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Vinyl Wrap for Cars

Updated on September 9, 2013
Stealthy looking Nissan GT-R wrapped in matte black vinyl
Stealthy looking Nissan GT-R wrapped in matte black vinyl | Source

What is Vinyl Wrap?

First things first...what exactly IS Vinyl Wrap? Basically, think of a giant sticker that you put on your car, and that’s exactly what it is. It goes over your existing paint and can be in the form of many finishes and even designs.


Beautiful Porsche wrapped in matte green
Beautiful Porsche wrapped in matte green

What are the different vinyl wrap finishes to choose from?

You can choose from gloss, matte, carbon fiber, brushed metals, and satin finishes. One of the most popular trends is a matte finished car. Popular colors are matte black and matte white. For carbon fiber, it’s best to use this on a smaller portion of the car instead of wrapping the entire car with it. This pattern looks more ideal on the entire hood, a wing, or as smaller accents on the vehicle. Brushed metal colors like silver and gold are used to gain more attraction to the car visually. If done properly and to the right car that has great curves, it can look very nice. But when done wrong and to the wrong car, it’ll look horrible.

Aston Martin with Chrome Vinyl Wrap
Aston Martin with Chrome Vinyl Wrap

Why is vinyl wrap better compared to re-painting my car?

This is all based on personal opinion. Think of paint as being more expensive and being more permanent compared to vinyl wrapping. If you tend to change your mind and want to change the look of your car often, vinyl wrapping may be a better choice for you. However, if you tend to like the color you choose and don’t mind getting a high quality paint job, then maybe you’d steer to getting your whole car repainted.

Some benefits of vinyl over painting are:

  • Vinyl doesn’t affect the original paint. It’ll be easy to remove if you change your mind and want a different color or look.

  • Does not fade! And even if it did, vinyl lasts about 7-10 years. And that’s per the manufacturers warranty. If it does fade, you can redo the application for a fraction of the cost as if you were to paint the car all over again. Basically, the manufacturer is going to warranty the vinyl from peeling and/or fading for the given warranty period.

  • Can be done very quickly. Once your car is prepped, the actual process takes about 2-days. Paint takes longer than this to prep as well as mask.

  • Cheaper by far when compared to paint.

  • In theory, a bit more durable when compared to paint. If someone brushes up against the vinyl, it’ll tend to “give” more than paint. Which means that although it won’t be 100% resistant to scratches, it sure is more likely to resist one when compared to paint.

  • Can choose to do accents of the car for a fraction of the price. For example, if you wanted to have a carbon fiber hood, choosing vinyl wrap in place of a true genuine carbon fiber hood will cost much, much less. This also can be said of other accents that you can think of. Like what if you wanted a carbon fiber mirror? You can easily achieve this look for a fraction of actually buying a brand new carbon fiber mirror and installing one.


Audi R8 with Matte Black Vinyl Wrap
Audi R8 with Matte Black Vinyl Wrap

What is the process of vinyl wrapping a car?

The process of vinyl wrapping a car is very easy. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Choose the vinyl-
    This, perhaps is the hardest part...choosing what color and what type of vinyl you want to have.

  2. Prepping the paint
    You want to start with the cleanest paint as possible. This is to be sure that there will be proper adhesion and that the surface is smooth. Before applying the vinyl, the car should be washed properly. It should also be clayed. Many people skip this step, but claying the car ensures adequate adhesion as well as the smoothest surface free of contaminants possible. After a proper wash and clay, you’ll want to spray the panels down with alcohol and wipe dry.

  3. Stick the vinyl wrap on the paint
    This step is probably the step that will take the longest. You’ll want to work slowly as you apply the vinyl on the body of the car. You’ll want to be sure that as you position the vinyl it won’t create wrinkles and kinks.

  4. Trim off excess vinyl on the edges
    After the vinyl has adhered to the car, you’ll want to cut off the edges with a utility knife or blade.


Lamborghini with Matte Blue Vinyl Wrap
Lamborghini with Matte Blue Vinyl Wrap

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© 2013 jaydawg808

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