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Deciding which luster to place on a vehicle wrap can be a difficult or confusing process, especially if you’re unsure of how exactly the different types of luster look. Terms like matte, gloss, satin, pearl, and metallic probably sound familiar to you if you have experience with paint. But if you don’t, we’re here to help you understand the differences between gloss, sating, and matte vehicle wraps.

If you’re in the market for a vehicle wrap and are unsure of which type of luster you want, worry no more! In this article, we will break down the different wrap finishes.

What is the Difference Between Gloss, Satin, and Matte?

Loosely defined, luster refers to the way light is reflected off of a surface. Put differently, it’s how shiny or reflective the surface is. So, the main difference between metallic, satin, and matte finishes is the amount of light reflected (again, it’s “shininess”).

  • Gloss vehicle wraps – The gloss vehicle wrap is just like glossy paint. It is on the high end with regards to reflecting light and most resembles the base vehicle finish on cars off the production line.
  • Metallic vehicle wraps – Given in the name, metallic wraps resemble the surface of metal, in that they are highly reflective of light, but are not limited to “metallic” colors (gold, silver, bronze, etc.) and can come in nearly any color imaginable.
  • Satin vehicle wraps – Satin wraps are a good mix between metallic and matte vehicle wraps. They offer less gloss than metallic which gives them a familiar, yet unique look.
  • Pearl vehicle wraps – Pearl wraps are not as reflective as metallic wraps, and they offer a unique look as the light reflects off of its iridescent undertone, much like a pearl.
  • Matte vehicle wraps – Matte wraps are unique in that they offer a luxurious look (due to rarity as opposed to the common metallic finish) and they have a “flat” appearance, meaning that it reflects minimal light.

Which Type of Luster Should I Get on my Vehicle Wrap?

If you can’t decide which type of luster will best suit you and your vehicle, the first thing to do is to search the internet for vehicles with the different luster finishes to get a better idea of what you like. Most importantly, you should make your decision based on what look you are hoping to get from the finished wrap. Don’t go on what other people like.

Should I Get a Gloss Vehicle Wrap?

Are you looking for something sleek and modern yet nothing too outrageous? A metallic wrap is probably the best option for you. Metallic vehicle wraps do the best job of mimicking the paint finish found on most vehicles. So if you simply want to change color, opt for a gloss wrap.

Blue Gloss Vehicle Wrap on BMW

Blue Gloss Vehicle Wrap on a BMW

When Should I Get a Satin Vehicle Wrap?

Satin vehicle wraps are a good in-between luster. The satin wrap offers a glossy look, but with some slight flatness. This unique look is familiar to those who prefer the traditional luster, but what a vehicle wrap that’s a tad edgy.

Black Satin Vehicle Wrap on a Cadillac

Black Satin Vehicle Wrap on a Cadillac

When Should I Get a Matte Vehicle Wrap?

Matte vehicle wraps are luxurious. They are unique and uncommon making them the perfect fit for anyone who wants their vehicle to stand out. Really looking for a unique look? Talk with your local vehicle wrapping shop about also installing PPF film overtop the matte wrap.

Black Matte Vehicle Wrap on Audi

Black Matte Vehicle Wrap on an Audi

Should I Get a Pearl or Metallic Vehicle Wrap?

Yes! Sure, a pearl or metallic vehicle wrap is quite unique—but that’s what is so great about it! This type of vehicle wrap is sure to turn heads, and if you fall out of love with the look you can simply tear off the vehicle wrap!

The decision is ultimately up to you and should be made based on what look you desire. You have the freedom to customize any look you can possibly think of – so have fun with it! With that being said, make sure you work with certified professionals in an experienced vehicle wrap shop to ensure you get the most satisfying results.