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Taking the Paint-Wrap Plunge

(August 2012) posted on Tue Jul 31, 2012

Igniting an explosion of new possibilities when it comes to vehicle wraps.

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By Jared Smith

It’s important to ensure that your designer is aware of the roll width for the material being used. Many of these paint-wrap films come in 60-inch widths and this is a major advantage when trying to not have any seams. In small, tough-to-reach areas where you might be forced to patch in vinyl, we recommend a quarter-inch overlap versus a more traditional ¾-inch overlap, because this will help hide the seam a bit.

Another aspect to keep in mind is any dismantling of the vehicle that might be necessary – remember, we’re trying to make this look like paint. On average, it takes our shop about three extra hours to remove parts off the vehicle that would otherwise not be removed in a traditional printed wrap. These items can include headlights, tail lights, grills, even door handles. Be sure to plan for this extra time when scheduling and when quoting the install.

And it might be a good idea to see if anyone in your shop has some bodyshop experience, because it actually might not be the best solution to have your skilled vinyl install team taking apart door panels. Make sure you have the right tools and look into a few specialty tools for removing these items. Always keep in mind that the right tool is usually cheaper than replacing any part you might break.

Six tips and tricks
Some additional paint-wrap pointers of note:

• We have found that the detail work and extra finishing or trimming work on paint wraps adds approximately 30 percent more time to the overall install time (plus a few hours to remove and reinstall parts).

• Keep in mind the obvious when estimating costs. You don't have to design, print, or laminate these wraps, of course, but you will still have some time in the design department and your finishing department or on your plotter.

• There’s a big advantage when things go wrong with paint wraps because it’s pretty easy to remove a problem panel and just get more material. No reprints are necessary and no worrying about matching color. This also holds true if your client comes in with a damaged vehicle in the future – just grab some material and complete the repair.