For Painting 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. 

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

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

Regular Paint Job Custom Paint Job DIY Paint Job
$300-1500 $600-$3000 $100-$500

If you are hoping to customize your motorcycle, you are 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. 

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 of painting your motorcycle can vary considerably. If you are 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 JobCustom Paint JobDIY Paint Job
About $300 – $1500About $600 – $3000About $100 – $500
Experienced ProfessionalExperienced ProfessionalThe outcome depends on your skills.
Average paint qualityHigher paint qualityQuality depends on the equipment and paints chosen.
Customization and better resale value
Wide range of prices and qualitiesUsually good quality but may be a much higher priceQuality 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 of 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 painted 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 professional 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 money.

Take time to learn how to detach and reattach any parts that you want to paint the right way. After the 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 a customized one. 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 design for you. At, artists can help with all sorts of design concepts, including designing decals for your 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 reasons 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. However, the market for unique paint designs may lower the number of people interested in buying the motorcycle. 

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

Just make sure you really want the design that you are asking for. You 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 shortcuts.

You’ll be looking at a fair amount of work to get a good finished product. You can expect to do some prep work ahead of painting and possibly make 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 are the paint. Tools may or may not be needed.


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Base Coat

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Clear Coat

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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, others might soon be asking for your help.

Make sure you have the best environment to paint your motorcycle. Weather, ventilation, and overspray are factors to think about. 

One factor you should consider is the design’s price and the colors 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 plastic decals.

When choosing the motorcycle that you want to get painted, think about how important the type of paint is. Higher-end paint 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 than 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.