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All You Need to Know About Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Anyone who has ever found chips, cracks, and damage to the paint on their vehicle knows the value of products that protect paint. But cars with flaking, faded and peeling clear coats look just as bad. 

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from early car protection finishes. Paint protection film, which is also known as car protection film vehicle PPF, clear bra, clear mask, invisible shield, or clear wrap, is one of the best. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?

Anyone who has ever found chips, cracks, and damage to the paint on their vehicle knows the value of products that protect paint. But cars with flaking, faded and peeling clear coats look just as bad. 

Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from early car protection finishes. Paint protection film, which is also known as car protection film vehicle PPF, clear bra, clear mask, invisible shield, or clear wrap, is one of the best. Here’s what you need to know.

Types of Paint Protection Film

There are two main kinds of paint protection film or vehicle PPF available: the first is more traditional vinyl, and the second is purpose-made paint protection films. They might look the same at first glance, but there are some big differences:

Vinyl

Vinyl is the same material that is used to put advertising vehicle wraps on commercial vehicles. It provides a protective layer, but it’s fairly thick, and it’s easy to get the installation very wrong! 

Vinyl is also not transparent, so it doesn’t provide an invisible coating on your car. 

Paint Protection Film

Paint protection film is not vinyl. It’s a purpose-made film that’s much thinner, has “self healing” properties, and is remarkably tough. Vehicle PPF is much lighter too, and when installed properly, is basically invisible on your car. 

So, while vinyl and car protection film might look the same to the untrained eye at first, PPF is by far the superior choice for protecting your personal vehicle. 

How to Install Paint Protection Film

PPF Installation

Technically, it is possible to install PPF yourself. You can buy rolls of paint protection film and attempt to install it yourself. You will need cutting and smoothing tools, and it’s important to make sure the surface under the film is perfectly clean and dry. 

This is not as easy as a “peel and stick” operation though, so if you’re not confident, this might not be the ideal DIY project. You can see more about PPF installation here

Professional PPF installers have automated machines known as plotters to pre-cut the pieces, but if you are planning a DIY install, you will need to measure and cut, roll out the film, and carefully start applying it from one end, smoothing as you go. It does take some practice to get a smooth, full, bubble-free application, so you might want to start on less visible areas! 

How Long Does Paint Protection Film Last?

When professionally installed, car protection film or vehicle PPF will last somewhere between five and ten years – so you might very well have a new car before it wears out! 

However, if it’s not applied properly, or the surface below is not properly prepped, you might get a lot less life out of your PPF. Fortunately, it can be peeled off and replaced when necessary, so if you find your DIY job is not doing so well, you can upgrade it again.

Pros and Cons of Paint Protection Film

PPF is great because it has self-healing properties, it will prevent most chips, cracks, and scratches, and it can last a long time when properly installed. 

On the con side, not all PPF is made equal, and cheap products might not look great for long. It’s also slightly porous which might affect the paint sheen (although there are coating options to prevent that), and it really should be professionally installed and properly maintained.

How to Get the Most Out of a Paint Protection Film

A good PPF, properly installed, will last ten years. So, the most important thing is not to make price your only consideration. Choose a quality product, and if you’re not already great at applying vinyl or PPF, hire a pro to do it for you. You’ll get a lot more wear, and your car will look a lot better! 

Opt for a ceramic coating if you can, as this will solve any potential issues with porosity. 

How to Clean and Maintain a Car with PPF?

If your vehicle PPF is a quality product, professionally installed and topped with a ceramic coating, you should be able to wash your car as normal. Ask the installer if there are any specific products or treatments you should be avoiding, and if you notice visible damage, talk to a PPF professional about replacing the film in that area.

The Final Word: Why You Should Consider PPF For Your Vehicle

Done right, PPF looks great. It has a fantastic matte paint look and will protect your car for a very long time. Which means you can drive your car without worrying about damage. Taken over the lifespan of well-applied PPF, the benefits by far outweigh the costs!

If you’re looking for professional vehicle PPF information and installation, visit us at https://www.tinthaus.com.au/services/vehicle-paint-protection-film/

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