New Paint Job? Replace your Color with a Wrap

Vinyl Wrap instead of Paint

A brand-new Porsche Cayman is being turned from classic silver to bright green with a matte black hood . Just steps away, a 1972 Chevy Impala convertible is being covered in mirror-like chrome. There’s no paint involved, the cars are being wrapped in big sheets of vinyl. And on the wall above where the wrapping is being done is a sign that says this: “Paint is dead.”








Commercial vehicles wrapped in vinyl to become rolling billboards are fairly common these days. But this year has seen a boom in private cars getting wrapped in vinyl. No splashy logos, often no graphics at all. Just color and special effects such as carbon, matte black or anything that makes the car stand out. A BMW is wrapped in matte orange, an Audi wrapped in a gray metallic vinyl, expensive cars are not being re-painted but wrapped. “The finish is flawless,” said Smith, an expert at a local wrap shop. “You don’t have to worry about the paint running, about it being wet-sanded badly.” Like most others that are in the wrapping vehicles, the bulk of their work is wrapping commercial vehicles, turning them into moving billboards. But more and more, wrap shops are wrapping private vehicles in vinyl. Sometimes it’s for a look you can’t get with paint — consider a chrome Mercedes or a Saab covered with white alligator vinyl. Other times, it’s to preserve the original paint’s integrity; “You can’t take a Ferrari off the lot and paint it green,” said one installer, you’ll knock a lot of dollars off its value.







Anything is Possible!

The owner of the Porsche wanted a green one, Smith said, but that would take close to a year to get. So he bought a silver one and is having it wrapped in green. The key is that the silver paint is still intact, underneath. 3M, one of the largest makers of vinyl wrap, guarantees that it won’t leave any glue or residue during the first five years.  After that,” Smith said, “it starts to get a bit permanent.” The price is dependent on the square feet being covered, but vehicles are in the $3,000 range. That’s more than some paint jobs, less than others.

“We haven’t scratched the surface,” Smith said, using a questionable phrase for someone in his business. “We can do refrigerators, boats, bikes, jet skis …”. He actually put one on a refrigerator — his own. Smith covered his refrigerator with a black matte finish because his wife was tired of the kids’ fingerprints on the shiny surface. “Within three to five years,” Smith said, “wrapping a car will roll off everyone’s tongue as often as painting.”

Soni had a couple of reasons to have his leased BMW 135i covered with matte orange. He owns The Party Shop and when he opens up a few temporary Halloween stores this fall, he’ll have the phone numbers put on his rolling pumpkin.




Custom Wrap for the Car Enthusiast!

A custom car wrap just for fun?

Well, yes, that is possible but there are definitely some other advantages to consider as well. First of all, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a custom paint job. The cost of a full wrap of the entire vehicle including bumpers is between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the complexity and size of the vehicle and much less for a partial wrap if you don’t need to change the car’s color. Now, you can probably re-paint your car for that amount of money; but can you get a design or some special effects; most likely not. At Sema a few years ago, the guys from Wrap Experts, Dallas TX, applied a custom wrap each day on a Ford Mustang GT during the introduction of Wraptivo® by Meguiar’s®,this picture is a sample of their work. It was a great exercise in how you can change the look of your car completely through a custom wrap.

So, what are the other advantages?

There are more advantages for a wrap versus a custom paint job. First of all, a vinyl wrap will actually protect your factory paint job and if you get tired of it, you just remove it and your paint will still look like new. You can choose for a high gloss laminate for your wrap and it will look as shiny as a fresh paint job. Other advantages are that you can change the color of your car, get those racing stripes or flames you always wanted and of course draw a lot of attention; whether it is during enthusiast gatherings, car shows or simply at the parking lot of your local mall.