Seamless Vinyl Wrap - S2 Exige - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Seamless Vinyl Wrap - S2 Exige

My Exige's paint needs a little love. I'm weighing my options between paint correction, respray and vinyl wrapping. I have a large roll of Avery vinyl sitting in the garage that I'm toying with the idea of using, but I loathe the thought of seams on the "A-surface" of the car.

Some searching brought me upon this article that shows a seamless representation with 3M 1080, which comes in the same width rolls as the Avery I have on hand. Is this your car @Varun916 !?

Anyhoo - anyone have experience with how this could possibly have been accomplished? Not that I need another project on my list, but that's half the fun!

2007 Exige S Phantom Black
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 02:16 PM
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My Exige's paint needs a little love. I'm weighing my options between paint correction, respray and vinyl wrapping. I have a large roll of Avery vinyl sitting in the garage that I'm toying with the idea of using, but I loathe the thought of seams on the "A-surface" of the car.

Some searching brought me upon this article that shows a seamless representation with 3M 1080, which comes in the same width rolls as the Avery I have on hand. Is this your car @Varun916 !?

Anyhoo - anyone have experience with how this could possibly have been accomplished? Not that I need another project on my list, but that's half the fun!
Oh hey yeah it is! There's not a single seam visible on the entire car. As to how it was done...all I can say is that these guys are masters at the art. I've heard other shops claim that it can't be done, but they did. Unless I was a top-tier pro at applying vinyl, I wouldn't dare attempt it...it looks like a nightmare. You might want to get in touch with Austin at PDX Wraps if you're interested in knowing more about the details though.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 03:33 AM
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I don't have any visible seams in my wrap. I agree with Varum916, no way I would attempt this myself. Had mine done by www.cincyvinylwraps.com
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 04:19 AM
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I've been told by multiple wrapping companies that it would require multiple seams, so these guys must just be that talented. May not be able to easily reproduce locally, and likely a same color respray will cost the same, maybe a grand more.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have any visible seams in my wrap. I agree with Varum916, no way I would attempt this myself. Had mine done by www.cincyvinylwraps.com
Pete - I'd be very surprised if they didn't use the natural seams in the Elise clam to join vinyl. Have you taken a close look in those? I like the idea of a challenge, though. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? I ruin the vinyl and am back to square one? As long as I'm careful with my cutting, I think it'd be a fun (and safe) pursuit.

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Originally Posted by Varun916 View Post
Oh hey yeah it is! There's not a single seam visible on the entire car. As to how it was done...all I can say is that these guys are masters at the art. I've heard other shops claim that it can't be done, but they did. Unless I was a top-tier pro at applying vinyl, I wouldn't dare attempt it...it looks like a nightmare. You might want to get in touch with Austin at PDX Wraps if you're interested in knowing more about the details though.
Too funny. I'm not sure Austin will reveal his trade secrets to me, but I'm feeling like a roadtrip might be out of the question...
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 04:45 AM
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I've been told by multiple wrapping companies that it would require multiple seams, so these guys must just be that talented. May not be able to easily reproduce locally, and likely a same color respray will cost the same, maybe a grand more.
I paid just under $3k for the wrap. A good paint job is in the $10k range.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 06:11 AM
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I paid just under $3k for the wrap. A good paint job is in the $10k range.
Not necessarily true.
Re-painting a car the same color would likely be cheaper than wrapping it if the foundation of the existing paint is solid.
Bodywork, and changing the color are where the money is.

If the paint on the car has a solid foundation it's a matter of scuff and shoot. You can do that 2-3 times before you need to strip the car to bare substrate and build everything back up.


You couldn't reproduce your wrap in paint for 3K, you're right, but that's not comparing apples to apples.
Also a lot of people wrap their cars when their factory paint is a little tired under the false assumption that painting a car is super expensive when they could likely repaint their car to better than new for the same money or cheaper than wrap.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 06:39 AM
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I have wrapped mine a couple of times. It is not a terribly difficult car to wrap, but I own a shop where we do these things.

All wraps will have seams. A skilled installer will put the seams where you do not notice them. One important thing... a well executed wrap will require some disassembly. Make sure the shop knows how to take these cars apart, or help them do it. Things like turn signals (not easy to get out without breaking the white clip), oil cooler grills (can be removed with a torx through the turn signal opening, front grill (snaps in, but be careful), side vents (through the rear wheel fender liners), etc, etc. Most shops have NEVER seen a Lotus and will not know these little tricks.

Here is mine when it was matte black: https://www.facebook.com/TintWorldTh...1523598793546/

'06 Arctic Silver Elise | Touring |Traction Control |Supercharged | ST exhaust | Nitron singles | BWR anti-sway bar | RTD brace | V2 Arms | SS brake lines | Harness bar and Schroth harnesses | sys.6.pack |shifter reinforced | Ultralite lines | cup air box | Sport inserts | DBW Pedals | TALLrails | Team Dynamics 1.2's | TOC Oil Pan | ProRad | FW Torque tune | BOE surge tank and catch can | Radium Clam Kit
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 07:01 AM
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@PeteB37 the wrap you did on your car is amazing!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 08:25 AM
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PDX Wraps is not too far from me.... Hmmmmm..... Satin black wrap for my Exige may be in order!

Thinking of K-swapping? Here's an idea of the cost involved.

2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
1994 AUTOZAM AZ-1 MAZDASPEED Japanese Super Kei!
2014 FIAT 500e Hydroelectric powered EV daily driver.
2007 SUZUKI SV650 Track bike.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 09:08 AM
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PDX Wraps is not too far from me.... Hmmmmm..... Satin black wrap for my Exige may be in order!
I was just thinking the same thing.......quick 3hr road trip down to P-town.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 10:57 AM
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@Butters , @Mobius97 - I highly recommend them for their skills. I paid around 4500, but I had them do the interior pillar and doors as well(another 500). Also had it ceramic coated. That said, I'm not super happy about the vinyl itself. Vinyl when stretched and heated(especially matte), is not perfectly even - if you get close under certain lighting it looks like hard water stains. That said I'm OCD and most would probably not care about such things, but it's good to be aware of.

I'm happy to show my car if you're ever in the area :-)

Another option that is up and coming is the products from DipYourCar. Autoflex has clearcoat on it(even the matte options) - it's more satin than matte, but the sheen is 100% uniform, I've seen one of these in person. Cost is around $2500 for our cars, but the downside is these finishes aren't as durable as vinyl. Cheaper and you can do insane color mixing too if you want though. I recommend rosecitydip.com if you're going that route - Dom is as standup as they come.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Varun916 View Post
@Butters , @Mobius97 - I highly recommend them for their skills. I paid around 4500, but I had them do the interior pillar and doors as well(another 500). Also had it ceramic coated. That said, I'm not super happy about the vinyl itself. Vinyl when stretched and heated(especially matte), is not perfectly even - if you get close under certain lighting it looks like hard water stains. That said I'm OCD and most would probably not care about such things, but it's good to be aware of.

I'm happy to show my car if you're ever in the area :-)

Another option that is up and coming is the products from DipYourCar. Autoflex has clearcoat on it(even the matte options) - it's more satin than matte, but the sheen is 100% uniform, I've seen one of these in person. Cost is around $2500 for our cars, but the downside is these finishes aren't as durable as vinyl. Cheaper and you can do insane color mixing too if you want though. I recommend rosecitydip.com if you're going that route - Dom is as standup as they come.
Thanks for that info. Would love to check it out in person sometime. My wife and I go to Portland often so I might hit you up next time we're in town. The "hard water stains" would bother me as well. My desire would be to do a satin matte black wrap with gloss black stripe, like the Scura Exige from a while back (though that is matte black with gloss black stripe), I would hope that this would make for less stretching?



I've heard mixed stories about AutoFlex. Some have great experience with them, but others report horrible things. I think user @Ls1Rx7 had AutoFlex done to his car and is less than enthused about the results, though maybe it was just his installer who bungled the job. If AutoFlex is as awesome as some say it is, then that seems like a good option to go with.

Thinking of K-swapping? Here's an idea of the cost involved.

2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
1994 AUTOZAM AZ-1 MAZDASPEED Japanese Super Kei!
2014 FIAT 500e Hydroelectric powered EV daily driver.
2007 SUZUKI SV650 Track bike.

Last edited by Butters; 04-26-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 12:36 PM
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@Butters , @Mobius97 - I highly recommend them for their skills. I paid around 4500, but I had them do the interior pillar and doors as well(another 500). Also had it ceramic coated. That said, I'm not super happy about the vinyl itself. Vinyl when stretched and heated(especially matte), is not perfectly even - if you get close under certain lighting it looks like hard water stains. That said I'm OCD and most would probably not care about such things, but it's good to be aware of.

I'm happy to show my car if you're ever in the area :-)

Another option that is up and coming is the products from DipYourCar. Autoflex has clearcoat on it(even the matte options) - it's more satin than matte, but the sheen is 100% uniform, I've seen one of these in person. Cost is around $2500 for our cars, but the downside is these finishes aren't as durable as vinyl. Cheaper and you can do insane color mixing too if you want though. I recommend rosecitydip.com if you're going that route - Dom is as standup as they come.
Stay the F**** away from that garbage.
It nearly totalled my car. Basically I got lucky finding a shop to strip the car, and the process of getting it off was more extreme than removing paint.

Wraps can also be difficult to remove and like clear bras/xpel have taken some paint with them when they were removed.

Sanders and chemical strippers make good old automotive paint nearly as removable as these "removable" coatings. So I don't see a huge upside to them any more, and because these removable coatings can't be sanded or chemically removed if they adhere too vigerously, you end up in a situation like I'm in.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:13 PM
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Stay the F**** away from that garbage.
It nearly totalled my car. Basically I got lucky finding a shop to strip the car, and the process of getting it off was more extreme than removing paint.

Wraps can also be difficult to remove and like clear bras/xpel have taken some paint with them when they were removed.

Sanders and chemical strippers make good old automotive paint nearly as removable as these "removable" coatings. So I don't see a huge upside to them any more, and because these removable coatings can't be sanded or chemically removed if they adhere too vigerously, you end up in a situation like I'm in.
Definitely sounds like an improper installation, that sounds terrible!

I've had both DYC Proline and DYC Autoflex on my exige, the Proline I peeled myself without issue, the Autoflex I had peeled by my installer in my garage. (Yeah I had to remove them because I had the older product & was not happy with the finish...should have waited for the new matte AF that's out now).

I would definitely NOT recommend DYC Proline - the material is highly reactive to gas...guess how I found out? It's ridiculous for a coating that goes on a car. AF has clearcoat so it's fine, that's the only thing I'd consider.


I have a video of my installer peeling the finish off my car...I'll see if I can dig it up. So my car's been through two removals and the paint was 100% unaffected.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:18 PM
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Definitely sounds like an improper installation, that sounds terrible!

I've had both DYC Proline and DYC Autoflex on my exige, the Proline I peeled myself without issue, the Autoflex I had peeled by my installer in my garage. (Yeah I had to remove them because I had the older product & was not happy with the finish...should have waited for the new matte AF that's out now).

I would definitely NOT recommend DYC Proline - the material is highly reactive to gas...guess how I found out? It's ridiculous for a coating that goes on a car. AF has clearcoat so it's fine, that's the only thing I'd consider.


I have a video of my installer peeling the finish off my car...I'll see if I can dig it up. So my car's been through two removals and the paint was 100% unaffected.
Definitely in for this video of AutoFlex peeling!

Thinking of K-swapping? Here's an idea of the cost involved.

2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
1994 AUTOZAM AZ-1 MAZDASPEED Japanese Super Kei!
2014 FIAT 500e Hydroelectric powered EV daily driver.
2007 SUZUKI SV650 Track bike.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:30 PM
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:33 PM
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Looks clean. Thanks for posting that!

Now I'm interested to see if AutoFlex can do a satin black...

Thinking of K-swapping? Here's an idea of the cost involved.

2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
1994 AUTOZAM AZ-1 MAZDASPEED Japanese Super Kei!
2014 FIAT 500e Hydroelectric powered EV daily driver.
2007 SUZUKI SV650 Track bike.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:39 PM
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Looks clean. Thanks for posting that!

Now I'm interested to see if AutoFlex can do a satin black...
They definitely can: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/c...e=image%2Fjpeg

I've seen that car in person - the only blemish I found were dust particles and occasional air bubbles. I counted about 4 or 5 of those on the entire car, so pretty minor. This is their new "matte/satin" product, the old stuff(that I had put on) was closer to semi gloss and was super splotchy. This is very even.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:43 PM
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They definitely can: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/c...e=image%2Fjpeg

I've seen that car in person - the only blemish I found were dust particles and occasional air bubbles. I counted about 4 or 5 of those on the entire car, so pretty minor. This is their new "matte/satin" product, the old stuff(that I had put on) was closer to semi gloss and was super splotchy. This is very even.
Damn. I think you might have just sold me. Do you remember how long of a process it is? I'm assuming it's just half a day to a full day of work.

Thinking of K-swapping? Here's an idea of the cost involved.

2006 LOTUS EXIGE (ASPEN WHITE) Honda K24A2 + MPx90 supercharger. 322whp/271lb-ft @13psi. Build thread here.
1994 AUTOZAM AZ-1 MAZDASPEED Japanese Super Kei!
2014 FIAT 500e Hydroelectric powered EV daily driver.
2007 SUZUKI SV650 Track bike.
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