Installing a vehicle wrap can be a daunting process, and while these 7 tips will certainly help you sometimes it is better to let a professional do the work for you. It is highly recommended that you seek a professional and knowledgeable vehicle wrap business to perform the vehicle wrap installation and vehicle wrap design. With that said, it is not impossible to wrap a vehicle on your own if you follow these tips.
Tip 2: Choose the Right Vehicle Wrap Material
There are a number of materials that can be used in the design and installation of a custom vehicle graphics. Aluminum, Acrylic, PVC, wood, polystyrene, foam and other plastics, can all be used to create custom vehicle graphics. However, the most commonly used and the material most highly recommended is Vinyl. Vinyl vehicle wraps are cost effective, durable, and maintain their look and feel for up to 5 years.
Tip 3: Use the Correct Vehicle Wrap Equipment
If you are going to install a car wrap whether it is for race car graphics, or you are just wrapping the company van, you are going to need the proper tools to do so effectively.
• a tape measure - for positioning
• a squeegee - adheres vinyl to vehicle
• a razor-knife - remove excess vinyl
• an air release tool - removes air bubbles
• masking tape - holds vehicle wrap in position
• a heat gun or propane torch - heating the vinyl to make sure it goes into curves, crevasses etc.
Tip 4: Clean the Vehicle
Once you have the proper tools you are going to need to thoroughly clean the vehicle. This is an extremely important step. If you want the vinyl vehicle graphics to adhere properly to the vehicle it must be completely free of dirt, grime, and whatever else may hinder proper adhesion.
First, wash the vehicle with soap and water. Do not use any surface finishing such as wax as this will severely hamper adhesion. After the vehicle is completely dry you should clean it with alcohol and solvent prep liquid. I recommend paying special attention to any areas on the vehicle that may have excess dirt and grime build up such as cracks around the hood, trunk or windows. Use a lint free towel to dry the solvent before it evaporates.
Tip 5: Prepare Your Vehicle Wrap
Before you move on to installing the vinyl vehicle wrap make sure the positioning of the wrap is what you desired. You can position the wrap on the vehicle before installation simply by using some masking tape. This will ensure that when you begin to install your vehicle wrap or fleet graphics everything will be in the exact place you wanted it.
Tip 6: Find a Friend
An experienced wrap installer can apply a wrap on their own. Otherwise, I recommend having another person assist you in the process as this will make positioning the vehicle graphics much easier. Each wrap installation is different depending on the vehicle. The amount of curves, cracks, and crevasses on a particular vehicle all determine how difficult or easy an installation will be.
Tip 7: Proper Installation of Your Custom Vehicle Graphics
Make sure you apply an adhesive to all edges and surfaces where the vinyl panel will need to be cut. Once you have applied the panel to the vehicle, work your squeegee to adhere the vinyl to the vehicles surface.
The most important things to avoid while performing the vehicle graphic installation are bubbles, and wrinkles. To avoid this, try changing the angle at which you are using the squeegee and never chop at the material because this will only make the wrinkles worse.
If wrinkles are becoming a major issue use your heat gun or torch to relax the vinyl. Be sure to let the vinyl film cool down before starting to squeegee again to prevent excess stretching.
These basic tips should guide you on your way to a successful vehicle wrap installation. Keep in mind that there are businesses that specialize in vehicle wrap installation that can do an excellent job and have your car back to you in approximately three days for a very fair price (depending on the company). Search around for some quotes, and preview any companies design before you make a final decision, should you decide that wrapping a vehicle on your own is not an option.