The popularity of commercial vehicle wraps has fueled a growing demand for custom personalization of private vehicles. But not everyone wants a printed wrap with flames and skulls. The more subtle and popular approach is a Paint Replacement Wrap. Paint replacement wraps can appeal to both vanity and practicality. But the basic appeal is that the customer gets to pick the color of their vehicle instead of taking whatever is on the dealer’s lot. Picking your color is only as appealing as the range of choices. ORACAL has made that easier with their recent expansion of the 970RA and 975 Cast wrap vinyls, which now come in over 120 varieties.
What is Wrapping Cast vinyl?
ORACAL 970RA is a composite film designed especially for paint replacement. Since the vinyl must serve the same purpose as OEM automotive paint and clear coat, it includes a 2 mil cast vinyl and 2 mil clear coat. The end product has same gloss as a factory finish and doesn’t need lamination to protect the film from normal automotive wear and tear. Essentially, it’s a premium cast vinyl that comes pre-laminated. The total four mil thickness gives it the same ‘body’ as a laminated wrap so it’s just as easy to install. Speaking of ease of installation, 970RA is so named because it includes ORACAL’s “Rapid Air” air egress liner. The final ingredient is the new adhesive. The original had the same adhesive as ORALJET 3951, but today’s installers want a lower initial tack for easier repositioning. So 970RA now uses the lighter tack adhesive of 3751RA so it’s more user-friendly for the installer.
Paint replacement wraps appeal to both vanity and practicality. The obvious appeal to vanity is that your vehicle becomes an element of your personal style. Say you bought a cool new car, but there are lots of others in your neighborhood and you want to stand out. How about wrapping it in Saffron Yellow Matte, Yacht Blue or Orient Brown Metallic? In their Long Term Test of the Honda Accord Sport, Car and Driver magazine complained that Honda only offers the manual transmission Sport model in black and gray. Want a red one? Wrap it in 970RA #371. You’ll be the only driver at the local Honda club meeting with an Accord Sport in Chili Red.
The practical appeal is for people who lease their vehicles. One of the downsides of automotive leasing is the possibility of fees assessed for paint and body damage or excessive mileage. Paint replacement wraps offer a benefit for customers who want to avoid getting dinged for paint damage at the end of the lease term. Pardon the pun. One of the other problems car buyers face is finding the model they want with the options they want in the color they want. Especially if it only comes in Black or Gray. Rather than searching high and low for a car with the right combination of options and color, smart shoppers can just find the model with the options they want and have it wrapped. They have it removed at the end of the term, turn the vehicle in looking brand new, and start over. This is common practice in Europe.
Whether the appeal is practicality or vanity, you’ll find a 970RA color to suit you or your customer. Standard sizes are 60″ widths that cover hoods and doors in one panel. Standard roll lengths are ten, and twenty-five yard rolls. Most vehicles take about 25 yards of material, but you can use 10 yard rolls for accents, or use 10 yard rolls of different colors to create a custom two-tone wrap.
Speaking of custom effects, if Orient Brown Metallic isn’t eye-catching enough, you might want to consider the added zing of ORACAL 975 Premium Structure Cast films. These premium cast wrapping films add tangible structure for a wrap that feels as special as it looks. There are now 28 varieties of structure cast films ranging from the perennial favorite carbon fiber to unique films like Honeycomb, Crocodile, Cocoon, and Dune. (Fig 1) Because of their more complex construction, these films are a little more expensive. Prices for 60″ x 10 yard rolls start at $667.35. All of the 970RA and 975 Structure Cast films are included in the standard ORACAL color chart, available from SignWarehouse. They cost $10.00 each. But color chart includes a coupon for $10.00 off your next order, so the cost is temporary. Consider it a small investment in vehicle customization pre-visualization.
Installs Like a Printed Wrap
Installing a wrap with 975 or 970RA doesn’t require a digital printer or even a vinyl cutter, but it does require a certain amount of skill. The same methods used to install printed car wraps apply to paint replacement films. Just think of it as a car wrap with a very simple design. If you haven’t been to a Wrap Academy or other professional wrap installation training event, you can start here with Justin Pate’s excellent wrap installation training DVDs. Having the right tools will help. You might want to start here.
Whether your interest is personal or practical, a paint replacement wrap might be just what you need to set yourself and your vehicle apart, save some money on your lease, or expand your sign shop’s customer base. The 126 color palette of ORACAL 970RA and 975 textured films will allow you to offer your customers more ways to express their individuality. Use your wrap installation tools and techniques. Or use the Wrap Installation DVDs to start learning how. Maybe you can practice on your neighbor’s Black Honda Accord Sport.