Our job involved stripping away the PPS and protect the car with PPF instead. Our experience working on this magnificent vehicle prompted us to write this follow-up article. Today, we’re delving deeper into the differences between Paint Protection Spray and Paint Protection Film.
Paint Protection Spray vs Paint Protection Film:
Who’s the new kid on the block?
PPF can trace its origins back to the Vietnam war in the 1950s. 3M were contracted to produce a lightweight product for application to the leading edge of helicopter blades to protect them from flying debris and shrapnel.
PPS, on the other hand, is a much more recent invention. The last decade has seen DIY versions offering applications from an aerosol can. But the current version of professionally applied PPS is only a few years old. There are a few names associated with the manufacture of sprayable paint protection products, both clear and tinted. Ngenco is one of the more well-known examples.
Until recently, Paint Protection Spray was mainly available through independent channels. But now we’re seeing some dealerships adopt the product.
Let’s talk price.
For the initial application of PPS, it would seem the price is comparable to PPF. However, the product represents a more minor part of the cost equation, while extra labour (the stripping, preparation and refitting) represents more.
A car owner can request the application of clear PPS to any area of their vehicle. So like PPF, this might include a front end only or an extended ‘Track Pack’ that might cover parts such as sills or the whole car. The only difference is that parts have to be covered edge to edge. So whereas someone might like their A-pillars covered with PPF, that wouldn’t be possible with PPS. Due to the shape of almost all cars, you’d have to cover the A-pillar and continue back to the entire rear quarter panel of the vehicle.
We’re proud of the versatility PPF offers and the range of PPF products available at our Hampshire studio. Read this blog to find out more. In contrast, PPS is a singular product. That said, there is opportunity to tint it with a vast range of colours. So, it can be used to carry out a reversible colour change on a car, much like a vinyl wrap.
Is it a better product?
In our professional opinion, the only advantage that paint protection spray has over paint protection film would appear to be a theoretical one. PPS requires no seams, relief cuts, or joins on large and awkward panels. However, in practice, achieving that requires extensive panel stripping and disassembly. Where the PPS goes under refitted trim, it frequently becomes damaged by friction with the trim and rucks up. Once this happens, it needs to be stripped down for repair.
From what we’ve seen, the longevity of PPS isn’t as good as PPF. It can look dull and flat relatively quickly. Furthermore, it doesn’t seem to self-heal anywhere near as well as PPF, and can require significant disassembly of your car to install.
Whilst this disassembly should, in theory, be fine, the reality is that unless an expert does it, your vehicle is never quite the same again. Any idea of cost savings compared to PPF will have evaporated when it comes to paying an equal amount of money again to strip the car down to remove the PPS. So yet again, your vehicle is being taken to bits. There could also be implications for your manufacturer warranty associated with this practice.
I think that in the future, PPS could be a very viable alternative to PPF. But I also believe we’re a good few years away from that yet.
As written above, on paper, it sounds great. Seamless, edgeless, it can conform to the complex shapes of modern vehicles when car manufacturers are looking to set themselves aside with ever more edgy designs.
But, the PPS finish isn’t durable enough yet, it doesn’t offer any cost advantages at the point of initial application, and the cost to remove it is vastly higher than that of PPF when it reaches the end of its (shorter) life or if a panel becomes damaged. We have often had to replace a piece of PPF that has done its job, saving the paint underneath from damage. we can usually remove single pieces within minutes with some steam, then replace the piece. This will never be the case with PPS; and would be more akin to stripping down a panel and repainting.
I think it’s telling that manufacturers, such as Porsche and Land Rover, are happy to work with PPF manufacturers like Xpel at their factories, with no impact on the vehicle warranty because it’s not an invasive install.
Perhaps in 5-10 years, PPS will be a more viable alternative, but for now, I am sure that PPF offers the best protection, finish, and, by far, the best value for money. Contact our Hampshire studio for PPF application HERE.