One of the most common mistakes when installing vinyl on a vehicle is not taking the time to prep your surface. A vehicle that isn’t properly prepped can compromise the adhesive bond and ultimately cause failure in your application. We’ve outlined some tips to help you through the important process of vehicle prep!
While it can be time-consuming, following the steps below will help create a perfect vinyl wrap on your vehicle. This will take your wrapping game to the next level and also help prevent damage.
Vehicle Prep Perfection
The first step in prepping for the perfect vehicle wrap is washing your vehicle to remove any wax and debris. Wax will affect the adhesive bond on vinyl and not allow the vinyl to properly stay down. Handwashing is the most thorough way to ensure all areas and surfaces of the vehicle have been properly cleaned.
Corners, cracks, and weather trims are all areas that can be tricky to get to and require extra attention. Using the rough side of a sponge on these areas will help remove hidden debris and wax.
Even after a hand wash, the surface is not completely cleaned. The last step will be going over the vehicle surfaces with a clean lint-free cloth and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). Using a spray bottle, fill this with equal parts IPA and water. Spray the mixture directly on your substrate and wipe down immediately with your lint-free cloth. Wiping the vehicle down with this mixture will completely clean the surface of any leftover soap and wax.
After the wash, dry every part of the vehicle with a microfiber cloth. Once your vehicle is 100% dry, you can start your install with confidence.
Rushing through the vehicle prep can have implications on the success of your wrap so it’s important to never skip through this process!