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When Wraps Won't Work

People often turn to us when they're looking for a quick and easy way to restyle or rehab their ride. We get it and, frankly, that's what we're here for but there are some times when car wraps just won't work. In today's post we'll go over some issues that can't be corrected with vinyl wraps and those parts of your car or truck that you're better off not trying to wrap.

Most cast vinyl used for vehicle wraps will only adhere well to paint that is in original (OEM) or like new or very good quality condition. Even if the problem area is small, installing a wrap over the damaged paint has the potential of creating more problems. In fact, most colors and finishes of wrap material will amplify the problem area. Since the vinyl is an extremely thin film, it just doesn’t hide flaws. Even if the vinyl will adhere to (or around) the problem area, the removal of the vinyl may cause the damaged and/or surrounding paint to pull off. Remember, vinyl wraps don’t last forever, and they need to be removed at some point. Taking the vinyl off and bringing the paint with it is not good. Ever. If you are looking at your vehicle, wondering if a wrap is the right choice for you, here are images of some paint conditions that just won’t work.

Deep Paint Scratches

Scratches, chips and other defects in the paint will be magnified when the vinyl is installed. What's worse, removal of the vinyl also may cause the paint surrounding the damaged area to pull off. The only vinyl wrap film we can recommend to hide this damage is Rwraps™ 3D Carbon Fiber or Series 1080 Carbon Fiber films.

Aftermarket Paint Jobs with Orange Peel Textures

Bad paint jobs with excess paint can cause an ‘orange peel’ effect that will not be hidden by a vinyl wrap. We recommend professional paint repair and proper cure time before a wrap should be applied to a vehicle. Even then, we cannot guarantee the condition of the paint once the wrap is removed. Still, if you're a brave soul then films like Brushed Metallic, Camouflage, Carbon Fibers may hide the orange peel texture upon which they are applied.

Cars with Rusted Sheet Metal

Wraps won't stick to rust. We wish there was something else we could say but if your car or truck has exposed rust or oxidation the bubble-free adhesives simply will not bond. In essence, a rusty surface is no different than a dirty one and the rust particles will adhere to the film resulting in delamination.

Vehicles with Peeling Clear Coat

Some people will tell you that a car wrap is not an option if the clear coat or paint is peeling. In general, it's recommended to install wraps only on factory painted vehicles for wrapping. However, if you do decide that a wrap is the only option that's going to work for you we strongly recommend having areas of paint that are chipping or peeling “feathered” or “sanded” by a body shop prior to wrapping to insure a smooth installation and prevent any future paint flaking. If you have a car with flaking paint or peeling clear coat we don't recommend Gloss, Flip or Chameleon films for these types of jobs although Carbon Fiber, Camouflage and Sticker Bomb films completely disguise any peeling below.

Other Things You Shouldn't Try to Wrap

In addition to damaged and textured paint, there are a few other areas on any car you shouldn't try to wrap. Rubberized areas, trim made with ABS plastics and solar panels are just some of these. Check out this video created by 3M™ below and let us know what you think:

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