Car Hood Paint Job Cost

How Much Does a Car Hood Paint Job Cost?

Last Updated on April 9, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Over years of exposure to sunlight, road debris, weathering and normal wear and tear, the exterior paint job on all vehicles will eventually start to show signs of fade, discoloration, scratches, chips and overall dulled finish.

While the underlying body structure may remain intact for many more years of service, worn and damaged paint can give an unsightly impression that negatively impacts the car’s visual curb appeal and residual value.

Refinishing just the hood is one affordable way to restore faded, scratched or otherwise damaged paint in a visually prominent area without needing a full exterior body respray. But what should you realistically budget for a quality car hood paint job whether tackling the project yourself or hiring professional auto paint services?

Understanding the variables that influence pricing helps car owners plan and budget wisely to achieve the desired revival of their ride’s appearance.

We’ll explore the typical costs associated with repainting a car hood and all the necessary process steps involved. You’ll also gain insights into smart ways to keep expenses in check through material choices and provider selection.

How Much Does a Car Hood Paint Job Cost?

The cost to paint a car hood can range from DIY touch-ups under $500 to premium show car-worthy resprays exceeding $2,000+. These costs are substantially based on factors like the selected paint quality, required preparation work, custom design accents, and who performs the labor.

The typical pricing range for refinishing a car hood spans:

DIY paint touch-up – $200 to $600

A basic self-done paint job may provide temporary cosmetic improvement but often lacks the durability and finish quality of professional work.

Professional standard repaint – $600 to $1,200

Includes good preparation, quality branded automotive paint, and multiple clearcoats.

Full custom show car respray – $1,500 to $3,000+

A Concours car-quality paint job with graphics, metal flake, or airbrush artistry.

Location, shop rates, special materials, and designs shift costs higher or lower. Discuss all pricing details upfront before approving a car hood paint job.

ERA Paints reports that a professional paint job for a car hood can cost between $300 and $500, while a DIY method could cost as low as $70.

FJ Cruiser Forums suggests that a simple hood repaint should cost between $300 and $400 with a professional or less if done yourself.

StormWise Hail Repair reports that the average cost of a hood repaint ranges from $400 to $1,200, depending on the severity of the damage and the type of paint used.

Audizine Forums report that estimates for painting the hood and bumper can range from $800 to $1,200.

How much does it cost to paint the car hood at MAACO?

As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between $100 and $500 to have your hood painted at Maaco.

Here is a breakdown of the different paint packages that Maaco offers:

  • Value Package: This is the most basic paint package and starts at around $100. It includes a single coat of single-stage paint and a one-year warranty.
  • MaacoPlus Package: This package includes a two-coat paint job with basecoat and clear coat, as well as a two-year warranty. It starts at around $1,000.
  • UltraMaaco Package: This is the highest-quality paint package that Maaco offers. It includes a three-coat paint job with basecoat, clear coat, and a second coat of clear coat. It also comes with a three-year warranty. This package starts at around $2,000.

If you need any additional services, such as body repair or dent removal, Maaco will provide you with an estimate for those services as well.

Reddit users have reported paying $500 cash for a hood repaint that included minor dent repair, while others have been quoted $1,531 by Maaco for a hood repaint alone.

Steps for Repainting a Car Hood

Completely repainting a car hood typically involves the following steps:

  • Thorough cleaning, degreasing and sanding of the existing hood paint to prepare the surface for maximum paint adhesion.
  • Filling any small dings, dents or scratches in the original paint with thin coats of body filler as needed to achieve a flawlessly smooth base.
  • Applying several coats of automotive-grade primer to provide a consistent undercoat layer.
  • Sanding the primer layer smooth once dry.
  • Spraying on multiple layers of high-quality colored automotive paint for full, even coverage and the desired hue.
  • Allowing adequate drying time between coats to cure.
  • Finishing with multiple coats of clearcoat for extra durability and paint protection.
  • Curing period before cut and polish.
  • Cutting and buffing out any imperfections for a glassy finish.

Proper preparation and using the right techniques/materials results in a durable, flawless factory-like painted finish or better.

Factors That Determine the Cost

Several core factors primarily impact the total price of repainting a car’s hood:

  • Size of the hood– Larger hoods mean greater surface area requiring more paint materials and labor time investment.
  • Type and quality of automotive paint products– Premium urethane or enamel paints provide superior appearance and durability but add more to materials cost than economy rattle can options.
  • Required preparation work– Severely damaged or corroded paint takes longer to sand, prime and prep for new paint, increasing labor time.
  • Custom paint designs– Adding striping, airbrushed graphics or custom colors increases the complexity of the paint process and materials needed.
  • Additional services– Incorporating dent/ding repair, wetsanding, buffering, pinstriping etc. adds cost.
  • Location and shop rates– Paint labor rates in expensive urban areas exceed smaller towns. DIY labor saves substantially.

More popular brands, such as MAACO, provide spot painting services at prices of around $100 to $500, while full vehicle painting services can cost $250 to $1,000. A basic but high-quality paint job can cost around $1,000 to $2,500.

Steps for Prepping a Car Hood for Painting

Doing the proper prep work is crucial to ensure the new paint adheres tightly and lasts long term without problems like chipping, peeling or fading. Typical hood preparation steps include:

  • Thoroughly washing, degreasing and drying the hood surface using a wax/grease remover to get rid of any old wax or residue.
  • Sanding smooth any peeling or cracked clearcoat or paint using graduated grit sandpaper.
  • Feathering, priming and sanding any repairs like filler in dings or scratches for a seamless finish.
  • Masking/taping off trim pieces, hood panel gaps and other adjacent surfaces to prevent paint overspray.

While this preparation stage is labor intensive, it provides the clean foundation necessary for the new paint to bond well and achieve full gloss. Rushing it risks causing flaws or total paint failure down the road.

How to Choose the Right Car Paint Shop

Paint Job on Car HoodPicking the provider to entrust your car’s hood paint job to is equally important as the budgeting process. Savvy techniques for selecting a quality paint shop include:

  • Checking online reviews for consistent reports of high customer satisfaction and flawless results
  • Looking at their previous work in before/after photo galleries to visually verify painters’ skill level
  • Asking if they have expertise specifically working on your car make and model matched OEM paint
  • Requesting a written estimate detailing exactly what is covered for the quoted price
  • Choosing a shop that offers warranties on both paint materials and application workmanship

Taking time to carefully evaluate providers helps ensure a mutually transparent understanding of expectations before approving a car hood paint job.

Is DIY Painting Worth It?

Benefits of DIY painting:

  • Substantially lower cost than professional services
  • Creative control and ability to customize the result

You might also like our articles about the cost to paint your car, wrapping a car, and fixing a dent without paint.

Challenges of DIY painting:

  • Achieving an even, professional-quality finish is difficult
  • Lack of auto-grade paint booth and equipment
  • Time investment and physical effort is substantial

DIY can save money but often requires repainting to fix issues.

Maintaining Your Car’s New Hood Paint

Make your paint investment last by:

  • Washing regularly to prevent dirt buildup
  • Waxing every 3-6 months for protection from sun and contaminants
  • Using touch-up paint to quickly fix minor chips
  • Avoiding prolonged sun exposure wherever possible

Proper maintenance keeps your hood looking its best season after season. Dedicate the necessary time and care to safeguard your car’s fresh painted appearance.

Final Words

While repainting a car’s hood requires careful preparation and technique, the impact on curb appeal and increased resale value makes it a worthwhile investment. Understanding the cost factors, evaluating DIY versus professional approaches, and properly maintaining the fresh paint protects your investment.

With some due diligence selecting an auto body shop and realistic budgeting, you can confidently restore your car’s aesthetics and pride of ownership through a quality hood paint job designed to stand the test of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I just paint the hood of my car rather than the whole body?

Yes, it is possible to only repaint your car’s hood rather than having to paint the entire exterior. Spot painting the hood alone is a more affordable way to restore faded, scratched or damaged paint only on that section rather than the whole vehicle. Ensure the new hood paint is color matched to the existing body paint so it blends seamlessly.

How long does car paint need to dry before it’s protected from elements?

Allow freshly painted car hoods to dry in a dust-free environment for 24-48 hours before driving or exposing to rain, snow and other outdoor elements. New paint reaches full cure in 5-7 days. Avoid waxing or polishing until after this curing period so paint has hardened completely. Adding clearcoat creates an extra protective layer allowing normal use faster.

How many spray paint cans are needed to paint a car hood?

For a medium sedan hood measuring approximately 60” x 36”, you would need 4-6 cans of quality automotive spray paint to achieve sufficient coverage for a smooth, even color finish. The number of coats required also impacts paint usage. Having extra cans ensures you don’t run short near the end. Primers and clearcoats add to the total quantity needed.

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