The popularity of commercial vehicle wraps has fueled a growing demand for custom personalization of private vehicles. But not everyone wants a printed wrap with flames and skulls. The more subtle and popular approach is a Paint Replacement Wrap.

Paint Replacement Wrap for Customization

Paint replacement wraps can appeal to both vanity and practicality. The basic appeal is that the customer gets to pick the color of their vehicle instead of taking whatever is on the dealer's lot. Picking your color is only as appealing as the range of choices. ORAFOL has made that easier with their recent expansion of the 970RA and 975 Cast wrap vinyls. The 970RA comes in 97 colors and varieties, including matte, gloss, and metallic.

What Is Wrapping Cast Vinyl?

Wrapping cast vinyl is aptly named - it is a cast vinyl designed for vehicle wrapping. The 970RA is a composite film designed especially for paint replacement. Since the vinyl must serve the same purpose as OEM automotive paint and clear coat, it includes a 2 mil cast vinyl and 2 mil clear coat. The end product has same gloss as a factory finish and doesn't need lamination to protect the film from normal automotive wear and tear. Essentially, it's a premium cast vinyl that comes pre-laminated. The total 4 mil thickness gives it the same 'body' as a laminated wrap so it's just as easy to install.

Speaking of ease of installation, 970RA is so named because it includes ORAFOL's "Rapid Air" air egress liner. The final ingredient is the adhesive. The original had the same adhesive as ORAFOL 3951, but today's installers want a lower initial tack for easier repositioning. The 970RA uses the lighter tack adhesive of 3751RA so it's more user-friendly for the installer. Cost-Effective Customization Paint replacement wraps appeal to both vanity and practicality.

ORAFOL ORACAL 970RA vehicle wrap in Thunderous Blue Green

The obvious appeal to vanity is that your vehicle becomes an element of your personal style. Say you bought a cool new car, but there are lots of others in your neighborhood and you want to stand out. How about wrapping it in Saffron Yellow Matte, Yacht Blue, or Orient Brown Metallic? Want a red car or truck? Wrap it in 970RA!  And the shift-effect of some of the color choices like Aquamarine Blue will certainly catch some eyes. So will the Special Effect Thunderous Blue Green seen in the image. Be careful, though. The attention you get may lead to some rubbernecking and wolf-whistling!

Not Just for Good Looks

The practical appeal of vehicle wrapping is for individuals who lease their personal or work vehicles. One of the downsides of automotive leasing is the possibility of fees assessed for paint and body damage or excessive mileage. Paint replacement wraps offer a benefit for customers who want to avoid getting dinged for paint damage at the end of the lease term. Pardon the pun.

Another challenge car buyers or leasers face is finding the model they want with the options they want in the color they want. Especially if it only comes in Black or Gray. Rather than searching high and low for a car with the right combination of options and color, smart shoppers can just find the vehicle model with the options they want and have it wrapped to reflect their own style and personality. And they can change it mid-ownership, so they have the look of a new car. They have it removed at the end of the term, turn the vehicle in looking brand new, and start over. This is common practice in Europe.

ORAFOL ORACAL 975 Crocodile structured cast film.
Fig 1: This SUV has been customized with 975 Crocodile structured cast film.



Whether the appeal is practicality or vanity, you'll find a 970RA or 975 carbon fiber color and style to suit you or your customer. Standard sizes are 60" widths that cover hoods and doors in one panel. Standard roll lengths are ten, and twenty-five yard rolls. Most vehicles take about 25 yards of material, but you can use 10 yard rolls for accents, or use 10 yard rolls of different colors to create a custom two-tone wrap. Think of the design choices you can create!

Speaking of custom effects, if Orient Brown Metallic isn't eye-catching enough for your style, you might want to consider the added zing of ORAFOL 975 Premium Structure Cast films. These premium cast wrapping films add tangible structure for a wrap that feels as special as it looks. There are now 28 varieties of structure cast films ranging from the perennial favorite carbon fiber to unique films like Honeycomb, Crocodile, Cocoon, and Dune. (Fig 1)

Because of their more complex construction, these films are a little more expensive. All of the 970RA and 975 Structure Cast films are included in the standard ORAFOL color chart, available from SignWarehouse. They cost $19.99 each. But color chart includes a coupon for $19.99 off your next order, so the cost is temporary. Consider it a small investment in vehicle customization pre-visualization.


Like a printed wrap, installing a wrap with 975 or 970RA doesn't require a digital printer or even a vinyl cutter. It does require a certain amount of skill. The same methods used to install printed car wraps apply to paint replacement films. Just think of it as a car wrap with a very simple design.

If you haven't been to a Wrap Academy or other professional wrap installation training event, you can start here with Justin Pate's excellent wrap installation training DVDs. Having the right tools will help. You might want to start here.

Whether your interest is personal or practical, a paint replacement wrap might be just what you need to set yourself and your vehicle apart, save some money on your lease, or expand your sign shop's customer base. The 126 color palette of ORAFOL 970RA and 975 textured films will allow you to offer your customers more ways to express their individuality. Use your wrap installation tools and techniques. Or use the Wrap Installation DVDs to start learning how.