Ready to upgrade your vehicle’s appearance? Vinyl wrapping is an increasingly popular alternative to painting but is it right for you? Check out the facts below before you decide to wrap vs paint your car.
Wrapping your car with vinyl lends itself to a rainbow of design possibilities – unicolour in glossy or matte finish, chrome metallic, gradient, graphics, faux leather, your company logo, or just about anything your imagination dreams up. With a paint job, design options are a lot more limited unless you are willing to splash out on a artist to make your ride truly one of a kind.
VERDICT: Wrapping is the clear winner in this category.
For a successful wrap, the paint underneath has to be in excellent shape, sans imperfections, dings, chips, or corrosion. Because it also must be super-clean, the shop should wash your car and remove minuscule particles with clay bar detailing. (Skip these steps and wrapping will fail – and the underlying paint could get damaged if you try to remove the wrap someday.)
Then off come headlights, taillights, and bumpers before the technicians apply the wrap, making it adhere to all the corners and crevices with a heat gun.
For best results when painting, strip the old finish off, taking your car right down to the bare metal. Next, any damage must be taken care of, including dents, rust, and flaking paint. After that comes a coat of primer, followed by the colour itself and then a top coat, with a lengthy drying time between each layer.
VERDICT: It depends. While the application process is slower for paint, wrapping is feasible if and only if the exterior surface is in good shape.
Tech Tip: At Bemac, we don’t cut corners – every paint job we take on means completely stripping the car back and properly preparing the surface to ensure a factory perfect paint job.
A wrap will normally lasts 2-10 years, depending on factors like colour, quality, weather, sun exposure and how well you take care of it. A budget paint job might need to be redone after a year or two, while high-end professional painting could last for the lifetime of your vehicle, especially if you take good care of it.
VERDICT: The champion … painting (if it’s a topnotch job)!
Well, it’s complicated. Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples when you look at the cost to wrap vs paint your vehicle, because both are available at different quality levels. To wrap or paint a car professionally, the cost tends to come out about the same pricewise, with a higher price for the paint job.
A full high-quality paint job will cost you around $3,000-$8,000 while a quality wrap job only costs you around $2,000-$4,000.
The initial wrapping process offers the advantage of speed – It takes a couple of days, compared to the 1-3 weeks you usually need for painting a car. Plus, a wrap is simpler to maintain; because all it needs is a quick wipedown, you won’t have to shell out for wax.
It’s a great way to refresh the look of your car or experiment with bold colour. Wrapping can also be removed to bring it back to the original look relatively easily when you want to sell your vehicle.
Painting is usually the best option in these cases: if your vehicle’s exterior is not in great shape, you just need to touch up a small area, or you’d like to achieve a smooth “factory” appearance.
VERDICT: A wrap can be a great compromise if you would like to make a bold colour change. If you want a factory perfect paint, a full paint job is your only choice.
Don’t forget: If you give your car a dramatic makeover, changing its colour from blue to orange, say, you’ll need to apply for a new vehicle permit from ServiceOntario within the prescribed time frame. That might mean a few days of waiting impatiently before you can get your glam new ride out on the road!
VERDICT: Wrap vs paint your car – here it makes no difference exactly how you alter the colour. The consequences are the same.
Should You Wrap Vs Paint Your Car?
The choice is up to you. Whichever you decide, turn to Bemac for professional service in our state-of-the-art facility.