Auto Repair Estimates – Part 13 – Deducting For Paint Overlap

Paint times are given in the estimating guides as well. In the Mitchell estimating guides, the refinish labor time, R&I time, O/H time are usually right under the title of each part. The R&R time is usually listed with the part. All paint times are determined for painting one panel at a time. However, many times we paint more than one part at a time. For example, if a car was hit in the front it may damage the hood and both front fenders. Therefore, three parts would be painted at the same time. Would it take the same amount of time to do all three panels at the same time as apposed to pulling the car in and out of the booth three separate times? Of course it would save time. You would only mask once, mix paint once, spary the paint once, and clean your spray gun once. Therefore, we should deduct part of the time for each additional panel that we paint. The first major panel will not have any deduction for overlap. However, each additional adjacent panel, the estimator needs to deduct .4. If it is not an adjacent panel, the estimator will need to deduct .2. In the example above we have a hood and two fenders. Let’s say the guide gives 3.0 for each panel. With no decutions you would total 9.0 refinish hours. That would not be correct and adjustment would need to be made. Let’s figure this deducting refinish labor correctly. The first major panel is the hood, which give us 3.0 hours. The next adjacent panel is the fender, which gives us 3.0. Since this is an adjacent panel, we will deduct .4 giving us 2.6. The next adjacent panel is the other fender, which gives us 3.0. We will deduct .4 from that time as well giving us 2.6. Now your total paint time will be 3.0+2.6+2.6= 8.2. This is .8 less time that we will charge after deducting overlap. Remember that panels that are not adjacent to the panel your painting will only have .2 deducted per panel.

Here is an example of how this works on an estimate.

Body Labor   Paint Labor

Repair Hood Panel                 2.5                3.0
Deduct for paint overlap                              .0
Adjusted  Paint Time                                3.0

Repair Right Front Fender      2.0                3.0
Deduct for paint overlap                            -.4
Adjusted Paint Time                                 2.6

Repair Left Front Fender       1.0                 3.0
Deduct for paint overlap                             -.4
Adjusted Paint Time                                 2.6

Total Labor           5.5            8.2


  1. How would you deal with a blend panel, where there is no damage. Ie. Blend panel being needed for repairs very close to adjacent panels.

  2. How would this work for new parts? Should there be a deduction for a job like so
    Replace fender-1.8
    Replace lt front door shell-3.2
    Over lap major adj. Panel: -.4
    Blend rear door 1.0

    My exact order on my estimate. Is this correct?

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