Do Vehicle Wraps Damage Your Paint? The Cold Hard Facts

by | May 2, 2020 | Automobile Trends | 0 comments

do vinyl wraps damage paint

You may have a many-sided decision to make if you are considering to wrap your vehicle. Many repurpose their vehicles for marketing purposes or generally to give their ride a new look.

Many think that a vehicle wrap will permanently damage your car’s paint but a vehicle wrap actually protects your car’s paint over time. Vehicle wraps block everything from UV rays from the sun, debris, and everything else the environment, and weather can throw at your vehicle.

If the origin of the paint on your vehicle is factory you have nothing to worry about the wrap will actually preserve the radiance of the factory paint underneath.

What Are Vehicle Wraps

Vinyl wrap install

The vinyl wrapping process is designed to shield your automobiles paint and give you some very cool customization choices.

Vinyl is a thin film that placed over the top of the original paint of your vehicle. This protective film is carefully installed from bumper to bumper and available in a variety of finishes. You may opt for the popular matte finish, metallic finish, or even a graphic of your desire.

How Are Vehicle Wraps Installed

vinyl wrap process

  1. The customer selects the design and we determine the costs based on the dimensions of the vehicle. Typically the vinyl is sold in 60-inch-wide rolls that are 25 feet long which is sufficient to wrap an entire car. The labor is calculated on factors like special graphic inserts and curves and contours on the vehicle. Cars like a Chrysler PT cruiser have lots of difficult curves and angles making the process somewhat more difficult.
  2. Next, The paint will need to be prepped and thorough cleaning will be done with paint cleaners and alcohol. If the vehicle has any scratches, dings, or rust they will have to be removed so that when after the vinyl is applied it will appear completely smooth against the vehicle, with no bubbles or craters.
  3. The mirrors and moldings are removed and the vehicle is prepared for the job.
  4. Now the professional car wrapper will begin the process by starting to apply the wrap to parts like the hood and bumpers. They carefully examine where there are breaks in the lines of the car to avoid creating seams. Magnets are used to gently hold the film in place while the apply they remove the vinyl backing paper to expose the adhesive.
  5. After the adhesive side is exposed they stick the vinyl onto the body panel and smooth it onto the vehicle so it carefully stretches to fit around the curves and get the wrap positioned perfectly.
  6. Heat guns are now used to encourage the vinyl to stretch for the best look.
  7. After the vinyl has bonded to the car the edges are surgically sliced off with our installers being very delicate and mindful of not cutting into the paint of the car.

How Much Do Vinyl Wraps Cost

exotic vinyl wrap

Prices can vary upon the size of your vehicle, the complexity of the wrap, and how much labor is required.

It may be hard to remove the front and rear bumper covers on some vehicles. Especially cars with difficult curves, shaped bodies, or sharply creased panels.

You can estimate that a two-door sports coupe will be a lower cost to cover versus a similar-size four-door sedan.

At New Image Auto Solutions car wraps can start as low as $2000 for a small two-door, such as a Mini Cooper. A larger coupe, like a Chevy Hellcat or a BMW 7 Series, and smaller SUVs, trucks, and vans can start at around $3500.

Exotic wraps such as a carbon-fiber-look vinyl cost more and expect to pay extra for chrome treatments, which start at about $6000 and go up from there. The most exotic wrap jobs can go as high as $10,000 or more, depending on the difficulty, the materials, and the size of the vehicle. Wrapping inside the door jams may take an additional two days’ time, which can increase substantial time and costs but you will be glad you chose New Image Auto to perform this project.

How Long Do Vinyl Wraps Last

Some required knowledge that you need to know is that a vinyl car wrap can last up to 7 years, sometimes even longer.

Don’t forget that each and every car and vinyl wrap is different. Factors like the type of vinyl wrap, if your vehicle is garage kept or can determine the amount of time that the vinyl wrap will last for. Proper maintenance and care for the vinyl wrap can also help extend the life of your newly wrapped automobile.

How To Remove and Change Vinyl Wraps

Remove vinyl wrap

When you choose to wrap your vehicle you are never married to one color. If you decide later you want to revert back to the original paint the vinyl can be easily stripped off and replaced.

You can change the appearance of your car more often If you are using the vehicle for marketing and promotional purposes you can adjust the graphics on the wrap for new campaigns. Maybe you just wake up one morning and decide its time for a change and you want to restore your car back to its original state.

Removing vinyl wrap is not complicated at all and only takes a fraction of the time and effort to pull off your car.

Vinyl Wraps In Hot and Cold Environments

Sun damage vinyl wrap

Sun Exposure

It is best to try to limit the amount of sun that beams down on your car. If your ride is always exposed to the heat of the California sun, the lifespan of the vinyl wrap will be impacted. Try to keep your car in a garage or in a shaded area away from the rays of the sun.

Winter Exposure

Winter weather will not directly damage your vehicle wrap but you should take precaution when removing snow and ice, not to use an ice scraper or shovel, instead use a broom or soft cloth to be the most gentle. Road salts can also be extremely corrosive if left of the vinyl wrapping for long periods of time. Always clean off these salts so they do not accumulate on your vehicle and reduce the life of your vinyl wrap.

Rain Exposure

Vinyl wraps are constructed from a waterproof material. Water-resistant vehicle graphics won’t get soaking wet, wrinkled, or torn apart after exposure to rain so you don’t have to worry, It defies all common sense to drive your vehicle constantly in bad weather conditions. Always wash your car after a rainstorm because the rain will leave behind dirt, mud, and water spots.

Vehicle Wrapping Mistakes, Can You Take Your Vehicle Wrap Through a Car Wash?

automatic car wash vinyl wrap

It may be tempting to run your car through the automatic car wash at your local gas station but we strongly advise against it.

The strong water jets that are aimed at your car can cause the seams of your wrap to lift or the brushes may cause scratches and tears in the vinyl. There’s no guarantee that your vinyl wrap will be safe, instead look for a hand car wash that uses microfiber cloths and non-abrasive soaps and chemicals when they detail your automobile. Its good practice to always tell the detailers to be gentle on your wrap so you can avoid bringing it in for repairs.

Vinyl Wrapping Leased Vehicles

lease return vinyl wrap

The vast majority of our customers have leased vehicles and getting in hot water for unauthorized modifications is usually a concern. It’s always wise to review your lease terms before adding wraps and graphics to the vehicle. Many leases do allow the use of vinyl wraps but it is always smart to go with the best quality and a reputable installer such as ourselves. When you come in we can discuss the process and can assist with the removal if you need to restore your car safely back to its original state

Final Thoughts On Vinyl Wraps

You won’t find a better Silver Lake auto body Shop that will take the time and effort that we are willing to put into transforming your Car’s appearance. We service many of Hollywood’s elite when they want wraps they come to New Image Auto Solutions. Don’t be seduced by less reputable installers that will do a shoddy job. Take this first step and call us and we will be happy to give you more information on professionally wrapping your vehicle.

About Author

Izzy A

Izzy A

Izzy has been in the automotive industry for a lifetime. His auto body repair shop has been serving the Los Angeles, Silver Lake community for over a decade and his passion for restoring vehicles has made him the foremost authority in collision repair.


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