Have you been avoiding customizing your car or truck because it’s too expensive?
You should consider a vehicle wrap instead. It’s a much lower-cost option than getting a paint job.
Plus, if you’re customizing for a product, driving a leased vehicle, or just want something different later, the vinyl wrap can be removed.
If you’re wondering how to wrap your car, it’s something of an art. So it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the procedure.
Tips on How to Wrap Your Car or Truck
A vehicle wrap is a great investment.
Of course, you can’t get started without all of the materials and tools. You’ll need:
- vinyl film
- tape measure for positioning
- air release tool for removing air bubbles
- masking tape for positioning
- electrical tape for cutting around door handles
- squeegee for applying the film
- razor-knife (ideally with break-off blades) for trimming away excess vinyl
- a heat gun or propane torch for heating the vinyl on complicated applications
Once you have these, you’re good to go.
1. Secure Climate-Controlled Environment
The temperature will play a crucial role in how well vinyl sticks to a substrate.
The optimum range of temperature for application is between 70-80F, though anywhere from 50F – 90F will suffice.
So if you can do this work indoors, you’ll be able to better control this. You’ll also reduce the amount of wind, dust, and other contaminants.
2. Wash and Degrease Vehicle
Thoroughly wash the vehicle with soap and water. Pay extra attention to the wheel arches and door seals.
Allow 24 hours to dry, then degrease with isopropyl alcohol.
3. Plan the Layout
In order to keep the vinyl wrap looking seamless, you must determine ahead of time where all the joins will fall.
4. Apply Vinyl to Hood First
Start from the center and break it up into 4 equal sections and away from the center to split tension equally.
Position and tape vinyl into place.
Stretch the vinyl without heat over the whole area and avoid any grooves or recesses until later. When stretching the vinyl, keep the squeegee at a lower angle and always pull outwards from the largest area of the vinyl.
Trim any excess vinyl.
5. Apply Vinyl to Other Panels
Position the film to distribute it evenly on the surface. For side panels, make a squeegee stroke along the length of the car, then start at the lower half of the panel, moving up as you go.
Trim out the excess material around the door handles by sticking electrical tape to the surface first, then use a new blade each time you cut through the vinyl. You shouldn’t have to apply much pressure, as the weight of the fresh blade is usually enough.
Take additional time near the front and rear bumpers and around the back of the car or truck to avoid wrinkles.
6. Use Heat As Necessary
It will be necessary at times to use heat to stretch and relax the vinyl film – particularly in crevices, tighter areas, or in cases where wrinkles have formed.
When using heat, it is critical to post it to 95 degrees Celsius or higher. Use an infrared temperature gauge to be sure you’ve achieved this. Otherwise, the film could pop out of recesses and curves.
Now that you know how to wrap a car or truck, you see just how much is involved. It definitely takes time and practice.
If you decide you don’t want to tackle it on your own, you can always turn to the experts instead. Contact us today to get your vehicle customized!