How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Tailgate?

You can expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a tailgate paint job. You may need to pay more if you want some special customizations.

From materials and labor costs to paint quality and additional services, we’ll guide you through the intricacies of tailgate painting expenses. It allows you to make an ideal decision when it comes to transforming the look of your vehicle.

how much does it cost to paint a tailgate

So, if you’re eager to revitalize your vehicle’s appearance and give your tailgate a stunning makeover, read on.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Painting a Tailgate

When it comes to painting a tailgate, several factors can influence the overall cost. It’s important to consider these factors before getting a tailgate painted to ensure that you have a realistic expectation of the expenses involved.

Size and complexity: Larger tailgates require more paint, which increases the overall expense. Moreover, if your tailgate has intricate designs, body lines, or requires custom masking for special effects, the complexity of the job will affect the cost.

Paint type and quality: High-quality automotive paints tend to be more expensive but can provide better durability and a superior finish. Custom paint colors or specialized finishes may also come at a premium. It tends to be more expensive than standard ones.

Color matching: If you’re changing the color of your tailgate, it may require multiple coats to achieve the desired hue. Color matching, involves matching the existing color of the vehicle, which can be challenging. Both color change and color matching processes can increase the cost.

Surface area coverage: The amount of surface area that needs to be covered with paint will affect the cost. If only a small portion of the tailgate requires painting, the cost will be lower compared to a complete repaint of the entire tailgate.

Additional services: If you require additional services alongside the tailgate painting, such as clear coating or graphic designs, they will add to the cost. These services may require specialized skills or materials, contributing to the increased expense.

Insurance or warranty: Some shops may offer insurance or warranty on their paintwork, which can come at an additional cost. This factor is worth considering when comparing quotes from different shops.

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Tailgate?

The cost to paint a tailgate can be influenced by the location, shop reputation, customization requests, and the tailgate materials involved. Generally, the cost range for painting a tailgate falls between $200 and $600. For more customization, the cost can reach up to $2000.

Breakdown of Costs

Labor: The labor costs typically include the time and effort required for surface preparation, priming, painting, and finishing. This can range from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the condition of the tailgate and the complexity of the paint job. Labor costs can vary widely based on geographical location and the reputation of the shop. On average, labor costs can range from $50 to $150 per hour.

Materials: The materials required for painting a tailgate include paint, primer, clear coat, and other supplies. The cost of these materials can vary based on the quality and brand chosen. On average, the cost of materials for a tailgate paint job can range from $50 to $200.

Additional Fees: Some shops may charge additional fees for specific customization requests. For example, if you want special effects like metallic paint or pearl finishes, there may be extra charges involved. These additional fees can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the request and the shop’s pricing structure.

Low-end Estimate: Considering a lower-end scenario where labor costs are at the lower end of the spectrum (e.g., $50 per hour) and using more affordable materials, the total cost for painting a tailgate may be around $200.

High-end Estimate: On the higher end, if a reputable shop with experienced technicians is selected, labor costs are at the higher end (e.g., $150 per hour). In that shop, higher-quality materials are used, the total cost for painting a tailgate can reach around $600 or more.

Cost Variations

Vehicle Types: Different vehicle types can affect the overall cost due to variations in tailgate sizes, complexities, and design choices. For example, painting the tailgate of a compact car may cost less compared to a large pickup truck or an SUV.

Tailgate Materials: The material of the tailgate can also impact the cost. If the tailgate is made of metal, it may require more preparation work. Rust removal or dent repairs cost will be included, which can increase the overall cost compared to a tailgate made of fiberglass or plastic.

Additional Factors

Location: The cost of services can vary based on the region. Areas with higher living costs or greater demand for automotive services might have higher prices.

Shop Reputation: Established and reputable shops may charge higher rates due to their experience and quality of work.

Customization Requests: If you have specific customization requests, the cost will likely increase as it requires more time and skill from the painters.

Cost-saving Tips for Painting a Tailgate

Painting a tailgate is not a cheap way. It requires some expenses. However, you can follow some rules to reduce your spending.

Plan and prepare: Before starting the painting process, make sure you plan and prepare everything properly. This includes selecting the right paint, brushes, and any necessary equipment. By being prepared, you can avoid wasting money on unnecessary materials.

Research and compare prices: Before purchasing paint and supplies, take the time to research different brands and compare prices. Look for sales, discounts, or bulk deals to get the best value for your money.

DIY approach: Instead of hiring a professional painter, consider painting the tailgate yourself. It will save you a significant amount of money on labor costs.

Opt for lower-cost paint: High-quality automotive paint can be quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider using lower-cost paint options that still provide good coverage and durability.

Use primer: Applying a primer before painting can help improve the adhesion of the paint. It can also reduce the number of coats of paint needed, saving you money in the long run.

Avoid excessive coats: Applying too many coats of paint can be wasteful and unnecessary. Follow the proper guidelines and aim for a sufficient number of coats to achieve the desired finish.

Avoid overspending: While high-quality tools can make the painting process easier, it’s not always necessary to invest in expensive equipment. Assess your needs and purchase tools that are suitable for your specific project to avoid unnecessary expenses.

How Much Paint for a Tailgate?

As a general guideline, a standard 12-ounce (340 grams) aerosol can of spray paint is typically sufficient to cover a small to medium-sized tailgate.

If you are using brush-on paint, a quart-sized can (32 fluid ounces or approximately 946 milliliters) is usually enough for a single coat on a medium-sized tailgate. But it may require additional paint if you plan to apply multiple coats or if your tailgate is larger than average.

To estimate the accurate amount of paint you would need for a tailgate, keep in mind the factors like tailgate size, paint type, and the desired coverage.

First, you need to measure the length and width of the tailgate in inches or centimeters. Multiply these two measurements to calculate the surface area of the tailgate that needs to be covered.

Next, you’ll need to determine the coverage rate of the paint. The coverage rate is typically listed on the paint can. It indicates the area that can be covered with a certain volume of paint. It is usually given in square feet or square meters.

To calculate the amount of paint required, divide the surface area of the tailgate by the coverage rate of the paint. This will give you an approximation of the volume of paint needed to cover the tailgate.

It’s a good idea to purchase slightly more paint than the calculated amount to account for any touch-ups. Additionally, if you’re using a paint primer, make sure to factor those into your calculations as well.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a New Tailgate?

The cost of a new tailgate for a vehicle is not fixed. It can be varied based on the make, model, and year of the vehicle, as well as where you purchase the tailgate. On average, a new tailgate can range from $200 to $1,000 or more. Additional costs may include installation fees if you’re not doing the installation yourself.

Final Thoughts

The cost of painting a tailgate can vary. Taking into account the factors we have discussed and making an informed decision can lead to a satisfactory outcome.

Remember, painting a tailgate is not just about the cost, but also the value it adds to your vehicle. A freshly painted tailgate can enhance the overall appearance. Therefore, investing in a professional paint job is often a worthwhile decision.

About the Author

Ivan McCloud