Don't Buy Paint Protection Film until you Read This! (2022)

When it comes to protecting a car’s paint, there are a plethora of directions you can take. While the clear coat that rests atop a vehicle’s paintwork is engineered to serve as a frontline defense against the elements, this transparent coating has its own inherent weaknesses and drawbacks.

Faded, peeled, cracked, scratched, oxidized, and discolored clear coats can be seen on cars everywhere, rolling reminders of what happens when you neglect to clean and protect your automobile. While the paint underneath may be completely fine, due to the clear coat taking the brunt of the abuse, it’s going to look like complete crap due to the damage resting atop it.

On the upside, an increased demand for automotive paint protection film (PPF) in recent years has eliminated many of these clear coat conundrums. Not familiar with PPF? Here’s a quick rundown on what it’s made from, and how it works.

PPF consists of an ultra-thin polyurethane, or polymer, which when properly applied by a professional (typically an auto detailing or vinyl installation expert), forms a transparent protective surface layer. This disposable “skin” protects a car’s clear coat, as well as the paint beneath it from things like surface scratches, UV exposure, hard water deposits, acid rain, oxidation, and various other unpleasantries.

That said, there’s still a lot of confusion out there over what PPF can and cannot do, especially when exposed to extreme situations. The pendulum swings both ways too, with the pros and cons of PPF either being overly exaggerated, or completely understated.

So let’s shovel through the bullshit, and get down to the facts, because there’s much to be gained by having a paint protection film installed on your automobile, and a lot that can go wrong as well…

What is Paint Protection Film?

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A Little PPF History Lesson

Much like America’s favorite lubricant, (we’re talking about WD-40 here… pervert), paint protection film was not originally intended for automobiles or civilian use, but was developed as a tool for military operations.

It was the height of the Vietnam War, and the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D.) was receiving one report after another of helicopters being significantly damaged by shrapnel and debris. This was especially apparent on areas like rotor blades, and across surfaces carrying sensitive military equipment.

According to automotive experts, the D.O.D. set out to find a solution, which is precisely when good old 3M comes into the picture. The textile and chemical giant was gung-ho about finding a solution to this problem, and tasked some of its greatest minds with developing a protective layer that could be just as resilient as it was transparent and lightweight.

(Video) Paint Protection Film Sucks | Watch This Before You Buy PPF

Before long, the U.S. military was presented with what appeared to be a solid solution to its chopper problem. By modifying the chemical structure of a super strong urethane film, 3M’s engineers had developed a product that could withstand both significant amounts of elemental abuse, and moderate surface damage from things like artillery shrapnel. Inexpensive, relatively easy to apply and replace, and resistant to UV degradation and common aviation fluids, this film was an instant success.

Due to its ability to conform to almost any surface, and then form a tight bond with whatever it was allowed to cure atop, this film became commonly referred to as helicopter tape, or “heli tape” for short. Today, this product is still marketed as heli tape in certain global markets, even though it is rarely used for its intended original purpose.

“Polyurethane Protective Tapes provide a cost-effective way to help prevent structural damage to helicopter rotor blades with minimal effect on blade track and balance. These tapes can significantly reduce rain and sand erosion damage … Foreign Object Damage (FOD) … life cycle costs and helicopter downtime.”

-3M Aerospace and Aircraft
Maintenance Division

Quick Nerd Note: Since PPF started life as a military application, there was no need for it to create a glossy, or completely clear appearance, therefore early versions were either completely opaque, or a dull, hazy-looking sheen.

PPF’s Transition to Automobiles

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Over time, 3M began to refine and re-engineer this revolutionary military protective film for use in the civilian sector. However, it literally took decades for PPF to evolve into the high-quality thermoplastic urethane film of today, and almost as long to catch on in regard to popularity.

While selling the military on a tape-like protective film that would keep helicopter parts from being damaged was fairly easy, getting car owners to agree to having their vehicles cloaked in super strong “plastic wrap” was a huge challenge. Offered as a “protective topcoat for painted surfaces,” and sold in a kaleidoscope of colors and thickness levels, car paint protection film slowly but surely grew in popularity.

Eventually, high-end car owners and detailing shops began to buy more of these pricey film coatings, as their protective benefits and projected longevity indeed lived up to the hype. Everything from bug splatter and bird droppings, to surface scratches, rock chips, and all manner of oxidization and UV damage were rejected by PPF, and it looked like the product was set to become one of the biggest game changers in the history of car care.

Paint Protection Films of Today

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Nowadays, 3M’s line of automotive paint protection films come in two offerings: A Pro Series (also known as clear bra), and a colored Matte version. Both are backed by a 10-year warranty, and when properly installed by a professional, offer what 3M refers to as “unrivaled scratch and stain resistance.”

With their ability to be custom designed to fit a specific vehicle, unique “self-healing characteristics,” and ability to match most factory matte paints, 3M’s PPF offerings have seen a significant growth in popularity in recent years.

Quick Nerd Note: The top layer of the PPF is comprised of an elastomeric polymer substance that helps the material maintain a natural shape once it’s been stretched or applied to something like a painted or clear coated surface. This allows the PPF to “self-heal” when light scratches occur, and pretty much eliminates any risk of swirl marks.

(Video) The Truth About Paint Protection Film

Types of Paint Protection Film

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While 3M may have created PPF, and fine-tuned it for automotive applications, there are a handful of other manufacturers out there offering paint protection films. Some of these companies include Suntek and Llumar, both of which are offshoots of the Eastman Chemical Company, and XPEL, which is the official protective film partner of Team Penske.

A few nicknames for these protective products include:

  • Clear Bra
  • Clear Mask
  • Invisible Shield
  • Clear Wrap
  • Car Protection Film

PPF vs Vinyl

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There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between PPF and vinyl, or if there is any difference whatsoever. So here’s a breakdown of the nuts and bolts that make each of these clingy products unique.

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wrap is a relatively thick substance, which makes it much easier to install and provides additional coverage, but it is not transparent. The PPF, on the other hand, is not a tint. It’s usually crystal clear, is much lighter, and self-heals when scratches occur.

Paint Protection Film

When placed next to a run-of-the-mill roll of vinyl wrap, it becomes apparent that PPF is a far thinner, and far more lightweight alternative. The perks of procuring it in either a clear or tinted shade are also unique unto PPF, as are its ability to offer superior surface protection and “self healing properties,” both of which vinyl has in limited supply.

So while a vinyl wrap may offer some level of paint protection, it is typically installed for aesthetic or marketing purposes, because shipping trucks are basically rolling billboards, right? In contrast, a PPF is going to either be a matte-like armor, or if transparent, a see-thru shield that allows glossy painted surfaces to safely shine underneath.

How to Install Paint Protection Film

If you’re going to have your vehicle covered in PPF, or are daring enough to try the install on your own, there are a few steps that must be considered. Again, this is something we strongly suggest leaving to the pros, especially since PPF can be a bit tricky to work with when compared to vinyl wrap.

Spend the Big Bucks and Plot Your Own Path

Most professional PPF installers are also vinyl wrap specialists, window tint professionals, or some other form of custom automotive service. Of these shops, those with enough capital typically forego guess work, and opt for a machine called a “plotter” instead. This computer-controlled contraption reads what dimensions are required, and then painstakingly cuts the PPF into sections, all tailormade to fit a particular body panel. This pricey piece of equipment is particularly useful when working with intricate areas, making the installation of things like headlight protection film an absolute breeze.

Or Buy a Few Bulk Rolls, and Grab Some Sharp Tools

For all of the shops out there who don’t have oodles of dollars to drop on a plotter, the cutting and installation of PPF revolves around purchasing a bulk roll of film, and shaving any unneeded overhangs. This process results in a shit ton of measuring and test-fitting, and material waste is exponentially higher due to the width of the roll being used.

Quick Tip: 3M has a lot to say about PPF install environments and surfaces, so we gleaned a few top tips to save you some time.

(Video) Paint Protection Film, all you need to know

  • Vehicle surface temperatures and ambient air temperature should be between 55°F and 90°F (13°C – 32°C)
  • The vehicle should be removed from direct sunlight and winds above 5 mph
  • On repainted vehicles, paint must be thoroughly dry and completely cured before any attempt to apply film to the vehicle is made, in order to avoid film bubbling due to paint out gassing.
  • Be sue to overlap squeegee strokes in order to ensure no solution is left between the film adhesive and the painted surface.

Install Time!

For optimum results, pros either wear gloves, or wash their hands thoroughly prior to PPF application to avoid film contaminants like fingerprints, from fucking-up their hard work. While the PPF installation process may vary based upon the vehicle in question, or the brand of paint protection film selected, the following procedures remain the most widely utilized…

1. Scrub a Dub-Dub

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Removing debris is not only crucial to the appearance of a paint protection film, but its performance capabilities as well. A good rule of wrench here is to think of a PPF like it were a ceramic coating, because the clear stuff is only going to emphasize and then lock-in whatever rests underneath it.

So if your ride is riddled with scratch marks and rust, that clear bra is only going to make them all the more notable, and pretty damn difficult to repair. Spend the money and get all necessary paint correction and body work steps knocked-out before proceeding.

Paint and clear coat in pristine condition, it is now time for a washing with some clean microfiber cloths and the old two-bucket car wash approach. Opting to clean surfaces with something like 3M’s General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, which contains specially blended solvents for removing adhesive residue, wax, grease, tree sap, road tar, oil, and bugs is also a good idea when applicable.

Surfaces sprayed and scrubbed, follow the adhesive cleaner with an ammonia-fee, automotive-safe glass cleaner, which will remove any adhesive cleaner residual solvents lingering on the surface. Skipping this window cleaning stage could be catastrophic to your success, for failing to do so will likely result in shitty PPF adhesion and unsightly bubbles.

2. Cut Your PPF to Fit That Shit Homeskillet!

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Once all of the surfaces have been prepped, the installer will cut the PPF sheet down to size in preparation for installation, much like window tint. This is typically done in sections, with areas like the hood, rocker panels, quarter panels, side mirrors, door, and various other portions being measured and mocked-up for installation.

3. Spray and Pray

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Installing PPF requires an activator, or a fitting solution. 3M recommends using a two-solution application method here for optimal results. For a soap solution, just fill a 16 oz. spray bottle with water and add .6ml (4 drops) of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or Aveeno Baby Wash /Shampoo.

An alternative option, is the full isopropyl alcohol blend wipe-down approach. Simply fill a 16 oz. spray bottle 75% full of water and then top it off with 25% isopropyl alcohol with a 70% rubbing alcohol rating. Remember to wash your hands before starting this stage of the application, as it helps avoid the imprinting of oily fingerprints on the adhesive.

4. All Lubed-Up and Ready for Action

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Once the top surface of the film is wet with the solution of your choosing it’s time for the squeegee lovefest to begin. But while your squeegee may slide effortlessly across the filmy surface, it’s worth noting this is when it pays to be a pro.

Paint protection films don’t always like to fit perfectly when applied, and as we previously mentioned, is typically far more finicky than vinyl. This stage in the PPF install process involves a series of spraying, moving, squeegeeing, repositioning, and re-squeegeeing to remove any bubbles or creases in the film.

(Video) Review: Is Paint Protection Film worth it? What about the Pros/Cons?

5. Fire in the Hole!

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Once the PPF has been properly applied, and any lingering bubbles and/or creases have been removed, it’s time to bring the heat. Here, the use of an industrial heat gun and a touchless instant temp reader are used to activate the adhesive, and thus cause the PPF to stick to the surface. This stage also causes the material to shrink, creating a clean, tight fit on whatever it is protecting.

How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?

Arguably the best attribute of a paint protection film is its longevity. According to 3M, a professionally installed paint protection film should last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. This explains why many of these products are covered by a warranty when the installation is conducted by a certified company specializing in PPF installations.

That said, much like car wax, ceramic coatings, or any other form of paint protection for that matter, there are a few variables that may impact product longevity. Some of the more common factors that impact a PPF’s longevity are:

  • Shitty Surface Prep
  • Piss-Poor Application Etiquette
  • Environmental Ass-Kickings

Pros and Cons of Paint Protection Film

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PPF Pros

  • Superior protection against rock chips and scratches
  • Prevents the formation of paint swirls
  • Near Deadpool-like self-healing properties
  • Can last up to 10 years when properly maintained

PPF Cons

  • Can reduce the shine of a vehicle’s paint if not pampered
  • Not always very hydrophobic. (Many professional PPF installers suggest a ceramic coating application services on top of a fresh layer of PPF for unrivaled paint protection.)
  • Inferior PPF products and knock-offs will often discolor and develop a yellowish tinge
  • Once damaged, it will need to be completely removed and replaced
  • Not a very good DIY solution
  • Has been known to damage paint if left for too long and not properly maintained
  • Most expensive modern paint protection product

How to Get the Most Out of a Paint Protection Film

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Almost all of the cons listed above can be negated by combining a high grade PPF with a quality ceramic coating. This is why a lot of performance car owners will only install a PPF on the front portions of a vehicle (where rock chips and acidic bug guts are most prone to fucking shit up), and then apply a 9H-rated ceramic coating on top of this PPF, as well as other areas of the vehicle.

This helps to improve shine (PPF is notorious for becoming dull over time) and improve the surface’s water and debris-repelling hydrophobic properties. This will also cut down on the need for frequent car washes and wax installs, thus saving the vehicle owner significant amounts of time and labor.

A Few More Paint Protection Film FAQ’s

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As you have surely been able to gather, paint protection films are a brilliant product, especially when it comes to protecting the exterior of a vehicle from things like airborne debris damage. That said, we still get a lot of questions from car owners about the PPF installation process, with the following being the most commonplace.

What is the most important factor in choosing a PPF installer?

-Experience matters, especially when it comes to installing PPF. Unlike a vinyl wrap, this product can be tricky to install correctly, which is why it’s always best to work with a certified PPF installer with solid reviews.

What type of warranties are available with PPF products?

-That depends upon the product you use, and who installs it. We’ve seen various PPF products being offered with a slew of different warranties. The most common warranties range from 5 to 10 years, but that only covers manufacturer defects, so you’ll be shit out of luck if there is an issue with the prep chemicals used, or the shop doing the install.

Are certain PPF products better than others?

-Reviews of PPF products vary depending upon quality, longevity, price, and ease of install. That said, as the originator, 3M still seems to hold the crown for highest PPF reviews, despite being the most expensive.

Are there any alternatives to using PPF?

-There’s a lot that can be said for a vehicle’s intended purpose. If you’re looking to protect your vehicle’s clear coat and paint from things like rock chips and scratches and it outlast anything else on the market, then PPF is the clear winner.

(Video) How to Install Paint Protection Film on vehicle Door

However, pairing a high-end, 9H-rated ceramic coating with a flawlessly installed PPF will create a shield that offers the best of both worlds, and should always be opted for by those looking for unrivaled protection.

Parting Shots, and a Verdict on Paint Protection Film

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Paint protection films, or PPF, are an outstanding way to shield a vehicle’s surfaces from damage caused by the worlds most abrasive debris. However, it isn’t really intended to enhance the luster of a paint job either, nor is it very good at keeping vehicle surfaces clean.

So is a high-end PPF worth the up-front cost and the steep fees associated with utilizing a pro installer? That’s for you to decide. Living in a harsh environment and beating the ever-loving shit out of your beloved daily beater every day? Then it’s probably time to upgrade to a PPF, and then coat it with a slathering of Armor Shield IX ceramic coating.


Is it worth getting paint protection film? ›

Yes, it can be. However, if your vehicle spends a lot of time exposed to the elements instead of inside a garage, the cost of paint protection film will be worth it when you see how much better your vehicle will look. Yet, full car PPF cost can vary. Pricing ranges from just a few hundred dollars to well over $7,000.

Is a clear bra worth it on a car? ›

When it comes to keeping your vehicle looking vibrant and new, a Clear Bra is the way to go. Clear Bra is not only long-lasting and resilient, but it also protects your hard-earned investment from the scratches, dents, and dings that can hurt your vehicle's value in the future.

Does paint protection film prevent scratches? ›

Prevents Damage

The film takes on the scratches, dust, and damages caused by flying debris and rocks. It's not easy to damage, as well, as it's resistant to impact and corrosion. Most types also have a self-healing topcoat. This means that minor scratches and damages will heal over time.

Can paint protection film go through car wash? ›

Yes, you can use pressure washer on PPF clear bra paint protection films. You can typically wash the car after 48 hours as this is the time required for the film to dry completely after the installation. However make sure that high pressure water is not used directly on the edges.

What are the disadvantages of paint protection film? ›

CONS: The Disadvantages of Paint Protection Film

Upfront Costs: It's more expensive to apply a paint protection film than to simply leave the paint as is. However, the additional costs are more than made up for in long-term value gain—especially in high-risk areas of the vehicle.

Does PPF increase car value? ›

3. Amazing price/quality ratio: PPF is not only cost effective, but also increases the resale value of your vehicle.

How long does a clear bra on a car last? ›

A: Clear Bra normally lasts around ten years. It can be taken off and replaced at any time.

How long does 3M clear bra last? ›

2. They Are Durable. You don't have to worry about replacing your paint protection film with XPEL Clear Bra or 3M Scotchgard. These products can both last for more than seven years, so your car maintains its beautiful look for an extended period.

How long do car bras last? ›

The actual life of a protective car film depends on factors like wear and tear, method of care, and driving conditions. Longevity for the average installation is about five to seven years; however, top-rated paint protection film can be warranted for ten years.

How long does paint protection film last? ›

Longevity of PPF is realistically around 5 to 7 years depending on driving conditions, wear and tear, and the method of care. The Self-Healing properties will diminish over time. It's just natural, due to wear and tear. All PPF companies are competing for the longest warranty available to the public.

Does paint protection film peel off? ›

How to Fix Peeling Paint Protection Film! Home DIY in Under 30 Minutes!

Does PPF yellow over time? ›

Over time and extended exposure to direct sunlight and various weather elements, the paint protection film may, over time, start to yellow. This is especially noticeable on white and brighter colored cars.

Do you wax over paint protection film? ›

Just don't use wax on your Paint Protection Film, as the application of wax can result in build up along the films edges, which can become unsightly.

Can I polish paint protection film? ›

Paint protection film can be polished if necessary. It can be treated much like polishing a paint job except with a little extra care. A ceramic coating can be applied over top of the PPF but there are some instances where it's not recommended, such as with some self-healing films.

How long after PPF can you drive? ›

Immediately after the coating is installed, please note the following: The longer the vehicle can be left to cure, preferable untouched, the better. No unnecessary water exposure for 10 days. And no car washing for 14 days.

How much does full PPF cost? ›

Full Frontal$1499$2499
Bumper strip rear$99$99
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How do I remove 3m film from my car? ›

How To Remove Scotchgard Paint Protection Film by Car Protection Pro

Is protective car coating worth it? ›

Yes, it is worth considering because of the money it can potentially save you down the road. If your car is protected, you won't have to worry about getting it painted before you resell it. The cost of painting a car is quite expensive. It is also a very detailed process that can potentially delay a future sale.

Does PPF make your car shiny? ›

Paint protection films, or PPF, are an outstanding way to shield a vehicle's surfaces from damage caused by the worlds most abrasive debris. However, it isn't really intended to enhance the luster of a paint job either, nor is it very good at keeping vehicle surfaces clean.

Does PPF protect against hail? ›

PPF, also known as a clear bra, offers exterior vehicle body surface protection from road debris, weathering, and other general wear-and-tear. PPF can even defend your vehicle from mild hail damage, preventing scratches and small dings.

What does PPF look like on a car? ›

What Does Paint Protection Film Look Like After ONE Year? - YouTube

What is the point of a clear bra? ›

A clear bra basically creates an additional layer of protection above your car's original paint job, thus preventing it from potential scratches and rock chips. One of the biggest myths about buying a new car is that you don't have to worry about the paint. We can say for sure that it is not true.

Does clear bra hide scratches? ›

Between the clear bra's adhesive, protective middle layer and topcoat, it will mask many defects and provide a high level of gloss. What defects will clear bra mask? In our experience, swirl marks, minor oxidation and even some thin, but deep, scratches will practically disappear.

What does a clear bra look like on a car? ›

Clear Bra: Invisible Paint Protection -- /DRIVE CLEAN - YouTube

Do car bras ruin paint? ›

If not secured tightly, the bra can also damage the paint by flapping and vibrating. However, a BodyGuard clear auto bra can give you the protection you want without the loss of aesthetics or an increase in maintenance.

Which brand PPF is best? ›

5 Best Paint Protection Film Brands
  • XPEL ULTIMATE ( Our favourite) XPEL by far produces the best film on the market. ...
  • Satin XPEL ULTIMATE. XPEL's Satin PPF is next. ...
  • Suntek. We also use Suntek! ...
  • Llumar. Llumar is another brand that GVE use. ...
  • 3M. 3M Films are amongst the cheapest on the market.

How much does it cost to install a clear bra? ›

This could range from minimal prep $0 to $500 to $800, depending on the vehicle's condition.

Does removing clear bra damage paint? ›

Removing a clear bra from your car usually doesn't cause any damage. Technology has come a long way in recent years, making films extremely durable. Protection films are made to last between 5 and 10 years but it also helps that the paint protection application has been done correctly.

Do you wax clear bra? ›

How to Wax your Car's Clear Bra - YouTube

Do wraps ruin car paint? ›

That's the beauty of a car wrap. Although they've been around for quite some time, many vehicle owners often ask us, does a car wrap damage paint? The truth is that a vinyl wrap or car wrap as some call it, is completely safe to be applied to any type of paint – whether it's gloss or a matte finish.

Can you put paint protection film over ceramic coating? ›

Member. You cannot put PPF on Ceramic. It will not stick - it may for a month or two at best, but then it will just come right off while you are driving. Ceramic coating prevents the adherence of ANYTHING to the car, so if the ceramic coating was applied properly the PPF will not stick.

How much is 3m paint protection film? ›

3M paint protection packages
Silver Package$ 749.00
Gold Package$ 1399.00
Radium Package$ 1499.00
Uranium Package$ 1899.00
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How do you remove scratches from paint protection film? ›

You should not use an abrasive polish on paint protection film, as this can cause hazing on the surface. Scratches can be removed by gently heating the surface, as directed above.

How do I protect the front of my car from rock chips? ›

Wrap your bodywork with clear film vinyl. This is the ultimate protection against stone chips and even heavier scratches. Clear vinyl wrap can be applied to any car panel and is best applied by a professional installer to make sure it's the best job possible.

How long does PPF take to install? ›

How long does it take to apply PPF? Depending on the amount of coverage, installation may take from 2 to 5 days. This includes a 12 hour in-shop curing period.

Does PPF get swirl marks? ›

PPF is a proven solution for reducing the potential of swirl marks, light scratches, marring, and clear coat oxidation.

How often should you replace PPF? ›

If you are serious about maintaining the quality of your paint for years to come, PPF is the only answer. While PPF can take a lot of abuse over the years, it will eventually require replacement. Typical lifespan for PPF is 5 to 10 years. Once film has given you all it can, it should be removed and replaced.

Is PPF good for white car? ›

If you a have a keen eye you'll notice yellowing well before 2-3 years, specially if there are naked panels adjacent to panels with PPF, ideally avoid on a white car or get the entire body covered bumper to bumper.

Can you clay bar paint protection film? ›

Yes. The process is the same as with regular paint; wet the surface with a lubricant such as soapy water and then gently rub the surface with the clay bar. If you have particularly stubborn insect, bird, or hard water stains, we recommend using 'Simple Green' as the lubricant for the clay.

How do you prep a car for paint protection film? ›

LLumar PPF - Cleaning & Preparation - YouTube

Can you pressure wash a ceramic coated car? ›

A pressure washer isn't just safe to use on a ceramic coated car – it's actually preferred. A pressure washer allows you to take advantage of the coating's self-cleaning ability by removing the majority of contaminants off the surface without having to touch it (and risk scratches).

Will PPF hide rock chips? ›

Active Member. Although PPF is not impervious to all rock chips, it still offers a lot of advantages: PPF is at least 4 times as thick as the clear coat on your paint. In addition to self-healing swirls and scratches, it will also self-heal minor to moderate rock chips as long as the impact does not penetrate the PPF.

Should I wax my car before PPF? ›

PPF installer should be doing a polish (stage 1,2 or 3 depending on condition of paint) on the car before applying the PPF. So no need to wax prior. The reason for the polish is that you want your paint surface to be as perfect as possible before the PPF is applied.

How long does paint protection film last? ›

Longevity of PPF is realistically around 5 to 7 years depending on driving conditions, wear and tear, and the method of care. The Self-Healing properties will diminish over time. It's just natural, due to wear and tear. All PPF companies are competing for the longest warranty available to the public.

Is protective car coating worth it? ›

Yes, it is worth considering because of the money it can potentially save you down the road. If your car is protected, you won't have to worry about getting it painted before you resell it. The cost of painting a car is quite expensive. It is also a very detailed process that can potentially delay a future sale.

How much does full PPF cost? ›

Full Frontal$1499$2499
Bumper strip rear$99$99
8 more rows

Is paint protection worth it on a used car? ›

Is paint protection worth it? Paint protection is definitely a good, low-maintenance way of keeping your car's exterior in top condition. It means it will be easier to clean and you won't have to worry so much about polishing it or small bits of damage.

Wondering about everything you need to know about paint protection film? If so, we've totally got your back. Find out more about it here!

A high-quality paint protection film won’t change the way your car’s paint job looks.. Though paint protection film primarily protects against scratches, it’s far more versatile than you might think.. Low-quality paint protection film for cars often needs to get replaced after a single large scratch.. It’s possible to buy a cheap film kit online and install it yourself, but you’ll end up with inferior protection and will likely need to replace the film in just a few months.. They’ll be able to recommend a great wax to protect both your car and the film.. Paint protection film costs just a fraction of that and will provide you with years of durable protection.. If you’re looking for ways to keep your car in great condition without breaking the bank, installing paint protection film is one of the best options.. At Winter Park Tint, we’ll help you find the right protection film for your car and can make sure it’s installed with durability in mind.

DriveDetailed is an Automotive Detailing Blog Focusing on all things detailing related. This week we take a look at Paint Protection Film ( PPF ) for Cars

Automotive Protective Films go by many different names in the industry these days: Clear Bra, Clear Mask, Invisible Shield, Clear Wrap, Rock Chip Protection, Car Scratch Protective Film, etc.. The most common term for car protective films are simply Paint Protection Film – usually just abbreviated to PPF. Most People that opt for an entire car PPF protection would have already paid a lot of money for a high-end car, so this cost of protection is quite small to protect their initial investment and keep their paintwork from getting damaged.. To improve the shine of the paint and clear coat, many car owners will apply a ceramic coating on top of a fully PPF wrapped vehicle Improves Hydrophobicity : Another drawback of using PPF is that debris tends to stick to it quite well.. Paint Protection Film or PPF is a great way of protecting a vehicle from damage caused by small rocks and other road debris.

There is nothing as unappealing as damaged paint on the front bonnet. If you just got a new car or got a new paint job done, and want to keep it looking fresh and safe, then there’s a simple way to go about it: paint protection films. Keeping the paint safe from chips and road […]

First things first, the VViViD 3M Clear Vinyl Paint Protection Film is easy to use and apply.. The 3M Scotchgard Clear Paint Protection Bulk Film Roll is a good pick for all types of users out there.. Just make sure that you install it well, and you’re good to go!. I found it quite convenient to use a heat gun when working with the Install Proz Self-Healing Clear Paint Protection Film Kits.. The best thing I like about this model is its easy installation.. I recommend the PrintsnPlots – 3M Pro Series Paint Protection Film to all types of users out there who are looking for square bulk pieces!. Is paint protection film any good?. Should you get paint protection for a new car?. Can a paint protection film be removed?. Yes, you can remove paint protection film.. Does paint protection film damage paint?. If anything, it will protect it better.

Many of us wonder if Paint Protection Film (PPF) is worth it to protect the paint of our vehicle. After many years of experience with PPF, we answer the question - Is PPF worth it?

If you have purchased a new vehicle recently or if you are considering purchasing a new vehicle, it’s likely you’ve come across paint protection film, clear bra, PPF or clear shield as an option to protect the paint of your new car.. We have installed paint protection film on over 1500 vehicles over the last few years and we’ve replaced paint protection film on several cars so we’ve had a good chance to understand the positives and negatives about paint protection film and if it’s worth the cost.. PPF on hood after rock impact. You may find yourself in one of these categories, if so we can tell you what we’ve seen from our customers on how they value paint protection film:. If you are the kind of person who wants your car to be perfect, with glossy paint, and plans to preserve the value to the highest possible standard, paint protection film is definitely worth it.. This is great for any car from a Ferrari to a Honda as it helps you recoup a higher resale value on your vehicle when it’s time to move on.. However, if you find yourself not caring too much about a few rock chips on your vehicle, PPF might not be worth the investment for your new vehicle.. You want to find an installer who can provide you plenty of examples of work, delivers clean, nearly undetectable installs and has a general sense of pride in their work.. This is a Tesla Model S hood after PPF Installation, note the corners and edges wrapped into the chrome.

Confused about whether to use a paint protection film or not? Click here to make a wiser decision. Both the advantages & disadvantages of paint protection film are thoroughly discussed.

Your car’s paint is one of the most exposed parts, and car paint protection films , as their name implies, is said to be one of the fastest and most recommended ways to maintain its quality.. Installing a car paint protection film is already part of car maintenance. The Different Layers of PPF. Remember, the film is made of materials that can go back to their original shape, so the scratches on the film's surface won’t be noticed after just a while.. How can PPF help me save money?. Those two methods are quite expensive, but by having a car protection film installed , your car’s paint will have the same quality for a long time without the need for regular waxing and repainting.. A blister is usually caused by improper installation or installing the film without cleaning the surface.. However, peeling can also occur even if the film was installed correctly and has a high quality because of improper care.

Looking for a Paint Protection Film for Your Car? Our team of experts narrowed down the best Paint Protection Films for Your Car on the market. Read this review and save yourself time and money.

Cons When it comes to paint protection, it’s hard to top a roll of 3M Clear Paint Surface Protection Vinyl Film.. The Xpel Clear Universal Paint Protection Film Kit includes a 60-inch by 2 3/4-inch roll of polyurethane film intended to protect the inside of a vehicle’s door jambs.. If you’re looking for value in addition to protection, the Xpel Clear Universal Paint Protection Film Kit is another great option that’s more affordable and still solid at keeping scratches off your exterior.. Sprayable Paint Protection Film Just like it sounds, sprayable paint protection film is applied to your vehicle with a spray can.. Paint Protection Film Sheets Protection film also comes in sheets or rolls.

Paint Protection Film Installation Guide In this guide, you’ll learn how to apply paint protection film in a professional manner. This guide covers

It’s best to work as quickly as possible and squeeze out as much gel as you can with the squeegee over a short period of time. Never apply paint protection film on a surface that has been repainted, or surfaces with added coatings such as Teflon, wax, or ceramics. Store your PPF film in a cool, dry place.. This is because the gel causes the film to “float” on the installation surface. Applying a layer of installation gel on the vehicle surface reduces the chance of entrapment and lift lines underneath the paint protection film. When you use installation gel, you can also reduce the amount of slip solution for a smoother installation. Applying installation gel is very straightforward and it takes a few minutes. Cleaning excess installation gel from the paint protection gel is also very easy, and you can remove it quickly for a clean final product. When applying installation gel, always make sure that the vehicle’s surface and the air around it is between 20-30 degrees Celsius. Make sure the vehicle and the surrounding area are completely free of dust when applying installation gel. If you can, work in the shade.. Spray the Self-Healing Side: After carefully removing the film, spray the exposed self-healing side of the paint protection film with the installation gel.. Spray the Liner Film Side: Give the liner film side of the PPF a spray down with installation gel.. Spray the Adhesive Side: Remove the liner film side of the PPF and spray the now-exposed adhesive side of the film with installation gel.. Apply the Paint Protection Film: With all surfaces sprayed with installation gel, you’re ready to apply the film to the vehicle surface.. Apply The Paint Protection Film: Now that you’ve sprayed down all surfaces with slip solution, you’re ready to apply the PPF to the vehicle surface.. Installation Gel: Use installation gel with a pressure spray bottle. Water: Fill a regular spray bottle with water. Soap/Slip Solution: Fill a regular spray bottle with water and two drops of baby shampoo. Alcohol/Tack Solution: Fill a regular spray bottle with 15% isopropyl alcohol and 85% water. Cutter Knife: Use a cutter knife with a new blade angled at 30 degrees. Measuring Tape: Use measuring tape to make sure your cuts are accurate. Air Release Pen: A handy tool for lifting and repositioning film when needed. Rubber Squeegees: Try to get a set with four different lengths for optimal versatility. Plastic Squeegee (large and small): Used for scraping gel or slip solution from under the PPF. Microfiber Cloth (big and small): Although you can use any cloth for prepping and cleaning surfaces, a microfiber cloth provides the best results. Heat Gun/Steamer: As previously noted, a steamer is ideal when removing PPF, as it creates minimal adhesive residue left behind on the vehicle surface

Formerly a pros-only product, paint protection film is now available in easy-to-apply spray-on kits. An expert from 3M shows how to do it.

Until recently, you only had two ways to protect the hood: install a “bra” or apply paint protection film.. Now there’s a product that DIYers can apply to protect against paint chips—spray-on/peel-off paint protection film.. Several companies make this paint film, but we chose the 3M Paint Defender product for this story because it lasts up to a year.. Then start the paint protection film project by washing the car with car wash soap.. Apply another layer of tape to form the clean edge between the spray film and the rest of the hood (Photo 1).. Starting at the tape line and spraying down to the bottom edge of the hood, spray the product continuously in alternating left to right rows at the rate of two seconds per foot.. Shake the can of 3M Paint Defender for a full minute before applying paint protection spray.. Continue spraying onto the fender, over and above the tape line, and below the bottom edge of the hood to get a uniform film thickness at the edges.. Pop the hood and peel the paint protection film loose around all three edges using your fingernail.. Car Paint Repair: Get Touch Up Painting Done in 4 Quick Steps. Car Care: Protect Your Car’s Paint

Not every paint protection film is good for your vehicle. You need to avoid buying a flimsy, cheap film that doesn’t work by reading this quick comparison.

By now, you know that maintaining your paint protection film is the best way to keep your paint job looking as good as new.. Like all car paint protection films, Llumar provides a sturdy buffer between your paint and any potential scratches.. 3M is one of the leading manufacturers of paint protection film product and for good reason: they produce an incredibly durable product.. We can safely say that 3m paint protection film is our top pick for the greatest paint protection film.. Conclusion : Our Top Suggestion for Car Paint Protection Film. This manufacturer specializes in automotive paint and paint protection, making it the go-to distributor for protection films.. However, 3M protective film can be better at protecting car paint.. Cons: there might be better options to protect the vehicle’s paint. This car paint protection film from VViViD is cost-effective, has decent quality, but we most certainly suggest other brands instead of this.. The Karlor’s Vinyl Film is the least expensive protective paint film on this list.. While the Karlor film is not backed by a reputable manufacturer like 3M, it is inexpensive, easy to apply and it will protect your vehicle from scratches.. A paint protection film can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage to your vehicle.. It is always tempting to install a protective layer of the best car paint protection coating on your car by yourself.. Of course, we suggest you opt for qualitative protection films such as 3M or XPEL for the best way to protect car paint.. Schedule a Paint Protection Film Installation Now No matter what paint protection film you choose, you’ll protect your car against unwanted scratches and dings.

One of the most effective methods of keeping your vehicle’s paint surface shiny and gleaming is to cover it with paint protection film. We visited R. Ferri Automotive where a 3M authorized installer covered our 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia long-term test car with one of the most advanced paint protection films, the Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Pro Series.

To protect the paint on our 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia long-term test car, we chose 3M in part because they invented and perfected paint protection film, they introduced it to the motoring public, and they currently offer the longest manufacturer warranty, which is 10 years for the Scotchgard Paint Protection Film Pro Series.. Moreover, manufacturer warranties are only available on installations that have been performed by authorized installers.. Learning to perfect the paint protection film application process takes years of training and practice.. As you can imagine, some of the patterns are incredibly intricate, especially because you only want to cover the painted surface of your car, not the grill, lights, parking sensors, etc.. The first step in the installation process is to clean thoroughly the paint surface that paint protection film will cover.. Additionally, eligibility for manufacturer paint protection film warranties, including 3M’s 10 year Pro Series warranty, requires an authorized professional to perform the installation.


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