NFS Customs Staff / 20th Apr
Below are simple steps to follow to achieve a bonnet car wrap:
|Step 1 : Cutting The Vinyl|
We prefer to use either a Stanley knife or scalpel to cut the vinyl to size. Try to leave generous margins so the vinyl can be easily stretched over curved surfaces.
|Step 2 : Cleaning The Surface|
We find cleaning the surface with warm soapy water or a mild alcoholic spirit removes all residue on the surface and allows for a stronger longer lasting fit. IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT USE ANY GREASE PRODUCTS TO CLEAN
|Step 3 : Apply The Vinyl|
Slowly apply the vinyl to the surface whilst making sure to push out any air bubbles that may have formed.
|Step 4 : For Curved Surfaces|
When applying curved surfaces, try heating the vinyl with a heat gun or hair dryer. This will allow the material to be stretched, removes creases, and improves flexibility.
|Step 5 : Trim To Fit|
Finally using a scalpel, cut out the features on the car that don’t require vinyl coverage.
NFS Customs Staff / 20th Apr
Before You Apply Vinyl Wrap
The first step to applying any vinyl wrap is to clean your substrate. To ensure that the vinyl adhere properly, without the risk of failure, we must thoroughly clean the vehicle. Proper cleaning of the surfaces of a vehicle for vinyl application is a critical step in the application process. Please note that most material manufacturers have technical bulletins available on their web site or through their technical support department that provide detailed information on how to prepare a variety of substrates for vinyl application. While these instructions will serve as a good guide on how to clean your vehicle before applying vinyl, it is always a good idea to check with the material manufacturer to make sure you are following their recommendations.
The first step to cleaning is to remove all of the dirt and grime with a commercial detergent and water. Take it to the car wash to get as much of the dirt, salt and road grime off of the car. Note: If you take the vehicle to the car wash, it is important to make sure the vehicle is completely dry before applying the vinyl wrap. This may mean allowing the vehicle to dry indoors overnight before applying.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation…
After cleaning, preparation is the next most important step in applying vehicle wraps. It is always a good idea to plan your install before starting. Which piece goes where and which one you are going to start with. Remember you really have only one chance to get it right after you take off the backing paper (liner). Today's material does give you some degree of repositionability, however this is generally intended so the installer can "snap up" a small area for repositioning not remove an entire panel to start over.
Before I apply my first piece I like to lay out the vinyl and position it on the vehicle with tape. This enables me to check that I have all the VINYL and allows me to check the positioning of the vinyl and make necessary adjustments (or plan on adjustments) before actually applying the vinyl.
Once the vinyl is positioned and you have your plan on where to start it is time to begin applying the vinyl WRAP
Tools of the Trade
Temperature plays an important roll in how well a vinyl sticks to a substrate. Vinyl manufacturers generally recommend the temps be in the range of 50-90F with 70-80F being the optimum range. Whenever possible, try to apply vinyl indoors in a controlled environment. Not only will this help you control the temperature, it will also reduce the amount of wind, dust and other contaminants you have to deal with. It is important to monitor both the ambient and surface temperature as both can have an affect on your application. Higher temperatures will make the film soft and more pliable (which can be nice if you are an experienced installer). However, the high temperature also makes the adhesive more aggressive which can lead to pre-tack (this is where the film adheres to the substrate prematurely) and increased stretching if you try to reposition the film. Lower temperatures, on the other hand, will make the film more rigid and reduce the tack of the adhesive.
There are a few basic tools you will need to apply vinyl wrap. They are:
· a tape measure - for positioning
an air release tool - for removing air bubbles
masking tape - for positioning
a squeegee - for applying the vinyl
a razor-knife (preferably one with break-off blades) - for trimming away excess vinyl
a heat gun - for heating the vinyl on complicated applications
It is much easier if you have a second set of hands to help with positioning the film during the application process. Our first piece for this wrap will be the hood. We started out by positioning the vinyl and taping it into place. Since the hood isn't perfectly flat we can't follow the standard process of starting at the top and working our way down. In this case it will be easiest for us to start near the center and work our way up then go back and work down. I have also found that keeping the squeegee at a lower angle and taking my time helps me avoid wrinkles.
As I apply into curved areas we may begin to see some small wrinkles that look like "crows feet". Keeping the squeegee at a sharp angle will help here. Don't chop at the material this will only make the wrinkles worse. If the wrinkles get too bad, use heat to relax the film and get rid of the wrinkles. Be sure to let the film cool down before starting to squeegee again (this will prevent excess stretching). Keep working applying in small strips at a time until it is finished.
Once the hood vinyl is applied the film must be trimmed before going on to the next piece. When trimming out vinyl you must take care not to cut the paint. For this piece we trim the material flush with the edge of the hood. It is not recommended to leave excess film and wrap it around the edge of the hood as this will be a potential point of failure in the future.
The next piece we will apply is the side panel. Here we opted to do one long horizontal panel, which helps us eliminate seams in our vinyl. This is possible on this particular vehicle because the 60" material is taller than the vehicle itself. This is also possible since we are applying indoors in a controlled environment. You may not want to use this method on hot day because we are removing all of the liner and will need to continually reposition the material during the application process. If the temperature is too high we are at risk of pre-tack and stretching the film.
Again, it is possible to apply vinyl of this size with just one person, but it is definitely easier with two. Once we position we will remove the liner and lightly tack the film to the car. We will then position the film to distribute it evenly on the surface. Next we will place our first squeegee stoke along the length of the car. We first apply the lower half of the panel then work on the upper portion of the panel.
When I reach the wheel well area, I like to trim out the excess material this helps to relieve excess tension on the material and it makes the vinyl easier to handle. I follow a similar step as I am working on the upper panel in the hood and trunk areas where there is excess film.
As we near the front and rear bumpers it is necessary to take additional time and work the film to avoid wrinkles. It will be necessary to use heat to relax the film and continue to work the film into the contour of the vehicle. Remember the trick here is to take your time and not overheat or over-stretch the film.
The final step in the vehicle application process is to go back and trim the material around the moldings and door panels. Even though the film looks good in these areas at the time of installation, it is possible that some excessive stretching may have occurred and trimming the vinyl in these areas will prevent any tenting. It is also a good idea to go back and look for any air bubbles you may have missed while squeegeeing the material into place.
NFS Customs Staff / 20th Apr
Below are videos to help people at home who want to learn how to vinyl wrap. Car Wrapping takes years to prefect but with a little help from these videos you can come a long way. 3M has made a handful of videos to demonstrate what techinques can be use to acheive a sucessful wrap.
NFS Customs Staff / 10th Dec
Last year summer we had a customer looking to do something different to his C63. He had big plans for it and heard about car wrapping so gave us a call, He came in for a consultation and gave us the honour of coming up with a design that he would be happy with! He gave us no reference on what colour he wanted nor did he say how he wanted it done. He gave us a budget on how much he is looking to spend and then handed us the key.
So we got started...
First thing first, we washed the car thoroughly removing every dust and grit from the car, under all the arches, trims and gaps inbetween the panels.
We all sat down, had a brainstorm meeting and went through our colour cards. There are various different brands and colours for vinyl wrapping such as; 3M, HEXIS, ARLON, AVERY, ORACAL etc... after finding it hard to decide what colour to choose, we spotted 1 colour that we new would work really well with this car. We chose 3M Matte Metallic Blue Vinyl. This colour was loud and bright! A vinyl that works really well with a powerful car!
We stripped the wing mirrors, handles, grills, trims, bumpers etc... and got started. Due to the curves of the car, we had to think carefully to see where we would need to use 3M primer. 3M Primer ensures full adhesives connections. Most of the time this isnt needed but vinyl wrap sometimes finds it difficult to stick to recess areas due to the stretch limitation.
At this point the car is ready for wrapping. We measured the side of the car to find the right measurements in order to wrap the sides of the car then we measured the bonnet and cut both sides and the bonnet, allow me tell you why we do this...
we have 3 people who work 3 panels at one time:
1 guy works on one side
1 guy works on the other side
1 guy works on the bonnet
Strategically this works and we found this out after months of swapping around and wrapping different panels and found this to be the easiest way.
Vinyl wrapping the C63 in the 3M Matte Metallic Blue can be difficult only because overheating can discolour the film even if its 3M, so the best way to do it would be to move the heatgun in various directions ensuring you use a low heat setting.
it usually takes us just over an hour to completely wrap, cut & tuck in all 3 panels (2 sides & 1 bonnet).
So, after those 3 panels are cut we move onto the doors & quarter panels (because there's 3 of us, we strategically rotate to wrap the panels:
2 guys on driver side vinyl wrapping, cutting & tucking the back door & front quarter panel and 1 guy on the passenger side wrapping the front drivers side once thats done we then rotate over wrapping the front drivers side, passenger quarter panel and back door. Lastly we wrap the side skirts.
Then we move onto the Roof and Boot (2 guys vinyl wrapping the roof & 1 guy wrapping the boot)
by that time all of which is mentioned above is done and it is normally the next car we work on (same process).
We arrive at the garage by 9am in the morning together and get stuck right in, switching the lights on, getting the radio playing (typically Magic FM). We measure up the front & rear bumpers and get the vinyl cut up and layed, again 3 man team with 1 guy vinyl wrapping the rear bumper and 2 guys wrapping the front. The whole process of vinyl wrapping, cutting and tucking in these panels takes roughly around 1.5hrs - 2hrs.
then we move onto the smaller things and sit down together and wrap the door handles & wing mirrors whilst enjoying eachothers company and having a laugh.
For the Mercedes C63 we also wrapped the door shuts which can take up to half a day atleast.
Day 3, Painting the calipers & spraying the Alloys, Grills and Diffuser. We painted the calipers in 'Ferrari Red'. Drying time takes approx 5 hours to dry, after we check the paint is hardened we apply head resistant vinyl decals 'AMG ///'. Finally the little bits and bobs such as the rear Mercedes Badges & Mercedes Emblem are sprayed in Gloss Black.
On this day the customer comes to pick up his Car, he came in the evening around 6pm and he was shocked at how different and amazing the car looked (remember, he had not seen his car since we took it), we thought we'd do a unveiling for him to get a even better reaction from him - which we did!! He was ever so grateful.
Before we finish off this blog,
Here is an image of how the Mercedes C63 looked after the job we done.
We hope you enjoyed reading the story of the Mercedes C63 that came in as a standard black and wrapped in 3M Matte Metallic Blue and we also hope you come back to read other blog posts we will be writing up so please stay tuned!
Iv left some more images of the C63 for you to take a look at down below, please feel free to have scroll through :-)
NFS Customs Staff / 10th Dec
Maintaining Car Vinyl Wrapping:
The best way to look after a matte wrap is to keep it clean. Wash regularly with a quality car shampoo & keep the car under cover as much as possible when not driving it. While waxing does provide very good protection to vinyl, we don't generally recommend waxing matte vinyl as it can cause it to 'gloss' up, changing the appearance of the wrap. However, I have found that some matte colours actually do look quite good after waxing. The wrap will be a little less matte & the colour will be slightly darker, but it can look good. Be very cautious on what product you use on your vinyl wrap and most can damage your vinyl wrap.
NFS Customs Staff / 7th Dec
Get your car wrapped from just £500. An amazing deal!
We are offering a winter special, from only just £500. Get your car fully wrapped in Matte Metallic Grey, Gloss White, Matte Black & Gloss Black.
Give us a call or head to the contact page to get in touch.