Vehicle wraps are popular for a number of reasons. Many car owners will use a clear wrap to keep their paint jobs looking great for years. It has been estimated that the Clear Bra car wraps can last for anywhere between seven and ten years. While most windshields are treated to keep out the harmful UV rays from the sun but unless they are treated, the side windows of a car can let in up to 63% of these dangerous rays. When applied correctly, car wraps can block about 99.9% of those rays from the sun. Car and truck wraps can also be effective for advertising purposes and are often used to get a unique or fun look for a vehicle. Here are some tips to make sure that kind of car wrapping goes smoothly:
- Get photos of the vehicle before you work out your design. There are a lot of variables that go into car wraps. Having the images of the vehicle that will be wrapped is crucial to the development of a design that will work with the make and model of the car. This will also depend heavily on where you expect the joints to be within the image and the design of the wrap. Overlaps should be placed on the weld lines or on the door panels. Use the natural seams of the vehicle to hide some of the overlaps with the wrapping.
- Get the vehicle as clean as possible. Use soap and water to wash the car. Do not forget to clean the wheel arches and the seals on the doors. After you have thoroughly washed the vehicle, make sure you leave at least one day for it to dry before applying any car wraps. You will also need to use a degreasing product or isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any grease that may be on the car. A silicone killer product can also work to get rid of any grease. You need to give a little extra attention to the recesses of the vehicle.
- Give yourself a full two days to outgas your media. This is especially important for media that is printed with a solvent. A good way to do this is to stand the rolls up vertically. If you leave them wound loosely, you will encourage airflow. You want the vinyl to lose its tackiness. As the vinyl airs out it will become less tacky and much easier to apply to the vehicle. This also facilitates the fit of the images on the car or truck.
- Use only cold rollers. When you are applying the laminate, you need to use cold rollers and take care to not use too much pressure or apply too much tension.
- When applying car wraps, you should start with the widest part first. By starting with the widest and flattest panel, you make a base line. Start by stretching the vinyl without the application of any heat. Focus on the flat areas before you move on to the recesses, you can save that part for later on in the process.
- Spread the vinyl outwards. When you start stretching the vinyl you should stretch outwards. When you do start to use heat, you should employ the same techniques so that you so not do anything to alter the look of the images.
- Use vinyl cutting tape. Before you apply the vinyl with your images to the car, take your cut tape and apply that to all of the seams and other areas where you know you are going to have to cut through the car wraps. Cut tape works a lot better than razor blades or other kinds of cutting tools to get the lines that you want with car wraps.
- Use an infrared thermometer to get the the right temperature. When you are using heat, the ideal temperature is 95 degrees celsius or more. You will not get the right results if you try to go with a lower temperature.
Applying car wraps is not the hardest thing in the world to do but it does take some time and patience. If you take care with it, you will get the results that you want for your car or truck.