Until recently, changing your BMW’s exterior color meant repainting, but the development of several new techniques has made the prospect of a color change viable for a much larger crowd. The most widely used of these new techniques is wrapping, a process that places a thin layer of colored vinyl over your car’s paint to achieve just about any look you want.
Wraps aren’t permanent, so you can even apply one for a matter of months and then switch to a different look. The possibilities are very nearly endless.
Reasons to Wrap
What if you don’t have plans to change colors anytime soon, is it still a good idea to use a wrap over a paint job? The biggest factor in answering this question is cost. While a quality paint job for your BMW could cost upwards of $5,000, a wrap can be applied for a little more than half that amount.
These are rough figures, but the wrap delivers a better-looking car for a lower up-front cost. The drawback is that the wrap isn’t permanent, but it will provide protection for the car’s body, and, when professionally applied, manufacturers claim wraps can last as long as three years.
Wraps can be applied more quickly than paint. Typically, a skilled shop can apply a simple wrap inside a day or at a maximum over the course of a few days.
Get Your Wrap on
Check out other examples of wrapped BMWs to decide if the look is for you. Decide what colors or designs you want in the wrap, and locate a trustworthy shop that has good reviews to apply it.
If you have some artistic talent and a place to work, you might decide to wrap your car yourself. Begin by measuring the lengths of vinyl you’ll need to cover all the bodywork on the car. For the job to look professional, you’ll need to go beneath many body panels and extend the vinyl to the car’s interior or under-hood.
Wraps are sold in standardized squares, so calculate your costs based on the sizing your manufacturer of choice uses. Order more than you’ll need because, if you need to order more material, it might not color-match well.
Applying Your Wrap
Remove items that can’t be covered by the wrap, such as side markers. Clean your car’s exterior thoroughly with standard car wash and then with alcohol to prepare to apply your wrap.
Remove any backing and carefully lay the wrap down, take care not to allow air beneath the wrap as you go. Make sure not to overstretch the vinyl. If you do, you’ll ruin its appearance and potentially tear the wrap. When you’ve completed the application, use a knife to cut away excess material.
The final step is post-heating the wrap. For this, we recommend using a sun-gun. This step is crucial for long-term adhesion, so don’t skip it.
Enjoy Your New Look!
Wrapping has become popular with exotic collectors who wrap their new cars upon purchase, only to remove the wrap before selling the car. The pristine factory paint, preserved beneath the wrap, makes sure they get top price.
You don’t need a brand-new exotic to enjoy a wrap, just express yourself and be happy about how awesome your bimmer looks!