Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions Blog / A Sound Surface for Vehicle Wraps

A Sound Surface for Vehicle Wraps

"When wrapping a vehicle, one very important thing to keep in mind is that the wrap is only as good as the surface it is applied to."

Car Wraps provide the opportunity to customize our vehicles. We can choose to do an advertisement wrap to promote a business or customize with Avery Dennison Supreme Wrapping™ Film. The possibilities are endless, leaving the owner to create something truly unique. One of the great things about wraps is that they are not permanent and the vehicle can be returned back to the original OEM paint.  

When wrapping a vehicle one very important thing to keep in mind is that the wrap is only as good as the surface it is applied to. If you want to ensure that the paint is not damaged when removing your wrap you must meet the following criteria:

1. Paint must be the original from the factory, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM paint. The paint also needs to be in good condition. While installers know of many cars with aftermarket paint that didn't have issues during removal, there is always the chance of paint peeling since aftermarket paint does not typically have as strong of a bond to the vehicle as OEM factory paint. Ideally, the vehicle owner will disclose that the vehicle had aftermarket paint, however if they didn’t, a thorough inspection of the vehicle prior to the wrap will likely bring this to light. Figures 1 and 2 are an example of a vehicle that had non-OEM paint. Note that there is overspray that is removing with the vinyl. Also note in Figure 2 that you can see orange peel in the paint, which is a good indicator that this was not a factory finish.

Figure 1

Figure 2

2. If there is damage to the paint such as rock chips or scratches, the customer should be made aware that these are potential failure points and that paint could be pulled in these areas. If a touch up paint was used to cover these rock chips, it is at risk of pulling off with the wrap. Note in Figure 3, the photo on the left shows a rear bumper that was repaired with touch up paint, and the photo on the right shows the paint pulling when the film is pulled. The touch-ups should be noted on a pre-inspection form to protect you from your customer complaining about paint damage when the graphic is removed. Figure 4 is an example of how this touch-up should be documented on the pre-inspection form.

Figure 3

Figure 4

3. Older automotive paint can also be a risk. Have you ever noticed the vehicles with clear coat peeling on the hood, roof and trunk deck? This is more common in hotter regions such as zone 3, however it can happen anywhere. A car’s paint may not be so severe that you can see the clear peeling, however as it ages the clear coat could become compromised so we recommend cautioning vehicle owners of the risk of paint damage on vehicles older than 5 years. If the vehicle has always been garaged this would be a lower risk, however this is a good rule of thumb to help set expectations with your customer.

Justin Pate recently released a video about OEM paint that provides additional information on identifying OEM paint as well as notes on paint damage. Justin also shows the pre inspection form. This is something you can make yourself, download the Avery Dennison Vehicle Inspection Form, or you can download Justin’s form from The Wrap Institute.


To learn more about Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions, visit graphics.averydennison.com.

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