DIY Truck Wraps

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The DIY Truck Wrap Rundown

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What Are Truck Wraps?

Truck wraps are big, digitally printed graphic rolls of vinyl film with an assortment of unique colors made to transform the appearance of your Jeep, pickup, SUV, or rig. Manufactured to let you change your truck’s appearance in a short period or for many years. Truck wraps are found in both partial and full vehicle wraps, making customization a breeze. These wraps are the ideal option for you to choose from to meet your specific criteria for customizing your truck. Whether you are driving a full-sized dually diesel or a mid-sized pickup truck, our massive array of truck wraps will make your truck stand out from your fellow vehicle owners! However, there are correct and incorrect ways to create a custom truck wrap. In this article, we will explore the critical aspects that will affect your custom truck's look. So, let’s begin.

Why Do I Want To Wrap My Truck?

Say you're a business and you want to promote it in an eye-catching way. So you decide to wrap your company truck with custom vinyl in a way that can draw attention to your brand. Truck wraps are ideal for customized decals and body wraps. This is especially ideal for businesses seeking a way to advertise their brand or if you want your truck to make a statement. Uniquely wrapping the truck is a fantastic, cost-effective way to increase your brand's visibility. A single-vehicle wrap can boast over 80,000 brand impressions a day in densely populated places. It's a far more effective method than sending e-mails or marketing online or dealing with ad blockers and other company competition. 

What Parts Can I Wrap?

The possibilities are endless in terms of what sections of your truck that you can wrap. Here's a list to help you out:

  • Full Wrap: Wrapping your truck fully in the eye-catching vinyl makes a unique look, that will make you stand out on the road.
  • Doors: A great way to let your passengers see the custom vehicle they'll be riding in!
  • Roof: No place gets neglected, and the roof is just as important.
  • Dashboard: Rejuvenating your old and tired dashboard will make your car appear brand spanking new.
  • Headlight and Taillights: Change the display colors for your ride with unique colors.
  • Pillar Post Trim: Reinvigorate your dull, aged, and scuffed-up pillar trims with new, lively colors.
  • Interior layout: Enhancing the inside of your truck with the custom colors is a fantastic and extremely popular option to add visual flair, be it on the consoles or doors.
  • Trunks and Hoods: Vinyl is a common material used for customized decals and graphics to go on your truck's exterior.
  • Bumpers: No place is too small or insignificant and the bumpers are no different when it comes to bringing new life to your ride.
  • Mirrors: Usually a forgotten part of a car, your mirrors will help differentiate itself on the road with the right kind of color you choose.

The Dos and Don'ts

1. Using the Wrong Measurements

This is a kill two birds with one stone situation. One significantly crucial factor affecting cost in DIY projects of this nature is how much vinyl it takes to get the job done and how the amount of film you'll need. Check out our Truck Wrap section to learn what are the most popular truck models we've seen submitted to us from our customers, along with an approximation of how much vinyl is necessary for a full truck wrap. However, do you know what to measure? The first thing to measure on a car or pickup truck is the length of the vehicle, bumper to bumper. You're not done yet, though! You still need to measure the roof, trunk, bumpers, and hood. You don't want to waste money by not having enough vinyl, so getting precise measurements is crucial!

2. Misuse of a Heat Gun

One of the most common mistakes when using a heat gun is concentrating solely on the gun and not checking how the vinyl adheres to your truck. If the temperature gets too high you risk damaging the vinyl and potentially the original paint job underneath. If the temperature is too low there's a good chance it won't conform to your truck correctly. First and foremost you'll need to lay the vinyl onto your truck and attach it to all four sides, preferably with magnets. This allows you to stretch and create tension. You may notice some wrinkling but pay it no mind, you won't get every wrinkle on the first go as you stretch the vinyl. All you need to do is make sure that it is taught. If the film is loose, the heat won't take out the wrinkles. 

The next thing you have to do is to hold the heat gun a few inches from the vinyl and sweep it back and forth across the wrinkles. Make sure not to hold the gun in one spot. You must have the heat gun moving constantly. If you have too much concentrated in one area you can damage the vinyl and the original paint job underneath. You'll notice that some curved and edge areas still have wrinkles, worry not, you'll simply have to squeegee these smoothly to finish off the installation. Use a squeegee to smooth these. However, if using a Heat Gun seems daunting, a Hair Dryer is a great alternative if you're new to the DIY hobby.

3. Overstretching The Vinyl

Some adhesive vinyl materials have great stretching tolerances, however, not all vinyl is created equally. Even the compounds that make up the vinyl have a breaking point to how much stretching they can take. The first thing to understand is if the material you’re working on is conformable and tolerable when being stretched.

For example, if you are using cast (premium) adhesive vinyl, the creation process results in an extremely flexible, skinny, shrink-resistant film. For calendar (economy) vinyl, the creation process results in a vinyl that is thicker since it has been stretched, it often shrinks, instead. When you overstretch some vinyl, you also thin the adhesive, leading to separation, curling edges, and bubbles. Be sure to check out our installation guide if you're new to the DIY method of wrapping to avoid such mistakes!

4. Improper Cutting of the Vinyl

Of the 4 car and truck wrap DIY mistakes this might be the most common. The key to cutting the vinyl is to use the right knife – carefully. The best knife type to utilize is a stainless-steel blade that has a 30 to 45-degree cutting angle. Avoid carbon and ceramic blades. The sharpness of these blades often leads to damaging the paint. When you're cutting vinyl, consider the location of your cut.

For example, when cutting at the trunk, cut so that the seam can fold under against the wind. Doing this mitigates wind and weather separating the edges. After cutting, fold the vinyl under the seam and then squeegee it down. An alternate method for cutting is often used for rubber molding. Use a squeegee against the paint under the molding. Place your knife on top of the squeegee and move the squeegee with the cut. This way you avoid cutting into the paint or molding.

While cutting the vinyl before installation can work, you'll want to know what you’re doing, and it will only work on a simple installation. Cutting the vinyl before installation often leads to a mediocre finish. We offer installation guides for all sorts of wraps that are relevant to your truck. 

Wrap Up

In conclusion, these 4 car and truck wrap DIY mistakes can be costly. If what we’ve shared here sounds complicated, that’s because it can be. A full wrap for a truck takes time, patience, and commitment. Installing a full wrap takes training and experience as well. However, nothing is impossible and we will help you out the best we can. If you’re considering a full wrap on your vehicle, your best course of action is to hire a pro. Contact us online if you need more specific questions you cannot find in our resources section, and we will get back to you to help you out.

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