A wrap is a plastic film that can be applied over a surface. This can be done instead of a respray. The film can easily be removed after a while, and doesn’t need much work afterwards. Applying a wrap is referred to as “wrapping”.
What is a wrap
The material a wrap is made out of can be slightly different, but it is often a PVC (vinyl) type material. The wrap is flexibel enough to be wrapped around curves and corners, but hard enough to withstand the daily contamination it comes into contact with. The plastic film is applied on top of the surface that needs to be covered. The adhesive that is used is not to be compared with glue. When a wrap needs to be removed, it should very little residue en needs very little work afterwards.
Wrapping instead of respray
Wrapping can be a cheap and fairly easy way to try a new color. A regular respray can cost anything between 750 USD and 2500 USD. Depending if you choose for a full respray (complete dismantling of the car) or just the outside (only trim is removed). With a respray you are also dependent on the skill of the person who does the job. A wrap can cost anywhere between 500 USD and 2000 USD, depending on the type of wrap. Which is slightly cheaper. But if you don’t like the color anymore, you just remove the wrap and you are left with the original color again.
Orange peel in wraps
Although there is a big difference in the quality of wraps, it is very difficult for manufacturers to create a wrap without orange peel. It is fairly common for wrap to have orange peel, which is practically impossible to remove. A professional wrapper should have the knowledge to advice you on the best wrap to suit your wishes.
Pros and cons of a wrap
- A wrap is often cheaper then a respray
- When you don’t like the color anymore, you can just remove the wrap
- A wrap in itself is an extra form of protection for your paintwork
- Wrapping is easier to do yourself then a respray (although it still needs practice)
- After a respray, the paint needs to dry and gas out, a wrap doesn’t
- Different patterns of images can be printed on a wrap
- Different colors can be combined
- You can wrap a car completely, or just parts, or even apply it in figures (like a company logo)
- You can choose from satin, matte, gloss or any custom print
- Wrap can also be used to cover imperfections, paint damage, failing clear coat
- If a panel with a wrap on it gets damaged, replacing the wrap might be the only thing you need to do
- Wrapping requires very proper preparation
- Although a wrap can be removed, and a respray can’t, it still requires a lot of work to remove it carefully
- It is still not very cheap
- Although it is not mandatory, applying a wrap in covered area (garage or similar) is highly recommended
- The really professional brands are very hard to get if you are not a professional and recognized wrapper
- Since the inside of doors and engine bays normally don’t get wrapped, there are still places where you can see the original color
- It may be needed to remove certain trims, which not everybody likes to do
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