Vehicle Wrap vs. Paint Job

Jun 7, 2021 | Vehicle Graphics and Wraps

If you’re looking for a way to customize the outside of your car, you should know the differences between a vehicle wrap vs. a paint job. There’s so much information out there as well as custom solutions that worked out well for other people, but what will work for you? While one option may seem better than the other, there are lots of things to consider. Here are some of the key differences in getting a vehicle wrap vs. a paint job.

before wrap color change

after wrap color change

What is a Vehicle Wrap?

The first thing to know is exactly what a vehicle wrap is and how it works. In the simplest of terms, a vehicle wrap is a giant sticker that’s stuck to the outside of a vehicle. The sticker material is known as adhesive vinyl and it can be printed on with a digital inkjet roll printer, or it comes in pre-colored rolls. Vehicle wrap vinyl that has been printed needs an additional layer of protection, so clear laminate is usually applied to the printed panels. To install the wrap vinyl, a professional installer tacks up the big sheets of vinyl and applies it meticulously with the use of a heat gun and special squeegees. The excess is carefully cut away and the wrap is then post-heated to ensure the vinyl conforms to the deep contours of the vehicle.

What is a Paint Job?

Getting a custom paint job for your vehicle is another way to guarantee that you will stand out on the road. With a paint job, you can choose from thousands of different colors because the colors can be mixed in many different ways to create whatever color you’re looking for. The vehicle surface gets prepped by sanding down and repairing any imperfections in the body and then it’s primed for the paint. The tools for applying vehicle paint are extensive and the technician who does this job needs to have specialized training. After the paint is carefully applied to the vehicle, a clear protective coating is applied on top of the paint to protect it.

transit van wrap

What are the Differences Between a Vehicle Wrap and a Paint Job?

  • A paint job is permanent
  • A vehicle wrap is removable
  • A paint job is more expensive than a vehicle wrap
  • A paint job will look better than a vehicle wrap up close (around the door seams, mirrors, and handles)
  • A vehicle wrap installation is quicker than a full paint job
  • A digitally printed vehicle wrap can feature photographic design elements
  • Custom design elements can not be easily duplicated with a paint job
  • A vehicle wrap does not need as much maintenance as a paint job
  • Vehicle wrap vinyl can’t be applied to plastic, rust, or wood

What are the Similarities Between a Vehicle Wrap and a Paint Job?

  • Both are methods to customize your vehicle
  • Both are an investment (of money and time)
  • With both methods, you get what you pay for

work truck wrap - Signage Company - Connecting Signs

Vehicle Wrap vs. Paint Job – Which One is Better?

You will have to weigh the differences and similarities of wrap vs. paint based on your individual needs and expectations. Are you looking for an absolutely perfect color change for your expensive luxury vehicle? Do you have a tight budget, but are looking for some effective advertising for your company vehicle? The most important thing to remember with vehicle customization is that you get what you pay for. Work with a trustworthy and professional sign company, and you should be fine!
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