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Why You Should Not Go DIY on Paint Protection Film Installation

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Whether you paid a lot up front and/or invested a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and weekends after you bought it — you’re proud of your ride. Some car mod projects that you can do at home are fun and worth the challenge. Some aren’t, though, and paint protection film installation is one of those you shouldn’t take on as a DIY project. 
This isn’t like upgrading your suspension with polyurethane bushings or installing a cold-air intake — this is a major project you should leave to the pros (if you decide to go this route among other options for protecting your paint job). 
Here’s why.

You Need the Right Environment

Any dust — repeat — ANY dust that gets trapped between the surface of your paint and the film when you apply it is going to show. Every time you walk by it, you’ll see it. Run your hand over it, you’ll feel it. This is (or should be) one of the biggest reasons to trust this treatment for your car to a professional shop with the right set up. 
It’s not easy, or cheap, to create a truly sterile and ideal situation for installation with dust management. That’s part of why paint protection film installation is an investment — the shops that do the installation have put up the money to build sophisticated booths or clean rooms with the systems for doing it right.

Would You Hire a First-Time Surgeon for an Operation?

It sounds crazy, right? There’s no way you’d want someone operating on you or someone you love that has never actually used a scalpel before — even if they’ve done lots and lots of research about how to do it. 
You’ve probably tried to apply a screen protector on your phone … and been ridiculously frustrated to find out there’s dust trapped under it. That’s a small FLAT surface. Now imagine doing that with a surface the size of your curvy car. 
If you go the DIY paint protection film installation route, though, that’s exactly what you’re getting, except you’re the surgeon, and that beautiful paint job you want to protect is just one slip of the knife away from serious damage. 
With most DIY kits you have to cut the edge of the film yourself. It’s nerve-wracking, even if you’ve done it before. It takes patience, and know-how, and the kind of skill you only get through doing it over and over again. We know, because that’s what it has taken for the professional installers at DeDona Tint & Sound to get to the level of expertise we have to offer you and our fellow car enthusiasts in the Greensboro, NC area.

It Takes Quality Paint Protection Film Product

It goes without saying that all paint protection films aren’t created equal, and it’s easy to get stuck with inferior quality film when you order a DIY kit. If you’re buying a kit on the internet, everybody is trying to be the cheapest while still offering a quality product. That means they’re all trying to get the cheapest material possible for their price point to increase their profit margin. 
These films aren’t cheap to produce, and when manufacturers do try to cut corners what comes out are films with:

  • Obvious defects like stretch marks
  • Other visible flaws, such as orange peel textures you’ll see and feel in the finished product
  • Inferior adhesion materials that won’t hold up as well over time

And the big problem is that you don’t really know what you’re getting with the material in a kit until you’re already totally committed to applying it. That takes a huge amount of set up and work, aside from the steep price tag on the kit in the first place.

Installation is Tedious and Time-Consuming

When it comes down to it, there’s just a lot of work that does into this treatment for your car. Every step along the way has to be done carefully and precisely, or it’s going to show in the final product. Air bubbles, scratch marks, dirt and dust, and more are pretty likely to happen for a first-time installer. The process generally follows these steps:

  • Prepping the Surface: The paint needs to be cleaned immaculately before application. That means a degreaser and impeccable wash, at least. A professional-grade wax job before the next step can help the finished product really pop, too. 
  • Rough Cut: Next, sections of the film usually have to be cut to a rough size to fit each panel or section of the vehicle.
  • Application: This is one of the trickiest steps in the process. The film is sprayed and squeegeed to remove bubbles and worked into the perfect position.
  • Finishing: With the film in place, it’s dried with a heat gun to shrink it in place while activating the adhesive layer underneath. Hopefully, everything is perfect at this stage, and the right level of even heating is applied, or you’ll know it right away! Then the final trim to cut the edges is carefully done.

Professional Installation

Maybe by now, you see what makes protective paint film installation such a challenging DIY mod for your vehicle. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard to get quality materials AND the right space to do the job AND the expertise to get it right the first time. Don’t forget there are other options out there, too, for keeping your ride looking great: ceramic coating and vinyl wraps
Paint protection film is an investment, but when you let the pros do it, you get a superior look and scratch and chip-resistant protection for your vehicle. The professionals at DeDona Tint & Sound have the equipment and expertise to do the job right and keep your ride looking perfect — just the way you want it! Fill out our online form for an instant quote today.

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