Just a random thought I had: the weather gives a jet's paint job a battering; meaning they need to be resprayed approximately once every 5-10 years. (See How often is a passenger jet aircraft painted?)

Roughly what might a paint job for a 777 like the one shown in the YouTube video below, cost an airline?

Bonus: I believe afterwards that the weight of the plane has to be recalculated, so as not to affect . How is this calculation done?


According to WallStreetJournal article, Tom Horton stated in an interview that :

A 777 paint job can cost \$100,000 to \$200,000, depending on the number of colors involved, and a smaller Airbus A320 can cost $50,000 or more.

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    $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby thanks david. I have exactly that problem. Already edit. I have same paywall problem too but when link from google the article is okay. You may try that. $\endgroup$ – vasin1987 Apr 2 '15 at 23:31
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    $\begingroup$ The exact colours needed are also a factor apparently. Someone from an airline maintenance department told me years ago that white paint is quite a bit cheaper than for example red paint, and that that factored heavily in the decisions of some airlines when adopting new liveries. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Apr 3 '15 at 4:40
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    $\begingroup$ @jwenting You might be interested to see Why are planes generally paint white? :) $\endgroup$ – Danny Beckett Apr 4 '15 at 12:46

A news article that linked that video said it took Emirates Airlines 6550 hours to repaint 21 aircraft, an average of 312 hours each. They run a round-the-clock operation, with 26-30 people working at any given time, so that translates into roughly 8500-9000 man hours to complete each plane. If the average entry level salary there is similar to the US at \$18/hr, that's upwards of $175,000 just in labor.

And if a paint job weighs 555 lbs on a 747 (and that's after it dries – think of the lost moisture), and your spray efficiency is around 50%, we're talking closer to 2000 lbs of wet paint to purchase to get the job done. At around 9.0 lbs/gallon, that's about 220 gallons of paint. Sherwin Williams sells paint for around \$50/gal, so that's another \$11,000 for the paint.

Then facility costs for electricity and cooling, but I don't have to get into that, as we're already nearing the upper estimate of the per-aircraft cost vasin1987 cited in his answer.

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    $\begingroup$ I would guess that certified aircraft paint costs considerably more than paint that we can pick up at Sherwin Williams.... $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Oct 28 '15 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe not, though. They aren't selling it by the can, and they are probably buying it at wholesale prices instead of retail. $\endgroup$ – Hosch250 Sep 11 at 17:35

The cost depends on a lot of factors, how many planes, how many colors, how desperate the manufacturer is for your business or if you have your own paint shop.

But given the care that must be taken to use the correct paint, the correct solvents, dispose of everything and the FAA requirement that the paperwork for the job must weigh more than the paint - I'm guessing several $10K.

Boeing have some data on the amount of paint and if you should paint or polish including the fact that the paint scheme on a 747 weighs nearly 0.5Ton

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, but around here we generally ask for a higher standard of proof than a guess. $\endgroup$ – raptortech97 Apr 2 '15 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ In the airline business you will probably find everything from airline A who got it for free from Boeing in the hope of a big order to airline Z whose own maintenance dept billed them $1M as a tax loss - and everything in between $\endgroup$ – NobodySpecial Apr 4 '15 at 2:12

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