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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This review has been a bit in the making because I was waiting to take it off before trying to write a full review. For one, I wanted to see how much damage was done to the paint... and two I wanted to see exactly how easy/difficult this stuff would be to remove. So here goes.

First step is the same as if you were going to be painting a car. Prep and taping. This takes forever to do if you do it right. I think it took me somewhere around 3 hours total. Here is what our car, now only 2 days after picking it up looked like. I removed the front bumper, and COMPLETELY disassembled it in order to get a complete coating of the 3M Paint Defender.









Once you have everything taped off... it's time to wax the areas you intend to spray with the film. 3M provides a wax in the kit but I went before it with a Poor Boys light abrasion buffing compound first in order to remove any swirl marks that were in the paint. Waxing is pretty self explanatory, just make sure you have complete coverage because it really makes a difference as to how easy this comes off.





The above shows the bumper after polishing and waxing but BEFORE the 3M Paint Defender was sprayed on.



Here is what the hood looks like after spraying. The milky finish is, apparently, how it is supposed to look immediately after spraying and for quite awhile (at least a couple hours) while drying. It dries to the touch in 4 hours and fully cures in 4 days. This is EXTREMELY important. It must have a full 4 days to cure without ANY moisture getting on it.









The above pictures are post spray after about a day of dry/cure time. Over all it looks great. There is a definitely noticeable orange peel to the finish when looked at closely though. My main complaint (and suggestion) is that you MUST buy the spray gun attachment for the cans. If you do not you will end up with blemishes like I had pictured above. What happens is the stuff clumps because it is THICK... really thick. It will clump on the spray tip and then fall onto your work area creating a "bubble" or blemished area even after cured.







The above shows the removal on the hood. I did not take pictures of the bumper removal because my soul was dying with every passing hour. You can see the protective qualities. It is actually a pretty strong film once fully cured. Look as I peel off the bird poop and dirty film before washing the car.

Now for the full review. Overall, this stuff did exactly what I was hoping it would. After about 1200 miles, most of it fast highway (60 - 85mph), the front bumper had only 2 very small blemishes and 1 small rock chip. This is pretty darn good performance for something that comes out of a can. I never intended to keep this stuff on for the 1 year they claim it can keep it's clarity and protective properties. I wanted it on the car just until I could get it wrapped in Xpel Ultimate film. For this purpose it did it's job pretty well. Though at $25 a can I think it is a bit overpriced. Should be $10 - $15 a can IMO. I used 2 complete cans though honestly I should have used more. I bought 3 and should have used all 3. This stuff should be applied HEAVY.

The negatives; cost as mentioned above. The cure time is not always practical either. Ours cured for 3 days before we had to go on a road trip from San Antonio to Dallas. It rained the entire way there and when we got there we noticed the film was a milky whitish color. When it dried and we washed the car the film would get clear again but not as clear as it was before it got wet. The mirrors had a full 5 days to cure and they had no such issues as the hood and bumper. Another negative, you MUST buy the applicator spray gun. I am guessing that it will help eliminate the clumping and dropping onto the work area I experienced since all the online videos I have watched don't appear to have the problem with the gun. The prep to do a proper job is absolutely a pain as well. If this product lasted 10 years... ok. But I would not want to do this every year. And the main reason I wouldn't use it again unless in an absolute desperate situation... removing it is HORRIBLY patience trying and annoying. You will find every area you didn't lay it on heavily enough during this process. Oh, and it is impossible to lay it on thick enough everywhere on a complex surface like the front bumper... and I took it completely off the car! The hood, being flat I guess, only took about 30 minutes to remove. Not too bad. But as it sits right now I have about 5 hours in removing it off the front bumper and would guess I have another 1 or 2 hours left. OUCH!

Final thought: use it as a stop gap to get you by to doing a proper film wrap, but I would not recommend it as a semi permanent (annual as advertised) solution. The paint does not look smooth under the film like the uncovered areas, and worse for me is that it does not feel smooth at all. Feels like a rubber condom is over the car. I did not try to wax it to improve it as I was not worried about leaving it on for that long. Total it was on for about a month and protected well, but definitely did not look invisible.

There you go. Thoughts? Questions?
 

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Wow awesome review man! I would say the whole thing took you a ton of time and effort so I congratulate you on that! Thanks for the review!
 

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Bro thanks for this!! was contemplating doing this on my new SXL. Looked like a pain in the ass in videos and you just confirmed it! Will just keep my distance from tractor trailers and salt spreaders..save myself aggravation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bro thanks for this!! was contemplating doing this on my new SXL. Looked like a pain in the ass in videos and you just confirmed it! Will just keep my distance from tractor trailers and salt spreaders..save myself aggravation.
Good choice... but I would spring for the Excel film or some other film for the front end. We ended up with Excel on the front bumper/hood and love it. Still don't drive behind gravel trucks if I don't have to, but at least I am not living in fear of them.
 

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Thanks for the review. Ive looked into this stuff when I first heard about it and was a bit turned off by how much could seem to go wrong,, Applying it too thin / to thick, the clumping, The curing process and how susceptible some areas can be with the milky look or bad orange peel, etc. I decided it wasn't for me and assumed with the stuff being as thin as probably saran wrap how much protection can it really offer against the types of rock trucks I tend to deal with around here.
 
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