O.T. Who has wrapped their own car?

Drdrumdude3009

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I just paid off my 2017 Kia Niro. Not an exotic by any means. It’s in decent shape, but I just want to change it up as I will own it for awhile. New wheels and tires are in the process, but I think a wrap would complete it, but I don’t want to pay $2K for something IF I could do it myself and I am decently handy.

Any recommendations? Hints? Pitfalls?
 

JDA

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^yeah).......believe it's a skill developed over time with practice (sound familiar ; )
 
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Drdrumdude3009

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I’ve wrapped goalie sticks with mixed results. I may practice on a few larger items first.

I can certainly appreciate where the answers are coming from on this; keep ‘em coming!
 

Bandit

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Much harder than it looks. My son was going to do this in our barn for a job. After taking a course and doing a few body parts, he changed his mind. Still have the roll of brown he was going to do his GTI in. The pros make it look easy so everyone wants a go. If you do go ahead and want to do it yourself I would recommend practice first on smaller projects. Try a bass drum head.
 

Tommy D

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Wrap or Plasti-Dip is enticing, I must admit. I was going to wrap the roof of my car in Carbon Fiber wrap, but after seeing some of the long term results of carbon fiber wrap, I decided against it. Hardest parts to wrap look to be the bumpers. After that its the side mirrors and the door handles. The big, flat areas like hoods/doors/fenders don't look too difficult to wrap. This is why I'm liking the Plasti-dip option, but that has more maintenance involved to keep it looking good.

I would think Plasti-dip is overall a less expensive option than wrapping and may be easier once you get the hang of spraying.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Wrap or Plasti-Dip is enticing, I must admit. I was going to wrap the roof of my car in Carbon Fiber wrap, but after seeing some of the long term results of carbon fiber wrap, I decided against it. Hardest parts to wrap look to be the bumpers. After that its the side mirrors and the door handles. The big, flat areas like hoods/doors/fenders don't look too difficult to wrap. This is why I'm liking the Plasti-dip option, but that has more maintenance involved to keep it looking good.

I would think Plasti-dip is overall a less expensive option than wrapping and may be easier once you get the hang of spraying.

Long term results? Please elaborate.
 

Tommy D

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Long term results? Please elaborate.

Well, apparently the carbon Fiber wrap when subjected to about a year of the sun beating on it causes the vinyl to deteriorate between the "fibers" of the weave and removing the wrap is not a simple process as it breaks up and tears along all those little fractures. Total nightmare to remove from what I understand. Seems to only effect the carbon fiber wrap as that one has the texture to cause issues.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Well, apparently the carbon Fiber wrap when subjected to about a year of the sun beating on it causes the vinyl to deteriorate between the "fibers" of the weave and removing the wrap is not a simple process as it breaks up and tears along all those little fractures. Total nightmare to remove from what I understand. Seems to only effect the carbon fiber wrap as that one has the texture to cause issues.

I wonder if putting an underlayer of wrap wouldn’t help? Of course, then it could look thick and not so nice…
 

kallen49

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I worked in prepress for a large format printer for 20 years, printing wraps for buses and trains sold across Canada.

I observed the wrap process for a transport truck and trailer for a drag racing car belonging to one of our managers.
We hired pro installers who used small plastic squeegees that they actually licked to lubricate the vinyl which I considered to be an unhealthy practice.

In large format print there are three factors, in ascending order of cost; the printing, the installation and the cost of renting the space.

Installing on your own vehicle you only need to cover the print and installation. We printed on 50" wide 3M self adhesive including perforated see-through substrate, specially made to be removable. Toronto Transit streetcars and buses are changed very often so must be easily removed & installed so they have full time employees trained to do that.

All of our wraps were laminated to protect the ink from weather and fading. I think 3M is guaranteed for one year against colours fading.
Longevity depends on the amount of sun.

There are self adhesives, like "Busmark", that will rip the paint off of a car when attempting to remove so you need to make sure your printer is using the correct substrate.

Your printer may be able to get an existing template for your exact vehicle from 3M. (Building a new bus or streetcar template was always a time consuming job).

Once you have paid for a quality product it would be a shame to mess up the installation so I would get a quote from an experienced installer.
If installing yourself ask your printer for some offcuts to try to practice with.
 
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drumsanity

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My $.02, my experience, I manage what is considered a large print shop within a California school district, we run everything for perforated vinyl, regular vinyl, foam core, aluminum etc.

The best way to find out is to pick up some window tint, go home and try to install it on a window there.

Installing vinyl graphic material is very difficult and like Kallen49 said above if you use the incorrect media it will be a nightmare.
 

idrum4fun

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How many of us have seen cars with tinted windows that look terrible?!! It's because any yahoo thinks they can do it themselves and then not long after, the tint starts to bubble and peel! Wrapping a car is an art and a science. It takes time and practice to hone your skills. I would only trust a professional to wrap a car!

-Mark
 

CC Cirillo

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WMP, buddy. It’s timeless.

My neighbor wrapped his Tesla in his garage. I don’t think he’s a car guy.

Did some electric-powered special soap wash prep. Told me making sure the car is absolutely clean was very important. His car was basically brand new without any dents or anything like that. I don’t know if that plays into it.

Turned out perfect, so it can be done. But he’s a tech guy and it was a Tesla, so he probably did it using the software upgrade.
 

kzac

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I just paid off my 2017 Kia Niro. Not an exotic by any means. It’s in decent shape, but I just want to change it up as I will own it for awhile. New wheels and tires are in the process, but I think a wrap would complete it, but I don’t want to pay $2K for something IF I could do it myself and I am decently handy.

Any recommendations? Hints? Pitfalls?

Would you advise your bud with air drumming skills to play a concert in front of 20k fans? If you want the job to look fantastic, then pay someone with the skills, else you will notice every meticulous flaw you made every time you drive the car.
 


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