Will a Vinyl Wrap Damage the Paint Underneath?
Because we've been in the wrap business for many years, we really see what happens concerning base-paint damage by wraps. First of all, know that there are thousands of wraps removed each year with absolutely zero damage to the base-paint. The fact is that, yes, there can be base-paint damage when a wrap is removed from a vehicle or a wall. However, I am convinced that the biggest problem we face is not that there is basepaint damage from vinyl wraps, but how we communicate about it and prevent it from happening.
- Make absolutely sure that you determine from your wrap customer how they feel about their base-paint. If they are an extremely picky customer about paint damage from a wrap, then you may have to decline the job unless they sign a waiver, or price it high enough to pay for the future paint repair.
- Time is the enemy of paint, and it is also the enemy of wraps. Most wraps create little paint damage when removed within a year, but the longer the wrap is on, the greater chance of paint damage.
- Also, using less aggressive wrap vinyls that have more air-egress and slideability properties have been shown to be less damaging to the base-paint.
- It is absolutely critical to only use a wrap vinyl that has a manufacturer-warranted "removable" adhesive, so please check with your salesperson.
- A less prepped or short-term wrap (i.e. one installed without using adhesive promoters) is usually easier to remove without base-paint damage.
- We strongly believe that you should allow your printed vinyl to cure for at least 24 to 48 hours before laminating. It is possible for uncured ink to migrate through the adhesive into the base paint underneath potentially causing damage.
- Test the base paint. Use 3M Scotch Tape #610 to "snap tape test" in several areas after getting a waiver or approval from your customer to do this test. Typically, factory paint jobs on vehicles have no damage from either this testing or the wrap itself. For walls, it is best to place some sample wall wrap material on the wall for several days and then pull off to test the base paint.
- Removal technique is critical. Always check with the vinyl manufacturer, but typically it's best to pull the vinyl back on itself at less than a 45 degree angle with some heat assistance.
Your customer absolutely can't get the benefits of a wrap with any other method. Vinyl wrapping can indeed create base-paint damage, but it's more than worth the risk and/or cost of the repair. There are thousands and thousands of wraps removed every year with no base-paint damage at all!
President and Founder of FELLERS Inc.