Can Paint Protection Be a DIY Project at Home?

Cars often get sold with different sorts of add-ons, and buyers can struggle to decide which ones are worth the dough. Many dealerships will offer paint protection, for example. However, is paint protection from the dealer worth the cost? Would buyers be better off protecting their vehicle’s paint on their own with do-it-yourself maintenance? This is something you don’t want to get wrong, so read on to learn more about what you should keep in mind when making decisions about paint protection. 

Think twice before applying paint protection on your own

Workers at a BYD Automobile Company Limited factory plant in Xi'an, China, paint spraying a car frame body shell red
Workers spraying a car frame red | Yuan Jingzhi/VCG via Getty Images

Paint protection probably seems simple. Just add some appropriate film, or apply other sorts of protection products, and call it a day, right? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy, and it’s best to leave paint protection work to the experts. 

3DomWraps highly recommends that you not apply paint protection on your own. As they put it, “It is far easier to cause damage than it is to get it right.” Since we’re pretty sure that no one is out to damage their car, we’ll second that advice and recommend consultation with an expert before trying to protect your own paint. (Keep in mind that sealants can be harmful to skin and shouldn’t be applied without proper protection.)

There’s also the fact that dealerships aren’t always the best option for getting your paint protected. They’re almost certain to charge more than others would for the same service, and they’re less likely to be specialists in the process. For that reason, we suggest that you just say no to the dealer’s offer of paint protection. 

The pros and cons of the process

Paint protection can be a smart choice if you select a service provider who knows what they’re doing and charges a reasonable rate. With paint protection, you’re more likely to keep your car looking in tip-top shape over time, and you have less need to worry about potential wear and tear on your car’s exterior. 

However, there are potential downsides to paint protection, especially if you have the misfortune of using someone who’s not an expert in the process. Not only will the service cost you, but there’s always the possibility that it could leave your car looking worse than before. If the paintwork isn’t professionally washed before the sealant is added, any dirt on the surface could end up trapped between the sealant and the car. Such permanent unsightliness, while a small risk, is still a risk inherent in the paint protection process. 

Is paint protection worth it?

In the end, only you can decide whether paint protection is worth the investment it would require. If your goal is to keep your car in tip-top shape, or if you envision yourself attempting to resell it for top dollar, then paint protection could very well be worth the cost. This is especially true if you can find a trusted expert who will perform the service at a reasonable price (which we define as a price that would beat the cost charged by the dealer). 

On the other hand, not everyone views their car as an investment. For many,  it’s simply a means of getting from point A to point B every day, and car detailing isn’t high on their list of priorities. If that sounds like your approach to your ride, then paint protection may not be worth the cost for you. Just remember that it’s difficult to unring the bell if you decide to forgo paint protection from the beginning. 

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