How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car Hood?


Have you ever wondered what it would cost to give your car’s hood a fresh new paint job? Maybe your car’s original factory paint has dulled or faded over time, or perhaps you’re looking to change its color with vibrant custom paint.


No matter the reason, repainting just your hood can completely transform the look of your car without needing a full-body paint job.

But before you decide if a makeover is in your budget, you probably want hard numbers on estimated costs. In this blog post, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know when budgeting for a hood paint project.

What’s the price difference between a DIY and a professional job? Does the hood condition or color choice affect the pricing? What about labor costs? I’ll break down quotes for materials and work hours so you know what to expect.


By the end, you’ll have a detailed cost overview whether you plan on spraying it yourself or handing off the work to a body shop.

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car Hood?

How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car Hood


Whether your goal is to cover up unsightly rust spots, change the color, or give your old car new life with a fresh coat of paint, understanding the costs involved will help you create a realistic budget. So let’s dive in!

Quick Look: It will cost $100-$1,000 to paint a car hood depending on DIY vs. professional.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Car Hood?

  • DIY (do-it-yourself): $50 – $150 plus supplies and 4-10 hours.
  • Professional shop: $200 – $1,000+ depending on hood condition.

Key Things to Consider:

  • Labor: DIY takes significant time. Paying a pro covers labor costs.
  • Supplies: Paint, primer, clear coat, sandpaper, etc. add up.
  • Repairs: Dents, rust spots, etc. increases labor/cost if needing fixing.
  • Coats: More paint coats mean a better finish but a higher price.

Whether you decide to take on the hood painting yourself or leave it to the professionals, the condition of the existing hood will be the main factor affecting the final cost. Here’s an overview:

Hood Condition Typical Cost
Good condition, no repairs are needed $200 – $500
Moderate repairs required $500 – $800
Extensive repairs required $800+

How To Estimate The Cost Of Paint A Car Hood?

Accurately estimating the cost requires calculating the cost of materials as well as the labor time involved:

Estimating DIY Cost

  • Measure the hood area to calculate how much paint you’ll need
  • Research paint prices based on your vehicle’s color code
  • Estimate your labor hours (expect 6+ hours for a beginner)

Estimating Professional Cost

  • Get quotes from multiple highly-rated body shops
  • Ask what is included (repairs, number of coats, etc.)
  • Compare prices and reviews.

Factors like needing to remove the hood entirely or complex color matching can also increase shop quotes.

Cost To Paint Per Square Foot

Here is an example sedan hood paint cost breakdown by square foot:

DIY Professional Shop
Hood Size 6 ft x 5 ft
(30 sq ft)
6 ft x 5 ft
(30 sq ft)
Paint Used 2 quarts paint
(enough for 300 sq ft)
Shop supplies
Total Cost $100 $400
Per Sq Ft Cost $3.33/sq ft $13.33/sq ft

As you can see, DIY painting can save over $10 per square foot, but takes lots of effort.


Estimated Cost of Paint for a Car Hood

  • Paint types – Quality ranges from basic enamels and acrylic lacquers to advanced urethane and polyurethane formulas. Prices span $20 – $100+ per quart.
  • For a full hood paint job, you’ll need:
    • 1 quart primer
    • 1-2 quarts color coat
    • 1-2 quarts clearcoat
  • So materials cost ranges from $60 – $250.
  • Additional supplies like sandpaper, masking tape, spray guns, etc. add to costs too.

Pro Tip: Buy exactly enough paint for the size of your hood using its measurements. This minimizes waste and saves money.

Estimated Cost of Labor for a Car Hood

For professional repainting, labor costs make up the majority of the total bill.

  • Shops typically charge $40 – $100+ per hour for bodywork and paint jobs
  • Painting just a hood ranges from 1 – 5 hours depending on needed prep work
  • So labor will cost around $200 – $500 at average shop rates

Here’s a breakdown of the various labor tasks involved:

  • Removing hood – 30-60 mins
  • Sanding and cleaning – 1-2 hours
  • Dent repair / body fill – Add’l hours
  • Applying primer – 30-60 mins
  • Spray painting – 1-3 hours
  • Clear coating – 1 hour

As you can see, there are many steps involved. Paying a professional auto body paint shop covers all this labor time.


How To Save Money When Painting A Car Hood?

Here are 5 great tips to lower your costs:

💰 Paint it yourself – Biggest savings but very time-consuming
💰 Shop around for the best professional quote – compare prices!
💰 Buy used supplies – check Craigslist, eBay, etc. for leftovers
💰 Use paint cost calculators online for estimates
💰 Ask about paint warranty options to protect the investment

Prioritizing cost savings or a high-end finish will help narrow down the best route forward. With smart planning, you can freshen up your car without overspending!

FAQs on How Much Does it Cost to Paint a Car Hood:

  • Q1: Does just painting the hood look OK or should I paint the whole car?

For the best appearance, painting just the hood may look slightly off-color from the rest of the exterior. But it can still look fine in many cases if on a budget.

  • Q2: How long does a DIY hood paint job last vs a professional?

DIY paint may last 1-3 years with proper care whereas professional may last 4-8 years since better materials and processes is used.

  • Q3: What impacts the total paint cost?

The main factors are:

  1. 1) The quality of paint used
  2. 2) the amount of surface prep/repairs needed,
  3. 3) the Overall size of the area and coats applied.
  • Q4: Does body filler or primer increase cost?

Yes, high-quality body filler and primers improve results but can add $50 – $150 to job costs.

  • Q5: How can I get the paint color to match my car?

Use your car’s paint code (found inside the driver’s door) to get perfectly color-matched paint through dealerships or auto paint shops.

  • Q6: Do body shops offer warranties on paint jobs?

Many shops offer limited lifetime paint warranties covering defects for several years. Be sure to ask shops about warranty terms.

  • Q7: Is it cheaper to paint the hood on or off the car?

In most cases, it is cheaper to remove the hood before painting to allow for proper cleaning/preparation of all surfaces and edges.

  • Q8: How long should I budget for a DIY hood paint job?

Expect to spend 6 – 12 hours over 2-3 days accounting for proper surface prep, paint curing times between coats, etc.

  • Q9: What basic tools do I need?

At minimum, you’ll need medium/fine grit sandpaper, masking tape, primer, basecoat, clearcoat, paint sprayer gun, and compressor.

  • Q10: Any tips for saving time painting?

Use drop cloths instead of masking off the full car, create a painting tent if outdoors, and batch sand/clean all pieces first before painting to speed up.



Determining whether to take on a DIY car hood paint job or hire a professional comes down to your budget, expectations, and time commitment.

Although body shops charge higher rates, they save tons of effort and often achieve better, longer-lasting results. For the best of both worlds, try getting the body shop to handle the prep work and primer, then finish off the color coats yourself!

We hope this guide has answered all your most pressing questions about the cost of painting your hood. Remember to get quotes from multiple shops, calculate total paint needs accurately, and consider warranty options to maximize the result.

With the right planning and preparation, you can give dull hood a glowing makeover without breaking the bank!


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