Car painting (AKA repainting a car) comes in many different options depending on where you live.
The Vehicle Lab, urethane paint is the preferred paint type for most vehicles.
Urethane is a new type of paint and high-quality. It is chip-resistant and can resist color fading for around 10 years.
Because urethane paint is incredibly long-lasting, it’s also quite expensive.
While you can paint urethane over any previous paint job, you cannot put lacquer paint over urethane paint. Make sure you’re sold on the appearance of urethane paint ahead of time.
If you’re looking to paint your car by yourself, avoid urethane paint as it’s hard to handle by yourself.
Acrylic paint is old-school and typically used only on antique vehicles these days. It’s cheaper than urethane and is of lower quality. The main two types of acrylic paint are: enamel and lacquer.
Compared to urethane paint, acrylic is prone to fading but also easier to apply.
Acrylic enamel is more durable than lacquer since acrylic lacquer was the first kind of car paint to be created.
The plus side of acrylic lacquer is that it’s very easy to apply and quite glossy, so it’s good for DIY paint projects.
Note that in some states, some paints are banned due to environmental concerns. This mostly applies to a certain kind of urethane paint (aliphatic polyurethane) and acrylic lacquer.
Paint finishes include: solid/gloss, metallic, pearlescent, and matte.
Car wrapping is the process of applying vinyl film to your car.
Wraps are basically designed to do everything regular paint can do, except at a lower cost and effort. Vinyl car wraps come in two types.
Most automotive wraps are cast vinyl wraps. They’re thin films that are cut and conform to a vehicle’s shape. It’s basically like a huge car sticker.
Calendared wraps are rarer than cast wraps. That’s because they don’t conform to edges and corners as well, making wrap installers less fond of it as a choice.
Wraps can basically come in whatever design you desire. Digitally printed vinyl can make your car have the appearance of anything you want. Galaxies, camo, abstract patterns, and even Hot Wheels.
Pre-cured vinyl is cheaper than digitally printed vinyl, but it only comes in solid colors.
Wrap finishes come in: gloss, matte, satin, carbon fiber, and textured.
Car wrap v.s. car paint: what is the better option?
Both car wrap and car paint are methods to maintain your car’s resale value. Here are the winners in each category:
Durability: A high-quality wrap
Ease of Removal: Paint is easier to paint over, whereas removing a wrap can cause car damages
Overall Appearance: Paint
Wrapping a car is cheaper and easier to do than repainting a car. A regular full car wrap will typically cost less than $2,000, whereas a full car paint can go over $4,000. However, if your vehicle is very big, the cost of wraps will go higher.
While paints like urethane are highly fade- and chip-resistant, a high-quality wrap is ultimately easier to care for and will likely last longer. Car wraps don’t require regular waxing, after all.
Car wraps can come in very fancy designs, but paint generally looks more visually appealing and authentic.
In the end, the car buyer is the one to choose whether they prefer the look and function of car paint or of vinyl car wraps.
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