What is Paint Protection Film and is it worth the hype?

23 Jul.,2022

Paint Protection Film has become a popular solution for protecting vehicle exteriors from negative impact of daily driving. In this blog post we dive

 

self adhesive protection film

Paint Protection Film has become a popular solution for protecting vehicle exteriors from negative impact of daily driving. In this blog post we dive deeper into understanding what Paint Protection Film is, and if it’s worth getting.

What is Paint Protection Film:

Paint Protection Film (PPF), also known as Clear Bra, is an 8mil thick clear flexible film, made out of polyurethane. It comes with a specially formulated adhesive in the back, which safely adheres to the surface of your car. PPF can be applied on top of existing paint, or vinyl wrap to protect it from harsh driving conditions. Typically, Paint Protection Films posses heat activating self healing properties, meaning scratches heal on their own when some heat is applied.

One of the greatest features of paint protection film is that it saves you money when it comes to a panel repair. If something happens and your car gets scratched, you won’t need to replace the whole car part, or get it repainted. If your car is protected with PPF, a team of trained installers will simply remove the film, and get it replaced with a new piece. Typically, PPF withstands general damage occurring during daily driving.

Obviously, if your car got into a major accident, PPF won’t be able to protect the paint, since the impact is too strong.

Key Features:

  • Self Healing – most scratches will disappear with heat
  • Explicit Texture – high gloss and matte finishes
  • Discolouration and Stain Resistance – film remains clear under the harshest conditions
  • Non yellowing – film will not yellow from UV exposure
  • Edge Seal Technology – film will not start lifting on edges
  • Mirror Smooth Finish – protection should be indistinguishable from factory paint
  • Durability – superior impact protection

Paint Protection Film Benefits:

  • Protection against rock chips, scuffs and scratches
  • Protection against stains, spills, bird droppings, and bug guts
  • Protecting from negative effects of UV light
  • Ease of repairability
  • Preserveness of resale value
  • Extensive product warranty

Installation Process

Installation process starts with an extensive wash and exterior detailing. It is important to make sure that the surface of the car is absolutely clean and free of dust particles. We use clay bar to ensure the surface of your vehicle is free of especially stubborn contaminants.

After that, installation begins. Paint Protection Film is installed using a wet installation method. First, the surface of the car is generously sprayed with installation gel or soap solution. After that, each piece of the material is also sprayed, and applied to the panel. The spray solution activates the adhesive, and allows for an easier movement and placement of the material.

Once all of the pieces are installed, the car is left inside for a 12 hour curing process, to ensure everything dries and the adhesive cures properly.

Installation Methods:

There are two ways to install paint protection film.

Pre-cut (DAP)

Typically, Paint Protection film pieces are pre-cut on a plotter, using DAP software. Each piece is cut to specifically fit the part it is being applied to. DAP software features an extensive library of PPF templates made for every individual part of each vehicle. During this installation there is no trimming required, since pieces of the material fit each panel precisely.

Bulking

There is another method that installers sometimes use. It is called bulking. In case of bulking the film is applied directly to the car part, and it is then trimmed around the edges. Similar installation method is used in Vinyl Wraps. Bulking is normally used on areas that require more coverage, or when working with areas for which pre-cut option is not available, like custom body kits, for example.

Types of Paint Protection Films:

Paint Protection Films are designed be transparent to allow the original paint colour to show. However, a new series of coloured paint protection films has been launched recently. In this section we will talk about the most popular types of Paint Protection Films that currently exist on the market.

Gloss PPF

One of the most common used types of Paint Protection Film is a Gloss Finish Film. It is clear and transparent, and features high gloss finish. This type of film is normally applied to a gloss car.

Matte PPF (Stealth)

Matte finish PPF is another type of film. It is used on two occasions, – when the car is matte, and the owner is looking to protect it. Or when the car is gloss, but the owner wants to change the look as well as add protection. In case of matte PPF on a gloss car Partial PPF wrap is out of the question, since wrapped parts will look completely different from non wrapped.

Coloured PPF

You are no longer limited to transparent clear Paint Protection Films. Recently a series of coloured and textured Paint Protection Films was launched by a number of companies. PPF no longer serves a sole purpose of protecting your vehicle from damage. Coloured and textured films are doing it in a fashionable matter, by allowing you to customize the exterior of your vehicle while keeping it safe.

Application Areas:

Paint Protection Films can be applied on any exterior area of your car. Some interior applications are also available for an enhanced protection. One of the most popular areas of coverage is full front. It includes Front Bumper, Hood, Fenders and headlights. Since this area is getting the most amount of damage during driving, it is the first area you would want to protect.

Paint Protection Film Packages: 

We offer multiple packages to satisfy your needs. Below is a list of our most popular Paint Protection Film Packages

Partial Front End:

  • partial Hood
  • full front bumper
  • partial fenders

Full Front End:

  • full front bumper
  • mirrors
  • full hood
  • A-pillars
  • full front fenders
  • headlights

Full Car:

  • the whole car is protected with PPF

Custom Package:

  • We can create a custom package to fit your needs, or customize any of our existing packages . Contact us today to get a free tailored quote for your PPF Project.

Interior Package:

  • Central console
  • Dashboard (when able)
  • Screen

What package to choose:

Picking the right PPF package is an important decision, since it determines how much protection your car will get. Below we have outlined a a brief set of factors to consider that might help you pick the package that suits you best.

What type of driving do you normally do? Are you a highway driver? Do you tend to avoid overcrowded city areas? Do you have your own parking garage? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you can probably get away with Full Front Package. If you tend to avoid busy city streets, and don’t have to park very close to your neighbour on the parking lot, your risks of getting other parts of your car damaged are lower. Although we always recommend going for a full protection, full front package is a great alternative for those who avoid the majority of risks, and  want to save a bit of money.

Are you a city driver? Do you often park in tight shopping malls and grocery stores parking stalls? Are you often surrounded by people with shopping carts? In this case we would definitely recommend going for a full PPF wrap. Parking and driving in the city can cause lots of damage to your car, due to high traffic. Full PPF wrap will protect your car top to bottom, and keep it scratch and scuffs free.

Paint Protection Film Cost:

Depending on the package you choose, the size of your vehicle and the type of film, PPF packages on average can vary between 1500$ – 7000$. Let us help create a free estimate for your vehicle

Timeline:

PPF installation is typically taking more time than a vinyl wrap installation. Because liquid solutions are used during installation, we need some extra time to make sure everything is dried properly, and the film has fully cured. For that reason we typically budget about about 2 days for a partial PPF wrap, and 4-7 days for a full PPF wrap.

Materials We Use:

We work with world’s leaders in Paint Protection Film industry, such as XPEL and Kavaca,

XPEL

XPEL film is the world’s first self-healing Paint Protection Film. This film features an increased impact protection against rock chips, scratches and scuffs. It features a heat activating self healing top layer, which heals scratches when heat is applied. The film does not yellow with time and is stain resistant. XPEL films come in Gloss and Matte Finish to offer a protection option for any vehicle. In addition, XPEL offers a 10 year warranty for its products.

Kavaca

Paint Protection Film of new generation, Kavaca PPF comes with a factory added layer of Ceramic Pro coating, and has instant self-healing properties. Kavaca films do not need heat in order to heal scratches. They self heal on their own! A factory added layer of ceramic Pro helps add shine and eases mainatanace. Due to its hydrophobic properties, Ceramic Pro prevents dust and dirt from sticking onto the surface of the film. So in addition to scratch and scuffs protection, your vehicle is also getting protection from debris and rain! It also offers limited lifetime warranty.

Paint Protection Film vs Ceramic Pro Coating:

Paint Protection Film is often compared with Ceramic Pro Coating, however the two are quite different and serve different purposes. CeramicPro, while adding a minor level of protection to your vehicle’s paint, still isn’t able to protect it from rock chips and scratches. Paint Protection film on the other hand, is designed to provide your vehicle with this protection. Because of its thickness and composition, small rocks and other road debris are not able to break through the film.

So in summary, Ceramic Pro, while adding a little protection, is mostly used for the ease of maintenance and improved looks. Whereas PPF is used for protection.

If you are looking to get both, you could choose to get your vehicle wrapped with PPF, and coated with Ceramic Pro. Or you could choose to go with Kavaca PPF, which already has a layer of Ceramic Pro coating applied.

Paint Protection Film Limitations:

As good as Paint Protection film is, unfortunately it isn’t a perfect solution against any type of damage. Paint Protection Film has its limitations as well.

Paint Protection Film has a limit as to how much impact it can take. High impact collision will almost certainly damage and break the film. While you are safe from the majority of slow speed accidents, higher speed collisions or high impact can definitely cause film to fail.

If after reading this blog you still have some unanswered questions, please feel free to reach out!