K.C. Body Shop Supply

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How Long Does It Take to Paint a Car?

One of the most common questions we get when it comes to painting cars is: How long is this going to take? The answer will vary, depending upon the size of the vehicle and how much bodywork is needed.

Most paint jobs will require between 40 and 80 hours. The time can be affected by any or all of the following:

Vehicle model

The model of your vehicle will impact the time to complete a full-body paint job. Painting a full-size SUV requires more time than painting a sedan or coupe. Complex vehicles with significant detailing and pin striping will take far more time than something simpler. If you need to repaint only one area of the car, then the model will be less of a factor.


The amount of bodywork required affects the total paint time. Removing rust and repairing dents requires extra time. The repair work alone might take a week or more to complete.


The prep phase starts by purchasing the right paint.  If the color is a specialized tint, it may take more time to find and buy it. The sanding process also takes time since all areas of the car being painted will have to be sanded down.

You also need to tape and mask areas of the vehicle you don’t want to paint, such as windows, trim, tires, and the underside.

Total prep time can take a couple of days.

Paint application

When painting the vehicle, plan for dry times of between 30 to 90 minutes after applying the first coat of primer and each coat of car paint. The final step of the painting process involves applying a clear coat. Typically, at least 24 hours should be allowed for the clear coat to dry before buffing and polishing the vehicle. Buffing and polishing can take a few hours.

Allow yourself adequate time to paint your car to get a professional-looking finish.

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