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Old 09-10-2021, 05:10 AM   #1
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Cost of painting an E350

I have a white 2004 E350. Body and paint have held up but there are some areas that need paint. What does it cost to paint the exterior of a white RB using another color paint?
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Old 09-10-2021, 07:49 AM   #2
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I was ballpark quoted about $5K 9 years ago in So Cal. That's from a well respected local body shop. I was considering buying a white van and painting it some other color.



I'm sure you can get it done for less, and you need to discuss things like painting the door jambs etc. All of that detail is time and $$.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:17 AM   #3
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Sounds about right. Quoted $1000 for rt rear qtr.
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Old 09-10-2021, 02:08 PM   #4
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Not only are good painters hard to find but paint and painting supplies are yet another thing that have gone up a lot in price in recent years.

I haven't priced a job in awhile. Haven't needed to but I will and I am not looking forward to it.
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Old 09-10-2021, 05:59 PM   #5
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Hopefully JWA will chime in. He's a former body shop owner and will be able answer your question. Of course there will be a range depending on how high a quality job you want.

Alternatively you can PM him and let us know what he has to say.
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Old 09-14-2021, 04:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCam View Post
Hopefully JWA will chime in. He's a former body shop owner and will be able answer your question. Of course there will be a range depending on how high a quality job you want.

Alternatively you can PM him and let us know what he has to say.
I'll give it to ya straight from the horse's mouth so to speak!

Doing a "color change" could be as simple as something akin to a wrap where minimal preparation is done before the new color is applied. When my shop did an all over paint job even if the original color was retained we pretty much stripped the body done to its bare metal, things like door handles, lock cylinders trim, door & body seals and sometimes bumpers removed for a better job. This sort of process could take about 16 hours even before body work was begun.

Actually painting was the least labor intensive part of the job---all the pre- and post- work required drove the price. Some would use masking tape to avoid removing parts but honestly that can be labor intensive and unfortunately not yielding the best results; that process did not greatly reduce my pricing though.

Given today's material and labor costs a full sized E-Series done correctly could run from $5 to $7K quite easily. Sounds like a lot until you're actually in the industry.

One has to give huge consideration whether changing the color really is that big a priority. Wrapping has become a nice alternative, takes far less down time and can be changed yet again in the future. The wraps I've seen when done well look good at a distance, the short comings easily seen once up close.

For me and just for me while exterior color is something changing it after the fact is a cost I could not justify if building out an "adventure van"---there's just far too many other areas of such a build where that money could be better used.

If I had a shop today I'd do the work with the understanding there would be no fixed or set cost where the final bill would be based on time, material and additional work required as the process unfolded. The customer's budget and desires would be considered, advice offered whether their ideas were practical.

I would also not guarantee any specific time to complete, advising the customer it could take a full 30 days or so. A substantial deposit would get things started, regular updates or allowed visits from time-to-time encouraged. Once the body was in primer one last visit and inspection with last minute changes made and the finish color would be applied.

Return to customer would be made after all was re-assembled and a final customer inspection would pretty much complete the job.

Wrapping looks like better and better..............
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:12 AM   #7
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This sort of process could take about 16 hours even before body work was begun.

This stuff can save some $$ if you can remove/install it yourself......although you'll need headlights and taillights to get to the body shop. ....and many states bumpers too.


Of course you'll need the shop to agree to this but perhaps you get the 16 hours down to 4-5 for the shop.
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:18 AM   #8
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Wrapping looks pretty good. The hood heat has affected mine a bit but the shop said they will refresh it no charge. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-14-2021, 10:47 AM   #9
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Great information. Thanks. If you can, pin this to the top. What is driving this is some damage to the passenger side rear quarter. Just curious about changing coor. At one time SMB had a van that was painted with the American flag. Might have been a wrap. I have around 90 gigs of photos and want to use the sides of the van and 1976 Airstream to display some of them along with a phone number they can call if they want to order a print. Keeping the van white will allow the wraps to stand out mo bettah.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:18 PM   #10
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Got it. If you want I can pass along my painter who does all the van work for Van Specialties here in town. He fixed my rusted roof under the tape and has probably painted and fixed more vans than most.
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