Ad Radar
Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

How to: Cheaply Painting a Car - New Paint & Enamel Under $300

By , Photography by

However, you will get a better finish overall if you use a BC/CC paint. The layers of clear add a level of gloss to the finish that is hard to get with a single-stage paint. Plus, your car will keep its color longer because the extra layers of clear act as a UV ray blocker. Likewise, the clear adds an extra layer of protection against minor scratches and rock chips. So if your budget permits it, we recommend a BC/CC system. We've sprayed both with good results, but the BC/CC paintjobs have been far more durable compared with the single-stage efforts.

Mail Order or Walk In
Now that you've got the knowledge, all you need are the materials. It used to be that you had to schlep to some dingy part of town to find an autobody supply store. While some of us are right at home in places like that, others may prefer to do their paint shopping from the comfort and convenience of their home computer. A number of online retailers carry quality and affordable car paints, and two of the most recognizable ones are The Eastwood Co. and Summit Racing.

Eastwood has been selling paint as well as a plethora of other automotive coatings and restoration tools and supplies for years. It offers a quality product at really good prices. We've personally used its single-stage urethanes on a couple of cars, and were really happy with the results. We asked Jack Ruggierio, one of Eastwood's product managers, why the company's prices are lower than those you'll find in a retail store-less than $100 per gallon-and if those lower prices meant subpar performance. JR told us that the prices are low for several reasons: Eastwood is able to buy directly from a major manufacturer in quantities of 500 gallons at a time, it carries only about 50 topcoat colors (rather than hundreds that area retailers need to stock), and it doesn't spend a ton of money marketing its paint. As for the quality, "Because we're buying in bulk, we are able to customize the blend to make the paint easier to spray and give a longer-lasting finish." Eastwood backs that claim up by testing the products it sells. "We set up spray guns and give them to the people in our office who've never painted anything before to see if the formula works or if we need to go back to the manufacturer and make changes. We also spray test panels and old car parts with our paints and leave them out behind our shop to see how they stand up to exposure to the weather," JR says.

It's possible to spend about $110 and have enough material to spray your entire car with Eastwood's single-stage urethane. The company also recently introduced a line of BC/CC paints. The price of the base is similar to its single-stage, and the clear is very affordable at about $140 for a gallon (including activator).

Summit Racing Equipment recently got into the paint and body business and it also sells single-stage urethanes and BC/CC paint lines at prices competitive with Eastwood's. According to the guys at Summit, customer response has been favorable. "Even guys who paint for a living were very positive about our products." Summit sells a line of 40 mostly solid colors, but you can also buy some metallics and a couple of pearls.

One more option we have personal experience with is TCP Global's line of Kustom Shop paint. We've used its satin paints on a couple of cars, most recently, Tech Editor Smith's '65 Chevelle. This is not expensive stuff either. We paid about $180 for the kit that included a gallon of color and a quart each of reducer and activator. This stuff covered like crazy, too. We sprayed two coats on the land yacht in the photo and had nearly half a gallon left. That was impressive.

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!

It's totally possible to paint your car for cheap, you just need the right supplies. I found the following website super helpful for anything automotive painting related, including paint guns, rat rod paints, airbrushes, primers, clear coats, whatever you think of, it'll have it. It's definitely worth checking out this site for anything you need that is automotive related. Here it is:

Car Craft