AutoFlex is not a vinyl wrap. It’s definitely not paint. It’s not exactly Plasti Dip or any other “removable coating” products we love covering our cars in, either. But it sure is pretty.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to tuner-car culture lately, Plasti Dip is like spray paint but instead of paint it lays down a rubberized coating that can theoretically be peeled off without damaging whatever you blasted it on.
Plasti Dip doesn’t require a scuff, sand or do any other normal paint-prep procedure other than an intensive clean (and maybe masking) before putting it on. The reversibility of the stuff really drops the stakes of DIY-car decoration and it’s become pretty popular with people who like to play with cars.
Nobody has capitalized on this fad more than Fonzie at DipYourCar.com, who has tons of solid tutorial videos on how to use the stuff with convenient links on where to buy everything you see in use. Just don’t forget he’s also selling the stuff, so check out some independent review videos too if you’re thinking about giving this spray-stuff a try.
Rip through YouTube looking at Plasti Dip and you’ll see mixed results. Some people seem to get a great look coating their whole cars in it, others can’t keep it from flaking off a chrome “V8” badge.
I think, like any other artistic product applying correctly is probably key to the stuff working correctly. As for me, I’m still watching tutorial videos to get motivated to try it out on something myself. That’s how I stumbled on AutoFlex, which appears to be the varsity version of Plasti Dip.
The stuff hit the market at the beginning of 2016, but I hadn’t heard of it and I’m almost positive I’ve never seen it on the street. But it looks good, especially if you apply multiple stages of the stuff. Here we can see that demonstrated by Fonzie’s muscley arms.
So what exactly is it? I asked Fonzie, told me; “AutoFlex Coatings is, by definition, peelable automotive paint.”
He explained that you care for an AutoFlex’d car the same way you would a painted one; once it’s laid down the same washing, waxing, and even sanding techniques apply.
I guess the exact chemical makeup of the stuff is a corporate secret, but Fonzie did say “It works by using specially formulated rubber base and color coats, similar in concept from what you would see with a product like Plasti Dip.” But instead of rattle cans, this stuff is meant to be applied with a professional air-powered spray gun like you’d use in an actual automotive paint shop.
As to how well it lasts– “Instead of getting hard and brittle like auto clear, the topcoats stay flexible even over long periods of time and outdoor exposure. This ability to remain flexible allows the topcoats to move and stretch with the rubber base coats when it’s time for removal.” Apparently that malleability is what keeps it easy to peel off.
Whatever combination of elements is actually in the stuff basically makes it bond to itself more than whatever it’s sticking to, and its adheres in such a way that doesn’t leave residue.
Keep your eyes open for some well-equipped DIY folks or independent paint shops doing some reviews of the stuff, I’d be very curious to hear how easy it is to pick up and work with.
I don’t think it would serve as a paint alternative per se, since it looks like it needs a nice smooth surface to stick to. But if your paint’s already in good shape and you’re just looking for a color change that’s supposedly more durable than a wrap, something like this AutoFlex coating might be your stuff.