How To Vinyl Wrap A Car

Wrapping my car in the garage with the right method

Getting a vinyl wrap or any other wrapping over the paint of your vehicle is an excellent idea for not only improving the appealing nature of the vehicle but also to protect the paint.

You can also get a type of wrap that promotes your brand of business wherever you drive the vehicle. There are also many other reasons why a car wrap would be an excellent idea to go for.

Wrapping your vehicle can’t get any easier than it is in the present day thanks to the present technology.

It is also an intelligent idea of putting your creativity to wrap your car as you want it to be done.

Here’s how you can wrap your car through the following procedure:

1. Develop A Working Plan
2. Set Up Your Working Area
3. Take Dimensions Of The Area You Want To Wrap
4. Place The Wrap Over The Vehicle
5. Cut The Vinyl Wrap You Wish To Use
6. Tuck Up The Edges Of The Wrap
7. Subject The Wrap To High Temperatures And Set It Up
8. Cut Off The Edges And The Seams Of The Wrap

With the present day type of car wraps, you can wrap your car within less than 3 days thanks to how easy it gets.

You should be able to wrap the car with these steps because the wraps are quite easy to use until you get the wrap done as you wish to.

What Is A Vinyl Car Wrap?

A vinyl wrap is derived from blending polyvinyl chloride polymer and several additives that make it the way it is.

The additives are included to make the vinyl flexible, colored, or even capable of resisting damage that is caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.

The ingredients are blended and then cast on sheets that are mobile and then heated through baking before a curing process.

Vinyl car wrap has been used for many years for creating logos of brands and also for decals.

In the previous years, it was just used for wrapping part of the car, a full car wrap came later on and has been used since then.

Most car owners get vinyl wraps to promote their brand while others may use it for decorative purposes or even protecting the paint on the body of the vehicle.

The vinyl you wrap your car with can be removed whenever you feel that it has been damaged and is no longer attractive.

Why Should You Wrap Your Car?

If you buy a new car from a manufacturer but you are not able to get the exterior done as you wish to, it would be an excellent idea to get a car wrap.

A car wrap comes across as a solution that will transform your car to have your dream color.

A car wrap is also a lively inclusion for the decoration of your car and comes in the best of finishes.

You can either get the matte, gloss, semi-gloss, chrome, or even leather-like finishes.
Either of these would make your car have a lively decoration.

You should also consider wrapping your car to protect its paint and also from ugly scratches and chips that tend to form on the body with time.

This should also work to improve its resale value significantly.

What Are The Benefits Of A Car Vinyl Wrap?

There are many reasons why as a car owner, you will be pushed to wrap your car, some of them are discussed below:

  1. Vinyl wraps protect the OEM paint.
  2. It improves the value of the car and makes it worth a lot when you consider reselling it. When you have had the vinyl wrap over the body of your vehicle, it protects it from scratches that make it less valuable.
  3. You could always decide to remove the wrap on the vehicle if you want it to have its original paint.
  4. Getting a wrap for your vehicle is less costly than a paint job-you could save a significant amount wrapping the vehicle than if you had taken it to the paint shop.
  5. There are a variety of styles you can wrap your vehicle with.
  6. Vehicle wrap takes the beating of harsh external conditions and protects the structure of the paint.
  7. You get to choose from a variety of colors for the vinyl wrap and some of the best qualities are the matte, semi-gloss, gloss, chrome and finishes that resemble leather designs.
  8. A car wrap can’t be easily distinguished from its paint-it blends well.
  9. A car wrap would be an excellent idea if you want to cover ugly scratches and chips on the vehicle-you just have to do a little touching-up for a high-quality finish of the car wrap.

Best Way To Wrap Your Car {Let’s Learn How Deeply!}

If you decide to wrap your car by yourself, which is an inexpensive experience, you can get it done through the following series of steps.

1. Develop A Working Plan

For the planning part when you are just deciding on how to go about the wrapping of the vehicle, you will need some preparations.

You will have to decide on which type of wrap to use as well as what quantity you are going to use for the wrap.

You should make an approximate regarding the size of the vehicle or the part that you want to get wrapped.

You also need to inspect the surface that you are going to apply the vinyl wrap. The canvas of most vehicles is designed in a way that the curves on its body will cause tension on the wrap.

You can get this problem or any other you notice fixed before you start the work of wrapping the vehicle.

There are components on the body of the vehicle that will make it tricky for you to apply a wrap on the vehicle. If you ignore such, you might not get the wrapping done as neatly as you wish to.

These may include trim, liners, moldings, and even handles on the vehicle that will apply the quality of the wrap on the vehicle.

Lastly, you will have to assemble all the tools that you will use for the wrapping project of the vehicle.

Some of the important tools you will use for the process include a heat gun, a squeegee, a cutting blade, a cutting tape, a cleaning solution, measuring tape, and an infrared thermometer.

2. Set Up Your Working Area

You will need to park the vehicle in a clean environment before you begin the task. It will need to be stationed away from dirt particles and debris that may affect the quality of the wrap on the vehicle.

Since you are going to use sticky substances such as paint, debris, and small dirt particles will stick on the vehicle and make you unable to get the perfect wrap.

You will have to clean the vehicle too before you proceed to wrap it with any type of vehicle wrap.

For a vinyl wrap, it is only perfectly done if the surface on which it is applied is cleaned.

You might want to also use a degreaser to clean any crud that forms on the vehicle. Isopropyl alcohol will also be used to get rid of any fine dust particles on the surface of the vehicle.

For vehicles that have mars on them or even scratches, you will just have to do some touch-ups over them. This will be needed if you want the wrap to be perfectly done on the vehicle.

What you should know is that any imperfection –such as the mars-on the surface of the vehicle will be magnified when the wrap is applied over the vehicle’s surface.

3. Take Dimensions Of The Area You Want To Wrap

Using the tape measure, you want to measure the vehicle or even the surface or portion of the vehicle that you want to be covered with the vinyl wrap.

This will help so that you don’t waste the vinyl wrap by applying an excess piece over a surface then having to cut it to fit. The cutout part may not fit on any other part and thus may be useless.

You want to start with a small portion of the vehicle such as the hood and then proceeding to the other parts such as the doors.

This is a much comfortable technique than if you had just begun to wrap the whole vehicle at once.

Through this, you will be able to see any errors and plan to avoid them as you proceed to wrap other parts of the vehicle’s body.

4. Place The Wrap Over The Vehicle

Your hands need to be clean as the whole process of cleaning the vehicle would be useless.

You can use another pair of hands to peel the wrap as some types of vehicle wraps tend to be unwieldy and may even stick onto your palms.

You want to begin from the central part of the panel while keeping the edges lifted and the corners kept a distance from the surface-this will prevent the effect of the air bubbles.

As you start from the central part of the panel, you can then proceed outwards until you get to the edges.

Using the squeegee, apply even pressure while working starting from the middle and working your way to the edges.

If you have applied the wrap on the vehicle and it appears to be smoothly done, you can take the heat gun and test the area.

If you use the heat gun, you should be able to see bubbles that will show the presence of air between the body of the vehicle and the wrap.

For the vinyl wrap, you can release the air. You should not proceed to cut overlapping wrap until all the air that has been trapped is released.

5. Cut The Vinyl Wrap You Wish To Use

If you are satisfied with the smoothness of the vinyl, you should then proceed to cut off the excess wrap.

When cutting the vinyl wrap, you should be careful not to cut the vehicle as it will cause ugly scratches to form on the vehicle or even destroy the paintwork.

You can then proceed to trim the wrap so that you just have ¼ centimeter of the excess of wrap hanging out from the whole panel.

6. Tuck Up The Edges Of The Wrap

The ¼ centimeter of car wrap has to be tucked in while avoiding causing too much tension on it.

You should also be careful while tucking in the wrap so that it doesn’t tear. For the tension, the heat gun will help to release some tension as you proceed with tucking in the edges.

Be careful not to overheat the wrap, but instead just use enough heat to soften it up and work to smoothen the materials so that there are no wrinkles formed.

For this step, you will need to bring you’re A-game as it will show the quality of the car wrap.

7. Subject The Wrap To High Temperatures And Set It Up

Just enough heat will be needed to smoothen the wrap and get rid of any tension between the wrap and the body of the vehicle.

8. Cut Off The Edges And The Seams Of The Wrap

At this point, the vinyl has stuck on the body of the vehicle and you can now do the next part of the task.

You will have to get a utility knife and cut the edges of the vinyl wrap that form throughout the body of the vehicle. You should be careful not to scratch the paint on the vehicle with the utility knife.

There will also be seams formed on the work you do and this is especially for large vehicles like trucks.

When you overlap the sheets of the vinyl wrap, you will have to deal with them by cutting them off.

This video is great to watch, check it out:

How To Remove The Vinyl From Car

If the vinyl wrapping on your vehicle has gotten damaged over the years and you will want to remove it either for a new one or just to enjoy the old paint, you can get it done through the following procedure:

  1. Clean the vinyl warp as well as the surrounding area-use soapy water and a clean rag for this task. The surrounding area needs to be cleaned as well so that you get rid of grit and grime that may be close by and make it difficult to remove the vinyl.
  2. Warm Up the Vinyl: You can get a hairdryer or a heat gun and use it over the vinyl. It will get this done by releasing the adhesive between the vinyl and the body of the vehicle. You should be able to pull out the vinyl quite easily thanks to either the hairdryer and the heat gun.
  3. Start Scrapping: After heating the vinyl, you should get a scraper or a plastic card and start scrapping the vinyl so that it peels off. You should be careful with the scrapper so that it does not scratch the paint on the vehicle.
  4. Get Glue Removal Products: A dab of glue removal on a cloth and rubbing it on the working surface will help. You can then use a soap solution to clean the residue that forms on the body of the vehicle. You can repeat the entire process until you are satisfied with the results.
  5. Wash the working surface so that all residue and dirt are cleaned from the working area. You should then dry up the car and then wax for better protection of the surface of the vehicle’s body.

This video can help you too:

Related Questions

How Long Does Vinyl Wrap Last In A Car?

The best car wraps can last for as long as 5 years before they start showing any signs of wearing out.

Some of the wraps on most vehicles may even last longer if they are less exposed to harsh elements.

You will also have to practice proper maintenance so that you are guaranteed of the quality of the wrap on your car and also its ability to last longer.

When the car is exposed to excess sun, the vinyl wrap gets heated and this causes it to be difficult to remove from the surface of the vehicle. Similarly, this will shorten its lifespan immensely.

How Many Hours Does It Take To Wrap A Car?

Whether you are wrapping the vehicle on your own or you want to hire professionals, the whole process will take not less than 2 days.

In some cases, the wrapping process of the vehicle may not take more than 2 days if there are more people included in the project.

After the wrapping process, you will have to give the vehicle a resting time for the film that is not less than 12 hours.

You should know that the time is taken as well as the effort you will need to put in determines how complex the project is.

It is obvious that if you want the wrapping done on just some parts of the vehicle, it will take much less of your time.

On the other hand, if you want the whole car wrapped, it will take even 4 days before the process is completed.

The resting time that needs to be provided for the now wrapped car will depend on several factors.

For one, the nature of the adhesive used will determine how long the car will need to be kept in the garage before you can take it for a ride.

If you had done some complex curves to get the perfect wrap, you might also have to wait longer before you take it for a ride-maybe even 24 hours.

The rest period is included to avoid damage to the structure of the vinyl wrap by the wind that may also weaken the adhesive on the vinyl wrap.

Is Wrapping A Car Difficult?

Wrapping a car is not the easiest task-not even easier than painting it. It is time-consuming and at times requires a professional for the car to be wrapped perfectly.

However, if you have the appropriate tools for the job and know the best way of how to go about the process, you should get it done quite easily.

You will need to put much effort into the project. For instance, the seams and the edges of the wrap need to be done neatly and this might require your keen attention.

It gets easy if you have a few tricks up the sleeve that will help you get the work done.

Does Wrapping A Car Hurt The Paint?

No, wrapping a car does not subject the vehicle’s paint to any type of damage whatsoever. When you get the car wrapped, it will serve to protect the factory paint on the vehicle.

For instance, the vinyl wrap might protect the paint on the vehicle from harsh weather conditions such as excessive sunlight.

The wrap also protects the paint on the car that might be affected by ugly scratches and even chips that may be caused by debris hitting the body of the vehicle.

Either of these makes the vehicle less appealing and thus the resale value of the vehicle reduces significantly.

The vinyl wrap, if left on the vehicle for long, serves to protect the quality and integrity of the paint of the vehicle underneath it.

Conclusion

You could consider getting a wrap for your vehicle if you want to use the vehicle for promoting your brand or just to make it more attractive and as well protect the paint underneath.

This is a project that you can accomplish by yourself provided you follow the above procedure.

You should also have the appropriate tools for the project and in less than a week, your car will have that perfect wrap-the perfect wrap that not only makes it appealing but also serves to protect the paintwork.

Sources:

1. Turtle Wax – https://www.turtlewax.com/en-us/how-to/posts/how-to-vinyl-wrap-a-car-and-care-for-it/
2. Apex Customs – https://www.apexcustoms.com/post/how-to-vinyl-wrap-your-car-8-steps-used-by-professionals-with-infographic

Written by Yusuke Kohara

Hi there! My name is Yusuke. I write about automotive topics for Car Proper. I love cars and have a passion for writing helpful articles on tools, car accessories, and how-to to help my readers solve their problems. In my spare time, I'm either working out, reading the book, or spending time with my family. I also work for a digital consulting agency.

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