5 Of The Most Expensive Automotive Painting Options

Body paint jobs can be elaborate and expensive.
Body paint jobs can be elaborate and expensive.

Auto enthusiasts can spend a lot of money trying to make their cars stand out. Some will invest in custom rims, spoilers, tinted windows, and other body features, but for many, specialized, high-end paint jobs are what make the real difference.

A custom finish can totally transform the look of a car, giving it an entirely different personality, or an extra air of sophistication and prestige. Of course, auto manufacturers are well aware of this, and luxury car models increasingly come with a range of impressive, but expensive, paint options for those lucky to enough to afford it.

Here’s just of a few of the most expensive custom paint options you’re likely to come across during your auto body career.

1. Cadillac Black Diamond Edition Tri-Coat: An Automotive Painting Gem

The Black Diamond Tri-coat, available on the CTS-V, comprises a metallic black base coat and a top clear coat, with a layer of SpectraFlair pigment. SpectraFlair is a coat of aluminum flakes sealed in magnesium fluoride that was specially developed by Cadillac’s pigments supplier JDSU, and is said to diffract light in the same way as a diamond, creating a dazzling prism effect. The coat will set buyers back around $1,500.

2. Mercedes-Benz Alubeam: A Gleaming Auto Body Finish

Available exclusively for SLS AMG owners, the stunning Alubeam finish—which mimics highly polished bare metal—costs a staggering $17,090, but for good reason. The extremely labor-intensive paint process involves seven separate layers, with each mercury-like fleck needing to be carefully aligned. As auto body training students can appreciate, this isn’t an easy process, and Mercedes can only paint three per week.

The Alubeam finish is among the most eye-catching in the world
The Alubeam finish is among the most eye-catching in the world

3. BMW Frozen M3s: An Auto Body Finish That Requires Careful Maintenance

In 2012, BMW offered a limited edition M3 in Frozen Gray or Black. Despite adding approximately $20,500 to the purchase price, the finish was extremely popular, reportedly selling out in around 30 minutes. An extremely delicate matte coat, the Frozen surface was prone to being easily damaged, and BMW made customers sign a waiver that voided the warranty if they did not maintain the coat in pristine condition.

4. Bugatti Veyron Custom: Automotive Painting at its Most Meticulous

Just in case buyers feel that the $2 million Veyron doesn’t stand out enough, Bugatti offers a range of elaborate automotive painting options for just $15,500 more. Customers can opt for two tone exteriors, custom body outlines, and even specialised finishes such as the L’Or Blanc, which comprises hand-painted blue swirls on a white base. The whole process takes up to three months, with inspectors spending two days going over the finished job with a magnifying glass before approving delivery.

A custom Veyron paint job costs thousands
A custom Veyron paint job costs thousands

5. Range Rover ChromaFlair: Automotive Painting with A Psychedelic Feel

Like Cadillac’s Black Diamond, ChromaFlair uses a special pigment supplied by JDSU. The ChromaFlair finish causes light interference, with the surface reflecting and refracting so that it appears to change colour as you move around the car. It was offered in eight ‘psychedelic’ designs on the 2011 Range Rover Autobiography, at a cost of $19,440.

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