The following FAQ will address many common questions consumers may have about Paint Protection Films and kits as well as give a brief overview of its history and origins.
A Brief History of Paint Protection
Paint Protection Film was first developed by 3M at the request of the US military during the Vietnam War in order to help protect the rotor blades of helicopters taking off and landing in battle zones. Although not originally designed to protect the paint or finish of the blades but rather to protect their structural integrity, Paint Protection Films soon found their way onto the race track as drivers saw their ability to protect the exterior of their cars at high speeds.
The first films were thicker and less pliable, because their purpose was to help keep helicopter blades from eroding in the harsh, sandy environments to which they were exposed. Because the blades were flatter and less complex than auto-motive surfaces, they didn’t demand a highly flexible, conformable film. However, as the films began to be adopted by race car teams and, later, luury car makers, the film was reformulated to be thinner and easier to work with.
What is Paint Protection Film?
Paint Protection Films (PPF) are thermoplastic, urethane films generally applied to the painted surfaces of a new or used car in order to protect the paint from stone chips, bug hits, minor abrasions and UV damage. It does not affect appearance or aerodynamics, being virtually invisible from just a few feet away and with minimal maintenance the film will last many years, keeping your paint protected while looking great. The film is also used on airplanes, RVs, cell phones, electronics, screens, motorcycles and in a growing number of applications.
Can Paint Protection Film be removed?
Yes, PPF can be removed without causing damage to your vehicle. However, reasonable care should be taken during removal to ensure that the vehicle's clear coat is not damaged. We offer instructions for removal in our Installation Instructions section
How hard is it to see on the car after it is applied?
Because the PPF films are made using optically clear adhesives the material is over 95% clear. It is hard to detect even from a few feet away although it will add a glossy sheen to your vehicle's paint.
What is the difference between an uncut Paint Protection Film and a pre-cut kit?
Uncut film is available in a variety of widths and lengths and, depending on the manufacturer, can range from 4 mil in thickness to up to 15 mil. Professional or DIY installers can use uncut film to wrap and protect those areas of the vehicle for which pre-ciut kits are not availbale. In general, pre-cut paint protection kits are made for the hood, fender, mirrors and front and rear bumpers. In addition, many companies offer pre-cut door cups and door panel strips as well. Although pre-cut kits can be easier to install they normally end about 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch from edges.
Can the PPF film be installed on plastic?
Yes. PPF films can be applied to plastic or polycarbonates. In fact, headlight lenses are the most common plastic component for which PPF is used.
Can Paint Protection kits or film be removed and reapplied?
At the time of writig, we are unaware of any PPF product that can be removed and reapplied. This s due to the nature of the adhesive and the physical properties of the film itself.
What if I just got my car painted? Can I have Paint Protection installed right away?
No. The recommended waiting time for a proper cure is 30 days. It is best to contact your body shop. Body shops use a wide range of suppliers for their paint materials. Tell your body shop to contact their paint supplier for information if they are unsure. The paint supplier or manufacturer will be the best source for the correct cure time.