Painting a motorcycle or a motorbike is a great way to revitalize the look and value of the vehicle. Motorcycles are not exactly the most durable of vehicles. As time goes by, the paint on your motorcycle will start to chip making the motorcycle look unsightly.
When this happens, then it’s time to get a new paint job for the motorcycle. A new paint job will make the motorcycle look as good as new and it will give the motorcycle a higher resale value. So, how much does it cost to paint a motorcycle?
It costs between $200 and $2000 to fully paint a motorcycle. On average, it costs about $150 to paint a motorcycle by yourself and about $800 to hire a painter or auto-painting shop.
The price depends on a few factors such as the condition of the motorcycle, the type of paint used, the method of applying the paint, and the detail or design required among others. But that’s not all.
How much does it cost to do it yourself? And how can you reduce the total cost of painting a motorcycle? Keep reading to find out.
How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Motorcycle (by Yourself)?
It costs between $100 and $300 to paint a motorcycle by yourself. The cost of painting a motorcycle by yourself is always cheaper than the cost of hiring an auto-painting shop.
This is because you wouldn’t be paying anyone for their services. The only things you have to spend money on are the tools and materials you will need to paint the motorcycle with. With the right tools and a bit of experience, you can paint the motorcycle yourself at a lower cost.
For instance, let’s calculate the total cost of painting a Ducati motorcycle by yourself. The first thing you will need to do is to wash the motorcycle. All you will need for this is detergent and water which you will surely have at home.
Calculate The Cost of Washing & Sanding The Bike
The next thing to do is to sand the motorcycle. For this, you will need sandpaper for sanding metal. You will need sandpaper of different grits starting from 80-grit upwards.
A pack of sandpaper isn’t expensive. The total cost of getting the needed sandpaper will cost you less than $10.
The next thing to do is to tape off some parts of the bike that you don’t want the paint to get on. For this, you will need painter’s tape or paper tape.
You will cover the areas like the meter gauge, the oil tank, and the likes. You will also need to prime the motorcycle before painting. The cost of the needed primer and the painter’s tape will be about $25. That’s a total cost of $35.
Calculate The Painting Cost
After prepping the motorcycle, you can now paint. For this, you will need a spray gun, a paint thinner, and the needed paint. Most painters prefer to use aerosol paint or epoxy paint on motorcycles. For your motorcycle, a can of paint is usually enough.
You can also purchase paint that comes in spray cans. Paints in spray cans can be used directly from the container. If the paint you want to use doesn’t come in a spray can, then you will need to rent a paint sprayer or a spray gun.
Let’s assume you choose to use the Yamaha motorcycle aerosol paint. The paint comes in spray cans and a can costs about $15. You might need 2 cans which will cost you about $30. The cost of the paint thinner is about $15. That brings the total to $80.
Calculate The Cost of Renting a Paint Sprayer
The only thing remaining is the cost of renting a paint sprayer or a spray gun. That is usually about $15 for a spray gun. That brings the total to $90. Though this is just an illustration, you can see that it doesn’t cost much to paint a motorcycle by yourself. At best, it would cost you about $150 to paint the motorcycle by yourself.
The downside to painting a motorcycle by yourself is that you will have to do all the work by yourself and painting a motorcycle is usually a tedious task because of all the bodywork needed. On the bright side, you will be saving a few hundred dollars by painting the motorcycle yourself. So if you have the time and opportunity, you can paint by yourself.
Now, let’s check out how much auto-painting shops charge to paint a motorcycle.
How Much Do Auto-painting Shops Charge to Paint a Motorcycle?
It costs between $300 and $2000 to paint a motorcycle in an auto-painting shop. The cost of employing the services of an auto-painting shop to paint a motorcycle is always more than the cost of painting the motorcycle by yourself. This is because you will need to pay professionals for their time and services.
The main thing that will determine the total cost is the type of paint job you are going for. Auto-painting shops usually have different types of painting services and each has its price tag.
Most auto-painting shops will charge you per the service. Let’s check out a few common services rendered by auto-painting shops and how much they cost.
The Basic Painting Service
This is usually the cheapest painting service offered in auto-painting shops. This service includes washing, sanding, and priming the motorcycle.
After that, a coat or two of regular paint is sprayed on the motorcycle. This paint job doesn’t usually include any design or art job. You just get a new paint job on your motorcycle. This service can cost anywhere between $300 and $1500.
This can be your choice if you are looking for a quick fix on your motorcycle or you just want to increase the resale value of the motorcycle before selling it.
Bodywork Paint Jobs
A few auto-painting shops offer the bodywork painting job. This painting service is usually recommended for motorcycles and motorbikes that are in bad conditions. These include motorbikes that have had accidents, crashes, and dents.
This is more than a painting service. Most times, it includes replacing the damaged parts of the motorcycle. It includes panel beating, soldering, and the likes. There is usually a lot of work involved in this painting service which is why it can cost well over $1000.
Custom Paint Jobs
Custom paint jobs are often the most expensive painting service. Custom paint jobs usually include artistic painting and designs. Custom paint jobs are what you see on racing motorbikes. The paint job includes painting the motorcycle to display a logo, a motto, or specific colors.
Custom paint jobs will cost you nothing less than $1500. The motorcycle is usually stripped down to the frame and then given a quality powder coating.
The paint used on custom paint jobs is usually more expensive than what you will get for your basic painting service. Custom paint jobs usually require more time and as you already know, time is money. So expect to pay more for this service. A custom paint job can cost well over $2000.
When you take your bike to an auto-painting shop, the total amount you will be charged depends on the level of bodywork that will be needed before painting the motorcycle and the type of paint job you want.
While painting the motorcycle yourself wouldn’t cost you up to $200, even the cheapest painting service from an auto-painting shop will cost you more than that.
How to Reduce the Total Cost of Painting a Motorcycle
Having an auto-painting shop to paint your motorcycle will cost you at least a few hundred dollars. But what if you want to reduce that price tag?
Well, you can but the first thing to note is that it is usually impossible to bargain the price at an auto-painting shop. Most of these shops have a fixed price for their service. So how can you reduce the total cost of painting a motorcycle?
Do It Yourself
If you want to reduce the total cost of painting your motorcycle, the best thing to do is to paint the motorcycle by yourself. By painting yourself, you will be removing a large part of the price you will be charged by an auto-painting shop.
Based on experience, about sixty to seventy percent of the price you will be charged by an auto-painting shop is to cover the cost of labor and not even the materials needed. So if you paint yourself, you can cut the total cost by more than half.
Buy Cheaper Tools
If you are painting the motorcycle by yourself, you should go for cheaper tools and materials. The main factor that determines the cost of painting your motorcycle by yourself is the cost of the tools and materials you will need. If you buy cheaper materials, you will cut down the total cost.
Cheaper materials and tools don’t necessarily mean lower-grade tools. There are cheaper materials that will still do good work on the motorcycle. You can also buy used or second-hand tools to reduce the price tag.
Go for Simple Paint Jobs
Another option is to go for simple paint jobs. Going for custom paint jobs and artistic designs on the motorcycle will surely cost you about $2000 if not more. But if you go for basic paint jobs, you wouldn’t need to pay that much.