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What shouldn't be wrapped

what vehices can't be wrapped

What vehicles can't be wrapped

Hey, I thought that like with paint, vinyl wrap can be applied to pretty much anything? Right?

Wrong. Wrapping is not painting. It is an absolutely different process and it should be thought about in a different way. Quite a few quote requests we receive are for something that can't be done. Let's dig deeper into this problem.

For the last several years we’ve been enjoying top positions in Google search for pretty much any wrap related request in Toronto region. This is good for business, not so good for mental well-being. The amount of requests we are getting every day is insane. One problem is that around half of them or even more are for jobs that can’t or shouldn’t be done. EVER.

Yes, at Custom Wraps we can afford to be choosers and not to jump on anything that flies by. Many quote requests get a polite rejection. Because I am so tired of sending those, I have decided to summarize what exactly can’t be wrapped. At least at our shop.


Cheaper Older Cars

This one is a bit controversial because it kinda discriminates some vehicles. But hey... Everything in this life has to be logical and financially sustainable. I get it when a kid wants to wrap his ’98 Civic in matte black. Don’t get offended but we won’t even discuss it with him.

Wrapping is a high precision, long, extremely demanding process involving expensive materials. All this makes it not cheap at all. Why would I spend my time on discussing a “wonderful idea” of putting a 3000$ wrap on a 500$ car?

Rule of thumb – wraps are for cars not older than 7 years and not cheaper than 40000$.

Strongly disagree? You can try to wrap the car on your own.

Classic and Retro Cars

With all the respect to collectors and restoration enthusiasts, wrapping is a child of the modern world. It is not designed for older cars. There are a few reasons for that.


The body shape on the classic cars is in most cases not intended for wrapping. Modern cars have all the body panels more or less flat and they are all separated from one another. On most classic sports cars the full nose of the car is a single piece and is normally or a weird shape. It is impossible to wrap those without having multiple vinyl pieces with overlaps between them. This goes against our ultimate aim – seamless wrap looking like paint.

Talking of paint. The paintjob on a car for wrapping has to be in like new condition. Very often not so with the cars from the 70th.

The gaps between the panels on older cars are huge. We can’t get in there to wrap. For that reason the original colour will show through.

We remove a lot of trim pieces for wraps. On older cars they break all the time. Very hard to get replacement after that.

All in all, if you want a classic hot rod in great shape – do a decent paintjob on it.

Motorcycles, ATV'S, Snowmobiles, Golf Carts

Some shops will deal with those. We don’t wrap anything other than cars, trucks and vans.

The fairings and gas tanks are not intended for wrapping at all!  Way too complex shape prevents from wrapping in one piece and eventually causes vinyl peeling.

Wrapping vinyl is fairly delicate. It shouldn’t be used on vehicles for racing, off-roading etc.

Finally the price for wraps is mostly defined by the time we spend. Bike owners just don’t realize that wrapping their seemingly small thing can take 2 days which is what it takes to wrap an average car. The price tag would be corresponding. 

Red, White, Yellow Cars

This is the biggest reason for all rejected requests. 

The matter is that there are always some tiny spots on the car that can't be physically wrapped because of the shape, lack of access etc.

For example the gap between the front door and the front fender.These areas show the original colour of the car and because it is brighter than the colour of the wrap, your eye notices them first. 

Each year we rewrap one or two cars that have been done at another shop and the client hated the end result because this rule has been ignored. 

These cars can be wrapped only in some relatively close colours. 

White - satin pearl white, matte white, all kinds of light silver metallic.

Yellow - shades of yellow and orange only(matte, satin, gloss finish).

Red - red, orange, copper, gold.

We know that it is a big boomer for a large number of plain white cars owners but nothing can be done about it. 

For us this is no acceptable and we would rather honestly decline a wrap job then compromise the end result for a client.

Wheel Rims

Rims shouldn't be wrapped at all although technically sometimes it is more or less possible (some shapes). Wheels spin too fast and are subject to tremendous abrasion force from dirt and chips.

For this reason any vinyl on the wheels will start peeling and scratching a lot in a week after application.

Please note that the same rule applies to break calipers. They can't be wrapped, only powder coated. 

If you want to change the colour of your wheels - powder coat or paint them at a place specializing in this type of jobs.

For over 10 years we are providing exceptional quality commercial graphics, colour change and paint protection car wraps in Toronto.