Make Money With Auto Body and Paint – Estimating Tips!

Hi, it’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint with another live stream.  Thank you for coming on. This is an interactive training. I hope you enjoy the show! Today’s topic is how to Make Money With Auto Body And Paint – Estimating Tips.

The streams will be archived. If you missed the show or come on a little later, these streams will be up on YouTube.

I haven’t figured it all out yet, I want to also do more exclusive ones for VIPs, but I also want to answer everybody’s questions on here as well.

I will be doing these shows every Thursday at about 9pm to 10pm Eastern, so come and join me every week. Think of your most burning auto body questions so we can answer them on the show.

This will just be a quick 30 to 40-minute show. I don’t want to make it too long and take up a lot of your time.

The first 10 minutes will be basic content which I want to share with you. I am here in Dallas, Texas right now, but I’ll be doing this in Japan next week, so type in where you’re from and where you’re at right now on chat.

We got San Antonio … Missouri … Ohio … Central Florida … Jacksonville, Alabama … Youngstown, Ohio … Indiana … Phoenix, Arizona … Abilene, Texas … Awesome! Keep it coming!

We have mostly people from the US today. We don’t have people from other parts of the world.

I will get into the main topic here and then, we’ll have some Q&A. This is very interactive. I want you to play full out. Like I always say, the more you give, the more I can give back to you.

Don’t forget to give the video a Like and share it with your family and friends. Have them join us next week!

Are you guys curious about how to make some money by doing side jobs for friends and family? When I started out, I would get jobs, charge them for it and make money.

You make money and get to practice on other people’s cars. If you make a mistake, you have to do the section over again and do the job over again. It’s part of learning.

You can’t expect to learn and grow without making mistakes. It’s part of the process. When you’re starting out, you can’t charge that much. You don’t have much experience and the portfolio and that much credibility to charge that much.

But, as you do more jobs, and gain more experience, you have more confidence in yourself and feel like doing the job better, which entitles you to charge more.

That’s how you go from $500 to $1000 paint jobs, where you would probably start, to an average of $4000 to $7000 paint jobs. You can go higher than that.

The highest I’ve done is a $12,000 paint job. I know people who charge $20,000 to $25,000. That’s a complete restoration.

Let’s start with a complete paint job. We have a complete paint job here, check out the video as I show you my Miata. Let’s say you’re doing the Miata for a customer and you’re just getting started, maybe you painted two of your own cars and have an idea,

If you’re estimating body jobs, the first thing you want to think of is, what kind of quality does your customer want? Does he want high quality or low quality? Does he want expensive or cheap paints?

The Miata is a little car. If say for example your friend wants you to do a quick paint job on the Miata. He doesn’t want to go crazy on it. He doesn’t want to go for expensive paints.

You’re going to do a single-stage enamel with this. You basically have your paint in a gallon and your hardener. There’s no clear coat. It’s shiny.

As soon as you lay it on, you wait 15 minutes and put another. It’s usually 2 to 3 medium to heavy coats and that’s it. It’s an easy paint job.

Your preparation doesn’t have to be crazy. You can finish sanding with about 280-grit to 320-grit then you’re ready to blast. You don’t have to be crazy with primering the whole car. It’s a very thick paint.

When doing a complete paint job, consider the type of paint: The base coat clear coat, which is expensive or the single-stage which is cheap paint just like Maaco paint, but they offer base coat clear coat as well.

You also want to consider the size of the car. A two-door like the Miata, has a different price from a four-door car, more so with a truck. The larger the size, the higher the cost of painting.

As for paint material, the cheap full kit costs about $100 to $150, for all the paint which is pretty good as well. Probably better than what Maaco has. Whereas the more expensive ones cost about $250 a gallon just for clear coat.

(Sorry guys for the bad video!)

When starting out, you can charge about $1000 to $1200 for enamel paint jobs. I used to charge $1500 for enamel paint jobs and $2500 and up to do base coat clear coat, because the cost of materials will increase and extra labor. That was 10 year ago. I don’t do them anymore for customers.

For example, you charge $1000 to $1500 for your single-stage paint job, then it will cost you about $200 for materials.

You can do this in your garage, or your barn, under a tent. You can also rent a spray booth, which will cost you $75 to $150, depending on where you rent your spray booth.

You can go to any body shop within your local industrial zone and rent a spray booth. When, my father had a shop, we would rent out a spray booth and that used to pay for our rent at the shop.

We had one guy across the street who paints trucks and he pays us $2500 a month for the spray booth. He would paint around 5 cars a week. We would also rent it out on weekends.

That’s a totally different business topic that I can discuss with you. How to basically have a spray booth and rent it out.

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

You can start small. Start doing little damages. You can start with a fender or maybe somebody’s hood. Also, you always want to buy a gallon of clear. You’re not going to be using the entire thing on one job. That can be like 4 to 5 touch up jobs.

It may cost you about $100 to $150 for a good clear. Then, you buy a pint of base coat of whatever color you’re doing on the job.

You can just do a fender or bumper. You can charge $350 repair a dent or paint a panel. If it costs you $100, you make $200 to $250 in a few hours. It doesn’t really take long to prep and paint one single panel.

You can have a dent in a fender, take it out, body work it and get it ready for paint in 2 to 3 hours. It will take you 30 minutes to paint it.

You can basically complete the job in 5 hours. You can fix up someone’s bumper or a fender and charge $200 to $250. You can charge $500 for doing a hood. You may have to do some color sanding and buffing.

I don’t know if you want to learn more about this. Let’s open it up with Q&A. I gave you information on paint cost, the difference in paints – base coat clear coat and single stage enamel. I also gave you information on how to do overall estimates on two-door, four-door, trucks and vans.

Overall, once you have three full complete paint jobs, by then you pretty much got the hang of it. I would charge probably $2000 for a single-stage and $2500 to $3000 for base coat clear coat as a starting point.

If the guy wants to color sand and buff it after that, I’ll charge extra. Sometimes people just want it painted. Sometimes people want a showroom finish, and to get this, you basically need to sand the car down with 2000-grit to 2500-grit and buff it out.

That’s a one to two day job. To do it right, it’s going to take you about two days. You’re probably going to be sanding the first day and the following day buffing it out for about 8 hours.

Question: What would you charge for a motorcycle badger type?

Motorcycles are just as tedious. For a nice paint job on a motorcycle, it’s at least $1000. When you’re giving out prices, you can always say “this much plus material.”

You can make money on the material. You can say, “I will charge you $1000 but you pay for material.” You can go get the material and paid $200 for it, but you charge him $300.

I usually ask for half down and half when they pick up the car. Cash or certified check, but you have to be able to cash the check. I got screwed one time. Somebody gave me a bad check one time.

Question: How many gallons and horsepower compressor for beginners to paint the whole car, let’s say’91 Cadillac Fleetwood?

A Cadillac is a big car. I’ve done it many times, you can paint the whole car with a 30-gallon 5 horsepower compressor. You can do it, but it takes a little bit of skill because you always have to play catch up with the compressor.

What I recommend is, you need the volume. You need the backup air pressure when painting up a full car.

I recommend you get a 60-gallon compressor with 5 to 8 horsepower, it will pump out a nice amount of cfm for you, for your spray gun. It’s going to be a lot easier.

You can do it with a 33-gallon, but you have to be a little bit more sensitive to feeling the air pressure.

Here’s the scenario when painting with a 30-gallon: For example, the compressor is fully maxed out. You have 150 pounds in there and have 28 coming out of your gun and you’re spraying. As you keep painting, the volume of air starts to dissipate in that 33-gallon tank pretty quickly because you’re painting.

Then, you’re compressor is going to kick on, trying to fill that tank back up. Your pressure is going to start to drop on your spray gun. You’ll notice it.

That’s when you’ll start painting a little bit closer to the panel. You will have to wait for the compressor to fill up again and then go at it again. You’re basically playing catch up with a 30-gallon.

I’ve probably painted 5 or 6 complete cars with a 33-gallon. There were times at the shop where the big tank went off. We had an 80-gallon compressor with a 10 or 15-horsepower 3-stage motor on it.

It went out for a couple of days and had to get it fixed. We were using a 30-gallon at the shop as a spare but we were getting the job done.

The Concourse is a pretty good gun, but you also get low volume, low pressure spray guns, we sell them at on the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint Shop. Check them out..

Just get a low volume, low pressure spray gun, and it will compensate a lot. That will help a lot. .

Question: Can you spray 2K over 1K?

Absolutely. If you have a 2K paint on the car, you can just sand it down with 400-grit, get it all flat, all matte looking and then spray 2K right on top of that. It’s not going to hurt it. Put 2 to 3 coats on there.

Question: What the best way to remove large amount of surface rust for body work?

I would get a grinder. You can use a stone grinder or a regular grinding with maybe a 16-grit grinding pad on it. Then just grind it all down.

Once you do that, I would have a little spray bottle, 50% vinegar, 50% water. I do 50/50. Spray it on there and let the vinegar kill it. Make sure to scuff it again.

I don’t know what you’re doing as far as patching a job, you can do sheet metal spot welding, which I usually do. I actually have a whole complete section in the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course that teaches you that.

If you’re doing a little whole in the quarter panel and you want to do a dirty job, it depends on what your end goal is.

You can be doing cheap jobs and getting the job out, putting bondo on the rust holes then you don’t have to do anything with it,

I’ve grinded out areas and pulled out socks, pulled out rags from quarter panels. People stuffing in newspaper and then putting bondo in holes. People do that. Some body shops do that.

II’ve never done that. I like to put some metal in there, put my body work, put my filler over it and get it nice.

Question: When molding a panel, do you use short strand reinforced fiber glass for first coat of filler?

Yes. You can use kitty hair if you’re doing welding on panels but you don’t have to because you put in a panel, you know what I mean? You really don’t have to.

You can use a kitty hair for your first coat and then go over your basic bondo.

Question: How do you do your best color matching?

Color matching is done by blending. You blend but you also need to have a good color matcher. I don’t really do much color matching.

If I have a bunch of paints, then I’ll do some color matching, but most of the time, I’ll have my paint rep come down, put the machine on the panel, get the code, they make it and they color match it.

I don’t like to worry about color matching, I’ll have them color match it, see how it looks and then do the rest of the color matching by blending. We’ll get more into that in the next call.

For our first timers here, I’m giving away a FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual.and make sure to grab your copy.

I am going to wrap it up now. Don’t forget to join me next week. We’ll be doing this every Thursday at about 9pm to 10pm Eastern for about a half hour to 40 minutes.

Every Wednesday, I am doing the How To Buy And Sell Your Cars talks, which is my other website. This actually works with LearnAutoBodyAndPaint because if you’re buying cars for profit, you do some paint stuff to spruce it up then sell it to generate more income from home.

Sorry for the crappy connection. I’m going to make sure that this is set up better next week. This is the first time it happened to me so many times and it’s frustrating. I’m sorry about this.

Check out the replay if you want to learn more. Please don’t forget to Like, Share this with your family and friends and Subscribe to my videos.

Next week, I will be in a totally different location. I will be in Japan. I will show you what it looks like outside of Japan. I’ll tell you where I’m at.

I’m going to my wife’s place in Japan. We’re going to be there for a little while, but I will continue doing these quick auto body shows for you. I think I can help you a lot with your projects. I can give you some ideas, pointers, tips and tricks.

We’ll talk about marketing next week. We can talk about how to market your auto body business when you’re starting out. That would even be a good series to add to VIP, what do you think? That’s a good one.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. Tell me more about you. Comment below if you have time. I want to know what your goals are. Why are you here learning auto body and paint? Tell me more about you so I can read through them and I have something to talk about next time.

Talk soon! Cheers!


Other Helpful Links:

Can You Get a Professional Paint Job Out Of Your Garage?

How To Paint a Scooter, Moped, Bike Update 98 Honda Elite SR

How To Paint Any Bike, Scooter or Moped Step-by-Step and Get PRO Results

Automotive Paint Cost – Medium or High End Clear Coat?

Master Airbrush Initial Review – Air Brush Spray Gun Review

2 thoughts on “Make Money With Auto Body and Paint – Estimating Tips!”

  1. Hi Tony,
    Am paddy from Solomon islands, Guadalcanal.
    It has been a fun going through your videos, the feed backs from people about learn auto body and paint on you tube and your website. you know i see a lot of people running their auto body and repair shops here in my hometown and i have not thinking of creating my own any time because i sort of thinking that this kind of stuff is for mechanical guys only. Truly your videos are so inspiring and worth convincing.
    One day when i have enough money i must order the VIP course so you will teach me everything i deserve to learn in the VIP.

    I have a job but i am planning to put “auto body and pain tech guy” as my side career.
    what i have in my mind is to have a mobile auto body and pain shop here and currently i am looking into buying my hammers and dolly set and as well as air compressor for startup.

    thank you tony for your program.

    bye paddy


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