Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Film

From the minute your car leaves the lot, it's dealing with threats from all directions. Bugs, rocks, birds and even the sun will eventually take their toll on your pristine paint job. Thankfully, there are ways to tackle these problems and keep your paint looking bright and damage-free for years after you drive it home. Best of all? They won't cost you a fortune.

Protecting Your Ride From the Unexpected

Protecting Your Ride From the Unexpected

Paint protection is a must for anyone who truly cares about the appearance of their vehicle. Every car owner knows that you have three options if you want to keep your vehicle looking as good as the day you bought it:

  1. Spend thousands of dollars having it repainted every year.
  2. Have a shop install an expensive XPEL or Suntek PPF kit.
  3. Do it yourself with a precut Paint Protection Kit made with 3M™ Pro Series Paint Protection Film.

We're going to have to believe that there's almost no one who's willing to choose what's behind door No. 1, but you may very well decide that installing a paint protection kit is either too involved or too complicated for you. If so, we wish you luck and advise you to hire a 3M™ Certified Installer to put on your film so you can take advantage of their 10-year warranty. If, however, you like to learn new skills or want to protect your vehicle while taking advantage of the huge savings, you'll want to choose the third option.

What To Cover With Paint Protection Film

3M™ Pro Series Paint Protection Film is an eight-millimeter-thick layer of clear polyurethane that goes between your car and the elements. It is an excellent, affordable way for a car owner to protect their vehicle without sacrificing its look or paying for expensive installation.

Types of Damage

Types of Damage

The beauty of these paint protection films (PPF) is that they protect against a wide variety of common types of damage. Whether you're driving through trails in the forests or a well-kept city road, PPF can keep damaging agents away from your paint job. Some of the materials it protects your vehicle from include the following.

  • Salt and sand: Though salt is perfect for keeping the roads clear and free of ice, it can be particularly damaging to the paint along the bottom of your car. Salt is a corrosive material that can eat through the paint and into the metal, causing it to flake off and possibly form rust. If left long enough, it could create a hole in the metal. Sand can similarly cause damage, and if you drive in places prone to sandstorms or near beaches, it could easily wreak havoc on your entire vehicle.
  • Stone chips: Driving on anything besides the best-laid roads can send rocks flying in all directions. Gravel roads and trails will launch stones into the sides of your car, and the person in front of you could easily kick up rocks that hit your bumper and hood. They can dent the metal and chip away at the paint, leaving a speckled appearance or worse. 
  • Sun/ultraviolet (UV) damage: Leaving your car to bake in the sun opens it up to fading and cracking from the heat and UV rays. It could also yellow over time, which most PPF protects from. If you live in a sunny area, like the American Southwest, your car is particularly vulnerable to the effects of UV radiation. You can get a leg up on these effects by parking and storing your car in the shade, but PPF provides excellent UV protection.
  • Environmental fallout: In the automotive world, environmental fallout typically refers to substances like acid rain, brake, and rail dust and pollen. Acid rain can include both wet and dry acidic pollutants. Some of its causes include coal-burning power plants, factories, and erupting volcanoes. When acid rain falls on cars, it corrodes paint and eats away at the flat surfaces. Rail dust consists of small pieces of steel that stick to the paint and can come from your car brakes or proximity to railroads. Pollen, while seemingly harmless, is quite acidic, and each tiny grain can erode the paint on your car, similar to salt and sand.
  • Scratches from vehicle entry: Let's be honest, we're not always perfectly coordinated when getting in and out of our cars. Many people brush up against the side of the car hundreds of times, possibly carrying items that end up scratching the area around the door handles. Of course, the less careful you are, the more you may see these scratches. If you insert your key into the door and miss the keyhole, like you might in the dark, that is also a surefire way to add some marks to your door.
  • Bird droppings: Bird droppings are more damaging than they look, and they can affect your car's paint in a few ways. The acid in bird poop can eat through the clear coat on your car and corrode the paint down to the metal, leaving obnoxious marks on the surface. But what seems to be a more aggressive culprit is the heat of a sunny day. In high temperatures, the metal body of your car expands, and the clear coat moves with it. When temperatures cool down, the metal and clear coat contract again, forming around the stationary bird droppings, which is what causes the etched effect or dull color as the poop becomes one with the paint.
  • Insect stains: Bug remains work similarly. Decaying insects also contain chemicals that can damage the coat of paint on a car. Of course, they can cover your vehicle in droves at highway speeds, making it easy for them to coat your car and remove the protective layer on your paint. Once that happens, you'll see marks and discolorations where the bugs once were.

How Does PPF Protect My Car?

How Does PPF Protect My Car?

When you add a clear protection film on your car, you create a protective barrier that keeps the damage away from the paint. That thick layer of polyurethane absorbs the damage. Here's the best part, though — the self-healing paint protection film won't show minor damage. Scratches disappear and chips fill in. With nonprotective films, you may have to replace them as chips show up or discoloration occurs. They keep your original paint job in good condition, but don't always contain the technology to heal themselves and stay looking good. You may need to replace those films as they receive damage. The unique formulation of 3M™ Pro Series paint protection films allows them to adjust to these incidents.

Another reason people turn to these films is that they allow you to show off the natural beauty of your car's original paint job. You don't need to change it to add protection, and the film is crystal clear to let the original color shine through — no cloudy colors or tints in sight. You can even wax and wash your car like normal. The idea of these films is to be unnoticeable. They add protection without altering the look of your car.

When you're done with your protective film — which probably won't be for a long time, considering their service life of 10 years — it peels off easily without damaging the underlying paint. After all, it's meant to be protective. Whether you want to paint your car or sell it, you can confidently remove it without worrying about the paint underneath.

3M™ Paint Protection Kits: Precut for the DIY Installer

3M™ Paint Protection Kits: Precut for the DIY Installer

As you can see from the graphic above, there is no shortage of areas on your car to protect, and no lack of hazards to protect it from. That's why we offer a variety of precut kits made from Scotchgard™ Pro Series Films to protect your A-pillars, door cups, hood, fenders, bumpers, side mirrors and more. Plus, with the unparalleled protection of our PPF, you can rest easy knowing that salt, sand, bug hits, rocks, bird droppings and UV rays won't degrade the look of your paint job. And, since we have designed these protection kits specifically for the do-it-yourself installer, you will enjoy unmatched ease of installation.

Let's face it: When you purchase your protection kit or clear car bra from us, you can rest assured you're not just buying another run-of-the-mill auto accessory — you're making an investment in your vehicle that will keep it looking great for years to come. Precut Scotchgard™ Pro Series Protection Kits come custom-cut to your specifications. Select your vehicle's year, make and model, decide what areas of your car you want to protect and your order will ship within one business day. Be sure to enter your vehicle identification number to get the exact fit you need.

The customization options don't stop there, because we also offer the full line of precut protection kits a la carte. You can buy just the hood, fender, mirror or bumper kits or even complete kits, which include all the precut protection we offer for your vehicle. Whether you want to take care of just the high-traffic areas like the door sills and the bumper or go all-out and protect the entire car, we've got you covered.

Some of the different components you can purchase PPF for individually include:

  • A-pillars
  • Bumper
  • Door cups
  • Door edges
  • Door handle cavity
  • Fog lights
  • Front and rear bumpers
  • Headlights
  • Painted side mirrors
  • Partial/full fender panels
  • Partial or full hood
  • Rocker panels
  • Roof
  • Side pillars
  • Taillights
  • Trunk and trunk ledge
  • Wheels

In addition to individual components and complete kits, we also sell 3M™ films in rolls, so you can cut out any shapes you need.

Why DIY?

Why DIY?

You could pay thousands to have a professional install your protective films, but putting it on yourself is something that can do more than save you money. If you're like a lot of car owners, you may enjoy spending time in your garage, tinkering under the hood. DIYing your install provides a fun project that can keep you busy for a while and protect your car for much longer. Plus, you get to show it off and tell people that you put on that professional-looking film in the comfort of your garage.

Another plus is that when you DIY, you don't have to send your car into the shop for several days. Going without a vehicle can be a huge pain for many of us, and keeping your car with you is a massive bonus. You can do the whole thing at once, cover one part a day or break it down however you want. The schedule is up to you when you DIY a PPF installation.

Paint Protection Film Comparison: Choosing the Right PPF

Paint Protection Film Comparison: Choosing the Right PPF

Looking for a completely custom application? We carry a selection of only the best PPF in uncut sheets and rolls. We've made a handy infographic (see above) to help you choose the right film for you, but we'll go into further detail below as we break down the pros and cons of each brand of PPF available in this crowded market.

PPF Brand Comparison

  1. 3M™ Scotchgard™ Pro Series: The best in the industry, as it should be since 3M™ invented the film to begin with. The unique technology that separates this product from its competitors is its self-healing and stain-resistant characteristics. Pro Series can give you years of protection and performance without ongoing maintenance. Unlike your car’s paint, when this Pro Series Film gets scratched, the scratches virtually disappear, keeping your film looking newer longer. Almost nothing can protect your vehicle better from scratches, stains and chips than 3M™ Pro Series Protection Films.
  2. XPEL Ultimate Plus Paint Protection Film: XPEL's PPF combines best-in-class durability and clarity never before available on the market. Due to its very low surface energy, XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS repels contaminants that would otherwise stain or yellow conventional films. Best of all, its clear coat employs special elastomeric polymers that “heal” over time, eliminating swirl marks and other fine scratches without having to do anything.
  3. Avery Dennison™ Supreme Protection Film XI (SPF-XI™): Improves and safeguards the aesthetic of any vehicle while helping to retain resale value. As a high-quality polyurethane film, it helps prevent damage from a range of challenges such as stone chips, road debris, insect stains and weathering — all without degrading the original paint finish, thanks to a self-healing topcoat. The film is easy to apply, making it ideal for the DIY installer, and ultra-clear so as not to interfere with the look of your ride's paint job.
  4. ORAGUARD® 270 Stone Guard Film: This PPF provides medium-term paint protection for automotive fenders, rear bumpers, deck or side skirts and other outdoor applications. Intended for use on flat and slightly curved surfaces, it is an inexpensive alternative to 3M™ and XPEL PPF products that is thinner as well.
  5. SunTek PPF-C: This paint protection film delivers one-of-a-kind technology for paint protection applications. Its features include invisible protection from damage caused by rocks, salt, insects and other road debris, a self-healing topcoat formulation that is scratch- and stain-resistant with either a high-gloss or a matte finish, superior optical clarity and easy installation with increased longevity.

Universal Precut PPF Options

Universal Precut PPF Options

Don't feel up to hand-trimming film yourself, but still want to protect other delicate areas of your car? We've got you covered with precut protection strips custom-designed to protect high-traffic door sills and rocker panels and an assortment of universally sized door handle covers. We've all seen what day after day of wear and tear can do to the finish at the door edges and around door pulls, so stop the damage before it goes any further with these simple-to-apply, invisible paint protection kits.

How to Install Your PPF or Precut Protection Kit

How to Install Your PPF or Precut Protection Kit

We've devoted a whole section to how to install uncut PPF and the precut kits, so it doesn't make sense for us to repeat it here. Still, it won't hurt for you to consider assembling the following tools and supplies before you decide to install a paint protection kit yourself.

  • Clay bar: Preparation and cleaning are essential. A clay bar eliminates dirt on the paint that washing can't.
  • Utility knife: A sharp utility knife allows for precise cuts and trimming of the protection film.
  • Squeegee: Allows you to smooth out any bubbles or water for a perfectly clean look.
  • Spray bottle: Applying your cleaning solution from a spray bottle is the most effective way to ensure your film remains lubricated throughout the application process to avoid tears.
  • Microfiber or lint-free cloth: Drying your ride with a lint-free cloth will prevent fibers from getting stuck under the PPF.
  • Heat gun: A heat gun is not necessary for all PPF installations, but can be an invaluable tool to have handy. Use a heat gun to help the PPF conform to a curved surface or to release any creases or fingers from the film after application.
  • Slip solution: Used for positioning film. Use Rapid Tac, or you may mix your own in a one-quart spray bottle filled with water and four to eight drops of Johnson's Baby Shampoo or a comparable brand.

If this is your first time putting on a protective film, we carry many of these resources, so you can get everything you need in one place. We have a selection of squeegees, low-lint cloth, pre-mixed application fluid, and Olfa-style razor blades to help with the process.

You'll also need to get a few conditions right before you go to install your PPF:

  • The ideal application temperature is between 48 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you're working in the winter, you may need to crank up the heat in your garage. For some surfaces, like the hood, you can turn on the car and let it run to increase the temperature.
  • Make sure you have enough lighting. You can imagine that installing a clear film in dim lighting would be difficult. Giving yourself plenty of light can help you see your work better and match up edges cleanly for an excellent result.
  • Don't apply the film in humid temperatures. If it's going to rain for a few days, consider pushing the installation back to next week. 
  • Give your car a quick wash at least 24 hours before installing the film. That gives it time to dry but also removes dirt and grime. After all, the last thing you want is dirt sealed in under your nice new protective film. Of course, you'll want to do a more thorough cleaning just before you install, but you can read up on that in the full installation guide mentioned above.

Paint Protection Film From Rvinyl

Paint Protection Film From Rvinyl

If you want to keep your car safe from the dangers of everyday life, a protective film is a perfect pick. It won't affect your existing paint job, self-heals minor damage, and can prevent injury from a wide range of harmful objects.

DIYing a protective wrap from Rvinyl comes with several benefits beyond what the wrap does for your car. If you mess up part of the install, we provide replacement pieces at a discount. Plus, we can process warranty claims for the 10 years of service offered on 3M™ Pro Series PPF. If for some reason you experience a problem with your film, we're here to help.

Shop our paint protection films above by selecting your vehicle, or contact us if you have any questions.

Reviews | 54 Reviews

Avg Rating
Out of 5

Just need a copy of invoice for ins
by Porsche boxter clear film, Abilene Tx 79601 5.00

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Awesome product
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Waste of money, poor client service
by Alex, Phoenix, AZ 1.00

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I bought a hood protection kit (~$300) for my brand new 2022 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and provided my vin number. When I received the kit, there was no instructions included and none of the pieces fit my vehicle. I reached out to customer service, they opened a case and requested pictures of the kit against my vehicle. The pictures clearly showed the film was the wrong shape and length for my hood. Customer service said “that’s how it’s designed” and “there is nothing we can do”. I requested a refund, a replacement kit that would fit or store credit. They refused all of it, I couldn’t believe how horrible the service and product was. Beware of this company, it was a complete waste of money and they sold me a poor quality product.
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Door edge & pockets
by Gary S, Winter Haven, FL 5.00

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Got 2 packs of 3M door edge, installed great, even have one strip left.
Made my own handle pockets from 3M film, again installation was easy and look great.


4.59 | 54 Reviews