Painting Versus Wrapping Your Car

Painting Versus Wrapping Gif with Spinning Versus Gif in middle and picture of car in middle of painting on left and color-shifting vinyl wrap on right

Most car enthusiasts know that painting your car can come with a hefty price tag. Television shows about car restorers show how much work goes into a quality paint job. Like sanding, masking, using Bondo to find and fill in dents in the body, and many more steps that are necessary to create a like-new finish.

There’s also another option for changing the body color of your car, known as wrapping. This is increasing in popularity because of easier application, consistency of quality, and better results for a lower price tag. But which is better overall? CashForCars.com explains the benefits of painting versus wrapping your car and vice versa.

Painting Your Car

Three men, two novice painters and one mentor, teach how to paint a car body
Don’t forget; painting the body of a car isn’t just throwing some paint on. It truly is an art.

Labor is the most expensive part of a car paint job. It’s important to remember that car body painting is an art. This justifies the prices that many custom body shops charge for these services.

Price

According to CostHelper, a basic, simple paint job costs an average of $566. This includes minimal bodywork, such as sanding and often results in unsatisfactory results. A more thorough paint job, including extensive sanding and bodywork, runs an average of $1,316. This produces satisfactory results but not showroom quality. For showroom quality, expect to pay around $5,000 on average and up to $25,000! If you decide to get a showroom quality paint job, ensure that the car you’re having it done on is worth the time and money!

“For showroom quality, expect to pay around $5,000 on average and up to $25,000!”

Wrapping Your Car

Wrap is unique because of the interesting designs possible that would be much more difficult to do with a paint job.

Wrapping is a new alternative to getting a custom paint job on your car. The wrap is a vinyl sticker that’s applied to the entire body of the car. It can produces some very interesting results. These results would be much more expensive to replicate with paint. There are many advantages to getting your car wrapped, such as consistency of quality and less intensive labor. Plus, it’s not permanent! 

“Don’t try to cover up severe body damage, such as punctures or rust, with vinyl wrap. This will decrease the longevity of your wrap and also just hide the problems that you know are there.”

Wrap removal is the same as removing the protective film from phone screens. The vinyl wrap also does the same thing, protecting the actual paint and body from the elements. Less intensive labor allows the cost of car wrapping to be dependent on the amount of material necessary. This means the bigger the vehicle, the more material needed, and the more expensive the job. It’s important to remember to cover up pre-existing problems with your car. Don’t try to cover up severe body damage, such as punctures or rust, with vinyl wrap. This will decrease the longevity of your wrap and also just hide the problems that you know are there.

Price

The price of car wrap installation varies dramatically. According to Austin Extreme Graphics, a wrap depends on the car model, the year, as well as the type of wrap desired. Austin Extreme Graphics estimates between $2,500 and $3,500 for the full exterior of a coupe covered in high-quality vinyl wrap of a single color. That increases to $3,500 to $5,000 when done on an SUV, sedan, truck, or van. This price can increase even further when you begin looking at chrome wraps which start at $6,000 because of their higher costs and difficulty of application.

“Vinyl wrap start at $2,500 to $3,500 for a coupe; $3,500 to $5,000 for a sedan, truck, SUV, or van. Specialty wraps, such as chrome, starts at $6,000 and just goes up from there!”

So, What’s Better?

You, after doing a cost-benefit analysis on whether to paint or wrap.

Painting versus wrapping your car is a difficult choice because there are definite benefits to either option. A high-quality paint job is expensive and labor intensive, but it will last a lifetime and make your car look absolutely stunning! Wrapping your car delivers consistent results at a much more agreeable price but is completely dependent on the materials being used and the abilities of the installer.

“A high-quality paint job is expensive and labor intensive, but it will last a lifetime and make your car look absolutely stunning!”

Painting Versus Wrapping Your Car: The Verdict

If you have an expensive or rare exotic, supercar, hypercar, et cetera then getting a high-quality paint job will be more than worth the money. High-quality paint will keep the value of your pride and joy higher and ensure that it stays in great shape and looks as good as it makes you feel. Plus, if you already bit the bullet on getting the car in the first place, you might as well get a killer paint job to match.

“Wrapping your car delivers consistent results at a much more agreeable price but is completely dependent on the materials being used and the abilities of the installer.”

On the other hand, maybe your dream car isn’t so expensive. For example, maybe your dream car is a 90s Toyota Supra, Nissan GTR, or Mazda RX-7. These cars are rare but they aren’t near as expensive as any Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Bugatti. In this case, we say go with the wrap. The cool effects that can be achieved with vinyl wrap, such as color shifting or chrome, will better match the look of your tuner car as you drift through parking garages at questionable speeds. Plus, you’ll need the money you saved on the exterior of the car for when you inevitably run into a wall or your apex seals wear out on your Mazda!

Still Can’t Decide?

If you’re still not sure whether painting versus wrapping your car is the way to go, CashForCars.com has an alternative suggestion! Why not just sell the car and buy a car in the color you want? CashForCars.com buys any car, no matter the color! We also buy cars in any condition, and any model from 2002 and forward! Our offers are competitive, and we pick up in 24 hours or less! Go to cashforcars.com/get-an-offer/ to see what you could get for your used car!

WANT TO READ MORE?

Read our next blog post about the least expensive cars of 2020 and which ones you should have your eye on!

Check out our previous blog post about car lingo, jargon, and industry terms so that you sound like a professional when talking to your friends and family about cars!

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