Whether you just bought a used GMC Sierra or have put your formerly new Sierra through the wringer, giving it a paint job is an excellent option.
Not only will it look nice, but paint plays a crucial role in protecting your vehicle from harsh environments.
How Much Does It Cost to Paint a GMC Sierra?
It can cost less than $1,000 to paint a GMC Sierra, but it can also run you as much as $20,000+. The price depends on whether you want a basic job with synthetic paint, showroom quality, or somewhere in between. You can even save money by painting it on your own.
I’ll walk you through the different price tiers of painting a GMC Sierra and, at the end of this article, teach you how to go at it on your own.
The Cost of Painting a GMC Sierra
Several factors impact the price of painting a GMC Sierra model, including:
- Individual body shop prices
- Whether you want the stock color or custom color
- Any painting designs you may want to add
- If there’s rust or any damage to the exterior of your vehicle
Let’s explore in more detail what each of the price points someone quotes you could entail.
If someone gives you a quote of under $1,000 to paint your GMC Sierra, it’s time to take a hard look at what they’re offering.
More often than not, they might be giving you this quote for their labor alone.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to factor in the cost of paint and clear on top of that.
In some cases, such prices already include the paint, but it’ll be a lower quality synthetic enamel.
Maaco is a notoriously cheap auto body shop that offers car painting services across North America.
You can expect such companies to only paint visible areas instead of addressing every nook and cranny of your vehicle.
Therefore, depending on your location, you might end up being able to snag a deal on painting your GMC Sierra for under $1,000 (although you can’t expect such low rates in places such as the heart of Los Angeles).
It’s also crucial to consider quality.
Painting a GMC Sierra is an investment, so you want to ensure you’re putting your baby in good hands.
Therefore, before handing over your truck, ask for details about the person doing the painting.
How many years have they been in the industry? Do they have references you could talk with?
$1,000 – $2,000
If someone quotes you between one and two grand to paint your GMC Sierra, this is often a fair price, assuming you aren’t asking for a showroom quality paint job.
Nevertheless, it still requires digging into.
For example, read the fine print if your quote is closer to the $1,000 range.
You’ll likely have to pay for the paint and clear on top of this number.
If your quote is around $2,000, they may have already factored in the cost of paint and clear into the price.
Nevertheless, it’s not a given, especially if you live in an expensive city or an area where transporting the paint costs a lot of money.
Regardless of the situation, this price range often comes with a light sanding service and rust removal before they apply the paint.
$3,000 – $4,000
If your quote is around $3,000, you can pretty much expect—but should check—that the paint comes with the service if you’re asking for a standard paint job.
Should you get a quote for painting your GMC Sierra that involves more customization and precision, the quote can far exceed $4,000, as we’ll see next.
Keep in mind that how thorough a paint job a body shop does can also impact the price.
For example, some shops paint the door jambs and inside areas, increasing the price of the service and the value you receive.
Either way, paying between $3,000 – $4,000 for getting your GMC Sierra painted should result in a high-quality job.
$4,000 – $20,000+
Yes, you read that right. Painting your GMC Sierra can cost upwards of $20,000 if you’re looking for showroom quality.
Doing so means that the body shop would sand the paint off your vehicle until it’s at its bare metal base.
They’ll then fix dents and ensure every speck of rust is off your truck before applying the highest quality paint available on the market.
Furthermore, if you’re paying for a showroom quality paint job, you can expect them to use many coats of paint on your vehicle.
You can also expect your Sierra truck painting to get into the $4,000+ range if you’d like to add extra paint designs to your vehicle, such as a logo.
Logo designs often range from $300 – $650, which you’ll need to factor in on top of your standard painting budget.
How Many Paint Quotes Should I Get?
Just like when you shopped for your GMC Sierra, you shouldn’t accept the first offer you get to paint it.
Instead, I recommend taking your truck to at least three body shops before making your decision, assuming you have the luxury of so many options in the area where you live.
Most likely, you’ll find a range of quotes, with some people reporting a $500+ difference between them.
Casually dropping the fact that you’re shopping around for quotes in your conversation with potential body shops helps increase the chances of them offering a competitive quote from the get-go.
Can I Barter Down My Paint Quote?
Quotes that vehicle body shops give are often flexible, even if they don’t initially appear to be.
Ideally, you should look for body repair shops that offer to match or present an even lower price to a quote you received from another shop.
There could be caveats to these offers, such as quotes from Maaco not being applicable since the quality of service may not be up to par with other shops.
Why Is Clear Important for Vehicles?
When you’re looking at painting your Sierra, paint alone won’t do the trick. Instead, you need something called clear, which is the final coat of paint.
Clear helps cover both the primer and pigmented paint.
As its name suggests, it doesn’t have any tint—it’s 100% transparent.
Aside from helping to give your newly painted Sierra a glossy look, the role of clear is to also help protect it from environmental wear.
Salt, dirt, and sand are among the many items that would more quickly eat away at your new paint job if it weren’t for clear.
Can I Paint My GMC Sierra?
Painting your GMC Sierra is an excellent way to save money, but you’ll need to be willing to put in the labor—showroom-style paintings often require over 20 coats of paint!
The tools you’ll need to start painting are basic, with sandpaper, foam brushes, paint trays, and a mask the most important.
Of course, you’ll also need to select the paint and primer of your choice. Many paints come in aerosol spray cans.
Should you choose to paint your GMC Sierra at home, you can expect the materials to run you well under $1,000.