Comparing Vinyl Wrap Finishes
Variety is the spice of life. Whether we’re talking about redecorating the house, planting new shrubs in the front yard or adding a new color finish to your car, it’s these little changes that keep life exciting and interesting. Did you know that giving your car a fresh new look doesn’t have to be an expensive and involved process? It doesn’t even have to involve a trip to a detailing and body shop. Instead, it can be a simple DIY-project you do from the comfort of your garage or driveway with just a few supplies.
How can you accomplish this simple refinishing job? With Rvinyl’s vinyl wrap finishes, you can have your pick of numerous designs, colors and textures, all of which have the power to transform your car’s look into something totally new. These wraps are easy to handle, and you can apply them yourself with no previous training or practice.
Not sure which vinyl finish is right for you? Today, we’ll walk you through a few of our most popular products and tell you about their most notable features and their pros and cons. Browse them all and decide which one is best for you and your vehicle.
What Are Vinyl Wrap Finishes?
Vinyl wrap films are thin vinyl sheets designed to adhere to the surface of your car, following its lines and edges to form a second skin over them. They come in long rolls which you cut to the correct shape and dimension for your car before you apply them to the vehicle’s surface. Through the help of self-sticking or pressure-activated adhesive properties, these vinyl wraps cling to your vehicle, creating the appearance of a new paint job. You can use them to either cover the vehicle’s entire surface or just to dress up a few accents on your car’s exterior.
These types of wraps have several benefits that make them so attractive to vehicle owners. These advantages include their:
- Price: Vinyl wraps are easy on your wallet, especially since you don’t need to pay for any professional services to install them. All you’ll need to pay is the price of the vinyl itself, making this a far less expensive option than a trip to the auto body shop.
- Versatility: The sheer amount of variety in the world of vehicle wraps is staggering. Choose from an enormous selection of prints, colors and textures that you may not be able to find if you choose to go for a new coat of paint.
- Changeability: Redoing the paint and detailing work on your car is a big job, and for this reason, most of us don’t do it very often. Adding a vinyl wrap is different, however. The job is simple enough to do on your own, and it’s affordable, which means you can change the exterior of your vehicle more often.
What Are the Different Types of Vinyl Wrap Finishes?
While all vehicle wraps work in the same way and perform the same function, this doesn’t mean that every style is the same. In addition to having different appearances, each different style of wrap comes with its own set of specifications, pros and cons. Let’s examine a few of our most popular models now.
1. The Gloss Finish
As the option with the highest level of sheen available, vinyl gloss finishes give every surface they cover a bright, distinctive and eye-catching look. While developers initially engineered them as car wrap film and they’re terrific in this role, they’re versatile enough to adhere to any firm and non-porous surface. This versatility makes them a great choice whether you’re looking to redecorate your car or do a little vinyl crafting. Our gloss finishes come in over a dozen colors, including Antique White, Apricot and Bermuda Blue, and are available in your choice of 12- 24- or 60-inch widths.
One potential drawback of this finish is that because it has such a high level of gloss, it may show more imperfections than other alternatives. On the other hand, this high-gloss finish makes for easy cleaning and maintenance.
Gloss finish wraps often have features such as:
- Eight-year outdoor durability
- A pressure-sensitive adhesive
- Two-millimeter thickness
- Great compatibility with vinyl cutters and crafting tools
2. The Satin Finish
Satin finishes have become popular in recent years. They have slightly less sheen than a gloss finish but significantly more sheen than a matte finish, making them a terrific choice for someone looking for a medium level of shine. They’re also available in a wide range of colors such as Apple Green, Neon Fluorescent Yellow and Canyon Copper.
One drawback of this finish is that it’s not quite as easy to clean as high-gloss finishes, but the upside of this is that it’s more effective at hiding dings and imperfections.
Some specifications to note with many satin finishes include:
- Resistance to fading and discoloration
- Seven-year lifespan
- Pressure-sensitive air-release adhesive
3. The Matte Finish
Matte finishes are the option with the least shine, making them a fantastic choice for those who want a new look without the shininess of the alternatives. This flat finish is available in dozens of colors, such as Military Green, Indigo and Gray Aluminum. Choose your matte finish wrap in rolls of 12-, 24- or 60-inch widths and lengths of up to 10 yards.
While matte finishes are one of the best styles for concealing dings and damages to the body of your vehicle, one limitation is that they are slightly more difficult to clean than their higher-gloss cousins.
Many of our matte finishes have the following specifications:
- Excellent compatibility with vinyl cutters and associated crafting tools
- Seven-year lifespan
- Resistance to discoloration during installation
4. The Carbon Fiber Finish
If you’re looking to score a vinyl wrap that’s trendy, modern and sleek, then consider choosing our carbon fiber finishes. These versatile wraps come in a variety of metallic finishes, colors and patterns and feature a heat-activated adhesive design that makes them easy to use no matter what your level of experience is with vinyl wraps. Thanks to the air release channels in their adhesive, you’ll never encounter disturbances such as fading or deforming. With all these features, it should be no surprise that these are some of the most popular finishes we offer.
When it comes to carbon fiber finishes, there’s a huge variety of options for you to choose from, each with their own list of pros and cons. While the number of choices means you may want to do a bit of additional research, it also means you’re much more likely to find just exactly what you’re looking for.
The four primary brands you’ll be choosing from are:
- Rwraps™: Rwraps™ offer tons of color variety and a low price point but are only rated for three years of durability.
- 3M™: The 3M™ series offers a five-year lifespan but has fewer color options than other alternatives.
- Avery: Avery films have a terrific textured weave but are only available in either black and white.
- ORACAL®: ORACAL® boasts an exceptionally thick film for easy stretching but only offers one finish option.
5. The Brushed Metal Finish
Brushed metal wraps imitate the look and feel of many different types of metal, from steel and bronze to aluminum and titanium. With a smooth, sophisticated and brush appearance, these films create the perfect finish that will give your vehicle an air of class and elegance.
Brushed metal wraps are available from several different primary manufacturers, each of which comes with excellent qualities to recommend them, as well as potential limitations. Research them all, and decide which one is best for your needs.
The four primary manufacturers are:
- Rwraps™: Rwraps™ offers eight different colors of brushed aluminum, all at a fantastic low price.
- 3M™: With five different metal finishes and an adhesive that you can easily reposition, it’s no wonder that this 3M™ series is a best seller.
- Avery: Avery offers an impressive portfolio of styles and colors, including their highly original brushed bronze films.
- ORACAL®: ORACAL® films are known for their thickness and ease-of-use as well as their five different color options.
6. The Shade Shifter Finish
For a look that’ll stand out from the crowd, experiment with our shade shifter films. These chameleon-like films seem to change their appearance depending on what light you look at them in. Some films shift from gold to silver, others go from blue to purple, and others cycle through all the iridescent shades of mother of pearl. And while these films are perfect for wrapping your vehicles, they’re also versatile enough that you can use them on any hard surface.
Some of the advantages of these shade shifter finishes include an easy application that won’t cause bubbles and allows for easy removability as well as a large variety of colors to choose from. Just a few of the examples of the available colors are Caribbean Shimmer, Ghost Pearl and Electric Wave. Apply these to your vehicle or any other hard surface for a truly spectacular transformation.
7. The Reflective Finish
Reflective finishes have a bit of a misleading name, as they’re actually retro-reflective. This means that as a light source hits the film, it’s reflected out in multiple directions all at the same time, rather than reflecting directly back at the light source. Whatever angle you view the finish from, you’ll always get that same spectacular shine. Manufacturers achieve this by embedding tiny glass beads in the body of the finish.
Advantages of these reflective finishes include the incredible shine and reflectivity as well as a large number of options of both colors and manufacturers. One potential drawback, however, is the fact that the vinyl is a bit trickier to cut than some of the alternatives, thanks to the glass beads embedded within.
Some of the features to know about with many of the reflective wraps include:
- Seven-year durability
- Easily adjustable adhesive intended for dry application
- Resistance to spills
- High levels of reflectivity
8. The Glow-in-the-Dark Finish
Is there anything that makes more of a “wow” statement than a glow-in-the-dark finish for your vehicle? This film is perfect for accenting your vehicle or highlighting any other hard surfaces that you may want to find even in the dark, such as fire alarms or exit signs. This film comes with a gloss finish as well, meaning you get all the ordinary benefits of gloss vinyl, including easy cleaning and maintenance.
The primary benefit of this film is the visibility it provides, even in the dark. One limitation of this type of film, however, is that there aren't many options available in terms of colors and styles.
Some specifications to note with glow-in-the-dark wraps include:
- Five-year durability for indoor applications
- High-gloss finish
- Six-millimeter thickness
9. The Velvet Finish
Love the look and feel of velvet? Now, you can enjoy this luxurious texture as an accent on your vehicle with these terrific velvet finish films from Rwraps™. Available in five distinct shades of yellow, red, purple, pink and black, these one-of-a-kind films are all equipped to bring a touch of luxury to your vehicle along with a distinctive suede-like feel. Cut this vinyl free-hand, or take advantage of its compatibility with most craft vinyl cutters.
A potential drawback of these films is that the color selection is somewhat limited. Nevertheless, this limitation is outweighed by all the benefits they offer, such as their versatility when it comes to wrapping your vehicles or any other hard and non-porous surface.
Some additional specifications to note include:
- Easy pressure-activated, air-drain and heat-sensitive adhesives for smooth and bubble-free results
- Dry application that doesn’t require any glues or primers
- Resistance to fading or deformation
- A variety of widths available
Shop Our Vehicle Wrap Finishes Today
From brushed metal to matte to velvet to reflective, there are plenty of different styles of vinyl to choose from when it comes to wrapping your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for something classic and understated or something that’ll grab the attention of everyone around, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here at Rvinyl. We’re proud to stock the top brands in the industry so that no matter what style you’re interested in, you can be sure you’re getting the very best quality available today.
To get started with finding the perfect vinyl for your vehicle, browse our full selection of vinyl vehicle wraps today.