Tesla’s are known for their sleek, minimalist designs and approach to manufacturing. Most Tesla models only come in a limited number of color options directly from the factory. But what if you want something more unique for your Tesla after you’ve purchased it? Is it possible to change or customize the color?
One of the most popular ways to change the color of your Tesla is by using wraps. Wraps are vinyl films that can be applied over the existing paint and peeled off later without damaging the original paint. High quality wraps when properly installed can last 5-7 years on a vehicle like a Tesla.
Wraps allow for nearly any color or finish to be applied to your Tesla. You can choose a matte color, add stripes or graphics, or even do a chameleon or color shift wrap. The possibilities are endless when wrapping compared to just repainting.
Professional installation for a full wrap on a Model 3 can cost $2,000-$5,000 depending on the complexity of the design and materials used. While not cheap, it’s a fraction of the cost of a professional repaint job.
Plasti Dip is a thick rubber-like coating that can be sprayed onto surfaces, allowing it to take on any color. It originally gained popularity for its use in coating tool handles. But the automotive community quickly realized it could be used as a temporary coating for wheels.
The benefit of Plasti Dip is that it can easily be peeled off when no longer wanted, while still offering protection to the surface underneath. It has become popular for accent colors on trim pieces, logos, mirror caps and more on Teslas.
Full car Plasti Dip colors can be done, but it won’t have quite as smooth of a finish compared to a professional wrap. Still it offers a cheap and reversible way to change the color of your Tesla for less than $500 in materials.
Paint Protection Film
Paint protection film (PPF) is a clear plastic film that can be applied to the painted surfaces of a vehicle. It protects from scratches and chips from rocks and debris. Tesla’s come standard with PPF on some of the most vulnerable areas.
But PPF can also be used to change the color of a Tesla when a colored or custom printed film is used. Often just sections like mirrors, door handles, rear pillars or roof are changed to create a two-tone look.
Full car PPF wraps are possible too but are generally only done by the most specialized shops, and can cost upwards of $5,000-$10,000 for the material and professional installation.
A full professional repaint is the most permanent way to change the color of your Tesla. Shops will sand and prep the existing paint, spray on primer, and then spray your color of choice.
The costs vary drastically based on the color, complexity, shop rates in your area, and whether additional bodywork is required. But generally expect to pay $4,000-$10,000+ for a color change repaint on a Tesla.
The downside versus wraps, beyond the higher cost, is you are stuck with that color until you pay to have it changed again. Although some specialty shops can do chameleon or color shift paint jobs.
Rattle can spray paint is the cheapest way to change the color of your Tesla… but also provides the worst looking results. We don’t recommend it, especially for large exterior surfaces.
But for small accents pieces or trim areas, properly masking off sections and applying short quick light coats can work. Just don’t expect a smooth glass-like finish you’ll get from proper wraps, Plasti Dip or repainting.
You can find spray cans from brands like Plasti Dip and Vinyl Wrap in all sorts of colors for less than $20 per can.
Tesla Offered Colors
|Model||Standard Color Options||Additional Cost Color Options|
|Model 3||Pearl White, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Red Multi-Coat||Silver Metallic, Blue, Sport Red Multi-Coat ($2,000)|
|Model Y||Pearl White, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Red Multi-Coat||Silver Metallic, Blue, Sport Red Multi-Coat ($2,000)|
|Model S||Pearl White, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Red Multi-Coat||Silver Metallic, Blue ($1,500)|
|Model X||Pearl White, Solid Black, Midnight Silver Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Red Multi-Coat||Silver Metallic, Blue ($1,500)|
Tesla only offers their vehicles from the factory in a limited palette of around 5-7 colors. Most models have the same options, except Model S and X don’t offer the standard metallic blue.
Pearl White, Solid Black, and Midnight Silver tend to be the most popular choices amongst Tesla owners.
Two additional colors can be unlocked for a $1,500-$2,000 upcharge direct from Tesla. But that still leaves you with fairly limited options.
Special Edition Colors
In addition to the standard and upcharge colors, Tesla has occasionally offered special edition and limited production colors.
Some examples over the years include Ocean Blue Metallic, Obsidian Black Metallic, Forest Green Metallic, and a few red and silver metallic options only available on higher end models.
These special run colors tend to sell out fast and become highly desirable amongst Tesla enthusiasts. Occasionally leftover inventory makes its way to inventory cars a few months after release.
Should You Wrap or Repaint Your Tesla?
So when it comes time to change your Tesla’s color, should you wrap or repaint? Here’s a comparison of some of the key considerations:
|Durability||5-7 years||Many years|
|Finish Look||Very good||Excellent|
For most owners, wrapping their Tesla is the best option. The lower cost, unlimited color options, easy customization, and reversibility of wraps makes them the logical choice over permanent repainting.
But for those wanting the best possible finish look or exotic paint options like chameleon and matte, a full repaint may be worth the extra effort and cost.
Recommended Tesla Wrap Shops
Not all wrap shops are experienced working on Teslas. Their large flat surfaces and contours require skilled installers. Here are some recommended Tesla specialty wrap shops across North America:
- ElectroAuto Wraps (California)
- Tesla Wraps (Florida)
- Inozetek USA (Georgia)
- Tesla Shield (Utah)
- EV Wraps (New York)
- Signature Custom Wraps (Toronto, Canada)
Most large cities will have general car wrap shops that can work on Teslas. But the shops listed above focus specifically on Teslas and have the most experience.
Changing the outside color of your Tesla is very possible despite their limited factory offerings. Modern wraps allow for complete color changes and customization at a fraction of the cost of painting.
No matter what route you choose for changing your Tesla’s color, make sure you see examples of previous work and research shops thoroughly. All options require great skill for proper installation and finish results.
So while Tesla’s color options are intentionally limited from the factory, with the right shop and materials you can customize your Tesla’s color in nearly endless ways.