# How much does it cost to give an airliner a fresh coat of paint?

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?

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. • @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. – vasin1987 Apr 2 '15 at 23:31 • 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. – jwenting Apr 3 '15 at 4:40 • @jwenting You might be interested to see Why are planes generally paint white? :) – 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. • I would guess that certified aircraft paint costs considerably more than paint that we can pick up at Sherwin Williams.... – Lnafziger Oct 28 '15 at 16:56 • Maybe not, though. They aren't selling it by the can, and they are probably buying it at wholesale prices instead of retail. – user42493 Sep 11 '19 at 17:35 £900'000, apparently, in the case of the Royal Air Force's Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport. I know it's not exactly an airliner. For reference, this is what a paint-job costing a little under £1 million looks like (both photos below from BBC News). It's not clear to me why this particular repainting job should be so expensive. Perhaps it reflects the British Prime Minister's famed ability to obtain excellent value for tax-payers' money on prestige projects. Here's the plane in its original livery: I am not a military aviation expert, so I cannot say whether it is a good thing for a dual-use air tanker to be made more conspicuous. • Although I'm sure it makes for an entertaining story, the £900,000 wasn't for simply a paint-job, but rather the budget for a major overhaul of ZZ336. "The paintwork concludes a refurbishment stemming from the 2015 SDSR [Strategic Defence and Security Review]... this was a complex engineering project requiring detailed drawings which were developed by AIRBUS. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group were then chosen to deliver the project on time and within budget." ukdefencejournal.org.uk/… – Party Ark Jun 26 at 10:23 • @PartyArk Do you know what else was included in this "complex engineering project", unrelated to the paintwork? – Daniele Procida Jun 26 at 13:15 • Totally off topic: Isn't ZZ336 an unusual registration for a British aircraft? Of is that its military tail number and that doesn't follow normal national registration standards? – FreeMan Jun 26 at 14:14 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.
• 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 – NobodySpecial Apr 4 '15 at 2:12 Not an expert far from it, though have inspected large aircraft paint finish for Government contract job and £84million hanging on the outcome, once. It is a specialised area, much stripping, pre-treatment, tie-coats, preparation, not your average paint and partial stripping of components may well be required. It feels like, say £900,000 for a multi-colour finish, might be something of a bargain. A previous comment suggested weight gain about 550 lbs (American?), sounds reasonable, but factor in stripping losses first. Specialised labour, working at heights, safety regime, security requirements, safe disposal of waste, it's a big project so project management team and large facility, (American?)it all adds up. Hope this is helpful and not pompous. • Could you include a few more data points? At this point the answer is a bit thin. Pretty sure that isn't classified or anything. – Therac Jun 21 at 7:25 • Welcome to Aviation! You bring up some excellent points. If you could include a bit more detail as @Therac mentioned and edit your post to improve the formatting so it would be more readable, that would be great! Also, if you'll take the tour and browse through the help center that will help you get the most out of (and give your best to) the site. – FreeMan Jun 26 at 14:25 I don't know where you come up with these numbers. I'm a 20,000 corporate pilot and also an aircraft broker dealing in corporate aircraft sales. A Challenger 605 or 604 which is a 10 to 12 passage plane cost from \$120,000 up to \$180,000 for the better shops. I have had several painted over the years with recent quotes in the last 60 days in July 2019 and the lowest price was \$120,000. A 777 would take 10 times as much paint alone.