Wraps are becoming more popular these days — even more so than painting. There are lots of reasons for this, not least of which is that wraps give you many more options than paint, and they’re usually cheaper too. But there’s more to the story.
Different Types of Car Wraps
There are two main types of vinyl wrap for cars: calendared and cast.
Cast vinyl is far more durable and can therefore be made thinner, so it’s great for complex shapes, such as those on cars with lots of fussy details like scoops and intakes.
On the other hand, calendared vinyl is cheaper and thicker (to make up for its lack of durability), so it is often the budget choice. Calendared vinyls are also often used for graphic cutouts. These can be customized as a single color version of your club logo, as slogans, or as cool, custom bumper stickers.
But that’s not all. Wraps can be used in a variety of applications, whether you go for the cast or calendared option:
- Commercial vehicles with logos and contact information
- Custom full or partial wraps for personal vehicles
- Various finishes like chrome and matte
- Carbon fiber, which offers extra protection along with high-tech looks
Wraps can be applied to the entire vehicle or only to various parts, such as the hood (for paint protection). And if your car’s paint is failing but the body panels are just as straight as they were when they left the factory, getting a wrap could make it look like new again.
How Wraps Are Done
Wrapping a vehicle is usually a one-day process that involves three or four steps:
- Design and print
- Wash and thorough drying
- Vehicle prep
If you want custom graphics, these can be fabricated digitally and then printed onto the vinyl of your choice. The vehicle is usually washed, without any wax application, the day before so that it is completely dry for wrap application.
Just before applying the wrap, technicians usually remove chrome trim and mirrors for a super clean finished look. When applying the wrap, special tools like squeegees and heat guns are sometimes used to eliminate bubbles and wrinkles.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Wrapping
This roundup is one of those pro-con lists that actually doesn’t feature much in the way of cons. Vinyl wraps have a ton of awesome advantages.
Wrapping your car in vinyl allows you to change your look as often as you like because wraps are easily removed. They also protect your original paint, not just from stone chips and environmental damage but from UV light, which can fade and yellow certain finishes.
And paint is both a whole lot more expensive and more fragile than vinyl, too. Not only that, but vinyl just may be a lot less damaging to the environment. When you’re done with it, it can be recycled. Try that with a paint job!
Wrapping vs. Painting: Cheaper or Easier?
It turns out that vinyl is both easier and cheaper than paint and by a long way. There’s far less prep time, cost, and hassle when you go with a vinyl wrap.