DIY: How to Paint a School Bus

After purchasing our short school bus we quickly learned that some states don't allow you to drive a yellow school bus so from the beginning we planned on painting. I think we were both really nervous about this at first. We came up with all the ways we could get the school bus painted and still look really good.

Our first instinct was to try and get the painting sponsored by a company. After some interest from a few outdoor brands, we decided against this as we didn't want sponsors' logos all over the bus.

Our next idea was to pay to have a professional shop paint the bus for us. We got some quotes and didn't like what we heard. We were told it would cost anywhere between 2-5k. That quickly became not an option.

Finally, it was down to painting it ourselves. We did some research and watched a lot of videos. Surprisingly enough when we actually did paint, we did it on a whim. Because we live in Utah, and it's the winter, finding the perfect temperature to paint was unrealistic. However, two Sundays ago the heavens opened and gave us a perfect 60-degree day out of nowhere. We woke up that morning. Realized how nice the day was and promptly drove to Home Depot. We got what we needed and started that day.  The process began at 12:30 PM and we put the final coat on around 4:30 PM.  I'm sure you all veterans that are reading this are thinking of how rushed we did this. I am sure you are right. We could have done a better job, but for under $50, I think we knocked this out of the park. But we will let you be the judge. 

*Yes, there does need to be some touch up, and eventually we want to paint the black trim forest green.





  1. 1 Gallon Rustoleum White Paint: $28. 
  2. 2 Rolls of tape: $5
  3. 2 Paint Rollers: $8
  4. Finishing Paint Brushes: $5
  5. Paint Tray: $2

Total Cost: $48