Step-By-Step Guide To Vinyl Wrap A Car

It’s no wonder that you want a new color, finish, look, or something more creative, given that a vast majority of all automobiles are monochromatic hues. 

Previously, a custom paint job was the only solution for this issue. But nowadays, with the advancement of technology, vehicle vinyl wrap is regarded as one of the best effective techniques. 

In this guide, we will get a much better understanding of the ways of vinyl wrapping an automobile as well as caring for it.

Let’s get started with our discussion. 

About Vinyl Car Wrap 

From the year 1950s, people started making use of vinyl for custom logos, decals, as well as lettering. But the concept of car wrapping with this particular material came after a long time. 

In 1993, the idea of vinyl wrapping a car came into being. 

A vinyl vehicle wrap is considered to be a blend of PVC or polyvinyl chloride polymer (from where the name “vinyl” derives) and different additives. 

It is considered to be flexible, resistant to UV, as well as colorful. These elements are mixed, then cast on moving sheets, baked, as well as finally cured.

The vinyl sheet resulting from the overall procedure can be very thin. 

Vinyl vehicle wrap sheeting can be cut into very small rolls for specific consumers or they are sent to printers after the application of adhesive. It is particularly for simple or complicated custom graphics. 

Simply put, a vinyl vehicle wrap is adhesive-backed plastic sheeting, but nowadays, it is possible to do several things with a plastic roll. 

In the past years, we’ve progressed from solid colors to color-changing, reflective, pearlescent, metallic, matte, gloss, even factory-matching as well as Pantone colors, not to mention gorgeous, spectacular, and complicated combinations and patterns. 

All of these are made possible with the assistance of innovators in the car wrap industry. 

Paint Vs Vinyl: Understanding Their Advantages And Disadvantages

If you’re thinking about getting a paint job or a vinyl wrap for your car, you should first focus on having a good understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. 

Each of those possesses its own set of benefits. Painting of car is specifically used to be the de-facto specification. It was mostly used for more than a century. But, to achieve a showroom finish, a paint job needs an expert’s touch, as well as professional equipment.

It raises the cost as well as slows down the process. Various colors, like metallic finishes or pearlescent, add to the time as well as the cost of the project. Graphics or custom designs need the assistance of another specialist. 

Such simple or bespoke paint works can further increase the vehicle’s life. On the contrary, such durability may be desired, but bizarre combinations can be polarizing. 

Custom paint can significantly enhance its value for a show car with a pedigree. But, it can considerably reduce its desirability. 

Talking about car wrapping, it is not a long-term commitment. As it is temporary and so, you can remove it anytime and opt for a completely new vehicle wrap design without even hampering the color of your car. Again, wrapping a car contributes to opening up the possibilities of colors. 

Vinyl Car Wrap Technology 

With the advancement of vinyl vehicle wrap technology, it is no more costly to alter the appearance of your vehicle. It would be even more advantageous if you can do it by yourself. So, the vehicle wrap cost is effectively reduced by performing this on your own. 

Vinyl vehicle wrapping can be as expensive as a paint job if done professionally i.e. by taking the assistance of vehicle wrapping businesses. But with time as well as a steady hand, you would be able to do it by yourself. 

Another important thing that you should focus on keeping in mind is that a good quality paint job can cost you much more than car wrapping. 

So, instead of opting for poor-quality paint, it is much better to go for a vinyl car wrap. Another great thing about car wrap is that you can easily remove it without hampering the original paint of the car. 

The necessary tools are readily accessible as well as do not need any special training, experience, or licenses.

Simple changes in color, even several colors, do not increase the project cost. But, custom designs, finishes or prints, may raise material costs. Nonetheless, the final product can be exceptionally beautiful.

Vinyl vehicle wraps are ideal for temporary applications because of their nature. A good automobile wrap may last for 5 to 7 years.

In some cases, it can even last for 10 years, with adequate maintenance. This may be unpleasant in terms of permanence, but it may be ideal for some drivers. Perhaps you will intend to alter the vehicle wrap design again in a few years, or you will want to sell the vehicle. 

In any of the situations, removing vinyl vehicle wrap needs simply a few simple supplies as well as tools and has no impact on the original finish. 

Since business vehicle wraps (vinyl) effectively block paint-damaging UV radiation, the original paint job will be a good option than one of a similar vintage, preserving the resale value of your car. 

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How To Do It By Yourself?

In case, you have ever attempted to apply graphics or vinyl lettering to your vehicle before, you know how difficult it can be, even if you properly set up the surface. 

Stretch marks, tears, wrinkles as well as bubbles, may have persuaded you that a complete vinyl car wrap is best left to the professionals. 

A lot of things have changed currently, which includes more durable vinyl, better adhesives, as well as air-release technologies. In the present days, it is even possible for you to achieve excellent results. So, let’s get started with our discussion: 

Preparation For Wrapping Your Car

  1. Take into account the particular surface you will be wrapping. Is the body as well as the paint job in good condition? Minor scratches aren’t an issue, but the vinyl wrap cab is damaged by dents, chips, gouges, as well as rust. 

The defect’s visibility will be substantially increased if the wrap adheres to it. If the wrap fails to adhere to the defect, it will tear or bubble, resulting in the wrap job being ruined. Before wrapping your automobile, all that you need is to take care of these imperfections. 

  1. The next important thing is to select a location. You do not require a medical research cleanroom for this. A clean, as well as a controlled environment, will keep dust at bay. 

Dust, debris as well as bugs will degrade your finish, just as they do with paint and body defects. So, it is very important to sweep, vacuum and mop. It is something that helps to achieve an outstanding vinyl wrap project. 

  1. You should be very careful while working outside on a warm day. Both the vinyl as well as a vinyl adhesive are considered to be sensitive to temperature. 

The car, as well as the wrap, should be at the same temperature, roughly 68 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature drops, the vinyl becomes brittle as well as susceptible to tearing. 

If the temperature becomes too high, the adhesive may become activated very quickly. Thereby, you will face many difficulties with smooth installation. 

To keep an eye on things, use a thermometer (specifically a non-contact infrared one). It could be a great idea to schedule the task at a distinct time of day or to give everything an adequate amount of time to adjust before you are starting with it. 

  1. Another important thing is to successfully gather your materials, tools, as well as supplies. A 25-foot roll of vinyl wrap (60-inch-wide) is required for the average car. You will find the availability of narrower rolls.

However, this will necessitate making a seam which can be a difficult task for a novice. 

Grease, wax remover, a cleaner, isopropyl alcohol (70% – 90%), squeegee, infrared thermometer, lint-free cloths or towels, cutting tape, heat gun, utility knife, as well as cotton wrap gloves, are also required. 

A clean worktop keeps the whole thing off the floor as well as decreases the possibility of dust accumulation. This is a great activity to do with a friend since it allows you to handle a larger vinyl wrap section and boost your moral support.

Preparation Of Surface And Proper Planning

  1. Make sure your vehicle is clean. In this regard, you can make use of any non-wax car wash products that provide a clean surface for the vinyl wrap to adhere to. Then, you need to use isopropyl alcohol as well as lint-free cloths for effectively cleaning the whole surface.
  2. Consider removing any sorts of obstacles from the surface of the wrap. In this regard, you can consider wrapping specifically around a door handle, emblem, mirror, headlight, or antenna. 

But this significantly increases the trouble as well as the time necessary to achieve a professional vinyl wrap finish. 

By removing obstacles, you can save a bottle of ibuprofen. To remove fingerprints or dust, go over the surrounding surfaces with alcohol once more.

  1. Measure each of the sections that you are planning to wrap. After that, focus on adding a few inches for effective handling. Outline a diagram of the body panels of your car as well as take notes on the dimensions. 

Gauge twice, then add a bit as well as cut once more. Keep in mind, after you’ve cut the material off, you can’t add more! 

You’ll need to make a seam, in case, a panel is close to or wider than your vehicle wrap. Also, you will come up short if you attempt to cover a 60-inch hood with the help of a 60-inch wrap.

Laying Your First Sheets Of Vinyl 

  1. In case, this is your first car wrap project, begin with smaller as well as smoother segments to gain confidence and momentum before moving on to other works. Using a utility knife, estimate how much material to cut based on your measurements as well as sketch. 
  2. The next thing is to take off the backing paper while maintaining even tension, particularly on the wrap. It aids in holding the vinyl in the air. This helps in the reduction of creases as well as wrinkles. 
  3. After that, gradually press the vinyl into the panel’s center while keeping tension on the remainder of the sheet. 

Begin at the middle of the panel as well as work your way outward in overlapping strokes by making use of the squeegee. This will drive air out of the panel while also temporarily adhering the vinyl to it. 

  1. Next, you should focus on pressing out air as well as wrinkles. It can be achieved through the application of heat. 
  2. Finally, you need to focus on edging as well as finishing. Wrapping the edges of the panels is the first step towards achieving a great finish. 

How To Successfully Clean Vinyl Wrap? 

The vinyl car wrap, you have chosen, will last longer if you take care of it. A vinyl vehicle wrap may last up to 10 years, depending on the location as well as type. To maintain your vinyl wrap in good condition, follow these simple procedures: 

  • Consider washing often to prevent buildup of the excessive grime as well as dirt. Spot application of isopropyl alcohol to remove any tough strain. 

Vehicle washes are great for effectively protecting glossy vinyl finishes. By using these, you would be able to avoid hazing of the matte vinyl finishes. 

  • Mild cleaning is considered to be great. To keep vinyl clean, hand washing, as well as drying, is suggested. 

Remove excessive water with the help of a silicone squeegee before you consider drying this with microfiber towels. In this case, brush car washes are not suggested since they may damage as well as pull your vinyl wrap’s edges. 

Your vinyl vehicle wrap will eventually disintegrate, no matter how well you care for it. Some wraps are designed to last a decade or more, while others are designed to last just a few years. 

Thankfully, removing a vinyl vehicle cover is a simple procedure. A heat gun, as well as an adhesive remover, are all you’ll need.

Final Verdict

I hope, you have found this guide to be very helpful. After reading, now you would be able to accomplish this work by yourself. A web to print company can help you with the custom vinyl lettering design work. They will make use of the vinyl design online tool for this. 

So, opting for a web to print solution will surely make your work easy. 

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