Are you deciding between vinyl wraps, Autoflex, and Plastidip for your Tesla?
I’ve done a ton of research and spoke to some folks about it. All are very fun ways to re-color your car and each come with its own pros and cons.
Why recolor your Tesla?
I think it’s like the whole iPhone customization mentality. Because Tesla has so few colors and so many people have them, you feel the need to customize yours in any way somehow.
There’s also the matter of wanting to really soup up your premium car. You already paid X amounts of dollars for it, what’s it to you to spend a few thousand more to get a really cool look? And as a bonus, you’re also protecting your factory paint underneath for if you want to resell it or revert back to the stock colors later.
It’s a cheap way of painting (applied with spray gun) and doesn’t look good IMO. It makes your fancy car look like a cheap toy. You can do a clean professional job but I don’t think the actual surface texture will still look cheap. Sure, it might look good in photographs or from far away but not up close in person. It’s like comparing the texture of cheap leather to expensive leather.
Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it no matter how cheap it is. Yes…some people argue that if you get it done right by someone with experience, it can look good. Ehh…I think if you even had to ask the question, you shouldn’t do it!
The nice benefits about Plastidip is that it’s very cheap and can be peeled off (it doesn’t stick to your existing paint) or renewed. It probably costs about $300-600 to do your whole car and lasts about 3 years depending on the weather. Renewing would be just $100-200.
Much nicer paint material that looks way better than Plastidip and also comes in all the cool colors/textures. Some people say it can look just as good as or even better than factory paint. I’m not so sure about that but the relatively affordable price makes it worth it IMO. If you’re in an expensive place like Southern California, I recommend driving out to Texas and you can find someone there to do it for $2k.
I think the major con of Autoflex is that it’s still relatively new and banned from some states because of hazardous chemicals?
Costs a lot to do right (like $6k) but looks great and more accessible than Autoflex. Just make sure you get someone who really really knows how to wrap cars well. I hear vinyl wraps are easy to look great for a short time but then shortcuts and lack of skill in key areas will cause the wrap to peel off over time or come loose and have issues.
From the standpoint of protection, vinyl wraps are very attractive as alternative to apply paint protection films and ceramic coats and what not. Vinyl wraps can last 3-5 years or even longer depending on the weather and application skill. Once it gets bad, you have to take it off completely as it can’t be renewed like with Plastidip/Autoflex.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where do you find good installers?
- I don’t know. Check forums and Yelp. The best ones have Instagram pages showing off their work, too.
What about renewing or repairing damage?
- Plastidip and Autoflex are just paint. I imagine you just spray a coat right on top.
- Vinyl wraps can be patched by cutting out a small section and then “melting” it in with a heat gun. In regards to renewing, you can’t. You have to remove it and get a new one once it starts to peel and look bad.
What colors do both offer?
- I believe all of those can offer a wide variety of special textures, colors, and effects. Matte, satin, satin with gold dust, iridescent (changing colors), etc and etc.
- Check forums and online galleries for ideas.