How Much to Paint a Motorcycle

How Much to Paint a Motorcycle: Prepare to Pay These Costs

When I was a teenager I once painted my own motorcycle tank. Everything went perfectly I thought, except I didn't add the primer, and my tank turned out to be a dull red.

Painting can cost a little for smaller parts or a lot for an entire motorcycle, but make sure you consider how exactly you want it to appear, since a nice paint job takes more time and money. 

How much to paint a motorcycle? You can expect to pay about $300 to $1500 for a motorcycle paint job. There are many variable to consider, so narrowing down the price will depend on what exactly you need painted, and how difficult the job will be.

We will discuss the cost of a regular, customized, and DIY paint jobs.

Regular Paint Job

Custom Paint Job

DIY Paint Job




If you are hoping to customize your motorcycle you in luck. You can do it yourself or get someone to help add a little flair for a relatively low price.

But if you need to repaint an entire bike you'll need to pay quite a bit more. Get some ideas on how you want to customize your motorcycle,  and you'll be well on your way to getting the job done. 

How Much to Paint a Motorcycle: Prepare to Pay These Costs

Each paint joint will depend on how much of the bike you plan to paint. Some people just want to paint the tank, others the tank, fairings, and fenders, and yet others the entire frame. 

Therefore, the cost to paint your motorcycle can vary considerably. If your a do it yourself (DIY) kind of person, then you'll need to decide between using a spray can or a paint machine to get the job done. This will also play a factor in your costs.

You may need to sand and spray a reformer paint on if you have rust. With a small paint job for scratches you may want to do it yourself. 

And don't forget about the paint and designs you'll be using. Getting a quality paint job and finish depends partially on the paint quality and if any mistakes are made. Custom paints and quality craftsmanship will cost more.    

Regular Paint Job

Custom Paint Job

DIY Paint Job

  • About $300 - $1500
  • Experienced Professional
  • Average paint quality
  • About $600 - $3000
  • Experienced Professional
  • Higher paint quality
  • Customization and better resale value
  • About $100 - $500
  • Outcome depends on your skills
  • Quality depends on equipment and paints chosen
  • Wide range of prices and qualities
  • Usually good quality but may be a much higher price
  • Quality might be lower than from a paint shop

Cost of Using a Regular Motorcycle Paint Shop

Cost of Using a Regular Motorcycle Paint Shop

A regular paint job for your motorcycle will likely cost you around $300 to $1500. As with any paint job, the price is highly dependent on the amount of work that must be done before you have it painted.

Keep in mind that the actual painting is just one part of the process and that the biggest part of the job may be sanding off the old paint from your motorcycle.

Sanding your motorcycle requires manual work and it will take more time. In addition, the cost will also be increased if there is a lot preparation that must be done before the actual painting job.

Parts need to be covered or removed to effectively paint much of the frame as well as other parts that need to be removed to be paint completely. 

Here’s a tip: begin preparing your bike before you go to a professional. You can start the work yourself and then ask a profession to finish.

This could reduce the cost quite a bit so you might only need to pay half for a regular paint job (about $150 to $750). If you do the preparation yourself, you will also see if doing the entire job is possible for you. 

If paying for a paint job is prohibitive, ask a paint shop how much they will charge if you take off the parts yourself. If you just want to paint the tank as well as the fairings of your motorcycle, removing them and doing any prep work will save the paint shop time and you money.

Take time to learn how to detach and reattach any parts that you want to paint the right way. After parts are painted be careful not to scratch the paint and clean up the surrounding areas, so all the newly painted parts will look nice.

Saving money is great, just make sure to avoid any problems when doing any prep by being careful.

Cost of Getting a Custom Motorcycle Paint Job

Custom Paint

As mentioned in the previous section, a regular paint job is way cheaper than customized ones. However, it should be noted that if you are restoring the paint of your motorcycle, it might cost you a lot more.

You may want to take some pictures of your motorcycle and use an art program to check out what it will look like with the design you have in mind before actually painting it.

You can also hire an artist to come up with a desgin for you. At artist can help with all sort of design concepts, including designing decals for you motorcycle. 

Remember that it might be impossible for you to haggle down the price if the professional performs customized painting and design for your bike. Expect to pay twice as much as a normal paint job (about $600 - $3000).

Why are custom paint jobs so much? Here are a few reason to consider:

  • More preparation work is usually needed. 
  • More paint is usually needed.
  • Sometimes a lot more time is needed. (Sometimes a paintbrush artist is needed) 
  • Costume mixed paints may be required.
  • Established and well rated shops will cost more.

A custom paint job can raise the value of your motorcycle. Although the market for very unique paint design may lower the number of people interested in buying the motorcycle. 

Not that you have a costume paint job, your motorcycle is also a work or art as well as transportation. It's uniqueness will stand out from the rest and give you pride of owner.

Just make sure you really want the design that you are asking for. Your stuck with it once it's done.  

Cost of a DIY Motorcycle Paint Job

Paint Your Motorcycle Yourself

Doing the motorcycle painting on your own might only cost you less than $100. This amount, however, is dependent if you are purchasing equipment and the quality and type of paint used.

DIY is definitely cheaper, and can turn out well if you have patience and follow all the directions and don't take short cuts.

You'll be looking at fair amount of work to get a good finished product. You can expect to do some prep work ahead of painting and possibly making a few mistakes.

Although, doing the dirty work yourself is part of the fun of learning to accomplish a task that may be challenging.

When you paint a motorcycle, it's important to practice your skills, especially if you are on a tight budget. Whether you are using a spray can or a paint sprayer ($30-$200), painting a motorcycle is something that most people can do, even if you've never done it before.

The key is the take your time and practice your technique. Make sure you have the right paints, and do your homework beforehand for all the items you'll need (air compressor $100+) . Then you can obtain the kind of quality you can be proud of.

With a DIY paint job, most of what you need to spend on is the paint. Tools may or may not be needed.


Base Coat

Clear Coat

The best part is that you can do the painting of your motorcycle on your own time. With practice you can do a great paint job on your motorcycle. If you have mastered your painting technique, other might soon be asking for your help.

Make sure you have the best environment to paint your motorcycle. Weather, ventilation, and over spray are factor to think about. 

One factor you should consider is the price of the design and the colors that you want for your motorcycle. If you prefer custom metal decals, that may cost you a lot more, unless they're predesigned metal, vinyl, or a plastic decals.

When choosing the motorcycle that you want to get painted, think about how important the type of paint is. Higher-end paints brands tend to be a lot more expensive than others.

Another thing to take note of when doing a paint job by yourself is to get help when needed. You'll likely spend more money then you intended and more time trying to fix mistakes.

From sanding to putting on the finish coat, doing it wrong might cause a mess on the surface of your bike. Just remember that you need to be very careful with DIY painting.


As discussed, a regular paint job would cost you $1500 at most, a customized paint job ranges from $600 to $3000, while DIY paint jobs are a lot less; $500 at most. Also, doing some of the work yourself can help slash prices by a few hundred dollars. Just remember that you might not get a reduced price when the job involves repairs or a lot of work, like a customized design.