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Should You Wrap or Paint Your Car?

By November 10, 2017 One Comment

Camshafts and superchargers are good fun on the off-chance you get to open things up, but the fact is, you spend most of your time driving in traffic. Why not spend your money on something you can enjoy all the time? There’s something to be said for a good-looking car, and today you’ve got lots of options when it comes to colorizing your ride.

Perhaps the biggest game-changer in the world of automotive appearance is the recent emergence of the wrap. These vinyl-based exterior treatments can protect the paint and give your car a radical — but temporary — color change. But what is it like to own a wrap, and is applying one worth the investment? Let’s examine some pros and cons of both mediums.

Old-School: Paint

Factories don’t wrap new cars. When something rolls off the production line, it’s painted. Modern car-painting techniques are in fact very advanced, and it can be difficult to match the quality you get from a production-line paint job in the aftermarket.170113154857-2018-ford-mustang-1024x576

Compared to a wrap, painting a car provides a longer-term finish. It may also provide a deeper color if you’re willing to spend the money for high-quality paint. The application process is longer for paint, and you can’t get anything wrong. There’s also no way to fix small blemishes.

You should choose a paint job if you’re comfortable with spending a large amount of money and devoting lots of time to keeping a paint job you won’t change for many years in good condition.

Vinyl Wrap: Quick and Clean

For the cost of a cheap paint job that looks terrible, you can have a wrap that looks great. When you remove that wrap, the paint underneath it should be in pristine condition. For this reason, many car buyers are now choosing to wrap their cars as soon as they get them. They apply a beautiful wrap and enjoy a crazy color on their new car, and then when it’s time to sell, the paint is preserved, and they can market the car in a popular, less exotic hue. You can even use a custom wrap to market your business on your vehicle.

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Companies that specialize in vehicle wraps can apply one in about a day, and if a wrap is damaged, patch kits will allow you to repair the blemish in just a few hours. Some new vinyl wraps are even self-healing. Try doing that with paint.

So if you’ve wanted to try out a matte finish for your car or apply a crazy pattern,  a wrap is the perfect choice. Once you tire of it, you can swap it out for something more long-term, or go back to paint. Vinyl is a versatile solution that gives up very little to real paint, but offers plenty of advantages.

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It’s true you’ll need to spend money each time you change wraps, but you also come away with a brand-new-looking car. Would you rather spend a larger sum for just one look, or have the option to transform your car whenever your heart desires?

Scott Huntington

Author Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is an Automotive YouTuber and writer who loves cars, sports, and business. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington or email [email protected].

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • David says:

    I honestly looked into doing with vinyl decals as well as wrap for my car when I wanted to do an IMSA Daytona-inspired RX-7. The shops I talked to recommended I go with paint, so that’s what I ended up doing. The car was amazing, but can totally see going with a white base car and having some fun with it. Another benefit of a wrap is that you can take a car with less-than-perfect paint and make it look presentable without going for an expensive respray. That said, a really-well done wrap (perhaps one that with all kinds of graphics that are well applied such that the seams are all lined up) is still going to cost some $$$.

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