car wrap vs paint

Car Wrap vs. Paint- Which One Is Better?

While painting a car to make it look good is common, some people have found the alternative in wrapping. Wrapping a car is much cheaper and easier to do than painting a whole car. However, is it as good as painting the car?

There are several questions regarding using a wrap for your car. One of the most prominent questions being: wrap vs. paint- which one is better? In this article, we’ll look at how viable wrapping is and how it compares to painting.

What Is Wrapping?

what is car wrapping

Wrapping refers to covering your car with vinyl or PVC wrap. You can use vinyl or PVC wrap to cover either a section of the vehicle or the whole vehicle itself. The film or covering uses an adhesive to attach itself to the body of your car. You can also remove the covering when needed.

The adhesive isn’t harmful to the vehicle’s body, so you don’t need to worry about any scratches during attaching and removing. If you want to attach the wrap to the corners of your car, you will need to properly cut out the shape to fit that corner. The paint is left intact underneath the wrapping.

Advantages of Wrapping

Since we’ve discussed what wrapping is, let’s see what advantages it possesses. Some of the advantages of wrapping includes:

  • You Can Remove Wrapping Easily

If you painted a car and then later want the paint changed, it can be a massive hassle. That is not the case for wrapping, as you can simply remove it whenever you need it. If you don’t like the look of the wrapping, or you made a mistake in your placement, you can easily remove the film and then attach it again.

Do note that repeatedly doing this for the same wrapping can reduce the adhesive power.

  • No Drying Time

Typically, the time needed to attach a wrap and use your car is much less than that of a paint job. There is no drying process involved with wrapping, and there is no hassle of using single-stage paint.

As a result, the installation time of wraps is much less than that of paint, and your car will be good to go as soon as you’re done.

  • Doesn’t Require Restorative Agents

Paint can slowly fade with use, and this process is accelerated when driving in rough weather. As a result, many people will like to use restorative agents to keep the look of new paint for as long as they can.

This can incur more expenses. However, that is not an issue for wrapping as wraps do not require restorative agents because they have no problem like fading with use and time.

  • Greater Choice of Design

Wrapping isn’t just limited to color. It can include art and other designs. Decorating your car with paint can be limited based on how well you paint. However, wrapping isn’t limited by your car painting skills which give you more choices when decorating your car.

  • Less Cost

Of course, one of the most important reasons that wrap sees use is how cheap it is to use. There is no need for a primer, and they are almost always cheaper than trailer paint.

Disadvantages of Wrapping

However, wrapping is not without its disadvantages. These include:

  • Lack of Resistance to Weather

Wraps don’t handle rain very well. It’s easy for them to get soaked and requires you to throw them away when they get soaked. So, a wrapped vehicle always needs to be under shelter or parked indoors.

  • Exterior Must Be in Good Condition for Applying Wrap

The wrap cannot be applied to a damaged car body. It won’t be properly attached, and it will look very bad. So, wraps cannot be used to hide scratches or dents.

  • Cannot Be Machine Washed

You cannot machine wash a wrap as the force of the machine will cause the PVC to come off. So, you will need to resort to hand washing it, which will take a longer time.

Advantages of Paint

Since we’ve looked at wrapping, let’s look at the paint and the advantages it has. The benefits to painting a car are:

is painting car worth it
  • Longer Lasting

Paint is almost always going to last longer than wrapping. Although maintenance is required for paint, regular maintenance can easily allow the paint to last 10 to 15 years.

  • Strong Against Rain and Weather

Against rain, paint is much stronger than wrapping. Rain will soak the wrapping and cause the adhesive to lose its strength, making it useless. Paint won’t go away with rain and, in turn, will protect the car from the harsh elements.

  • Natural Rust Prevention

Paint prevents your car parts from rusting. This is a huge benefit to paint, as it provides natural protection while also ensuring your car looks good.

  • Can Be Used to Hide Scratches

A good paint job can make a car look like it’s new. You can hide scratch marks easily with paint and make your car look great in the process.

Disadvantages of Paint

Of course, painting a car comes with its own set of troubles. These include:

  • Regular Maintenance Is Needed

Although the paint has better resistance, it is not perfect. Paint can slowly come off, and you need to perform maintenance on it and reapply paint.

  • Takes a Lot of Time

Probably one of the biggest issues with paint is that it requires a lot more time to paint a car. Not only might you need multiple coats of paint, but you will also need to wait for it to dry properly. This can take a day.

Wrap vs. Paint: Which Is Better?

So, between wrapping and painting, which is better? It depends on what you need and a few factors. There are times where wrapping is better and vice versa. Let’s look at some cases:

1. Can the Exterior Allow for Wrapping?

If the car exterior is damaged or scratched, you can’t properly wrap it. You should always check if the exterior of your car can be wrapped or not.

2. Does It Rain Frequently in Your Area?

When you go out to drive, does it rain a lot? In that case, you might prefer a paint job overwrapping. Paint won’t come off with rain, and you won’t have to worry about leaving your car outside in the rain.

3. Do You Change the Design Often?

If you like or need to change the look of your car often, wrapping is much better. When you’re tired of one look, you can simply change to another without much trouble as long as you have the proper wrapping.

4. Cost

Another big factor is cost. Wrapping is much less expensive, although there may be running costs involved. Select one based on your budget.


There is no straight answer to the wrap vs. paint debate. It boils down to a few factors and which one you can afford. Consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully before you decide on which one you’ll use.

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