First Timer's Guide to Vinyl Wrapping a Car

First Timer’s Guide to Vinyl Wrapping a Car

The use of vinyl car wraps to give a fresh look to vehicles has become a major trend. It’s no surprise that most car owners and enthusiasts use this idea of vehicle customization to drastically change and enhance the look of their fleets. Read on as we unfold the basic concepts about this amazing technique.

Basics of Vinyl Wrap


The Basics of Vinyl Wrap

In the early years, a quality paint job is the only way to come up with a showroom shine. This process usually requires more money and time, especially when custom paint jobs and designs are involved.


Luckily, vinyl car wrapping was introduced. It is a more economical technique that requires easily accessible tools, a steady hand, and lots of patience to come up with a smooth full vehicle wrap. A good quality vinyl wrap can last for as long as 10 years on fleets for businesses.

It’s good to remember that the removal of vinyl wraps only requires basic tools and generally doesn’t affect the original finish of cars. In most cases, the car’s paint and overall quality are retained because the vinyl car wrap can block the damaging UV light, thus maintaining or increasing the resale value of the vehicle.


Vinyl Car Wrap Guide

Applying vinyl to fleet vehicles, or a car’s entire surface may be difficult due to tears, wrinkles, and bubbles. With continuous developments in this procedure, more resilient vinyl with better adhesive and air-release technology has become available. Below is a simple guide to vinyl wrap a car.


Pre-Wrap Preparation

  1. Check for chips, rust, and orange peel that can cause problems with the vinyl wrap. Take care of these imperfections before wrapping the vehicle. Increased visibility may occur if the wrap sticks to the defect and air bubbles or tears can ruin the wrap job if it doesn’t stick.
  2. Clean surface with car wash soap and pressure washer. Use wax remover to remove any dirt on the surface.
  3. Rinse and dry the surface using a lint-free towel, paying more attention to the edges and seams. Use a heat gun to speed up the process and ensure that the surface is completely dry.
  4. The presence of grease or wax can reduce the adhesion and cause bubbles. To remove these contaminants, wax cleaner and alcohol-based cleaners such as isopropyl alcohol may be used.
  5. Proceed with film application as soon as possible to reduce the amount of contaminants and dust that may accumulate over time.


Dry Application of Standard Films

  1. Measure the panels to determine how much material is needed for an average car, leaving a few inches of the extra material on either side for backup.
  2. Unroll the film and cut with a utility knife. Avoid placing the film on the floor to prevent debris from causing scratches. Gently peel the backing paper while applying tension to the film to prevent the appearance of creases.
  3. Position the vinyl and drape the film over the panel while pushing the trapped air. Apply the first sheets to flatter areas and make sure that no ornaments are hindering the wrapping. Be sure that the entire panel covered even the sharp edge of the vehicle.


Dealing with Folds and Wrinkles


Dealing with Folds and Wrinkles

Folds and creases are common on curved surfaces. Repositioning the film to create tension can avoid these problems during installation.

  1. Heat the film to soften and to conform with the shape. Avoid overheating the film to prevent losing its luster or texture.
  2. To prevent the fold which eventually becomes permanent wrinkles, lift the film slightly and apply heat until the wrinkles shrink.
  3. Re-apply and gently pull the film until it appears flat and while there is tension applied. Try using a squeegee to firmly seal the remaining wrinkles until they eventually disappear.


Detailing Corners and Edges

A properly finished installation can make the car look like it was never vinyl wrapped at all. Improper finishing can lead to the adhesive residue, revealing the vinyl surfaces, and poorly sealed edges over time. To prepare the edges, the space between the two areas must be gently heated. Running the finger while wearing cotton gloves can help cure the adhesive and conceal the surface beneath. Use a knife to trim the excess material and come up with a great finish.


The Best in the Industry

Let us help you customize your vehicle wraps. Our company, Precision Sign and Design, are one of the best in the industry. We can assure you of quality product, experienced team, and optimum service at all times. Contact our office with your questions, or assistance with a professionally applied wrap for your vehicle, fleet, boat, food truck, and more.