Eventually, every motorcycle owner wants to give their vehicle a fresh, new look. After all it can become stale to look at the same thing after a while.
Unfortunately, making cosmetic upgrades to a vehicle can cost money. But how much money will you need to spend to paint your motorcycle?
In this guide, we’re going to answer that exact question. In doing so, we’re going to cover things such as the ways that you can save yourself some money when you’re painting your motorcycle, and how much it usually costs to paint a motorcycle yourself.
We’re also going to cover the professional cost and how this compares to a simple DIY job. Finally, we’re going to dive into the kind of costs that you can expect from buying the labor and the supplies.
Without further ado, here’s how much it costs to paint a motorcycle!
How Much Will I Spend When Painting My Motorcycle?
Ultimately, the answer to this question can vary depending on the amount of the vehicle that you want to paint, and the number of panels that you can paint on the motorcycle.
There are some motorcycles that don’t have as much plastic paneling, and as such this means that you can’t paint as much of the motorcycle. Some bikes will also come with removable sections which means that you can paint the motorcycle with ease.
In short, the price of painting your motorcycle can vary depending on what you plan on painting.
So what if you want to paint the fuel tank? This is actually fairly simple and can cost relatively little money. All you need to do is take the gas tank off the bike and then take it to be painted.
It’s even possible to paint it yourself if you get some spray paint. This is an easy DIY job that shouldn’t cost much more than a couple of dollars.
With that being said, you may want to put some patterns on the fuel tank, or you may just want something simple. This means that again, the price can vary depending on what you want to do.
Maybe you just want to hide a couple of bumps and scrapes on the bike. If you want a professional to do something a little more intricate then you may need to spend more money.
You can paint a lot of different parts of your motorcycle so in reality, the world is your oyster.
Painting the Whole Motorcycle
It’s worth noting that you are probably going to be spending a lot of money if you are painting the entire bike. Not only that, but it can take quite some time to do this since you’ll need to remove individual parts, then reassemble the bike all over again.
In most situations, this is not the best choice when you are trying to give your bike a paint upgrade.
The Cost of a DIY Job
This may seem a little bit obvious, but the most inexpensive way to paint your motorcycle is to paint it yourself. So what exactly does it cost?
The annoyingly vague answer is that again, it can depend on what you’re planning on doing. To be more specific though, it could cost as little as $10 or more than $100.
One of the biggest things that you need to consider is the cost of the materials that you will need to do. Here’s a breakdown of the materials that you will need, and the different tasks that you will need to do when you are painting your motorcycle.
Sanding the Motorcycle
Before you apply the paint, you first need to sand the motorcycle. If you do this then the paint is more likely to adhere to the motorcycle well, and you’ll get a smooth finish.
You will benefit from starting off with 80 grit sandpaper, then after each coat you will need to move up to 120 and 200 grit.
Cleaning the Motorcycle
The last thing that you want to do is to paint on a dirty motorcycle. You’re not going to get the results that you want if you aren’t ensuring that the motorcycle is in good condition before you start painting. Invest in a microfiber cloth.
Then, wring the cloth until it’s damp and wipe the surfaces of the motorcycle. Once you have done this, you can then apply paint. If you do this then you won’t need to worry about tiny dust particles showing up on your finished paintwork.
Masking the Motorcycle
For this step, you’ll need to make your way onto a site like Amazon to find a paint masker. There are some parts of your motorcycle that you aren’t going to want to paint.
In these situations, you need to make sure that the parts are masked off. For instance, you should probably mask off the oil tanks, motor, saddlebags, electronics and any other parts of the motorcycle engine that you don’t want to paint. Masking helps to ensure that these parts are protected from the paint.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Pro?
Now, we aren’t all masters at DIY motorcycle painting, and that’s okay! In these situations, you can rely on professionals to make your ride look like a million bucks!
How much are you going to be spending to hire a professional to paint your motorcycle? In reality, you could be spending as little as a few hundred dollars. In some situations though, you could be spending thousands on hiring a professional to paint your ride. Ultimately, it can vary depending on the people that you choose to hire.
In many cases, these labor costs are justified. A professional will completely strip the bike down to the frame if you want them to, and then they will do a powder coat paint job. Breaking down the bike right to the frame alone can take quite a while. And then they will need to paint the vehicle. Time is money, after all.
Body Shop vs Creative Paint Jobs
If you’re taking your motorcycle to your average run-of-the-mill body shop, you will usually find that you’re spending little more than a couple hundred dollars to get a single color paint job done.
You’re going to be spending a lot more money if you want something a little more artsy done, however. If you’re looking for something fancy then you may find yourself spending a couple of thousand dollars to get that art done.
You should budget for more than $2000 for these kinds of jobs. Of course, you’re also going to be spending more money on painting the entire bike than you would if you were only painting the fuel tank, so it’s worth keeping this in mind.
An Estimated Cost for Painting a Motorcycle
What Parts Should I Paint?
Deciding what parts you wish to paint is the first step in breaking down the cost of painting your motorcycle. There are some motorcycles that will have a lot more paintable parts – this is worth noting.
If you want to find out how much the project will cost, the best thing to do is measure the square footage as this will give you an indication of how much paint you need.
Quality vs Price
Some paints are going to cost a lot more money than others. If you want to save some money then you can buy a cheaper paint, though you may not get the same results.
If you’re going to be painting the motorcycle yourself, then you shouldn’t need to spend much more than around $50 on buying the supplies and the paint. Naturally, a DIY job is going to cost you more in terms of time, so it’s worth keeping this in mind!
Let’s put forward a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say your paint shop managed to do the entire paint job requested for around $400.
Let’s also say that they painted 40 square feet. In this case, you’re paying around $10 for each square foot. This is a pretty decent deal when you think about the amount of time the job must have taken.
Costs for Paint
You’re going to need more than just one coat of paint when you’re painting a motorcycle. Ideally, you should be looking for a minimum of one pint of a primer coat, a pint of basecoat, and then a pint of clear coat.
You may find that a pint is usually around $10 – $20. You could then find yourself spending between $30 – $60 to do the entire paint job, depending on how much of the motorcycle you want to spend and the type of paint that you buy.
Estimated Labor Costs
If you’re doing a DIY job then you could find yourself spending from 1 to 10 hours on painting the whole thing.
A professional may spend from 2 hours on a paint job to over 10 hours. You’re usually charged in terms of labor hours when you are paying a professional to paint your motorcycle.
As such, you could find yourself spending from $50 to $150 for each hour that the professional spends working on your motorcycle. As a whole, you should expect to be spending from $100 to $1500 on a professional paint job.
Saving Some Money
Painting your motorcycle doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Here are a few tips on how you can save money when painting your motorcycle.
If you want to save yourself money, then you should try to paint the motorcycle yourself. It’s hard work, but it means that you can keep a few extra dollars for a couple of drinks for yourself after you’re done!
You don’t need to spend top dollar for the newest paints out there. Instead, you can rummage in your garage to see if you have any older spray cans that you can use. This way, you’re not wasting supplies or money!
Do Your Own Preparation
Perhaps you don’t want to do the entire paint job yourself. That’s okay! You can still save yourself money, even if you’re getting a professional to paint your ride.
Before you send the motorcycle off to be painted, do a little bit of the preparation work yourself. Take off the panels and the parts on your own. This will save the professionals some time, and it means that you can save money.
Painting a motorcycle can be a little expensive. If you’re planning on getting the motorcycle painted by a professional then you will likely need to spend a little more money. With that being said, you can save a bit of money by painting the motorcycle yourself. Ultimately it depends on your priorities.
Do you want to spend some extra money on getting a stellar paint job done, or do you want to save some pennies for another rainy day? It’s worth thoroughly considering your options when you are planning on painting your motorcycle.
Painting a motorcycle can cost anywhere from around $50 to upwards of $1500, and this all depends on the intricacy of the paint job, how much of the motorcycle you wish to paint, and who is going to be painting the motorcycle.