Why You Should Coat Your Paint Protection Film

paint protection filmIf you know anything about caring for your car’s paint, you know that no matter what you do, driving your car around is going to inevitably result in some minuscule rock getting kicked up and scratching your paint. What can you do? Coatings are a worthy option, but some want a little more peace of mind. So, they spring for a paint protection film or vinyl wrap to act as a sacrificial barrier for their car’s paint. Yet films aren’t perfect. While they may take the brunt of the damage, they present their own set of detailing concerns – yellowing, holes, etc.

How can you make sure your film stays beautiful while protecting your car? Using our Film Coating Kit, that’s how! In this blog, we’ll take a look at the different kinds of films and why you should consider a coating designed for film. 

The Breakdown On Films

Let’s first take a look at the different kinds of films. All films are made of thermoplastics – plastics that become more and less flexible based on temperature. From there they vary.

Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Films (PPFs) are generally composed of polyurethane. They’re clear and designed for one purpose – providing a barrier between the car’s paint and the elements. You may have heard them referred to as clear bras on occasion, however this is a trademark and not a generic term. PPFs are usually installed by a professional, however more and more brands are advertising films that can be applied at home. 

Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wraps, on the other hand, are made of polyvinyl (hence the name) and are generally used for altering aesthetics, be it a new color, a pattern, a logo, or even an entire picture. Because they tend to be for aesthetics, they are thinner and less durable, however they will still offer some level of paint protection. They too can be installed by a professional or at home, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. 

Things To Know Before You Install

Films do require some special care, beyond coating them with a coating designed for film. First, you never want to power wash your film at a high pressure – this can cause the film to start peeling back. Second, avoid using solvent-based cleaning products on the film as they can damage the surface. 

Why Coat Your Film?

You may be getting your film installed with the hope that you’ll be able to put it on and totally forget about it. This, unfortunately, is not the case. While the technology improves every year, films are still susceptible to a number of problems that can only be protected against with the help of a coating designed for films, like the one that comes in Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating Kit.

Abrasion

Abrasions on film is generally seen in the form of micro-marring left over from wash pads. On paint these marks are near invisible, but with a paint protection film installed they’re all too apparent. However, with the right coating, your film will be protected from these minuscule abrasions and look a whole lot better for it. 

Preserving Self-Healing Properties

You may have scrolled past the above section on abrasion thinking, “Who cares? My PPF has self-healing properties!” Fair enough, but did you know many coatings actually inhibit your PPF’s ability to self-heal? Yup! That’s why you’ll absolutely want to use our Film Coating Kit – it’s specially formulated to be flexible enough to work with the self-healing mechanism. 

UV Yellowing/Fading

These days many film brands tout their ability to protect against paint-damaging, film-yellowing ultraviolet radiation. This is because PPFs, after they absorb too many UV rays, start to turn a sickly yellow. You may have seen this effect before on white plastic, like those old beige computer monitors or the Super Nintendo.

Think the UV protection embedded into your PPF is enough to withstand the yellowing onslaught? Don’t take the chance –  it never hurts to have extra protection, and a film coating with extra UV blockers would definitely do the trick.

Vinyl wraps, instead of yellowing, have their color start to fade. You’ll start out with a sharp black and end up with a dull grey. Very few vinyl wrap manufacturers include UV blockers, so having a film coating is even more important in this case. 

Browning

Browning refers to the rust-like effect environmental contaminants can have on your film. Even with a professional installation, small particles can still work their way under the film and slowly turn it an unappealing brown. Go with a film coating, however, and you’ll be contaminant-free. 

Fuel Discoloration 

We’ve all accidentally spilled a bit of gasoline on our cars while filling up. When you have a film installed on your car, this can result in unsightly discoloration. With a film-specific coating, the fuel stain should wipe right off, no discoloration at all. 

Easier Cleaning 

Most people with a film know that you need to clean off any bird poop or sap immediately or it could eat away at the film. Even then, stuff like that is not easy to clean off of a film. With a film-specific coating applied you’ll have more time to clean the contaminant and it’ll wipe right off when you do. 

What If I Have A Matte Car Or A Matte Vinyl Wrap?

In the case of a matte paint protection film or a matte vinyl wrap, you’ll want to make sure you’re using our Matte Film Coating Kit instead, as non-matte coatings will make matte surfaces look uneven and splotchy.

What If My Car Is Glossy On Some Areas and Matte On Others? 

If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure the matte areas of your car are covered before you apply the Film Coating to the glossy parts. Then, when you’re ready to tackle the matte part, just uncover it and begin the application process, this time with the Matte Film Coating Kit. It’s okay if some of the Matte Film Coating gets on the glossy parts – it won’t dull the gloss, it just won’t add any extra shine. 

Can I Apply The Film Coating Right After Installing A Film? 

Absolutely! Just ensure that the film is totally adhered to the paint and no longer mobile – you wouldn’t want to accidentally shift the film while applying the coating. 

Convinced? I thought so. Film, while amazing on its own, becomes near-perfect with the right coating applied. You’ll be so protected against yellow-ing and abrasion you’ll wonder why you even needed XPEL’s warranty in the first place!

Have any questions or comments on coating your film? Chime in below and let us know!