2008 Subaru WRX - Project WRX - Wrap It Up

Goodbye, flat-black paint — hello, white vinyl wrap

For those of you who don’t recall, our trusty ’08 WRX project car came with a silver coat of paint from the factory. The editors at Sport Compact Car, who previously owned the vehicle, decided to paint it flat-black as an homage to a previously built SCC Subaru STI that was rattle-canned flat-black in 2004. This time around, though, there would be no spray cans — instead, a professional paint shop applied BASF flat-black paint to the car and made it look superb.

Fast-forward three years and the flat-black paint job isn’t what it used to be. The problem with painting a car a matte color is that any oil, bird droppings, solvents and so on will damage the paint if not removed right away or properly. Rubbing off bird poop will leave a mark, and forget about trying to remove an oil stain by washing the car. It’s going to take some alcohol and very light scrubbing, and that isn’t always a sure thing.

As you would guess, with numerous track days and constant day-to-day driving, our WRX has seen more than its fair share of stains and blotches on its flat-black finish. It was becoming a real eyesore for me. For months, I talked about painting the car, but there wasn’t any specific color I had in mind, and while I hummed and hawed about it, Wraptivo came along. All over a sudden, I knew there was no better candidate to get a wrap job than the WRX.

In my specific case, I was looking for a permanent solution to an aging and fading paint job, but the true beauty behind a complete vinyl car wrap is that it’s removable. If you’re bored with your car’s color but don’t want to deal with the hassle of painting it, or maybe you’ve leased a vehicle and need to return it in original condition, or if you’re like me and wanted a unique-looking color that can’t be achieved with paint, then Wraptivo is the answer.

There’s no way I would paint a car flat-black ever again, but I can achieve the same look using a Wraptivo matte vinyl wrap and not have to deal with the constant upkeep that comes with matte paint. When I do get a blemish that won’t clean off the vinyl, it’s not that difficult (or expensive) to have it rewrapped.

I’m not saying that vinyl is immune to nicks and stains, but it’s much more manageable than a paint job. After experiencing both, I would choose matte wrap over a matte paint job any day. Wraptivo provides small pieces of its vinyl in a wide assortment of colors and finishes (like carbon fiber) so you can wrap roofs, side mirrors, spoilers and so forth. You can do this by yourself with some patience and trial and error, but for a complete car wrap, you need to go to an expert who can do it right.

A good installer will make the wrap job invisible — you would think the car was painted even when you walk up to it. What you don’t want is exposed paint of a different color being seen, so choose your wrapper carefully and ask for examples of their work.

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