Can damaged vehicle graphics be partially replaced? It depends. For some no, and others yes. There are a few conditions that need to be met to partially replace damaged vehicle graphics. Replacing a damaged section of vehicle graphics can be less time consuming and less expensive than replacing an entire wrap. It’s often unnecessary to replace an entire graphic to fix one damaged area. For example, if a vehicle has been involved in an accident and damage was confined to a quarter panel or rear deck, it may be possible to repair and replace only those sections.

Can Damaged Vehicle Graphics be Partially Replaced?

First complete the repair work

Before graphics can be replaced, all bodywork repairs must be completed. Graphics will not cover damage—it will show through. Bodywork and paint should be left to cure or dry according to manufacturers recommendations before applying adhesive graphics. If not the paint will gas out and loosen the adhesive on the vinyl, which will lead to separation from the vehicle.

How much should be replaced?

Determine the best start and stop points on the vehicle. For example, it would be difficult to replace graphics on part of a door—in most cases, the entire door should be rewrapped. The same goes for a hood, quarter panel, or trunk. Even if the entire area, such as a door, hasn’t been damaged it’s usually better to replace the graphics on the complete area.

Replacing OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) graphics

Many body shops offer adhesive vinyl applications. If the damaged vehicle had manufacturer applied graphics, a licensed and reputable body repair shop should be able to acquire the OEM replacement graphics. Contracting a body shop, experienced in vehicle graphics application, to complete the repairs may eliminate going to multiple providers. If the shop doesn’t apply adhesive vinyl graphics,  be certain that the body shop uses an established and experienced adhesive vinyl graphic installation team.

Replacing aftermarket graphics

It’s more difficult to partially replace damaged aftermarket graphics by anyone other than the original graphics provider. The large format provider who designed, manufactured, and installed the original graphics is best suited to matching the repair. To begin with, they should have the original artwork and formatting to work from, and they have the printers and systems used on the original—increasing the possibility of matching existing work. Color calibration can vary from printer to printer and by provider. This doesn’t mean that another provider, other than the original company, couldn’t repair the damage. It means they’ll need to be especially diligent about color match.

Other Considerations

How old are the graphics?

If the graphics are two to three years old or older it will be more difficult to match the existing graphics due to fading. Weathering a new decal to match a faded one is hard to accomplish. Attempting to match faded graphics will sometimes create a “patched” look.

What overall condition are the graphics?

Regardless of fade, what shape is the wrap? Is it scratched, peeling, or ripped? Are any edges loose; are there bubbles or stretch marks? If the existing wrap is worn—it may be time to replace the entire wrap.

So, can damaged vehicle graphics be partially replaced?

Vehicle wraps and decals that have been damaged through collisions, vandalism, or abuse CAN be partially repaired—under the right circumstances. Before committing to a partial replacement be certain it’s in the best interest of all. If you’d like further information or advice be sure to Contact Us  and let us know if you’d like a free estimate for your fleet graphics, Request a Quote.

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