miata here, or a 4-door car? Or, maybe a truck?

Then, there’s the paint material. You can get a pretty good kit for $100 to $150. It’s still a full kit but at a cheaper cost.

If you’re doing an enamel job, I would say $1000 to $1200 is a good rate to start out. I charge $1500 for enamel paint jobs about ten years ago. I charge $2500 and up to do base coat clear coat since your material costs will increase as well.

You can do paint jobs in your garage or if you live in a rural area, you can do it in a barn. If you rent a spray booth, it will probably cost you $75 to $150. You can rent spray booths in your local body shop area within your industrial zone.

When my father used to run a shop, we rent out our spray booth which covers our shop rent. We had a big guy across the street who would pay us $25000 a month just to use our booth. He would paint around 5 cars a week.

If you’re doing base coat clear coat, you can charge around $1500 to $2500 when starting out. That’s a really good price.

You can start small and do little damages like painting a fender or a hood or doing bumper repairs, then charge $350.

I’d recommend you buy a gallon of clear which can last about 4 to 5 touch up jobs. Good clears can cost as low as about $100. If it costs you $100 for materials, you make $200 to $250 in a few hours.

You probably get the hang of it after three complete paint jobs. I would charge $2000 for a single-stage paint job and $2500 to $3000 for base coat clear coat as a starting point.

Some customers want a showroom finish. To achieve this, you need to sand the car down with 2000-grit to 2500-grit and buff it out. That’s a 1 to 2 day job. You’ll need to charge extra if the customer wants to get down and dirty with the job.

Motorcycles are just as tedious. For a nice paint job, you can charge at least $1000. When you’re giving out prices, you can always charge for labor plus the cost of the materials.

Also, I usually ask for 50% downpayment then the remaining balance when the customer picks up the car. I take cash or certified cheque. You need to be able to encash the cheque.

If you want to learn more, grab your FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual. For a step-by-step video training, check out the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. I hope you enjoyed the video. Please don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe to my videos. Join me in my weekly YouTube live stream every Thursday at 9pm Eastern.

Cheers! Talk soon!


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