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Wrap damage...
October 19, 2012 12:29 PM   Subscribe

Car Wrap Filter: Do car wraps damage the paint underneath the wrap?

I am thinking about getting a car wrapped. The wrap will be to advertise my business. However, I really do not want to damage the original paint on this car.

Does wrapping a car damage the paint? How much damage? Does it make a difference how long the wrap stays on the car?
posted by Flood to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
In general, I think not. Here's what appears to be a fairly honest article on the subject. It seems that most damage occurs when either (1) there was already damage to the base paint, or (2) the car had been repainted.

Regardless, it sounds like a reputable dealer might be willing to sell you a warranty, i.e., for extra $xx.xx, we'll fix any resulting damage.
posted by valkyryn at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2012


The problem is dust and grit that gets under the cover in the wind and scrubs the paint, like fine sandpaper.
The article valkyryn links is from a car wrap company, and that's like asking a barber if you need a haircut.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:44 PM on October 19, 2012


Does it damage the paint underneath? Not if it's applied properly and, eventually, removed properly. The car should be thoroughly washed and dried first, immediately prior to application, for just the reason WGP mentions.

The greater risk is in doing a partial wrap, where only part of the car's exterior will be covered. The parts not covered will continue to fade with exposure to sunlight, the covered parts will not. The longer the wrap remains on, the more pronounced the difference will be. And since partial wraps tend to end at clear demarcations (doors, the hood, quarter panel, etc.) when it is eventually removed, the difference in paint tone between adjacent areas is easy to spot.

If the car has been repainted or the original clearcoat is in bad shape, the wrap isn't going to release as well when it's eventually removed.

(Full disclosure: I'm a wide-format/graphics printer who used to do vehicle wraps.)
posted by xedrik at 1:25 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I own a sign company which produces and removes vehicle wraps regularly. I have seen paint damage, but typically only on older buses or trucks with non-factory paint jobs.

I agree with most of the comments above.

The article valkyryn links to above is quite fair, although it is speaking to the sign company (me) and not the car owner (you).

We used to see paint fade differential regularly (what xedrik is talking about) but modern factory paints seem to hold up better. Be extra careful of red paint, which seems to fade the most.
posted by bowline at 5:28 PM on October 19, 2012


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