Exterior Sprinter Van Painting Options (Makeover Time!)
Have you seen the van we bought? Introducing Van Adieu!! We seriously needed to do something to make our van look respectable in public, and also so our neighbors don’t stand in front of our yard with pitchforks and torches! You may find yourself in a similar position, looking for exterior sprinter van painting ideas, options, and costs. For the sake of honesty, our van is a Sprinter Van (as you can see!) but these options work on almost all vans.
If you are in this situation – we are here to help! I’m sure you have asked yourself “How do I paint my Sprinter Van” or “What should I use to paint my Sprinter Van” or even just thought dang, I just need to search “How to paint a Sprinter Van!”
You are not alone! We were right there! But, by the end of this article you will have some great ideas where to start. You will also determine what your comfort levels are in terms of DIY, and (drum roll!) a final option amazing option (and our choice!) you’ve never thought of!
Exterior Sprinter Van Painting Ideas and Options
1. Professional Sprinter Van Painting Job
The professional Sprinter Van Painting job idea is the most professional (see what I did there?) Here’s the scoop. This paint job is typically a custom van paint job, and therefore comes with a custom van paint job cost. This simply wasn’t an option for us. We could pay a ton of money for a beautiful van exterior paint job, but the reality is that this van was intended to be a labor of love for us.
It was originally our vision that we would upcycle a van and try to create an amazing experience that then becomes just the beginning of a lifetime of adventure. (Hello, Adventure!)
Also, there are a few (*clears throat* many!) dents and dings in our van. A professional van exterior paint job would not cover those without charging even more. If you find yourself in a similar position, just realize that they will want to do the body work for you as well. Their reputation will be based on how your van looks – so they want it to look good – and you will pay for that.
The professional paint job costs roughly $6,000 to $9,000, and that isn’t the way we wanted to start the adventure! We wanted to roll up our sleeves and do this ourselves – we will let you know if we regret that decision later haha! But, if you are buying a newer van and want to go this route, know that this will be the slickest, fanciest option – I mean, it is called “professional” for a reason!
2. Vinyl Exterior “Paint”
Vinyl wrap is not really a van paint job, but it does produce the same effect – and would cover the entire van. But again, this option will not excel at covering the few dents that we had and minor damage. It is also quite spendy, coming in at around $5,000, and from everything we’ve read it was a challenge to apply if you are planning to do it yourself. Not impossible, mind you – but a challenge.
In terms of awesomeness, this van paint design could be amazing. Vinyl is customized to your specifications, and can include a logo or your own design. As you likely know, this is typically meant for vehicles that need to have branding or advertising displayed on the side. It can be done, but we weren’t willing to pay so much money to attempt a process neither of us had ever tried before, or pay a professional for this van paint job.
3. Rustoleum Exterior Sprinter Van Painting Option
Ok, now this is a much less costly option for an exterior van paint job! Now, we’re talking! Coming in with a price tag around $600 dollars, the process involves mixing 70% Rustoleum with 30% mineral spirits or acetone. There are people in both camps, and there are also several different suggestions as to the ratio you should use.
Ultimately, if you decide upon this route, you then must also purchase a spray paint applicator to get the paint onto the van. There are actually some people who roll it on slowly with a small paint roller as well. This choice would take several coats, but would be as close as we could get to a professional paint job. The paint job with would last as long as a professional van paint job. However, it would not be quite as shiny, or rich, in color as a professional paint job.
In any case, as a moderately priced option, this one began to appeal to us. The challenge still remained that Rustoleum would not hide the imperfections (to put it mildly) with respect to the dents and body damage. Given that we didn’t want to start doing advanced automotive body work, we decided to keep looking at options. If you think this option is right for you – you can click here to find Rustoleum for your exterior van paint!
4. Plastidip Exterior Sprinter Van Painting Option
When Todd first brought this up I thought it sounded like something from the Jetsons or maybe a kids candy (yummy, candy…..). But, in reality, Plastidip is actually a thicker paint you can purchase that sprays on similar to professional paint or the Rustoleum. It was originally used to paint over wheels and other parts of cars, and then someone realized, hey! We can just paint the whole car with this stuff!
It doesn’t need as many coats of paint as Rustoleum, however, this paint is typically used on the top of new cars to protect the new car paint and finish. Plastidip is durable and would cost about $1500 to do our entire van, so the price wasn’t too bad!
But from what we have heard, Plastidip is, well….plastic. Meaning that in the strong heat, bugs and debris from trips could sink into the plastic – especially on the top of your van roof. Again, its just the top of the roof, and who looks there? But, I suppose it would also be on the front hood of the car, etc. Also, Plastidip also only lasts about three years, and we needed something much more durable and long lasting!
As a side note, you can use plastidip for other stuff in your car, like your dashboard, rims, etc. So, if you aren’t going to commit to the whole van, you can still plastidip certain parts and look super cool!
The Final Exterior Sprinter Van Painting Option – the One You Have Been Waiting For!
Yes, you read that right. This thick textured coating is what you find on truck beds. This stuff is crazy durable. You’ll find yourself hard pressed to destroy it.
Because it is so thick, it will easily cover any imperfections, bumps and bruises our van has! Exactly what we are looking for, thank you very much! It also will give our van those outdoorsy rugged good looks. (Sort of like the way men look distinguished with beards…hmmm….what was I talking about again?)
And we aren’t the only ones that think this is a crazy, awesome idea. Check it out.
Oh yes, Truck bed liner paint matches to any color you wish!!!
ANY COLOR, people.
(Please note: Todd vetoed my suggestion of hot pink. He also vetoed MLC’s suggestion of (and I quote) “flowers, polka dots and rainbows.”)
So, now we are going with a navy blue, which was the color of our wedding (awwww, how sweet!)
Truck Bedliner Paint sprays on in a similar way to Plastidip, which means we can do it ourselves (or die trying!!!) The Truck Bedliner Exterior Van Paint will require approximately two coats, should cost about $1200. If you are interested in what this stuff is check out the link.
Ladies and Gentleman – we have a winner!
This option is a durable exterior van paint, that will mask the imperfections of the van’s exterior imperfections. It will also provide a solid, impenitrable coating. This option has the “feel” of adventure and represents outdoor travel. And finally, we can do this, and the cost is totally reasonable!
Keep it tuned here for the tutorial (both blog and You Tube) on how to paint a truck with bedliner. We will be painting our van and showing you! Hopefully this DIY bedliner tutorial will help others!
Are there any other options you know of to paint your van? What have you used successfully? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Adieu for now!