Don't paint, wrap that ride | News

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Don't paint, wrap that ride

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Our slow economy is prompting more people to keep their cars longer. Some paint their cars a different color to give it a newer look. Others are choosing to wrap their car to spruce up their vehicle

The motto at Identity Design on Sunbeam Road is "Paint is Dead." In fact, there's a sign hanging in their garage reminding employees and customers that vinyl is their business. Vinyl replaces paint in this shop. One car is getting a carbon fiber look with a vinyl wrap that is first stretched and then smoothed into place.

Another car is getting its side view mirror wrapped.  The folks at Identity designs say there's a growing group of people who prefer to wrap their cars instead of paint them.  "One of the most beautiful things about a wrap is not only are you not permanently changing your vehicle. You can keep it in upwards of ten years. But if you decide to remove it you haven't damaged anything underneath," says Austin Smith.

Smith, the co-owner of Identity Design, says about half of the shop's business comes from commercial customers like car dealerships.  The other half range in age from teenagers to older adults. But they all have the same objective.  They want to get a different look for their cars.

Europe and other countries overseas have been wrapping cars for years. But Smith says it's just starting to take off in the United States.  A brand new Dodge Durango cost about $3000 to wrap in a matte finish. A Smart Car is wrapped in chrome. "This car in chrome will run about $4500 to wrap. Chrome is the most expensive material on the market right now," says Smith.

Wraps are not only limited to cars. A boat got a makeover and as well as a golf cart that turned from gator orange to carbon fiber grey.  For those who laugh at the price tag Smith says it's the quality you're paying for.   "A $300 to $400 paint job was meant to be something that would look good from 10 to 15 feet away. A vinyl wrap will allow you to get right on top of our wraps and look at it where it resembles more of a $3000 to $6000 paint job."

Identity Design can also create a custom design with its huge printer and it takes just a few days to wrap a car.  Paint might not be dead yet but it is for those who prefer to wrap their ride.


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