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Paint Protection

Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Film (PPF), Clear Shield, Clear Bra, or whatever term you use, is the best money you can spend on your vehicle. PPF was developed by 3M to be used on helicopter blades to protect them from the sand in the middle east. It was first used in the military operation “Desert Storm” in 1991. It worked so well that 3M decided there must be other uses for the product. It was given a high gloss finish so it could be used on new cars and trucks and would be nearly invisible.

PPF was first introduced to a handful of auto trim shops in Minneapolis in the spring of 1992 and Stripes & Stuff was one of these shops. Keep this in mind when deciding who to have install your film. If you can find a dealer with more experience, we’d like to know!

This was a completely new product and we were unsure of what its long term durability would be. There was also no formal training to install the film at the time. We knew, however, that we could do a proper installation having more than 10 years experience installing vinyl. We have done everything from birds on a Trans Am hood to wood grain.

We had a request from a customer for the film, and decided to give it a try. The car was a 1993 Honda Accord. We kept in contact with the customer for a year to see how it would hold up. After this time the film still looked great. In 1994 I decided to install film on my wife’s car. One day she came home with a large rock hit on the front of the hood. There was a dent in the metal, but the film was not damaged. We had the dent removed with paintless dent repair, and you couldn’t see that anything had happened. After that, we were hooked.

Fast forward to today, with over two decades of installing PFF, we have done thousands of cars. We install film for local car dealers and private parties. Other companies have gotten into the film making business, and we have tried every film made. Our years of experience trying all these new films have provided us the knowledge to educate you on the differences in the films, but have also led us to the best product on the market today – Xpel Ultimate Film.

XPel Ultimate Film

This is simply the finest quality product on the market. Xpel Ultimate has the industry’s only self healing top coat. Minor scratches will literally heal themselves without doing a thing. The product is perfect if you have a black or dark colored vehicle. The other amazing property of this product is the self healing top coat is like having a Teflon coating on your car. Bugs, oil, and other debris encountered during normal driving conditions wipe right off. You can even draw on this film with a permanent marker and it will not stain. No other product can make this claim. We have even put spray paint on the film as a test, and it wiped right off. Xpel Ultimate comes with a 10 year warranty. The 3M product only offers a 5 year warranty.

We only install film using computer designed and cut patterns. This eliminates the need to trim the film on the vehicle. We cut our own film, thus reducing time so we can install the PFF on your vehicle as soon as possible. Don’t be misled – experience and knowledge is what you want. Be aware of claims of “Factory Trained” or “Certified Installer” – this only means that the installer has completed a 3-5 day training course. Over 20 years of experience is what you want. Go with the best – Stripes & Stuff and Xpel Ultimate!


Custom making patterns and film kits

Frequently Asked Questions

"How does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film heal itself?"
XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film uses a special polymer in its clear coat that flows even though it is cured. This allows the clear coat to find its natural level again after being disturbed on the surface.

"How deep a scratch will heal?"
The clear coat is designed to heal surface scratches and common swirl marks that occur during routine washing of the car. If the scratch penetrates through the film's clear coat, it will not heal.

"How long does it take for a scratch to heal?"
The time for a scratch to heal depends on the severity of the scratch and the ambient temperature. Minor scratches usually heal in one hour at room temperature (72°F). In warmer climates, healing time will be shorter. The healing process can be accelerated at any time by pouring hot water over the scratched area.

"How many times will the clear coat heal itself?"
With this technology, there is no limit to the number of times the clear coat can heal itself. As long as the clear coat is not penetrated it will heal over and over again.

"How long will the clear coat last?"
Depending on how the film is cared for, the clear coat can last indefinitely. Regular washing and waxing will keep the clear coat in top condition for years to come.


Stain & Chemical Resistance

"How does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film resist staining?"
The clear coat on XPEL ULTIMATE has a very low surface energy, which makes it extremely difficult for organic compounds to stick to the film. Insects, bird droppings and environmental contaminants (which would normally cause yellowing) such as road oils, exhaust smoke and pollution can be removed during regular washing. An example of a similar technology would be Teflon, where a Teflon pan is easy to clean because nothing will stick to it.

"What if a stain does not come off the film during normal washing?"
If ordinary car wash or soap and water will not remove a stain, there are a variety products available to do the job. In most cases simple isopropyl rubbing alcohol will remove anything on the surface of the film. In cases of more severe staining, or where something has been left on the film for a long period of time, a sparing amount of lacquer thinner can be used. Bug and tar remover available at any auto parts store is also effective.


How to Care for the Film

"How is care of XPEL ULTIMATE different than other films?"
XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film requires less maintenance than any other brand of film on the market. Our general care instructions are:

  • Wait 48 hours after installation to wash your car
  • Remove insect or other stains with bug and tar remover
  • Stubborn stains can be removed with 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner. Take care to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint
  • Seal with XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant at least once every 3 months to preserve high gloss
  • Light scratches in the film will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. In colder conditions, or to accelerate the process, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area

"Can I wax the film when I wax the rest of the car?"
Unlike most paint protection films on the market, XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection film can be waxed and sealed just like your paint. Though XPEL Flawless Finish Paint Protection Film Sealant is still the preferred product, Any automotive wax or sealant may be used.

"Will XPEL ULTIMATE make the paint underneath the film fade at a different rate?"
No. XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film allows UV to pass through the film and fade the paint underneath at the same rate as the exposed paint.


Installation Differences

"Does XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film install the same way as other films?"
All paint protection films on the market install at least slightly different from one another. This is due to differences in adhesive chemistry, clear coat density, etc. XPEL ULTIMATE is an extremely installer friendly film when applied using XPEL's recommended installation guidelines.

"Can I stretch the film if it has an automotive clear-coat on top?"
XPEL ULTIMATE can be stretched just like any other paint protection film. The only difference that will be felt is that some extra force will be needed to stretch the film due to the greater density of the clear coat.


Warranty Coverage

"What does the XPEL ULTIMATE 10 year warranty cover?"
XPEL warrants XPEL ULTIMATE Paint Protection Film to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for ten (10) years from the date of purchase. Covered defects include: yellowing, staining, cracking, blistering and delaminating. This warranty does not extend coverage to damage caused by normal wear and tear, road debris impact, accidents, collisions or intentional damage of any kind.

"Does the warranty include labor to replace the film?"
Yes. Reimbursement for labor charges covered by the warranty will be made directly to the Authorized XPEL Dealer performing warranty replacement.