Vinyl wrap or repaint? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Vinyl wrap or repaint?

Hey everyone,
After struggling with matte black DYC Proline on my S2 Exige for half a year, I've decided I need another alternative. It looks amazing, but is INCREDIBLY fragile. By fragile I mean that it scratches while gently running a wet microfiber cloth over it. I am fine cleaning the car after every drive, but if cleaning it scratches it, that just doesn't work. Additionally here in the great state of Oregon, full service fill ups are mandatory & the attendant spilled gas all over the finish, destroying it as it is chemically sensitive to gas...

I tried their autoflex product in matte which does have a clearcoat but it looks horrendous. It's satin, not matte & had a slew of other issues. I'm currently considering vinyl wrap or just a full on repaint for my car. Wanted to get peoples' thoughts on these two options. I think a wrap would cost me about 4k, I'm guessing a repaint from a top quality shop would be about 8k. In terms of durability, look(I demand perfection in the result), and other tradeoffs, have people had experiences with these options and how has it turned out for you? Any advice would be appreciated. For the longest time, it had been my dream to own an exige in matte black. I thought I'd found that with Proline but it just isn't durable enough. I caution anyone on using this finish. It's inexpensive but I guess you get what you pay for.

Thanks!
--Varun
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:10 AM
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Have you tried PlastiDip? I was curious about the AutoFlex stuff as I actually prefer a satin finish to a matte finish, but what are the "slew of other issues" that you speak of?

My brother has an STI that he PlastiDip'd matte black and it looked phenomenal for about two years before it started caking in dirt that we couldn't clean off. At about 3.5 years it started to pit and peel in some small places (mostly at the edges of body panels).

Vinyl wrap seems to be the way to go if you want a less-expensive alternative to a full respray. Although, finding a good wrapper that doesn't use a heat gun as a crutch for his poor skills is a tough find.

A full respray on the other hand, depending on where you're at could run you A LOT more. Especially since you seem to have a high standard. Here in the Seattle area I've been quoted something in the mid to high 10k range. But your mileage may vary.

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.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:13 AM
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I've had horrible luck with getting my car resprayed (it is currently on its third color), so I am always toying with the idea of a wrap. The biggest problem is I have never seen a gloss wrap that looked to have a depth of color like paint. To me, that's the deciding factor. Until I see a deep color wrap in person, I won't be convinced to try it

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butters View Post
Have you tried PlastiDip? I was curious about the AutoFlex stuff as I actually prefer a satin finish to a matte finish, but what are the "slew of other issues" that you speak of?

My brother has an STI that he PlastiDip'd matte black and it looked phenomenal for about two years before it started caking in dirt that we couldn't clean off. At about 3.5 years it started to pit and peel in some small places (mostly at the edges of body panels).

Vinyl wrap seems to be the way to go if you want a less-expensive alternative to a full respray. Although, finding a good wrapper that doesn't use a heat gun as a crutch for his poor skills is a tough find.

A full respray on the other hand, depending on where you're at could run you A LOT more. Especially since you seem to have a high standard. Here in the Seattle area I've been quoted something in the mid to high 10k range. But your mileage may vary.
Plastidip is supposedly a lesser finish than Proline - more orange-peel texture, and it too doesn't have clearcoat. I'm not 100% sure how much more durable plastidip is compared with proline, but my local shop advised against using plastidip if low texture was what I was after.

Regarding the matte autoflex - the issues were -
1) finish had an absurd amount of texture to it(orange peel)
2) Haziness of the finish - uneven sheen - this could have been an issue with the application, but research into this finish showed that many owners had similar complaints

Both of these could have been due to bad application, but given that my guy has now applied the proline flawlessly twice, and is the premier plastifip/autoflex guy in the area, I'm a little skeptical he's at fault. I think the products are just sub-par. I've attached photos of the issues I had with the satin autoflex. The haziness was hard to capture in photos but believe me it looked terrible. I had a few people come up to me and ask if I'd rattle can'd the car...I was so embarrassed.
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Last edited by Varun916; 01-05-2018 at 10:45 AM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cyow5 View Post
I've had horrible luck with getting my car resprayed (it is currently on its third color), so I am always toying with the idea of a wrap. The biggest problem is I have never seen a gloss wrap that looked to have a depth of color like paint. To me, that's the deciding factor. Until I see a deep color wrap in person, I won't be convinced to try it
That's a bummer to hear. I'd be quite distraught after shelling out that kind of money if it doesn't turn out exactly as I'd like it to
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:42 AM
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Ah, yeah, I see. Well, stay away from the PlastiDip for sure then.

I'd research vinyl wrapping. The only thing would be the rear clam and how to avoid a seam in the wrap. As we all know, the rear clam is one big unbroken piece. Finding a piece of vinyl that big is not really in the cards so you'll have to find a clever way of hiding whatever seam that is sure to be present. I've always dreamed of doing a satin black vinyl wrap myself and always assumed I'd get around that with a stripe down the middle of the car. Kinda like the Exige Scura:


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 #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 07:55 PM
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There are several off the shelf competitors for plastidip now. Duplicolor makes a special peel coat that is way smoother than plastidip and was designed for cars. Comes in matte and gloss finish and several colors to choose from (matte black, gunmetal, to lime green). I'm going to redo my racing stripes and I'll post pictures with the finish. Called Duplicolor custom wrap. I've heard and see some good comments but don't have first hand knowledge. These wheels were done with it...looks more like a satin finish.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting! I'm not sure I have the confidence to spray it myself but will have to see if there's an installer in the area. Will definitely be interested in seeing your stripes once done.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 05:18 AM
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I've wrapped my Infiniti several times.......but I am not the perfectionist you seem to be.

I would think a professional wrap would be around $2,500. You say you want Matte blk but then mention the glossy doesn't have enough depth. I did a Satin Aluminum color and think it turned out decently. Next up I'm going with 3M's Fiery orange.

I love some vinyl!!!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 06:10 AM
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If you're a perfectionist you'll want to consider rock chips on a vinyl application. My current understanding is that the vinyl is thinner and less durable than something like a clear bra, so when the inevitable rock chip comes your way, if the color underneath is significantly different, you can imagine the result. I have not applied vinyl myself, so it would certainly be better to get input from those who have on this topic.

As far as paint goes, I would think a full paint done by a good shop, with paint protection film on top, would result in the highest quality, most durable, and most expensive finish.

"Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
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