You can add a personalized vinyl surface to your vehicle for a fun weekend project. You’ll need a type of wrap with both adhesive and precise application that’s only available in one width. When applying the vinyl wrap, be patient since if you make a mistake, there’s no way to remove it without heat.
Clean your car’s surface with soap and water before applying any vinyl wrap. Use a wax remover to remove the residue from the paint job. Wipe off excess wax remover with a lint-free cloth so it doesn’t leave behind grease that will prevent one side of the vinyl from adhering to the car.
Before you begin wrapping your automobile, use a squeegee to remove any excess soap and water from the surface. Most craft shops that sell vinyl sheets stock a special rubber squeegee for this purpose. If you don’t have one, utilize a regular old credit card instead. Lay the design you created according to the instructions. If you don’t know how to arrange a vinyl pattern, look for one online and print it out on a regular sheet of paper. This is your guide for where and how you should put down the vinyl sheets onto your vehicle.
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut along the edges of the first vinyl sheet without removing the backing from the transfer tape. Using one corner, peel back a portion of the wrap and position it as near to your automobile’s intended location as possible. Try a squeegee, pop any bubbles that have formed. Remove any wrinkles or air trapped between the vinyl and your vehicle’s paint job using a heat gun. If you don’t have access to a heat gun, placing your car on its bonnet, or using a hairdryer may do the trick instead.
Be sure to take the following measures
- At all times, make sure the transfer tape is flat on top of the vinyl and that the design doesn’t get caught in it.
- With a hairdryer set to high heat and the flow setting, iron out any wrinkles or air pockets. Working from the rear of your vehicle towards the front will prevent you from burning sensitive areas on your paint job’s surface while working beneath it. To avoid the vinyl sticking to the transfer tape, use a lint-free cloth.
- Peel back one corner of the transfer tape and carefully remove it from your car while making sure not to disturb the vinyl wrap underneath. Iron out any areas that may have gotten twisted while removing the transfer tape by laying a cloth over it and using the hair dryer’s flow setting again.
Tips & Warnings
- You should never apply the vinyl wrap to the windshield.
- Clean out any dirt from your car’s wheel wells before applying a vinyl wrap. If you don’t, it will make it very difficult for you to get the transfer tape off without pulling up part of the design.
- Wash your hands after handling any type of glue or tape. You don’t want it to come in contact with your car’s paint job or get stuck under your nails.
- You can also purchase vinyl wrap that comes pre-masked, which means there are no transfer tapes you have to remove at all. These are more expensive, but they eliminate the risk of ruining the design by accidentally pulling the transfer tape off it.
- If you want to remove the vinyl from your car, use a hairdryer again to help you peel it back without sticking to the surface.