Vinyl Wrap Installation: What Does It Involve?

Ever looked at your vehicle and thought “this needs a shake up”? Well, we have the solution for you-vinyl wrapping. Vinyl wrapping can quickly transform your car for far less than the costs of getting it repainted. Not only does it offer changes to the vehicles appearance, vinyl wrapping protects from scratches, fading and any other general wear the tear the world can throw at a vehicle. Let us tell you more about the vinyl wrap installation process behind the scenes.

What Does Installation Actually Involve?

There are two processes to apply a vinyl wrap; dry wrap and wet wrap application. The difference is quite simple, wet applications involve liquids when it is being applied whereas dry doesn’t. However, what does this mean in the real world?

Wet Wrap Vinyl

Wet wrap vinyl application is the more forgiving of the two. It has it’s limitations however, as it struggles with curved surfaces. Wet wraps are best used on small applications like window decals or small bits of vinyl on a flat surface. It’s a great way for those new to vinyl wrap to start. The process means there will be no bubbles or creases on the vinyl.

It works by floating on top of the fluid used during the application process and stopping adhesion. This means that instead of having to keep pulling the vinyl off and on again until you get it right, you have time to work with it. You can purchase the fluid or you can make your own with soap and water.

Once you have the vinyl wrap in place, you use a squeegee to remove the remaining fluid. Overlapping strokes ensure that no bubbles are left underneath and the vinyl is smooth.

Once this is done all you have to do is wait. A minimum of 24 hours is recommended before using the vehicle again. Driving would lift the edges of the wrap and damage the adhesion.

vinyl wrapping installation

Dry Wrap Vinyl 

Dry wrap vinyl application is the quicker and neater process of the two. Once the wrap adheres then its on. You don’t have to wait 24 hours or squeegee. However it is harder to do right and requires some skill as you can’t rely on the slow adhesion to get the positioning right. The wrap sticks to the vehicle as soon as it touches it. If you get your positioning wrong you will have to lift the wrap, which can damage the vehicle and the wrap.

The dry application is quicker if you’re skilled at it because once it’s on it’s on. It needs two people to apply the wrap properly. One person to keep the wrap stretched to avoid wrinkles and another to apply the wrap. When applying it to a curve or divot, heating the wrap will let it apply smoothly to the surface. You do run the risk of overheating the wrap and damaging it however.

Some wrinkling is inevitable and unavoidable. When this happens you should lift the film and reheat it until the wrinkle leaves. Then just reapply it to the vehicle.

What Are The Best Conditions To Apply A Vinyl Wrap In?

Before you rush into vinyl wrap installation, what are the best conditions for you to do it in? The best temperature is around 20 degrees celsius. Below that and you run the risk of damaging the wrap during application. In colder conditions the wrap is more brittle and fragile. Above this and your adhesive will be quicker and stronger, meaning it will be harder to get the position of your vinyl correct.

It is best to apply your vinyl wrap inside and away from direct sunlight. If you are outside you are more likely to get bits of dust and other dirt trapped under the surface. Avoiding direct sunlight means you will always have a consistent temperature.  

Store your vinyl wraps away from a heat source to stop them getting stuck together. Also keep them an area of low humidity to not damage the adhesive.