Paint Protection Film – Everything You Need to Know about this Technology
Whenever you purchase a car, you want it to look the same for as long as possible. In other words,
it should look like you just took it out of the showroom. However, it isn’t an easy task to maintain
the aesthetics of your car as it requires tremendous amounts of effort. Also, there are situations,
where things are beyond control, which damages the paint of your car.
For example, imagine you happen to be behind a truck carrying large amounts of gravel. When the
gravel falls, it will land on your car, chipping away small bits of paint. Another situation where you
are likely to face problems is when you are driving through an area where the roads aren’t in the
best condition. Your tires will pick up the loose gravel, launching them towards your car at high
speeds. Over time, the damage done by the gravel will reflect on your car, as it will have tons of
scratches. When your car gets exposed to UV rays for a long time, it will lose its luster due to
oxidization. Even if you try to keep your car indoors as much as possible, you can’t escape from the
rays of the sun. Also, constant exposure to pollutants such as smoke and other types of chemicals in
the air will discolor the paint of your car over time.
When you have to repaint your car, you will end up spending large sums of money. However, you
should know that you can avoid these problems with paint protection film.
What is Paint Protection Film?
Paint protection film is the first line of defense in safeguarding the external appearance of your car
from the harsh conditions in the surrounding environment. The materials used in paint protection
film have great resistance to high impact, allowing them to protect your car against accidental
scratches and chips due to road debris and rocks.
It also has a urethane film, which is quite resistant to acidic and corrosive elements, providing vital
protection for your car against acid rain, mineral deposits, bug splatter, and bird droppings. Also,
the film uses elastomeric polymers for the top layer. The benefit of these polymers is that it will
allow the film to retain its shape, even after it gets disfigured or stretched. In other words, you can
say that the film can heal itself under specific conditions. Due to this reason, when the film gets
light scratches, it will absorb the disfiguration, and while retaining its properties and texture. On top
of that, it doesn’t allow the bird, bug droppings, and other organic compounds from sticking to the
History of Paint Protection Film
It is always good to know about the history of paint protection film as it helps you understand how
the technology evolved over the years. You can trace the roots of this tech all the way back to the
1960s when the Vietnam War was going on.
During the war, the military had to use helicopters extensively for a variety of operations, such as
gunships and troop carriers. Also, they used them for search and rescue, and evacuation of military
personnel. Due to the debris and shrapnel flying around, the rotor blades of the helicopters got
damaged, causing them to crash. 3M, a manufacturing company, worked with the military to create
a material which would protect the rotor blades in hostile environments. The company found out the
best solution was to apply a layer of coating known as “helicopter tape.”
The automobile industry found another purpose for paint protection film, as they wanted to use it to
protect their vehicle’s vulnerable parts from light damage. 3M found the task challenging at first as
they had to make the coating flexible enough to adjust to the intricate curves of vehicles.
During the 1980s, automobile racing sports competitions such as NASCAR found out that the
urethane film was extremely useful as it protected the vehicles from chipping. The film helped them
immensely, as they no longer had to apply fresh coats of paint after completing a race.
Over time, the manufacturers of paint protection film have been able to take its practicality to a
whole new level. These days, you will find these coatings on airplanes, smartphones, and luxury
Advantages of Paint Protection Film
Here are some of the advantages of paint protection film:
1. Easier to keep car clean
The first thing you will observe with paint protection film is that it becomes extremely easy
to keep your car neat and tidy. When you have work, you may not have the time to clean
your car on a regular basis. For starters, you want to spend your weekends taking a break, so
that your mind is in the right state to start work again.
Cleaning your car takes a large portion of your time, as it requires you to be meticulous and
dedicated. If you decide to spend only half an hour, your car will look brand new, thanks to
paint protection film. Even if you live in an area where you have access to limited volumes
of water or are environmentally-conscious, you can use a soft cloth to remove the dirt from
2. Increases resale value
Every car owner wants to ensure that they get the highest possible value when they want to
sell their vehicles. That’s the reason why they will repaint their vehicles, give it to the
mechanics for maintenance, before putting them on the market. Although you can’t improve
its resale value significantly, every small detail matters a lot.
Any car owner understands the importance of paint protection film, as it keeps the vehicles
safe from damage. As a result of this, scratches and other marks, which reduce the value of
vehicles are no longer existent. Also, buyers understand the true value of paint protection
film, which is why they are willing to spend more money purchasing vehicles with them.
3. No more waxing
The reason why you want your car to look shiny is that it gives off a sleek and expensive
outlook. To give your vehicle a boost in its appearance, you will use wax as it is the most
popular product for adding the sparkling effect.
Although there are a lot of advantages with waxing, it doesn’t have a long-lasting effect due
to various environmental conditions. For example, constant exposure to sunlight melts the
wax, removing its lustrous properties. As you can imagine, it is a waste of your time and
money because waxing is a temporary solution. Paint protection film is similar to waxing,
but the difference is that it lasts for a longer time, making it a worthwhile investment.
4. Protection against the environmental hazards
When you take a look at the bumper or any other portion of your car, you are bound to find
small scratches everywhere. As time goes on, these scratches will build up, degrading the
appearance of your vehicle.
There are a lot of elements in nature such as bird droppings and tree sap, which don’t go
well with paint, corroding them slowly. Even if it is something as small as berries, they can
change the quality of paint on your vehicle as they continue to fall on the car.
Also, there is UV radiation everywhere you go, which damages the paint. Paint protection
film is like sunscreen, protecting your car against the harmful radiations. You no longer
have to worry about discoloration, due to this technology.
Maintaining paint protection film
As always, you need to take care of the paint protection as it isn’t the ultimate defender against
aesthetic problems. You need to look after it as though it is the paint for your vehicle. Here are a
few tips which will extend the lifespan of the paint protection film:
If you notice excess wax near the edges of the film, remove them with the help of a lint-free
Wait for at least 24 – 48 hours after application of the paint protection film, before washing
If you are using a high-pressure washer, make sure that you don’t aim it at the film’s edge as
it will damage the product.
Only use microfiber or soft towels on the film.
Avoid using abrasive cleaners as they can scratch the film.