There may come a time in your vehicle’s life that you consider changing its appearance. It may be that your original finish has been damaged, or just that you’re bored with it's factory paint job. There are several ways to change your vehicle’s color, but there are three that are most common: paint, Plasti Dip®, and vinyl wraps. By the end of this article, you’ll have a basic knowledge of each, and an idea of which you’d like to use to make your vehicle unique to you.
It’s important to know if you’re correcting a paint problem or simply changing your car’s look. If you’re looking to fix a scratch or ding, you should first consider painting the vehicle. This process is permanent, and should be applied to the whole vehicle for a uniform look. From the factory, your vehicle has at least three layers of paint, so corrections can be lengthy and labor intensive. It’s recommended for only reputable shops or dealers to repaint a vehicle. Modern paints use clear coat formulas to make your car’s finish durable, and need regular cleanings and wax to maintain its shine. A good paint job and regular maintenance can be a costly process, but one that will leave your vehicle looking showroom ready for years to come.
If you’re simply looking to change your vehicle’s appearance, a rubber based coating spray such as Plasti Dip® may be a better option than a full paint job. Plasti Dip® can be sprayed on to nearly any surface and is offered in dozens of colors. Its best application is to specific areas of your vehicle like the wheels, trim pieces, and lights. No professional application is necessary, but it will take a bit of trial and error to get the perfect finish you’re looking for.
Conveniently, Plasti Dip® can be peeled off without much effort to either be restored to your original color, or to be redipped. A single can of Plasti Dip® can be purchased anywhere from $5 to $20, and can serve as a quick and easy Sunday project.
Quick and easy may not always deliver the results you’re looking for. An alternative to paint or Plasti Dip® would be a vinyl wrap. Vinyl wraps are exactly that; a printed vinyl laminate that can be applied over your current paint job. There are an unlimited number of colors, designs, and finishes that produce a result similar and sometimes even better than a factory paint job. Because it’s applied in sections, vinyl wrapping is easy to repair and remove when you’d like to return to your original look.
When covering paint in good condition, vinyl also serves as a protectant by shielding your vehicle’s paint from the elements to reveal a still-fresh paint job when removed. Of course, this quality comes at a cost. Vinyl wraps can only be printed and applied by professionals, and can cost far more than a standard paint job. Wraps also have a lifespan of 1-5 years before needing to be replaced. If you don’t mind shelling out the cash, a vinyl wrap could be the solution you’re looking for when personalizing your vehicle’s style.
When it comes time to change up your car’s look, it’s important to know your end goal. For a factory like finish, a good paint job may be your answer. If you’re looking for an affordable, DIY project that you can knockout over the weekend, Plasti Dip® is the way to go. If variety, personalization, and protection is what will complete your look, check out your local vinyl wrapping professionals. Remember to check with your vehicle’s owner before changing up the look if renting or leasing your vehicle, and always consult a professional before making permanent changes to your car.
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