Paint vs wrap car

In this guide, I will teach you guys which option is best for your car to look whether it is painted or wrapping the car with your desired color.

Newbies are requested to not miss any point explained in this guide because it will be very helpful to them. This guide is based on my painting experience which is pretty much to guide beginners.

painting vs wrapping car

Most people who ask the question of whether a car wrap or a repaint is better are looking for a paint upgrade.

Have some kind of paint damage somewhere on their car, or have just one or two panels that need painting from a recent replacement.

Unless a certain paint color is not available from the factory, it is most often much better to leave the paint as-is from the factory.

Vehicle wraps, also known as vehicle graphics, are a great way to enhance your car, truck, or another type of vehicle.

While painting your vehicle can be an option, custom vehicle wraps offer a number of advantages over paint.

For businesses and other types of operations, vehicle graphics have a number of advantages over painted decals, stickers, and other types of signs.

There are several potential benefits of wraps compared to other design options.

Paint vs wrap car

Differences in paint vs wrap

Some paint jobs are cheaper because some people only apply one coat of paint, but the application and drying still take time.

It will cost about 3-5 days for a cheap job and 1 to 3 weeks on average for the standard. Many factors influence your vehicle’s total turnaround time.

A wrap is faster and easier to apply than paint so you get back in your car sooner. Depending on the design, it can take our installers just 3 days to fully apply a wrap – and we come to you!

Just wash your vehicle, let it dry and start applying vinyl wraps.

Removing vinyl from paint vs paint

Yes, vinyl wraps are removable. However, once you apply them, you shouldn’t plan on ever being able to remove them in one piece!

Vinyl wraps never stick directly to the paint, but rather to a layer of transfer paper.

If they are applied to a clean, smooth, undamaged car, they will remove fairly easily.

If they are applied over damaged paint, over dirt, or to a body filler/filler primer, they will be far harder to remove without damaging the paint.

On the other hand, paint is permanent, so if you don’t get it right the first time you may have to re-paint your vehicle in the near future.

When painting your company logo onto your car, truck, or RV, you’d have to spend a lot of money just to get it off.

Not only that but if someone ended up buying your vehicle would they want to drive any vehicle with already used graphics plastered all over from the previous owner?

Time consideration for paint and wraps

Paint: Paints can take anywhere from an hour to a few days, depending on the type of paint.

How much of the car needs to be painted, how many coats, whether or not you will be using any clear coats, etc.

A full paint job on a car can take a full day or longer. It mainly depends on the type and color of the paint, but also on the car itself.

painting and wrapping difference
Paint vs Wrap Comparison

Wraps: Wraps can take anywhere from a few hours, to a full day, depending on the size of the wrap, the size of the car, the complexity of the wrap, etc.

It can also take longer to remove the old wrap and apply the new one.

Paint and wraps durability

Car wraps and car paint are both durable. You can rest assured that either one of these coatings will stay on your vehicle for a very long time because both offer excellent durability.

An advantage of paint is that it gives your car a unique look that can’t be duplicated.

Car wraps, on the other hand, will save you money in the long run because they will prevent your vehicle from getting damaged in the future.

Types of car paint

There are two main types of paint used in the car industry – single-stage and multi-stage.

Both can be either applied to a vehicle’s body as part of the assembly process, or they can be layered over other existing coatings like a topcoat on previously painted vehicles.

Urethane paint

Urethane paint is a new form of paint and is only recently being adopted as the preferred choice for most vehicles.

It’s the best type of paint to use in order to avoid repairs and care that otherwise would have been done.

Now, it’s not cheap, but there are ways to cut costs down by finding urethane paints in both single-stage

And multi-stage varieties because chances are you’ll probably need them both eventually (most painters will tell you as much).

Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is one of the more successful types of paint today. It’s easy to apply and low on cost, while still retaining that pleasing ‘hand-done’ quality it’s had for years.

Though typically associated with antique vehicles, acrylic paint can be used to adorn just about any surface imaginable.

As well as create high-quality designs through multiple layers of application – all without a huge hit on the wallet.

Acrylic urethane is also a type of acrylic paint, and it is a mix of acrylic and urethane. It offers almost all the benefits of both types:

It’s fast-drying, has a longer lifespan than regular acrylic paint, and is harder than other types of paint when dry.

Costs less per unit than other paints that can be applied by brush or roller and does not legally require any special safety equipment to apply.

Acrylic enamel is the hardest and most durable paint available. It forms a hard shell over whatever it’s applied to, making it great for kitchen countertops and stair handrails.

Acrylic lacquer comes in second place for durability.

Although it was used in car manufacturing not too long ago, environmental issues forced its cessation due to its toxic nature. Luckily, acrylic enamel is non-toxic and safe to apply.

So, while it’s harder to use (taking longer to dry) than other paints, you don’t have to worry about getting seasick from eating soup on your kitchen counter anymore!

Car paint finish

Different types of paint finishes are just different types of paint. Many people assume that only vehicles have different finishes.

But it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles or items made with paint use the same approach to their finish.

One main reason for this is that companies want to make their product stand out from others on the market.

Glossy finish

Glossy paints and solid paints are exactly what they sound like — paint jobs that are either glossy or solid in nature.

They’re the easiest paints to identify because they’re the only type of paint job on a vehicle that’s completely separate from other paint types.

Metallic finish

Metallic paint is really popular right now. However, it tends to cost more than other types, and there are several disadvantages to using metallic paint.

First, it requires the help of someone who knows what they’re doing because it isn’t easy to repair if it gets scratched.

painting vs wrapping difference

Second, or perhaps, more importantly, the paint isn’t actually reflective – it just makes objects look shiny for a short time.

Finally, if you’re choosing to use metallic-colored paint on an interior wall, in particular, this might make your room a lot hotter because most metallic paints have a high VOC content.

Pearlescent finish

Pearlescent paint can be more stunning to look at than metallic paint, for it contains numerous flecks that give the vehicle a glistening appearance.

It does come with drawbacks that are often found in metallic paint, but if the overall look of your vehicle is important to you, it may be worth your while to pay extra money for pearlescent paint.

Matte finish

Matte paint finishes are catching on in the world of automobiles. In fact, many new vehicles are being made with matte finishes on certain vehicle models.

It is a fairly simple process too, just like how to gloss paint is made.

The paint produced runs lighter and darker than a gloss finish, though you would never know it by looking at it.

It seems duller than similar paints running on other vehicles around town. In reality, this particular matte finish doesn’t shine as well as others.

Types of car wraps

Automotive vinyl wraps are a smarter alternative to automotive paints.

Wraps can be placed over paint or bare metal providing a sleek and shiny finish without the hassle of manual and expensive painting processes.

As we discussed the paint types and finishes in this post on paint vs wrap now we will discuss types of car wraps.

The two main types of wraps that can be applied to a car are calendered, which is textured and glossy, and cast, which is similar to paint but much thinner and smoother.

The one big benefit of wraps, as opposed to balms, is that they come in nearly any color so you won’t have to settle for basic colors like black or silver.

Instead, you could design your own custom-made patterns in whatever shade or style is most appealing to you!

Cast car wrap

The most popular wrap for vehicle wraps is cast vinyl, much like many other forms of signage.

They are thin colored films that conform to a shape, allowing you to cut them down to the size of your liking.

 Essentially, they’re stickers with an added depth and texture that’s practically impossible to replicate on anything but its own.

Achieving this texture takes time and money, which is why so many people find themselves at a roadblock trying to decide if they want their car wrapped as well.

Calendered wrap

Calendared and cast wraps are extremely different from one another and also not common in use as compared to Cast wraps.

Calendared wraps are much thicker than cast wraps, so they have a protective capacity that can be matched.

The thickness of calendared wraps however makes them difficult to conform to edges and corners for protection purposes, but this does not mean that they are bad for special instances or usage!

Wrap finish

Wraps are essentially wearable paint, giving auto enthusiasts everywhere options that regular paint just can’t match.

For example, wraps are as different from regular automotive paints because they can be applied to virtually any material.

Both durable and low-maintenance wraps come with an array of additionally available options that you simply don’t get with a can of spray paint.

Gloss wrap finish

A glossy car wrap is a kind of vinyl car wrap. It is a special car wrap that is made from glossy vinyl materials. The gloss looks attractive, but it can be easily scratched by sharp objects.

By contrast, the material of matte car wrap is made from matte vinyl which is thick and is more durable than a glossy car wrap.

If you are planning to buy or change the car wrap for your car, be sure you would choose the right car wrap for your needs.

Matte finish wraps

A matte car wrap is one of the most popular styles of color film today.

It creates a smooth, silky finish that is guaranteed to reduce the sun’s heat, increase your comfort and give an absolutely stunning look to your car.

The film is wrapped around your vehicle in only a few simple steps and is guaranteed to fit your car perfectly.

When applied correctly you will absolutely love the way that your car looks. It is one of the best additions that you can make not only to your car but to your lifestyle as well.

Satin wrap

Satin car wrap gives a bright and shiny look. The shine is similar to that of a car that has just been waxed.

But the big difference lies in the texture. The satin wrap is smooth and the texture is similar to that of a car that has a clear coat finish.

Carbon fiber wrap

Carbon fiber car wrap is a unique way of giving your car extra pizzazz. It gives your car a very elegant and classy look, which will draw the attention of everyone who passes by.

It is a look that has been highly in demand lately and is used by many people from all over the country.


Textured car wraps are gaining in popularity because the biggest reason is being economical. Textured wraps are easily applied to give a unique look to any vehicle.

It requires more attention than traditional car wraps and the only disadvantage is that it tears off more easily. So, you should be careful in the application process.

A textured car wrap is a process of making your car vinyl wrap look like a car wrap with texture. The texture applied to the car wrap gives the car wrap a better look and makes it stand out from the crowd of other cars.

You will agree with me on this that a Textured car wrap looks much better than a car wrap with a regular finish.

Is it better to get your car wrapped or painted?

A car wrap is generally considered to be a more cost-effective and less permanent option than a paint job.

Wraps can be removed without damaging the original paint, and they offer a wide range of customization options, such as different colors and textures.

On the other hand, a paint job provides a more durable finish and can protect the car’s original paint, but it is a more expensive and permanent option.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual needs and preferences.

Is it cheaper to wrap a car instead of painting?

In general, wrapping a car is generally considered to be cheaper than painting it.

The cost of a wrap can vary depending on the size of the vehicle, the type of wrap used, and the complexity of the design.

However, on average, a wrap can cost between $2,000 and $5,000, while a paint job can cost between $3,000 and $10,000 or more.

In addition, a car wrap is a more cost-effective solution, because it allows you to change the color or design of your car without the expense of a new paint job.

Wraps are also more durable and can protect your original paint from sun damage, scratches and other types of wear and tear.

So, if you want to change the color of your car, or if you want to add graphics, a wrap can be a great option as it is cheaper and more versatile than a paint job.

Can a wrapped car go in rain?

Yes, a wrapped car can go in the rain. Most car wraps are made from a vinyl material that is water resistant and can withstand exposure to rain and other types of moisture.

However, it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to water can cause the wrap to loosen or bubble, which can damage the wrap and affect its appearance.

In addition to that, if the wrap is not properly installed, water can seep in causing damage to the paint underneath the wrap.

It’s important to ensure that the car wrap is properly applied and sealed to prevent water from getting under the wrap.

It’s also good to note that, like any other car, a wrapped car should be washed and dried regularly to remove dirt and debris.

Especially after exposure to rain or other types of moisture, this will help to maintain the appearance of the wrap and prevent any damage.

How long do wrapped cars last?

The lifespan of a car wrap can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of the wrap material, the care and maintenance of the wrap, and the climate in which the car is driven.

On average, most car wraps can last between 3 to 5 years.

However, with proper care and maintenance, a wrap can last even longer.

This includes regular cleaning, avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasive materials, and parking in a shaded area to minimize exposure to the sun.

Wraps that are exposed to a lot of sunlight, high temperatures, and harsh weather conditions may need to be replaced sooner.

It’s also worth noting that, if you decide to remove the wrap, it should be done by a professional, as improper removal can damage the paint underneath and shorten the lifespan of the wrap.

Overall, a car wrap is a cost-effective way to change the appearance of your car and protect the original paint, and with proper care, it can last for several years.

FAQ’s of Paint vs wrap car

Car wrap is just a sticker. So, it does not damage the paint. However, it may be hard to remove the sticker from car. You may need to use some chemical to remove the sticker from car. If you go to some expert to apply the car wrap for you, then you can worry less about the paint being damaged. However, if you want to apply the wrap by yourself, it is recommended to test the wrap on some other car first. You can re-stick the sticker on the other car if you are not satisfied with the end result.

The short answer to your question is NO. If you have the wrap installed by pros in a place that sells car wraps, and the correct type of material is used, your wrap will not scratch easily.

A car wrap should last a few years, but like all vehicle wraps, the longevity depends on what kind of elements your vehicle is exposed to. Winter months will wear down your car wrap faster than other seasons due to road salt, snow, ice and slush. If you’re in the market for a car wrap, try to find a wrap that is resistant to UV rays, abrasion, and water. I’d recommend getting at least a three year guarantee so your car wrap doesn’t start peeling off prematurely.

It is hard to say how long a car paint job lasts. It all depends on how good the after paint care, how well the car is taken care of and how hard the car gets used. Car paint shines and looks good when it is new, but after a while, the shine will wear out and the color will fade. The paint job also chips, scratches and fades with time. It is one thing to have your car painted and take care of it afterward. You should wash it once a week and wax it once in a while. If your car is dirty, the paint job will look worse and the paint job won’t last as long as it could have.

Verdict of Paint vs wrap

The final decision to repaint or wrap your vehicle will come down to your individual preferences, budget, and needs.

Both have their drawbacks and benefits, but it seems that for the most part, paint is still the best option for those who want the purest look and the most durable protection.

If you have any questions that pop up in your mind then do let us know in the comments section and we will make sure you get your answer on time.

Until next time take care of yourself and your painting equipment.

Matthew Edward

Matthew Edward is a professional painter who loves to paint and wants to share useful tips and tricks which he had learned in many years of experience in painting. He also used many products that can be used for painting he has tried and tested each and every product to give an unbias opinion about it in his review. This blog is very useful for those newbies who want to learn painting without making mistakes.

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