How much does it cost to get a bus painted? (DIY)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How much does it cost to get a bus painted? Besides explaining the costs of getting a bus painted, we will tell you how you can DIY and completely transform your Skoolie with just a few paint strokes!

How much does it cost to get a bus painted?

Getting a school bus painted can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000, depending on the type of paint you choose, the size of the bus, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. Here are a few options:

  1. Get the bus painted at a body shop: $2000
  2. Get the bus painted at RVs repair maintenance place: $1600
  3. DIY: $200 to $400 

It must be said that for painting a bus you will need more than one person and definitely more than one bucket of paint. Nonetheless, it is possible to transform this into a DIY project, and we’ll guide you to make the best of it!

How to paint a bus easily and quickly

If you have a bus and your desire is to paint it, here we leave you step by step on how to paint a bus. In a simple and economical way. And the best, by your own means with expert results.

  1. The ideal place to work. Due to its size, you should locate the bus in a suitable place. With enough space to start working. For this process you will need good lighting and excellent ventilation. Make sure you have the surroundings of this space perfectly covered. This is if you don’t want to deal with permanent paint stains on any surface. It should also be noted that where you have selected the place to paint, it must be completely clean.

And free of objects that may be flammable. To prevent them from coming into contact with the gases that the paint product expels. In general, these are the characteristics that the place you have destined to work must comply with.

  1. Don’t start until you gather all the supplies and materials. What you are going to need depends on the paint you have previously purchased. It is important that you have at your disposal each of the necessary supplies to carry out the painting process. 

However, in addition to this, you cannot start without some safety equipment. This in order to avoid any type of damage that the paint can cause when it comes into contact with your skin. We recommend that you have gloves, a special mask for this type of work, failing that, a mask and everything you can use to cover your skin. All this is part of what you should know about how to paint a bus.

  1. You must prepare the bus before applying the paint. One of the things you should do before considering applying the product is removing the paint from the bus. That is the old paint that you want to replace. In this step, you must make sure to remove it completely. To the point of getting to the metal. This step is because it is much easier for the new product to adhere if you first remove all the paint and work directly on the metal.
  1. Don’t forget about sanding. Another important point that you must take into account is to repair all the imperfections before painting. For example, if it presents rust, get rid of it with the help of sandpaper, this step is really simple. Sanding and cleaning the damaged surface of rust is enough because then you will cover and refine this in the painting process.

You may have removed all the rust from the bus. But this one contains some dents. This should also be repaired before applying the paint. Ideally, work on all these repairs so that the paint better seals the results and obtain a bus like new.

  1. Time to apply paint. After you have completed all the previous steps you can proceed to apply the product. It is important that you are clear about all the indications that the paint you have purchased brings with it. These generally vary, and the proper result of the job depends on how you use the product. Make sure it is ideal.
  1. To completely paint the bus you will need to apply several coats. This depends on the product you have purchased. What you need to know about this procedure is that each coat must be completely dry before applying the next. Wait the necessary time as indicated by the product you have purchased. 

Another tip that you should take into account in this step is to avoid that for any reason the layer you apply gets dust. This is the period of time you wait for it to dry. So to avoid imperfections in the final result, the ideal is that you clean the bus by piece while you are applying each layer.

A recommendation that you should take into account in this process is not to apply the product so close to the bus. While it is true you need uniformity so that the finish is first, but if you apply the paint sprayer at a distance very close to the metal sheet of the car, you will only achieve excess paint. This will be reflected as small drops that are usually an error in this process.

  1. To improve the final details. When you finish this procedure, that is to say, that you have applied each layer. And wait the time necessary for the bus to be completely dry, you can add shine. This is advice from professionals. 

If you apply an extra coat of clear paint you will give it the result you want. All shine like a brand new bus. Also, another alternative is to use sandpaper, if you make sure that it is really fine so that it does not cause any damage to the paint, you can polish it.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how to paint a bus. If you also want to add stripes of other colours to the paint of your bus as a decoration, you can help yourself with protective tape and paper. Just like you covered what you didn’t want to paint in previous steps. This is the easiest way to work in these cases. 

Another recommendation for this is to get a slightly finer paint sprayer if you want to be more precise on the details. Therefore, you must purchase paint of different colours according to your preference.

In conclusion, this is what you should know about how to paint a bus. We guarantee excellent results in your work if you apply all the steps correctly!

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions on how to get a bus painted, please let us know!

FAQ on How much does it cost to get a bus painted?

Do I need to sand my bus before painting?

It is preferable to sand your bus before painting. Sanding and cleaning the damaged surface of rust is enough because then you will cover and refine this in the painting process.

How long does it take to paint a bus?

It can take up to five days to paint a bus. Considering you have to clean, sand, make some repairs, paint one or more coats and retouch it – take it easy and do it properly. 

Can I paint my bus yellow?

Although there is no law to prohibit you to paint your bus yellow, in most states, it is expected to paint your Skoolie a different colour. 


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