How Much Paint to Paint a Truck?

When it comes to painting your truck, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you start your project, it’s essential to determine how much paint you’ll need and how many coats you should apply. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you have enough paint to complete your project successfully.


How Much Paint Do You Need?

Determining how much paint you’ll need depends on your truck’s size and whether you’ll be painting just the exterior or the bed. One gallon of paint will suffice for a regular-sized truck, while larger trucks like vans and SUVs will need two gallons. If you plan on painting the bed, you’ll need to purchase an additional quart of paint. Remember that if you’re using a base coat/clear coat system, you may only need one gallon of color paint, but you’ll still need to buy more than one gallon of clear coat.

How Many Coats Should You Apply?

Applying three to four coats of paint is generally enough to achieve full coverage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times, which can vary from 20 minutes to an hour. If you need to figure out how many coats to apply, it’s always best to err on caution and apply an extra coat or two.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of painting your truck can vary depending on your truck type and the amount of work needed. A basic service typically includes sanding and removing any rust before beginning the paint job, costing between $500 and $1,000. If your truck needs more work, such as if it has significant damage or is an older model, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. In addition, the color you choose can also affect the price.

Additional Tips

  • If you’re using spray paint, plan on using about 20 cans to cover a standard-sized truck.
  • Depending on your truck’s size, you’ll need 2-4 quarts of gloss and four cans of auto primer spray paint for Rustoleum paint.
  • A 12 oz can of spray paint typically covers about 20 square feet.
  • If you’re an amateur painter, buying more paint than you think you’ll need is always best to avoid running out halfway through your project.


Painting your truck can give it a new lease on life. By keeping these tips in mind and carefully planning your project, you can ensure your vehicle looks great for years.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.