#1. Paint of your vehicle
Make sure you know or find-out about whether you car has original OEM paint on it or if it was repainted. If the paint is very old, damaged or has been fixed (patched) there is a chance that the vinyl will pull the clear-coat and/or paint off when removed. If the car was repainted with low quality, inexpensive method the chances are higher that the paint will be pulled off when removing vinyl, especially if removed incorrectly.
You can avert these problems by making sure you follow the vinyl removal technique as explained in our install guide. This technique will greatly reduce the chance of damaging the paint but is still not guaranteed by the vinyl manufacturer.
CWS nor any vinyl manufacturer will guarantee against paint damage as it is due to factors unrelated to the vinyl, glue of the film or any other aspects of manufacturing vinyl wraps or selling films to you.
#2. Defects, damage, stone chips, scratches on paint
Vinyl can only hide surface scratches and very small rock chips as it is fairly thin and acts like a “skin” on top of your vehicle. The style of car wrap and the color also effect how it hides or shows defects. Vinyl wraps that have a pattern will hide things the best way. These would be 3D Carbon Fiber, TrueR 4D Carbon Fiber, TechArt 5D Carbon Fiber, Brushed Aluminum, Gloss Metallic Sparkle, Snake Skin and Wood Grain vinyl wraps. Matte and Satin styles will show the most. Darker colors and white will hide the best.
Make sure that you also clean off dried/caked on dirt from the car. Sometimes it is hard to see until you put the vinyl on and it protrudes like a bump from under the film. Before vinyl wrapping a section of your car, drag your hand across it to feel for any protrusions that you will have to get rid of for a nice unblemished finish. We recommend clay barring for the smoothest best surface preparation.
Rust that has eaten through the paint has to be fixed first, as the vinyl wrap will not stick to rust. It is also recommended to fix any rusted areas that are bubbling up under the paint, because it will look the same once the car is wrapped with vinyl film and won’t stop it from continuing to rust. Rust will continue to spread and eat away at your car if it is not gotten rid of, whether you wrap it in vinyl or not.
When rusted areas are patched it is best to add a layer of paint or clear coat as the vinyl will stick to it better than to filler or primer. Wait at least a few days (best to wait a week) for the paint to off-gas, to avoid bubbling of the vinyl from the off-gasing of the freshly painted surface.
Once your car is wrapped in vinyl and you have no rust under it, it will keep it safe from surface rust and stone chips, scratches that could cause rusting from the outside.