Are you thinking of changing the look of your car? Instead of painting, you should consider wrapping. With this method, the vehicle will sport printed graphic designs that will protect it and change its look.
Luckily, you can learn how to wrap a car in your home. All it requires is to get the necessary tools and follow the easy guides we will provide you. Read on as we bring to you great guides on how to wrap your car.
Required Tools for Wrapping Your Vehicle
You will need to have some vital tools handy to learn how to wrap a car. If you want excellent results, try to use the following materials for the job.
- Degreaser/wax stripper: This item helps remove any finishes or waxes on the body of your vehicle. If you don’t use these materials, the vinyl wrap will not stick. Remember to go for products that will not damage the shape underneath.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: Before fixing the vinyl, you will need this liquid to wipe down the vehicle.
- Squeegee: for placing the material for wrapping on the surface of the vehicle
- Measuring tape/T-square: By using either of these items, you can cut the vinyl correctly.
- Blade/Hobby Knives: For cutting out the vinyl into sizes, shape, and curves. To get a perfect result when learning how to wrap a car, you should get these tools in various shapes and sizes.
- Heat gun: for fixing the vinyl to the surface of the vehicle
- Vinyl wrap gloves: Helps you apply the wrap on the car with ease.
- Vinyl wrap: Go for an option with your preferred colors or print. However, avoid cheap options as they can affect the final result. Besides, they have features that make them difficult to use.
How to Wrap a Car in Your Home
Step 1: Strip Down the Vehicle
Take out any accessories attached to the body of your vehicle. Remove its bumpers, badging, handles, and moldings. If it also sports a trim, take it off. You should also remove any paint underneath the removed items.
Step 2: Get the Vinyl
Most stores stock vinyl as 25 feet long rolls with a width of 60 inches. With these dimensions, the material can cover every inch of the vehicle. If the plastic does not have any designs, it should go for less than $2500.
Are you thinking of getting help from a professional? Well, it would cost more, considering the hours involved. However, the cost depends on the difficulty of wrapping the vehicle itself. For instance, a car with numerous curves would attract more charges than one with linear features.
Step 3: Prep the Paint
Prepare the existing paint on the vehicle for wrapping. If you carry out this task correctly, the car will cover well.
But the status of the body and paint can determine the amount of work involved. For more advice, check the last part of this article.
At this stage, try to remove any polish or wax on the vehicle. If the frame of the car contains these chemicals, they can affect the vinyl car wrap.
You will also have to take out any grime, grease, dirt, and other things that might affect the vinyl. Remember to keep some isopropyl alcohol to wipe down any dirt on the vehicle.
Ensure that the surface of the car becomes squeaky clean and free from dust. Such precaution reduces any potential cleaning that you might carry out, particularly before wrapping the frame.
Step 4: Make a Series of Measurements
As mentioned earlier, a traditional vinyl wrap comes in 60-inch rolls. By knowing these dimensions, you will have a perfect idea of how to use the material in the car.
If you know the size of the vinyl, you can plan how to use it on each section of the car. This gives you an idea of the number of cuts to make. However, avoid making many cuts as seaming vinyl comes as a complicated process.
When cutting out the vinyl, go 4-6 inches wider than the original size. By using this tip, you will have ample space to deal with any mistakes. If everything goes well, you can take off the extra material.
To confirm if you have cut out the vinyl correctly, place each cut corresponding sections of the car. At this stage, do not take off the backing. Then separate each section as this will make you apply the vinyl with ease.
Step 5: Fix the Wrap on the Vehicle
If you want to know how to wrap a car, you can use a particular technique. Start the process by fixing the vinyl on tiny flat areas.
However, you should also take note of some tips. For instance, apply the wrap from the middle to the outer edges. By using this tip, you can avoid any damage caused by air bubbles or trapped air.
You can also use a squeegee to take out any that lies between the wrap and the paint. Finally, you can use heat to push out the bubbles from under the cover.
Step 6: Prepare Some Cuts on the Vinyl
Aim for the last cuts on the vinyl. Begin by cutting out the plastic to about ⅛ in extra. With this measurement, you can place the rear end of vinyl sections around the panels. Ensure the blade does not touch the paint underneath and use a straight cut.
Step 7: Tuck in the Edges and Apply Heat
At this point, you will have to create a neat look by hiding the vinyl edges around the panels. To make the vinyl sit perfectly, apply some heat.
Try to check for any defects such as bubbling or peels. If you notice any signs, you will have to take corrective measures.
You could work the wrap with a squeegee. Then apply some pressure so that the vinyl sticks perfectly to the vehicle.
Tips to Consider on How to Wrap a Car
- Dents and scratches: Before laying the adhesive, cover up any dents or scratches. You can start by carrying out any bodywork or paint job on the vehicle.
- Seek assistance from loved ones– Even if you do not plan on learning how to vinyl wrap a truck, an extra set of hands can make the project move smoothly.
- Seaming– This process demands extra care and effort. Here, you will have to make the wrap layers match each other. Do not rush this task and ensure the seams fit nicely. Weak seams can lead to peeled vinyl, particularly under certain conditions.
- Provide the Right Amount of Heating-Aim for a temperature of between 95 – 120 C°. However, follow the instructions on the vinyl’s package. If you want to monitor the heat, work with an infrared thermometer.
- Avoid cheap materials:Go for brands with top-notch products. Do not use cheap tools or materials as they can result in a poorly finished job.
If you want to get yours wrapped at an auto store, you should consider dishing out thousands of dollars. But if you handle the project by yourself, it will cost less. Instead of looking for a car wrapping video training, you can use this guide to perform this task on your own.
During the process, ensure you work gently with the right tools. But if you feel confused about wrapping car pros and cons [sic], you should seek help from an expert in your area.