Joined: Jun 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
It all depends on the area of the country and how good of a body shop you go to. It also depends on what type of paint. If you want to go strictly a factory match color, say 1 coat of primer, 3 coats of paint and a topcoat...probably around $2k.
Now, if you want some deluxe paint, such as the pearlized shades, the color change colors or the metal flake...you can probably estimate $2-$3k.
As was mentioned, you could cut your cost by doing the sanding and prepping (removing plaques, emblems, taping, etc). But, you'd have to know what you were doing while sanding, how far down and how smooth you'd have to take it. If you messed it up, the shop would probably charge you more to repair your mistakes.
Overall, if you have a nice car, it's worth saving up for the paint job and going to a reputable shop and getting it done right. The cheapo paint jobs end up bubbling, orange peeling and basically deteriorating after a couple years.
If it were a banger car, you could sand it down, tape it off and go get an Earl Scheib "I'll paint any car for $99.95" paint job...(boy i'm showing my age, hehe.)
If you're driving a mustang, don't let me catch you with a cheapo paint job!
A muscle car is built to be driven...not to be couped up.