Maybe your vehicle’s paint job is starting to look ragged, or maybe you just bought your car and want to protect that factory fresh paint job. Then again, maybe you’re ready for a change or would like to customize your car, truck, or boat to reflect you personal style. The question is, what’s the best, least expensive way to get what you want?
The answer may well be installing a vinyl vehicle wrap. Why?
- Vinyl wraps are cost effective—we’re talking the difference between a $2,000–$10,000 paint job versus a $500–$5,000 wrap.
- A wrap can be removed when it’s time to sell you car. Installing one to protect your vehicle’s original paint job increases the vehicle’s resale value.
- Because wraps can be removed, you can easily change your mind about design, finish, or color. No need to buy a new ride, simply replace one wrap with another.
- Wraps last a long time.
- By wrapping your vehicle, you can create a unique, eye-catching appearance no paint job can equal.
- Wraps come in a wide range of styles, designs, and finishes.
- You can wrap your entire vehicle, or parts of it—hood, trunk, doors, etc.
Because there are so many styles, vinyl wraps offer you incredible flexibility of choice. Let’s check out a few of your options.
Printed vinyl wraps
If you can imagine it, you can probably get it printed on a wrap. Businesses tend to use printed wraps most extensively, because branding their vehicles with colorful graphics, the company logo, website, and/or phone number is a proven way to increase business. But individuals go for printed wraps, as well.
Digitally printed vinyl wraps are usually designed on a computer, then printed on a wide format printer. Designs include everything from textures to hand-drawn graphics to typography to photographs. Your options might include:
- snake skin
- school letters
- American flags
- polka dots
- animal skins
- you name it
In other words, printed vinyl wrap options are only as limited as your imagination. Of course, if you don’t opt for a stock image, but want to use your own, you’ll want to make sure that image is high resolution (at least 300 DPI). Hand-drawn graphics should be created by a professional designer, who’ll make sure the design will enlarge clearly. Most wrap installation companies have one or two graphic designers on staff.
Color change wraps
Those with more conservative tastes may want to consider color change wraps. After all, what better way to make your old car look new again?
High-gloss color change wraps are made with a built-in protective clear coat designed to replicate a factory finish, and they come in almost any color you can name: gloss black, gloss white, candy apple red, blue pearl, and so on. As a matter of fact, picking your color may be the hardest part of this process, since most installers offer you hundreds to choose from!
Then again, high-gloss isn’t the only finish on your list of choices.
Not everybody wants that shiny-new-car look; some prefer sleek, low-profile, understated matte. They figure it showcases the car’s lines better, because there are no reflections to confuse the eye.
You can get the matte look in a couple of ways: 1) Choose a new color for your vehicle but opt for matte instead of glossy vinyl wrap, or 2) stick with the vehicle’s original color and choose a matte paint protection film.
Carbon fiber wraps
Carbon fiber wraps occupy the high end of the vinyl wrap spectrum, with good reason! Described as “elegant” and “beautiful,” these wraps will dress your ride up like an exotic, high-performance sports car.
The carbon fiber texture is embossed right on the vinyl—available in a wide range of colors, but most popular in black, white, or silver—so it looks like the real deal. Cover your entire car, or set up a nice contrast by wrapping the top, hood, mirrors, or spoilers.
Brushed metal wraps
Brushed metal vinyl wraps are definitely attention getters, known to be especially durable. The unidirectional satin finish retains some, but not all, of its luster, giving your vehicle a frosty finish somewhere between glossy and matte. Plus, contrary to what you might imagine, brushed metal wraps come in a variety of colors: aluminum, metallic black, gold, steel blue, steel, and titanium, for example.
Also known as “mirror chrome,” these vinyl wraps are considered among the classiest, most luxurious choices out there. Gold and silver are the most sought-after options, but you can chrome wrap your car in almost any color you can imagine. Many chrome wraps include a scratch-resistant top coat that, with the right care, will insure the product lasts as long, or longer, than a conventional paint job.
But be prepared to turn heads, because your vehicle is going to gleam brightly enough to dazzle every eye. As a matter of fact, chrome wrap’s high reflectivity will deflect the sun’s rays, keeping your car’s interior cooler.
Pearl, or pearlescent, wraps appear to undergo subtle color changes, depending on the angle you’re viewing the vehicle from. This high-gloss, iridescent wrap alternative will give your vehicle an upscale, multidimensional look. Pearl wraps are one of the newest entries in the vehicle wrap market.
Glow in the dark wraps
Glow in the dark vinyl wraps are even newer than pearl wraps, and while they don’t look all that different during daylight hours, they really do light up the night! Their most intuitive application might be for advertising—especially for businesses that tend to be open late at night—but private citizens can use these wraps, too.
Furthermore, you can glow as much, or as little, as you want to. Have the wrap installed on your entire vehicle, or just use it for your design or typography. Wrap the hood, trunk, mirrors, or spoilers in glow in the dark vinyl and the rest of your car in something else.
Boats with glow in the dark wraps would be much safer on the water once the sun goes down. Oh, and seriously, how easy would it be to find your wrapped car in the parking lot at night?