Whether you are restoring a vehicle to its former glory, or want a nicer color for your car, there is one question that must be addressed: How long does it take to paint a car? While the question might be a simple one, the answer is a bit complicated and is reliant on a number of factors.

1. Model

Likely the most obvious factor on this list is the model of your vehicle. Generally speaking, a full-body paint job on a passenger van is going to take more time than a paint job on a coupe. However, your car model will have a much smaller impact on the process if all you need is touch up work.

2. Body Work

Especially important when restoring a vehicle, bodywork will definitely have an impact on how long it takes to paint a car. In order for a car to look its best, any dents or other kinds of damage will need to be addressed before painting. Depending on the damage, bodywork can take up to a week to complete.

3. Prepping Phase

The prep phase includes several steps. First, you need to make sure that you have the correct paints for the job. Second, the areas to be painted need to be sanded down. Third, any glass or other material you don’t want paint on needs to be covered and taped. Generally, the prepping phase takes a couple of days maximum.

4. Applying Paint

The paint application step is typically the quickest factor in determining the answer to “how long does it take to paint a car?” The car first needs a primer coat, which will take a few hours to dry. The color coats can vary in how long they take to apply. Some paints, like Rustoleum, can take about only 30 to 90 min to dry, while others may need to dry overnight. All in all, an entire paint job, including any final touch-up work, can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. For tips on car paint, check out our blog on how to keep your car’s paint in pristine condition

Contact Us

Cascade Collision specializes in auto body & collision repair, which includes paint jobs. If you have further questions about what is involved in a paint job, visit our Q&A page. Feel free to also view our gallery to see pictures of previous paint jobs that we’ve done.