Wrap VS Paint: A Guide to Refresh Your Car’s Looks

Malaysia’s unpredictable weather and rough road conditions can cause the paint job of your car to fade, chip, and even peel off over time. This causes your car to lose its value over time and exposes it to damage and rust.

If you’re planning to give your car an external facelift to make it look like new once again, there’s plenty of options around for you. You can either paint it to look like it just came out of the dealership or you can get it wrapped in a custom design.

carsome paint

There are a lot of factors that you should consider before you decide to refinish your car. Before you decide which option is best to give your car that fresh look it needs, let’s find out the benefits and differences of both options.

Painting Your Car

A fresh paint job used to be the primary option for those looking to spruce up their car. You can choose to fully restore the original color of your car or paint it in a different color with a specific finish such as a solid finish, metallic, or pearlescent to achieve your desired look.

carsome painting

Here are some things you should consider before choosing to paint your car.

Types of Car Paint

Acrylic Paint

For older or antique vehicles, the paint type that it mainly uses is the acrylic paint. This paint is less expensive compared to the more modern urethane paint, is very easy to apply, but it does not last as long as it is prone to fading after prolonged exposure.

There are three types of acrylic paint:

  • Acrylic enamel: A very durable acrylic paint that forms a hard shell as they dry and lasts longer, but it is very difficult to apply.
  • Acrylic lacquer: This paint type is inexpensive and very easy to apply, but it has the shortest lifespan among other acrylic paints and its chemical composition makes it illegal in certain countries. 
  • Acrylic urethane: A mix of both acrylic and urethane paint with benefits of both, such as easy application and a long lifespan.

Urethane Paint

A modern paint type that has become the industry standard for most vehicles today, urethane paints are quite expensive but it lasts very long, provides a better looking finish, and is highly durable too.

Read more: Changing Your Car Paint Color in Malaysia

Paint Finishes

Choosing the next color for your car can be dizzying, especially when you have to consider what type of finish you want to create the desired appearance you want for your car.

Here are a few types of finishes available in the market that you can choose from.

  • Solid

By default, most cars come in a solid or gloss finish, usually in basic colors like red, white, or black. Solid finishes are easy to produce, inexpensive, and can be maintained easily.

The application process consists of three layers and it begins with a primer, then the paint itself, and finally a layer of lacquer. Although most manufacturers these days opt to use a “two-pack”paint that mixes both the paint and lacquer together.

  • Metallic

The presence of a small amount of aluminum powder in metallic paint will make your vehicle shine bright under the sunlight. Although it looks great, this paint finish attracts dirt easily and it is also quite expensive.

  • Pearlescent

Pearlescent paint is similar to metallic paint, but it uses ceramic crystals instead to reflect and refract sunlight to create a unique and spectacular luster that stands out. This paint does not come cheap and it is also costly to repair but the glamorous look that it brings helps to preserve the value of your car.

  • Matte

This is the most expensive finish that you can get for your car. It will cost you thousands and it only comes in shades of black, gray, or silver. Maintaining this type of finish is also very troublesome. They require regular cleaning using specialized shampoos and cleaners while bird droppings have to be cleaned immediately or you’ll risk damaging the finish.

Wrapping Your Ride

Automotive wrap is a very popular choice among car enthusiasts who are looking to make their car look more dapper. There are numerous types of eye-catching  colors, designs, and finishes that you can choose to wrap your car in, and if you can stretch out your budget, you can even get one that’s custom made just for you!

The main reason why automotive wraps are gaining popularity these days is because they are said to be an affordable alternative to paint. Here’s everything you need to know about automotive wraps.

  • Vinyl Wrap

A flexible and thin film made from polyvinylchloride (PVC) that’s only four mil thick, vinyl wraps come in an assortment of colors, textures, and finishes. Vinyl wrap is purely cosmetic and is used to alter the look of your car without damaging the paint job of your car.

carsome vinyl

Depending on the design, vinyl wrap is typically used to cover the whole car or parts of the car to protect the original paint and maintain the looks of your car without having to go through a laborious process.

  • Plastic Protection Films (PPF)

Unlike vinyl wraps, PPF are used to add a layer of extensive protection to the surface of your car. Typically eight mil thick, this transparent film will protect your car’s paint from scratches, scuffs, stone chips, bird droppings, and UV damage. PPF usually comes in two options – glossy and matte.

carsome ppf

Some high end PPF also has a self healing coating that enables the film to automatically repair very minor scratches caused by stone chips using the sun’s heat or with a heat gun. 

Wrap VS Paint: Which Should You Consider for Your Car?

Now that you are aware of the choices available for you when it comes to car paint and wrap, here are a few things you should consider before choosing to paint or wrap your car. 

  • Cost

The average cost to repaint a sedan could reach anywhere from RM2,000 to RM15,000, depending on the size of the car and choice of finish. The more expensive finish requires more time, work, and attention to make sure it comes out perfect.

Meanwhile, the cost to wrap a sedan ranges from RM1,400 to RM2,500 for basic wrap applications. Complex designs will cost more, but it’s a small price to pay if you plan to keep the original paint of your car in mint condition for years to come.

  • Durability

A car’s paint protects the metal surface of the car from further damage such as scratches, rust, and dents. But after three to five years of being driven, the paint will start to fade and you will also start to notice chips, scuffs, and scratch marks on the paint surface, exposing the metal underneath to further damage.

Wraps add an external barrier to your paint job that protects it from stone chips, scratch marks, and bird droppings, in addition to protecting the original paint of your car from prolonged sun exposure. Unless the wrap tears, your car’s paint will stay protected and it will still display its initial shine after the wrap is removed..

  • Process

Painting a car involves a lengthy process that includes taking the car apart, stripping off the old paint as well as preparing the surface of the car by fixing imperfections such as scratches, dents, and rusts to ensure the new paint job is able to achieve a smooth look. 

Considering the time needed to apply paint, putting on multiple coats, and waiting for it to dry, the whole process of painting a car could take weeks and even months, but the end result ensures that the car looks brand new, like it just came out of the dealership.

Compared to the lengthy process of painting a car, the process of wrapping a car is fairly straightforward. It only involves measuring all the panels that you plan to wrap and cleaning the car’s surface thoroughly before you proceed to wrap it.

Within two to seven days, your car can be fully wrapped and ready to go so you don’t have to wait long to show off the sweet new decals you just got on your car.  

Read more: Fix Dents and Scratches On Your Car

With that, we hope you are now able to decide on the best method to revamp your car’s looks.