Since car wrapping became a "thing" in the automotive industry, vehicle enthusiasts have often disagreed over which is better between wraps and paint jobs. Some people talk about price differences, others about long-term durability, while others argue that it is a matter of quality, price and design versatility. But the truth is that it is difficult to decide which one is better because, in reality, both options have their pros and cons. It is a question of what is important to us and which best meets our needs based on factors such as our budget and aspirations.
Before making any decision there are certain details that are important to consider and understand, because there is a lot of misinformation out there. First of all, each case is different; there are moments where it is clearly better to use a wrap if we want to change the appearance of our car by a more complex design, but there are other cases where, even if we want it, it is not advisable. Another cruel reality is that many people have a misinformed view about what wrapping is and the first thing that crosses their minds is low quality and commercial or advertising vehicles with the logo of any particular brand when the truth is that this technique has much more to offer.
So, to make things clear, I present to you 19 things that you probably didn't know about both techniques, in order to be able to clarify certain popular myths, that will help you decide the best option according to your needs and expectations.
19 The Prices Differ
This is probably the first thing we think about when we want to make a modification to our vehicle, whether mechanical or aesthetic, the price is always an important factor to consider.
One of the big differences between both techniques is the price and one of the reasons why each side tends to argue fervently, but we should ask ourselves "just because something is more expensive makes it better?"
I sincerely doubt it. According to Lucent Wraps, a paint job can cost anywhere from $3,000 to over $10,000. Meanwhile, wrapping cars can easily cost $1,500 to $5,000 depending on the project and material.
18 Painting Maintenance
Paintwork is not only more expensive but also requires more attention and care after having gone through the color process. To achieve greater durability of the paint and that "new car" look we must wash and wax the surface regularly.
And, Yes! Waxing can be a tedious task that can take much of our time because it is definitely not something that can be done in 10 minutes. Besides, we must invest in a tampon, protective pads, enamel and possibly microfiber cloths. Although, if our budget allows it, we can always pay someone else to do it.
17 Wrap Designs are Endless
In general, vehicle companies only offer a limited range of colors, but vinyl wrap offers endless options, colors, and designs, ideal for those enthusiasts who not only seek to demonstrate that their vehicle is a monster regarding power and performance, but who also seek that their cars on the outside look as an amazing as its mechanical capacity, so they need original designs that will make them stand out from all the other vehicles in the neighborhood.
This option is perfect for people who like to think outside the box because almost any design can be captured, offering greater versatility than when we decide to work with paint.
16 Wrapping Maintenance
If we compare the type of maintenance required for the vehicle after being wrapped with one that has gone through the painting process we will realize that the wrapped cars are much easier to care for.
So, forget about those tedious hours applying wax on our vehicles. Just by hand washing with soap and water, the car will have that shiny new look again.
In the same way, it is always advisable to ask our local installer about special aerosols, and ceramic coating packages to keep the film even easier to take care of and make it last longer.
15 Wrapping To Fix Paint Problems Is Not A Great Idea
People sometimes have the belief that by wrapping the car they can solve existing paint problems, especially because it is cheaper than repainting the car. But I'm sorry to tell you that things do not work that way.
When the painting of the car is bad, you really do not have a good base to apply the wrap, so the result will not be the best, and definitely will not last. The paint on the car must show signs of health with a strong clear coat and without deep scratches, dents, corrosion or other roughness. These are details that do not allow the wrap to adhere properly to the car.
14 Painting Increases The Value Of The Car
Although wrap advocates can always claim that this technique is reversible and can preserve the original paint too, the truth is that although painting the car is more expensive the results are usually more meticulous.
Of course, we must be clear about in which market we want to sell our vehicle, or which target could be interested in the future because many people usually choose vehicles that keep the original style when they were launched to the market for the first time. Beyond the internal conditions of the car, it is always important to take care of the exterior appearance and keep it in good condition.
13 Wrapping Is Easy And Fast
As I explained before, painting a car is probably the most expensive and time-consuming process, specifically because it takes about 2 weeks (depending on the vehicle) to complete the whole process. The wrap process takes between 3 and 5 days, depending on the complexity of the design. Painted vehicles, on the other hand, must wait for the paint to dry properly before starting to use the car regularly.
Vehicles that are wrapped are ready for immediate use after being picked up.
Therefore, in matters of time optimization, we must accept that wrapping our car is a more practical and quick option.
12 HVLP Is More Efficient
Since siphon guns are no longer acceptable in most markets due to safety and health regulations, high volume low-pressure aerosols are in greater demand because of their light effect in the process of receiving paint on the surface of the car.
HVLP allows gravity to handle the work as the color begins to come out of the spray gun. The pressure is lower and does not necessarily emit harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment.
Therefore they are more efficient than siphon guns and achieve a better result. HVLP produces about 80% of paint to cover our car, and the pressure that it emits is only 10psi, which is less than the 70psi that siphon guns produce.
11 Removing A Wrap Is Totally Safe
Many may be wondering what happens if they decide to remove the wrap from the car? Will the original paint be damaged? Will it damage the vehicle in some way? Well, let me tell you that it all depends on the person placing the wrap and if they know what they are doing.
In addition, if high-quality vinyl is used it guarantees a durable product that can also be safely removed.
In fact, the wrapping of a vehicle can be removed safely between a period of 4 to 10 years and will not affect the current paint if it was properly placed during the process and the proper types of vinyl were used.
10 Both Have Varying Durability
We are talking about totally different processes and techniques so it should not be surprising that the durability is also different in both cases. Unfortunately, even though painting costs more money and the process takes more time, paint on our cars does not last as long as we would like, especially if we do not perform regular maintenance with wax. While the wrap can last up to 10 years with the proper care, after 4 years paint already begins to show signs of fading and some deterioration.
For this reason, we must give another positive point to wrapping over painting.
9 Wraps Are Easier to Duplicate
The painting process takes time, and if we are working with a particular design that has many details it will be more difficult to achieve the same result in different cars because there are many variables involved.
But this does not happen when we work with wraps. If we need to change the exterior body of several cars, and we want to guarantee that each car will look the same, it is best to choose this technique. It is easier to duplicate and apply and we will not have to worry about it looking different after the application.
8 Car Companies Offer Limited Colors For A Reason
Have you ever wondered why car companies do not offer more extensive palettes or at least more variety outside the classic colors? Well, the answer is simple, manufacturers want to maximize sales and minimize costs.
So, if we want something different we need to deal with external companies that can offer us the color of the paint we are looking for or the type of design and vinyl we want, but in both cases it's something that we need to pay more for.
According to NBC, Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group that tracks complaints about cars. "The primary motivation of the manufacturer is to have the cheapest possible paint on the car that will last as long as it can," then he added, "But sometimes, they make mistakes. And what we want them to do is just stand behind their mistakes."
7 Wrapping Protects The Original Paint
Car wrapping doesn't involve actual paint or spray guns to put color on the surface of a car. This technique involves printed vinyl that is digitally produced to be absorbed by our car's original paint. It only wraps or covers an already painted surface, therefore it serves to protect the original paint from such external factor as UV rays, contamination, scratches and paint chips, something that can not be done with a paint job, especially because the color, in this case, is the thing that must face all these factors.
In addition, this technique offers the possibility of changing the color of the car without interfering with the resale value.
6 Painting Is Not As Versatile As Wrapping
Painting a car does not offer as much versatility as many would expect. Yes, we can find more varieties of colors if we compare it with the pallets that car companies usually offer, but if what we really want are very elaborate designs, painting the car is not the best option.
Personally, I think that painting a car is a fantastic option if we want to keep the original color and keep that look of "new car recently picked up from the agency." Although it may also work for colors that are a little more daring, we need to remember that it is not something that we can reverse immediately if we are not satisfied with the final result, so for people who definitely enjoy coloring outside the lines, this is not an option for them.
5 In Both Cases, You Can Extend The Life Of The Design And Color
The answer is maintenance. This probably sounds very obvious, but it is so obvious that many people sometimes overlook that we must take care of the car after the application, apply wax, hand wash and use any other product that helps extend the durability of the paint.
And in the case of wrapped vehicles, the same thing applies, washing the vehicle from time to time with the right products will allow it to continue maintaining that effect.
On the other hand, we must remember that it is always better to park our vehicle indoors. Leaving them for so long in the street and under the sun make the product wear away faster, in both cases, so if we can avoid exposing the car too long hours outside, we will be helping to extend its long-term durability.
4 A Partial Wrap Is Possible
Yes! Another advantage to wrapping is that if you do not want to wrap 100% your car you can apply a partial wrap and play with different designs that look good and make a contrast with the current paint color of the vehicle.
Examples of this can be seen daily when companies place their logo on cars or when people decide to add contact details to highlight the original paint. This practice is quite common because many people do a paint job and want to add non-permanent details, so wrapping becomes an excellent option to show their creativity if it is carried out correctly.
3 It's Easier To Find A Qualified Paint Shop Than Someone To Do A Wrap Job
Here comes the cruel reality: it is easier to find a qualified paint shop than to look for someone to do a quality wrapping job. This is because applying a vinyl wrap is a very difficult job, which is why it is essential to find an experienced technician, not someone who "thinks he can handle it."
Another factor, believe it or not, is that depending on the area where one lives it will be easier to find stores that offer this type of service.
There are cities where it is easier to find trained people who work with vinyl, but my recommendation is to google it and before investing our money, make sure that the place we are choosing to carry out this work has a good reputation and real examples they can show us.
2 Almost Any Vehicle Can Be Wrapped
Vinyl is very versatile and easy to adapt to different types of body or vehicle sizes so it only requires adapting the design to the structure to achieve a visually attractive and clean result.
As I explained before, one of the qualities that most attracts people to wrap their cars is that the possibilities are almost unlimited.
It is for this reason that many companies prefer this type of technique, especially in the world of marketing and personal branding because people can adapt different vehicles to their design and personal logo, making everyone look the same, avoiding a break in the harmony.
1 Urethane Paints Are Preferred Nowadays
Urethane paint, better known as two-step acrylic enamel, is quite popular today because its viscosity level is higher than other paints. Although using this type of paint is similar to the lacquer effect, it has the advantage that we do not need to consume much just to highlight the color of our car, which is why it is widely used by experts in the automotive industry.
But, the best thing is to consult with an expert before deciding on any type of technique or product and make sure that we are going to receive the work that best suits our needs.