Whether or not you should clear coat your vinyl wrap has always been a major point of contention. Those who drive higher-end vehicles want to be sure that their cars stay looking good as long as possible.
The good news is that many motorists have actually turned to a vinyl wrap to protect paint material. Then you might not even have to consider the discussion. Your existing vinyl wrap may be enough to handle the task for you.
That being said, some people have gotten in touch with Team Acme and asked whether they need to use clear coats or not. The answer isn’t exactly simple, but few things really are in the world of higher-end automotive technologies that are. We’ve done our best to cover this complex issue from a balanced point of view.
You have spent countless hours agonizing over choosing just the right colors and graphics for your vinyl vehicle wrap. You have gone through the process of creating and professionally installing your custom vinyl wrap on your vehicle.
Now that your ride is the hottest in town, you have one big question. How do you keep your new vinyl wrap looking great? Here are our vinyl wrap car protection tips for you:
There is an entire following in the school of clear coat. It is easy to spray on, it protects the design from fading, and it repels road debris. However, there are a few things you should know first.
Some vinyl wraps have a textured finish that gives depth to your graphic. Unfortunately, the clear coating tends to fill in stamped patterns, which can dull the 3D quality of your design. Clear coat also has a reputation for changing the way light is reflected off of the vinyl, changing the way the colors appear.
If you go with a clear coat, we highly recommend testing the results on a separate piece of your vinyl wrap. Spray one coat onto your vinyl. Allow that layer to dry completely before applying a second or third coat.
Take the sample out in the sunlight and examine it from every possible angle. Compare the color and quality of your existing wrap with this sample.
A common place to find clear coated vinyl wraps are at car shows, where owners that use chrome wraps also use a clear coat to protect the vinyl wrap from fading. It is the best place to examine high quality vinyl wrap protectants.
Clear coats are also a defense against incidental scratches and chips on vehicles’ surface. Chrome wraps are more susceptible to damage due to the reflective nature of the vinyl. Clear coat is a favorite choice to lengthen the life of chrome wraps.
You’ll also want to consider other alternative technologies as well. This applies especially if your goal is to protect the wrap itself rather than the underlying paint scheme.
Paint protection film, or PPF, is similar to your vinyl wrap, only it is clear. Applied over a vinyl wrap, PPF can provide an extra layer of protection for your graphics, though most companies recommend using PPF as a bra on areas more susceptible to the most abuse. Using PPF on the front bumper or the lower door panels will shield your wrap from chips and damage from gravel and other hazards of daily driving.
In most cases, PPF shouldn’t change the look of your vehicle at all. If you have a particularly complicated graphical design, then you’ll want to try this instead of a clear coat. That will protect the wrap.
If you opt for a whole car paint protection film, choose a brand with a UV protectant. A UV protectant will help ensure the longevity of your wrap by preventing sun damage to your graphics and color fading. Please keep in mind that this process is essentially double wrapping your vehicle. The experts will need more time complete your wraps.
That being said, it doesn’t add all that much height to the overall wrap. Don’t worry about your car becoming particularly bulky if you add a paint protection film layer over the existing vinyl wrap.
This isn’t always needed, especially if your goal is simply to use the vinyl wrap itself to protect the paint underneath. However, if you have any sort of advertising graphics that you want to preserve for a long period of time, consider the option.
No matter which option you go with, bra or whole car, PPF or clear coat, you still have to do vehicle care. They still require the same cleaning as untreated vinyl vehicle wraps. Regardless of how you have your vehicle done, you’ll still need to care for it. You can, however, use vinyl wrap to protect paint schemes underneath it.
The staff at Team Acme is skilled in all aspects of vinyl wraps. We have certified techs with years of experience. They are prepared to answer any questions you may have about your vinyl wrap.
Contact us today to find out about all the services we offer. We would be glad to work with you to make the best decision for you and your car. You’ll also want to consider requesting a quote online if you already have an idea worked out and there’s a particular graphic style that you want put on your car.