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Can You Vinyl Wrap Over Bare Metal?

From starter cars to luxury vehicles, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) wraps have become a sought after addition for several types of automobiles. With their promise of added protection, enhanced looks, and long lasting appeal, these external treatments win over various car owners every single day.


Can You Vinyl Wrap Over Bare Metal?

But despite being a seemingly simple solution, vinyl wraps have a slew of nuances attached to them. The usage of high-quality material, premium adhesive, and professional expertise are a few of the topmost factors that can affect a car wrap installation. However, even these are just surface-level requirements. 


As you dig deeper into the PVC wrap installation process, it can bring out targeted questions for highly specific needs.


One of these inquiries is about installing vinyl wraps over bare metal. 


Is It Possible to Install Vinyl Wrap on a Non-painted Surface?


Install Vinyl Wrap on a Non-painted Surface?

The short answer to this question: Yes, you can install car wraps over bare metal.


The long answer: While you can put vinyl wrap over a non-painted surface, it is better not to go down that route. 


The reason is quite simple to understand. Unlike other external body treatments such as paint protection film (PPF), PVC wraps can easily stick on top of bare metal. However, if the surface you are working with is not flawlessly smooth, its small dips, bumps, and scratches can be quite evident against your car wrap. 


It’s because vinyl wrap essentially mimics the form of the surface it is being installed on. If the auto body is smooth, the final wrapping job is free of any ill-fitting errors. When the surface is rough, it may cause the car wrap to further accentuate any flaws that are already present on it. 


This is why auto body experts push for you to fix any dents or bumps on your car before installing a PVC wrap on it. This is also one of the main reasons behind the need for washing and cleaning your car before vinyl wrap installations. This ensures that you can get rid of any faults or contaminants that can stick out from under your wrap material. 


If you go against this advice and try to cover such issues with an external layer of car wrap, it can end up highlighting the problem for everyone to see. As a result, a little carelessness can waste all the time and investment that you put towards the process.


To summarize, while you can install the vinyl wrap on bare metal, it doesn’t mean that you should.


A Painted Surface Acts as the Ideal Foundation for Vinyl Wrap


Whether you are restoring an old car or don’t want to get into repainting your primary vehicle, it can be tempting to skip the paint requirement altogether and find nifty workarounds to it. 


Sanding the bare metal surface or auto body to a highly smooth texture sounds like the most logical approach. But even when you have flattened the surface as much as possible, putting a PVC wrap over it may still bring out the grain of the metal against the final coating. This is also known as the “step” between your metal surface and your vinyl wrap.


To prevent this step from happening, it is essential that you perform a paint job over your bare metal surface. This ensures that your car wrap has nothing grainy underneath to accentuate through its material. When there’s a coat of paint between your car and your PVC wrap, the external coating can only highlight an exceptionally smooth surface. 


You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune on Paint Jobs


Professional vinyl car paintWhile the paint on your car needs to be smooth and flawless, it doesn’t mean that you have to shell out a fortune for it. If you want to keep your vinyl wrap on your car permanently, you can make do with a basic paint job. Once the projected lifespan of your car wrap is over in 5-7 years, you can simply replace it instead of having to show off the paint underneath.


But when you stride down the path of affordable paint jobs, it doesn’t mean that they can be done by just anyone. Even as you take the bitter pill of a cheap paint job, you need to ensure that the final finish is leveled off in an optimal manner. 


Whether you have chosen a chrome or a gloss PVC wrap for your car, this ensures that it ends up having the silky and even feel that really makes your choice shine. But if the paint leaves any lumps or textural streaks, it can botch your whole wrap job and put all your efforts in vain. 


For Best Results, Have Your Car’s Paint Handled by a Professional


Two Porsche with XPEL Ultimate (1)

The non-negotiable emphasis on an even surface makes one thing clear as day: taking the DIY approach is simply not an option here.


In order to properly fix the paint on your car, you have to get it done by an auto body expert. Typically, getting your car to an expert for vinyl wrap installation automatically ensures the execution of this step. 


Before moving forward with putting the PVC wrap on your car, these professionals check for any visible flaws, fix them to the last detail, and make your car ready for an ideal wrap finish. 


Getting your car painted before installing the PVC wrap can add a few days to the overall process. Typically, it lengthens the process of car wrap installation by 3-5 days. 


Since a vinyl wrap installation can take 3-5 days itself, this additional time can seem stressful at first. But seeing that it’s a highly critical step, you cannot skip past it. 


Get a Custom Quote and Consultation


In order to make sure that you are moving forward in the right direction, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals for custom quotes and consultations. By taking a look at your car, these experts can tell you whether it needs a paint job or a simple touch up for vinyl wrap installation.


This ensures that you don’t have to shell out unnecessary expenses for a paint job for a few paint chips. It also makes sure that you get precise information about the costs involved, including your car’s repaint and PVC wrap. 


As a result, you can consider your options in a detailed way and make an informed decision that works for you. Doing so takes some extra time, but it allows you to get a flawless vinyl wrap installation in the end.


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