Tried the 3M Paint Defender spray film
I wanted to protect my MY2013 Santorini Black Evoque coupe from stone chips, but the cost of the 3M Clear Bra was way too high. I saw the 3M Paint Defender Spray film advertised and thought I would give it a go. I stopped in my local AutoZone. They had just put up their display, so they had no information other than what the display said. I went to the 3M website and watched their how to video and read all of their FAQs. Nowhere could I find the average coverage of one can of the spray film. I contacted 3M and they came back with one can will cover 9 to 11 sq. feet. I actually think one can will do more than that, as I did the bonnet and the front bumper cover with one can.
On the bonnet I sprayed from the edge of the bonnet up to a point one half inch below the louvers. I used one eighth inch pinstriping tape for the line across the bonnet. Pinstriping tape is vinyl so it stretches and gives a better seal than just the blue painter's tape.Then I used the blue painter's tape and plastic drop cloths to cover the vehicle.
I also sprayed the front bumper cover. I had to mask off the headlight washer doors so the film wouldn't span the gap between the bumper cover and the door, or the door couldn't open to wash the headlights.The washer doors are spring loaded, so you can just pull them up to mask them off. I also had to mask off the headlights, grill, fog lights etc.
One thing to watch out for, is that the when spraying the product it wants to foam up at the nozzle and then drop globs of product into your work. This was a real problem on the bonnet as you are spraying a horizontal surface, with the can horizontal. It wasn't as much of an issue on the front bumper cover, as the can and what I was spraying were vertical. As this product is brand new, I hope 3M works to improve the delivery process, as IMO, that is a weak point. The product does a good job of self leveling, but the globs are still noticeable. They are hard to see out in the sun light, but I know they are there!
3M say that the film should last for one year. I think I will do much better than that. My wife only drives 5k miles a year and doesn't work, so the vehicle isn't sitting out in the elements 9 hours a day. Have had the Evoque 3 months and only have 550 miles on the odometer.
I took some pictures to try and show where the film stops on the bonnet, and the difference between the bumper cover that has been sprayed, and the front fender that has not. Also, one picture shows the front bumper cover and the headlight washer door, to show that you can hardly tell that the door doesn't have the film on it.
As with any first time project I now know what I did right and what I did wrong, and what I would do differently.
I used the natural break between the bumper cover and the fender as a stopping point.
It is hard to tell that the bumper cover has been sprayed and the washer door has not.
A straight on shot of the bonnet.
Showing the line where the film stops.
Another shot of the line across the bonnet.
Last edited by Rsquared; 07-06-2013 at 05:53 PM.
07-06-2013 05:25 PM
Thanks for that. Looks great!
How many layers did you put on? How long did it take? Is it removable? Is it similar to plasti dip? Have you take. It through car washes? Any issues?
If you watch the 3M how to video, it shows that you spray 3 coats of the film all at one time. That is, you cover the area from left to right, then up and down, then left to right again.
Originally Posted by pneks2001
If you were to only do the bonnet, easy to mask once you get your measurements dead on, it would only take 45 minutes or so. I spent an hour or more masking off the headlights, fog lights, grill etc. to do the front bumper cover.
The film is removable. Even though I had numerous coats of wax on the vehicle, I used the 3M synthetic wax provided with the product, to wax all surfaces I was going to spray, to insure easy removal when/if the time comes to peal it off. This product is clear, plasti dip I think only comes in colors. The plasti dip could probably be put on in heavier coats than this product.
I am anal compulsive about my vehicles and would never take any of them through a car wash, so not sure how the film would hold up doing that. The 3M FAQs say to only use a brushless type car wash.
I have only had this on for about 4 weeks, and as I said the vehicle isn't driven daily, so... so far so good. I guess time will tell how well it holds up. But for $25.00 I felt it was well worth a try.
Last edited by Rsquared; 07-07-2013 at 03:43 PM.