Changing the Color of a Car: Everything You Should Know!

Naomi O'Colman

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Changing the Color of a Car

Changing the Color of a Car

How many times have you had cars pass you with a color scheme that makes them look so classy and timeless? But if you’ve always wanted to go the complete opposite, then there are some cool ways to change your car’s paint job.

There are things you should consider before changing the color of a car including the cost, related laws, or your car value. In this blog, I’ll cover them all.

Why Do People Change Car Color?

If you really, really want to change the color of your car, there are several good reasons for doing so. Do you find the current color scheme so obnoxious that you can’t even look at the dress without getting sick? Because I wanted to. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. You should drive the car you want, regardless of the color.

It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself: A full respray is almost always necessary when doing restoration or a remodel. By the way, yellow is not a good color to use on a car that will get a lot of sunlight. It tends to fade very easily and won’t last as long as a darker color.

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Any Law Related to Changing Car Color?

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone that different countries have different laws about modifying the color of your car. In America, it also varies from state to state. It’s always a good idea to inform the government if you change the color of your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if there is a law mandating you do it; just do it anyway.

If you have auto insurance, you should tell your insurer about any changes you make to your vehicles, such as the addition of a sunroof or a spoiler. Without noticing in advance, your insurance provider might not let you claim for any paint damage.

Imagine the insurance company says they will only pay out on what they consider the “actual” color of the car and not the “apparent” color which is what you thought it was when you first saw it. If your insurer is Great American Insurance, they won’t even look at a claim like this unless they have a direct contractual relationship with you. They’ll likely pay most if not all of the claim without question.

If you decide to change the color of your car you should do it only if you inform the DMV and your insurer, just to be on the safe side.

Cost Estimation To Respray A Car

You don’t have to spend a fortune to change the color of your car. The truth is, it’s easier and less expensive to do it right the first time, but if you decide to go the cheap route and hire someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing, you could end up with a disaster on your hands. It’s going to cost you an arm and a leg if you decide to do this project yourself. You’re going to be shocked at how expensive the paint itself is, and how much more you’re going to need to get the job done.

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You should at least consider having a pro do the painting for you, especially if you are inexperienced like I was. It took 7 coats of primer and 5 coats of paint to get that baby looking good!

If you absolutely, positively must change the color of your car, there’s no way you’ll get a better deal than by going to an authorized dealership. The only possible exception would be if you found someone who was willing to let you “steal” their car and then pay you to take it. If you are having a car painted, even a small car, you should take care to get a high-quality paint job. A bare metal, the non-show quality paint job will cost you approximately $3,000 and a good, all-around quality paint job will set you back about $6,000 or so. Actually, that’s not always true. In fact, many times the size of a car doesn’t matter at all.

2 Ways to Change A Car Color Without Repainting

There are two ways you can change the color of your car without totally repainting it.

#1 Polishing Techniques

One of those ways is not quite changing the color in terms of how it appears to others, but rather, how it appears to you when you look at your car.

Cars that are more than 20 years old often have very little or no resale value. You can restore the original color, or get very close to it. A car that was a brilliant red when it was first painted could now look almost like a dull pink after decades in the sun, but there are ways that dull pinkish-red can be made to come back to its brilliant, sparkling red with some simple polishing techniques.

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Whether this can be done to your car will depend on how thick the original paint was, to begin with. These processes involve rubbing away the surface layers and then polishing the metal or un-pigmented parts of the substrate to a high shine. Professional painters use tools that can tell them how much paint is on your car. If it’s too much, they’ll say it’s not a good color for your car and suggest something else. If it’s too little, they’ll tell you to come back when it’s completely dry.

Either way, you don’t have to worry about the process being harmful to your car. It’s safe and easy for the painter to use. Of course not. You can’t make something real that isn’t real. If you try to “improve” something that’s not really “improvable,” you’ll just create an entirely new entity that may have some similarities to what you started with, but will almost always be inferior in some important way.

#2 Using Vinyl Wrapping

Vinyl wraps are perfect for disguising unsightly stains, and they come in almost every color you can imagine, including white, which makes them great for hiding unsightly marks that are almost invisible until you peel back the vinyl. You can go even further with color in any way you choose. If you want to, you can have your car designed to your exact specifications with every option you can imagine and still not run out of ideas. There’s no limit to what you can do with the look of your car except for your imagination and your budget.

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Even though a vinyl decal can be peeled off, please be aware that removing a vinyl decal may still leave a lot of work to be done to the original paint surface to get it looking good after being covered with an adhesive for some length of time. Dealers do this all the time. They put a low value on a car with a vinyl wrap because they don’t know what’s underneath the wrap. Usually, it’s sheet metal and the car will have 100% of its original value when the vinyl is removed.

Vinyl wrapping can sometimes obscure the problems underneath. But if you use it properly, it can also dramatically enhance a building or a vehicle by making it look new again.

Don’t be fooled though that a vinyl wrap is a cheap way to change the color of your car. It’s actually a very effective way to change the color of your car and will last much longer than you might think. You can find a professional to apply the vinyl decal to your vehicle for about $300.


Changing a car color is not an easy decision to make as it involves many processes. The cost to get it done is not low either. Thus, you should consider whether it’s worth changing the color of your car. This task is a risky DIY job so it’d better you have it done by a professional.