After seeing beautiful cars zoom past you, and noticing the vinyl wrapping on them, you can’t help but start to wonder “How exactly do they get those things on these cars?”
Vinyl wrapping seems complicated at first, but once you understand how it’s done, you develop an appreciation for this art.
Wrapping cars is a great way to change up a car that you want to personalize and an even better way to use it as an advertisement tool. Vinyl-wrapping is great if you’re just starting a brand new business or are looking for a change in how you operate! Here, we will break down just how fascinating and intricate it is to wrap a car!
How to Wrap A Car
You no longer have to just admire a car and never be able to understand just how the wrapping got on there. Let’s review the basic steps involved.
Assess Your Canvas
Just like any project, you want to have a clear understanding of just what you’re working with and on. Take time to take a good look at the car that you will be working on. A typical roll of vinyl, which is expected to cover the entire car, is 60 inches by 25 feet long. If your car needs more, it’s important to note that before you begin.
Mistakes are expected, especially if it’s your first time wrapping a car, so keep that in mind when purchasing your quantity of roll. If your car has a lot of nooks and crannies, that would make it hard for the wrap to adhere smoothly. In this case, you are better off removing it. This also goes for the door handles, as well as any molding, trimming, etc.
Now that you’ve got your wrap, make sure to have all your tools handy so you are not running back and forth!
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Now that you have your vinyl-ready, you have to pull your workspace together. You want to make sure that you are in a temperature-controlled room because it’ll be hard for the vinyl to adhere to the vehicle if the temperature is too extreme on both ends of the spectrum.
Now, it’s time to clean your car! Wipe it with rubbing alcohol and make sure to wipe it off with something that won’t leave behind lint or tiny particles. Make sure to fix any imperfections on the car before you begin wrapping such as rust, or indents.
Decide Where to Begin
Wrapping the bumper is usually the hardest part, so if you want to dive into the challenge, you can start there. If you want to take it a bit slower, you can attempt the hood of the car and work your way up. It’s best to start in a small, controlled flat area so that you can build up the confidence to work on the more complicated areas.
Once you picked a spot to work on, you can begin cutting the corresponding piece for the part. When you cut, it’s best to cut with excess vinyl to work with because you can trim off what you don’t need. However, it’s hard to add to something that’s already been cut.
Time to Vinyl Wrap
Lay the wrap down on the selected area. You want to minimize the amount of air that will get trapped under the vinyl so start from the middle and work your way out to the corners of the wrap. Use your tools and squeegee, and apply constant pressure on the wrap to remove the air out and have the vinyl adhere to the surface. Use your heat gun in a small area.
If bubbles pop up it, means you have air underneath. This is why it’s so important to cut excess vinyl so you can lift it to push the air out.
Once you’re certain there is no more excess air underneath the vinyl, you can cut the vinyl. Be very careful and measured when cutting because you may end up slashing the car. If that were to happen, you’d have to remove the wrap you already put on, fix the scratch, and start over.
Heat and Set
Before you heat the wrapping, it’s important to tuck the edges of the wrap. Using your heat gun, you can apply a small amount of heat to soften the wrap to decrease the risk of it tearing throughout the process from excess tension.
Once you’ve tucked, you can heat the rest of the surfaces to set the vinyl in place. After you’re done and are sure it has set, clean it off with rubbing alcohol.
Marvel At Your Work
Once you begin the process of wrapping your car, you’ll come to realize that it is time-consuming and requires a lot of focus. You have accomplished this challenge and should be very proud!
A vinyl wrap is built to last for 5-7 years and the improvements over the years have allowed it to leave very little residue.
After you spent all that time wrapping a car, you want to take great care of it so your hard work doesn’t go to waste. Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners that could fade the wrap. The heat will warm up the wrap so it’s best to avoid putting pressure on it during that time or you’d risk leaving unwanted dents and marks on the wrap.
Ready To Go
Now that you know how to wrap a car, you shouldn’t hesitate to begin it yourself or take it to a professional who can do it for you. With some research, you can have all the supplies needed to take on the task of wrapping your car.
Building a brand doesn’t have to be hard anymore when you can show everyone what you do, just by driving your car! Whether you are tired of driving a simple silver car and need some flair, or if you run a business and want others to know about it, vinyl-wrapping your car is a great way to showcase both.