How to Wrap Your Hood
Hood wraps are one of the most popular and accessible vinyl wrap products out there. Not everyone has the self-confidence, time or budget to completely wrap their car or truck but wrapping a hood seems within reach for almost anyone. In this quick guide we'll show you how you can wrap your hood in 12 simple steps.
Tools and Fluids You'll Need
For tools you'll need microfiber, towel, clay bar, soap and water solution, a dedicated degreaser, masking tape and perhaps knifeless tape, a squeegee with a buffer, a tucking tool, magnets, application glove, and a polisher for the final wrap. There's a basic instruction guide that comes in the kit, be sure to pay attention to the sticker on how to remove the hood panel from the tube.
Temperature Considerations: Always make sure the workspace temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rapid Prep
- Rapid Tac (or soap and water solution)
- Rapid Clear
- Microfiber towel
- Clay bar
- A tucking tool
- An application glove
- Felt Edge Squeegee
How to Wrap Your Hood in Vinyl
Clean Your Vehicle's Hood
The first step is to clean the hood. Spray it with a soap and water solution and be extra thorough during this process. Next spray, the hood again and go over it with the clay bar and then remove the soapy residue. Open up the hood and clean the edges. It is very important to make sure the edges are not only cleaned, but degreased for long term hold. Once the hood is clean, clean the main surface area again with the degreaser, and be extra thorough as cleaning is very important for a long term hold. Spray generously and wipe with overlapping strokes.
Step 1: Open Vinyl and Remove Excess
Now the hood is ready to be wrapped in the first step is to open up the panel on the hood and remove excess material at the top, this will make the install much easier. Next place, magnets directly in the middle. This is called a temporary hinch.
Step 2: Flip Over Vinyl and Release Liner
Flip the vinyl over, then release the backing paper. Make sure that the side is facing up and doesn't fold on itself. Once pulled halfway, cut the backing paper away with scissors, flip the vinyl over carefully so it doesn't fold on itself, then lightly lay the vinyl to even out the wrinkles. A good way to do this is fold towards either corner here, pulling towards the top and then here point towards the bottom.
Step 3: Remove Magnets
The next step is to remove the magnets. Once the magnets are removed with the free hand on the backing paper side, push the material so it goes fully glass or no wrinkle and lock the panel onto the surface with one squeegee stroke or lightly towards the front and continue the squeegee stroke as far as possible before wrinkles begin. If there are no wrinkles on the material, this means it could be squeezed onto the surface. Always be sure to use firm overlapping squeegee strokes and keep the squeegee angle at 45 degrees.
Step 4: Position Vinyl on Hood
Then once the body line is set to the other half of the head, first before taking the film to the outside edge. Keep the liner on as it's flipped over, then release the entire liner and for safety, always place the liner underneath the vehicle. Pull towards either corner, just like for the first half, this will remove all the wrinkles on the film, make sure all the wrinkles are pulled nice and even towards the front. Once there are no wrinkles on the surface, simply squeegee the material on the hood in the same manner.
Step 5: Pull Wrap to Corners
Then hold the PPF in tension evenly so there's minimal wrinkles on the hood and squeegee the edge, always start with the corners and edges on either side, and this will mean that the front will line up perfectly, make sure there's no tension, and then squeegee it in place.
Step 6: Remove Cap Sheet
There may be scratches on the surface and depending on the vinyl that was chosen in this case, 3M 2080. It does come with a cap sheet. Take masking tape to loosen the cap sheet from the film and then pull the cap sheet off, the scratches were on the cap sheet and not on the hood material. Always be sure to recycle the cap sheet.
Step 7: Use Heat to Soften the Film
Now, the materials in perfect condition and cutting can begin, the corners should always be done first. Pick the material up from the outside edge. Add heat to soften the material around the corner and keeping the material from touching the opposite side, tuck it behind the corner. This will get full coverage, run a finger on one edge to round the material, cut the corner first, roughly one inch on either side.
Step 8: Cut Film Towards Corner
Once the corner is cut, then the flat edge can be cut towards the corner. In the video, the materials being cut on the opposite side, the fender side, which gives one quarter of an inch of material that will be wrapped around underneath the hood. This will ensure full coverage and hold.
Step 9: Remove Excess Film
Remove the excess film and once the excess film has been removed, add heat to soften the film and squeegee it under the corner or towards body lines.
Step 10: Use Gloved Hand to Round Over Edge
Once the corner and body-line are done, then using an application glove, round the material behind the edge with heat, softening the film and with the sides done for the front cut on the bumper side, this will allow one quarter inch of film to be wrapped underneath the front of the hood. Always be sure to lift the film up high and away from the vehicle, so when cutting the excess film, there's no chance of the blade damaging the vehicle.
Step 11: Cut Material Along Hood Edges
Once all the excess film has been removed, open the hood slightly, run a finger to round the material at the front before fully grabbing it, this will prevent the material from folding on itself. And if there's any excess film on the front corner, add heat to soften the film and always form the corners. First, use the application glove to round the film at these areas. Once the film is rounded, the material can be cut flush to the side of the hood. For body angles at the upper section add heat to soften the film so it doesn't wrinkle, then form it in with the application or squeegee.
Step 12: Heat All Edges
Once the front is done, then simply just go around all the edges with heat to make sure the film has fully wrapped around and sealed for a long term hold.
And now we are in to the post install and the first step is to go over the entire hood with a heat. This is to check for bubbles and self-heal any scratches caused by the squeegee. The final step is to spray it with Rapid Clear, which will help increase the shine and protect it from dirt. For any more questions on how to install hood wraps, just contact us via email, chat or phone.