Car Wrap Q&A
When it comes to customizing your vehicle, one of the most important aspects is the paintwork. A well-built car can be let down by a poor paint job. Getting a quality paint job, however, can be quite expensive. A more affordable alternative is a vinyl wrap. As an alternative to painting your vehicle, doing a vehicle wrap with vinyl offers several advantages.
What is Vinyl Wrapping?
Vinyl wrapping is a process designed to protect your car’s paint and provide a wide range of customization options. Vinyl is a thin film that is applied over the paint of your car. Think of it like a giant decal. You’ve probably encountered a vehicle with a vinyl wrap of some sort, even if you didn’t realize it. Many new cars are offered with some clear protective film applied to the front bumper and leading edge of the hood. The film offers a protective barrier against rocks and other debris that the front of the vehicle is subjected to on a regular basis. It keeps the paint underneath from taking the brunt of the impact and keeps the car looking newer, longer.
A vinyl wrap takes the same concept and applies it to the entire vehicle. Instead of wrapping just the front of the car, you wrap the whole car. You’re not limited to clear protective films, either. Companies have developed a wide range of colored vinyl, offered in a large number of finishes, to give you virtually unlimited options when it comes to the exterior of your car.
Why Choose Vehicle Wrap?
There are many great reasons to choose a vinyl wrap for your vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the pros.
The cost of a vinyl wrap is one of its most appealing features. Compared to a quality paint job, a full vehicle wrap will cost a fraction of the price.
Painting a car is a big job. From the prep work, to priming, to the dry time in between coats of paint, it all adds up. If you choose to repaint your car, it can take several days or even weeks to complete depending on the quality and complexity of the job. Vinyl offers a much faster turnaround time. Making sure the car is clean and a design has been finalized are the major prep tasks. Installing the wrap on the vehicle can be done in a day or two.
Variety of Options
Vinyl wraps offer a larger variety of color and finish options than paint. Any color you can paint a car can be matched with vinyl. Many companies are offer color-shifting wraps that transition from one color to another depending on the angle of the light. Each color can also be given different finishes such as gloss, semi-gloss, matte, or satin. You can even use vinyl to mimic other materials such as carbon fiber, chrome, stainless steel, or even leather.
If you decide you want to go back to the original paint, or a whole new color, the vinyl can be easily removed and replaced. This allows you to change the look of your car more often.
Protects Your Paint
Wrapping your car with vinyl also provides protection for your original paint. When it comes time to sell your car, you can remove the vinyl to reveal the pristine paint underneath.
Vinyl wraps can be customized with digital printed designs. This allows you to create an unmistakable appearance for your car. A quick search of Google or Instagram will show some incredible examples of the designs that can be printed on vinyl. You can find examples of cars wrapped to look like old war planes to brand new super cars wrapped to look like they are covered in the patina of sitting in the California sun for decades. Digital designs are also a cost-effective option for advertising with your car.
Are There Cons?
The downsides of wrapping your car with vinyl are minimal. And the things that can be considered negatives against vinyl could be the same caveats applied to all areas of customization.
You Get What You Pay For
Not all vinyl is created equal. You get what you pay for. Avery and 3M offer high quality vinyl that will not damage your paint while providing a great look and durability. Other brands might look and feel the same, but they can prove to be less durable and can fade or discolor over time. Worst of all, a low-quality vinyl can cause damage to your paint when removed. So, make sure the vinyl you choose is high quality.
Did We Mention, You Get What You Pay For?
Just like it requires a professional to give a car a beautiful paint job, it takes a professional to do a quality vinyl wrap as well. An unprofessional installer can end up causing damage to your vehicle. As the vinyl is applied, it needs to be cut. A professional will do this without damaging the original paint while an amateur can leave cut marks and scratches in the finish of your car. Looking around the edges will also show the quality of a wrap. An amateur will leave rough, sloppy edges along the panels and curves. It might look good from a few feet away, but like a poor paint job, a poor installation can ruin an otherwise well-built car. Make sure your installer is trained and certified to install vinyl.
As Good As Paint?
It can be argued that the depth and character offered by a high-quality paint job is superior to vinyl wrap. However, a well installed wrap, done with premium vinyl, will match the appearance of all but the upper echelon of paint jobs and at a fraction of the cost.