Paint Protection Film 101 (Part 1)
Thinking about taking the plunge and branching out to include paint protection films (or clear bras, as they are aptly dubbed) in your repertoire? Congratulations on taking the first step in the right direction! It’s true that these films have gotten a bit of a bad rep in the early years, but just like Facebook, they have gotten a major revamp and the new versions are nothing like the original. If you’re looking into getting started with paint protection films, here are a few things you should know.
How does the saying go? “Practice makes perfect”? While that’s a universal truth,
sometimes the trick is in practicing smarter and not just practicing more. With the availability of YouTube videos and online resources, it’s easy to fall into the temptation of self-instruction. After all, isn’t it easier to learn at your own pace than to carve out valuable time for training courses?
The problem, however, is that learning about paint protection film installation is not something that can be accomplished in a day or two, and the film materials you need are often quite expensive. The film wastage generated in the learning process might well cost you more than investing in a well-planned training course that would get you ready to perform quality installations much faster.
Bulk vs Precut Installations
So you’ve decided to take on the challenge of mastering the arts of clear bra installations, one question that you will probably encounter is whether you should offer bulk or precut installations. The main difference between the two lies in when the film is trimmed; in bulk installations, a larger piece of film is usually laid and fixed on the car paint before the excess film is trimmed off with a boxcutter or similar blades. In precut installations, the specific pattern designed for the target vehicle is plotted on the film using a vinyl cutting machine. The precut film is then installed on the car paint, and there is usually minimal trimming required afterwards.
Of course, each mode of installation has its pros and cons. Precut installation is generally more efficient, and easier to master compared to bulk installs. The most obvious reason is that the trimming of film in such close proximity of the car paint is a skill that needs to be perfected over time. It is all too easy for inexperienced installers to cut a little too deep or trim away too much material, resulting in damaged paint or messy edges. Precut patterns also allow installer to optimize the usage of film and minimize wastage, making it the more economical and environmentally friendly option.
With that said, there are certain advantages to performing bulk installs. Precut patterns for exotic and vintage vehicles, for example, might not be readily available due to lack of demand. Bulk installations also offer more flexibility when it comes to customized vehicles, ensuring that every inch of the car paint will be properly protected. Instead of choosing one or the other, it would be more practical for installer to be well-versed in both installation methods.
The good news is that if you are just starting out, OnerPro is equipped to give you the training you'll need to perfect the craft of PPF installation. We provide week-long training courses completed with practice vehicles and materials so you can learn the ins and outs of working with the product in a stress-free environment. We've also developed the OnerCut precut pattern database so you can generate accurate precut film at your shop, anytime you want.
Want to know more about our training system? Send us a message today!
(to be continued)