Are you considering a vinyl wrap for your vehicle, trailer, motorcycle, boat, etc? But you don’t know anything about vinyl. Vinyl wrapping is not a new concept to most of us; however, many of us don’t know that not all wrapping, and materials are made equally and its important much like getting a paint job to understand the complexities of the material and services of wrapping.

These elements make a big difference in the cost and can make the savings compared to painting even greater!

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Cost of vinyl wrap is typically 1/2 the cost of painting a vehicle

Material Types

Vinyl automotive wraps are designed to do everything that regular paint can do but at a much lower cost and with less application involvement. They are designed to be placed over a clean paint or bare metal surface, but they can also come in patterns and textures for a more visually striking appearance. There are two main types of wraps: cast and calendared.

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Most automotive wraps are cast vinyl wraps. They are thin colored films that conform to a vehicle’s shape. They can be cut to fit an exact area. Essentially, it is like putting an enlarged sticker over your vehicle, and professional installers use a combination of heat and a blade run over the surface of the wrap to adhere it to the application surface.


Calendared wraps are much less common than cast wraps. They are much thicker, which is good for protection value, but their thickness also does not allow them to conform to edges and corners as well. Many installers do not use them except for specific usage under special circumstances.

Wrap Coverage

One advantage wraps have over conventional paint is that they can easily be applied to as much or as little of the vehicle as one needs.

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A full vehicle wrap is self-explanatory. It is basically designed to replace the paint in its entirety. Those who want to change the color of their vehicle will choose a full wrap.


Partial wraps are also popular to accentuate or add some sporty appearance to a vehicle. Common partial wrap locations include the hood, roof, spoiler, or mirrors. Because they only cover small sections of a vehicle, they are less expensive than wrapping an entire vehicle.


Blackout wraps are like full wraps, but they go one step farther. They include wrapping all the factory paint and any trim pieces that exist. Many vehicle grilles, wheels, and window sills are considered to be trim pieces and often come with real or fake chrome plating.


Interior wraps are similar to blackout wraps. Interiors have far less actual paint than the exterior of a vehicle, but there are often several trim pieces that are made of plastic or other materials that people want to be changed.


Protective wraps are essentially ceramic coatings that are not true ceramic coatings. They are often clear and protect the actual paint from damage; They are often referred to as paint protection films.

Wrap Finishes

Wraps aim to accomplish the same thing as regular paint, aiming to mirror its appearance. With a wrap though, being essentially a wearable automotive paint, there are a few extra options available that regular paint cannot match.

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A gloss vinyl wrap finish gives the same look as a regular gloss paint finish. It remains the most popular finish and is the most simple in terms of color.


Again, a matte wrap produces the same look as a matte paint finish. The most common way to describe a matte finish is “flat.” Like paint, matte wraps are popular with those who want to upgrade their existing paint or change their vehicle’s color.


A satin finish is like a cross between a gloss and matte finish, but it also has some similarities to metallic or pearlescent paint. The color is somewhat flat with a subtle metallic shine. As far as finishes that incorporate normal coloration, satin finishes are one of the more interesting wrap finishes, and they are sure an aesthetic upgrade to normal gloss or even matte finishes.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber wraps are designed to mimic true carbon fiber body panels, and they even have carbon fiber woven into the wrap. These are popular when fitting partial wraps to hoods, roofs, and mirrors.


Textured wraps are the most interesting appearance enhancers of any option. Camouflage, forest-themed, diamond plating, and many others are available.

Serving Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell and the wider treasure valley we are one of the only Certified Distributors of 3M products in the Western area of Idaho. If you are looking for vehicle wraps, window tints for your vehicle check out our list of services. We also offer custom printing for fleet and commercial vehicles.

Vehicle Wraps

If you found this vinyl wrap guide for beginners please let us know! We're always happy to have a conversations and answer questions.

Serving customers in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and Caldwell.