Choosing which reflective material (luster) to use on a vehicle wrap can be difficult or confusing, especially if you're unfamiliar with how the various materials look. If you've worked with paint before, you're probably familiar with terms like matte, gloss, satin, pearl, and metallic. But if you don't, we're here to explain the distinctions between gloss, satin, and matte vehicle wraps.

If you're looking for a vehicle wrap but aren't sure what kind of reflective material you want, don't worry! In this article, we will go over the various wrap finishes.

What are the differences between gloss, satin, and matte finishes?

The way light reflects off a surface is loosely defined as luster. To put it another way, it refers to how shiny or reflective the surface is. The amount of light reflected ("shininess") is the main difference between metallic, satin, and matte finishes.

  • Gloss vehicle wraps: A gloss vehicle wrap is similar to shiny paint. It reflects light well and comes close to resembling the original finish on new cars that have come off the production line.
  • Metallic vehicle wraps: As the name implies, metallic wraps are highly reflective of light and resemble the surface of metal. However, metallic wraps are not restricted to "metallic" hues (gold, silver, bronze, etc.) and can come in practically any colour imaginable.
  • Satin vehicle wraps: Satin wraps are an excellent compromise between metallic and matte vehicle wraps. They have a lower sheen than metallics, giving them a recognisable but distinct appearance.
  • Pearl vehicle wraps: Pearl wraps are not as reflective as metallic wraps, but they provide a unique effect since the light reflects off of their iridescent undertone, similar to a pearl.
  • Matte vehicle wraps: Matte wraps are distinct in that they provide a premium appearance (due to scarcity as opposed to the more prevalent metallic finish) and have a "flat" appearance, which means that they reflect the minimum amount of light.

Which type of Luster should I use on my vehicle wrap?

If you are unsure about which sort of luster will best suit you and your vehicle, the first step is to explore the internet for vehicles with various luster finishes to get a better sense of what you want. Most significantly, you should base your decision on the look you want to achieve with the finished wrap. Don't base your decision on what other people think.

Should I invest in a High-Gloss Vehicle Wrap?

Are you looking for something sleek and trendy, yet not excessive? A metallic wrap is most likely your best option. Metallic vehicle wraps are the best at imitating the paint finish found on the majority of vehicles. So, if you just want to change the hue, go with a gloss wrap.

Pearl White Gloss Vehicle Wrap

Pearl white gloss VW. Image sourced by flickr user

When should I have a Satin Vehicle Wrap installed?

Satin vehicle wraps provide a good middle-of-the-road lustre. The satin wrap has a glossy appearance, yet it is a little flat. Those who favour the conventional lustre will recognise this distinct appearance, but want a car wrap that is a little edgy.

Satin Candy Red Vehicle Wrap

Satin candy red Mercedes. Image sourced by flickr user

When Is a Matte Vehicle Wrap necessary?

Matte vehicle coverings are extravagant. They are one-of-a-kind and rare, making them ideal for anyone who wants their vehicle to stand out. Looking for a one-of-a-kind look? Protect your vehicle even further and add PPF film on top of the matte wrap.

Pearl Black Matt Vehicle Wrap

Matte black BMW. Image sourced by flickr user

Should I have a Metallic or Pearl Vehicle Wrap?

Yes! Sure, a pearl or metallic vehicle wrap is one-of-a-kind, but that's what makes it so appealing! This style of car wrap is sure to turn heads, and if you don't like the look, you can just peel it off!

The final decision is yours, and it should be based on the aesthetic you want. You have the ability to create any look you can imagine, so have fun with it! Having said that, make sure you work with certified vehicle wrapping professionals to ensure you get the best results.

Published on
June 5, 2022
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