How Much Wrap Do I Need?
For some auto enthusiasts, the stock version of their ride is merely a work in progress. Their ride only becomes complete after they add a personal touch to help it reach its full potential. In many cases, that personal touch is a vinyl wrap. However, installing vinyl wrap can be a tricky business.
One of the first steps in starting an auto wrap project is determining how much wrap you'll need. Keep reading to learn about the amount of vinyl an auto wrap project requires!
How Much Vinyl Do I Need?
The two primary factors to consider when deciding how much vinyl you need to wrap your car are vehicle size and wrap area.
Whether you drive a truck, car, SUV or 18-wheeler, the amount of wrap you need depends on your vehicle size. For example, you will need about 50 feet of vinyl to wrap your average car and up to 75 feet of vinyl to wrap a SUV. Here's a ballpark idea of how much vinyl each vehicle type requires for a full wrap:
- Motorcycles and ATVs: 10 feet
- Golf carts, small boats and smart cars: 30 feet
- Convertible small coupes: 40 feet
- Coupes and small passenger cars: 45 feet
- Standard sedans and large coupes: 50 feet
- SUVs and large luxury sedans: 50 feet to 75 feet
- Trucks, trailers and vans: 50 feet to 100 feet
- Large trucks, buses, boats and airplanes: 100 feet to 300 feet
The figures above offer a general idea of how much you should budget for your vinyl wrap project. However, each make and model has unique shapes and curvatures. Even if you use a vinyl wrap calculator to determine how much vinyl you need, you should still measure your vehicle to get a precise number.
The other factor that influences your vinyl sizing needs is the area you intend to wrap. While a full wrap involves covering your car's entire exterior apart from lights and windows, you can apply partial wraps to several areas of your whip, including the following:
How to Measure for a Wrap
The process of measuring your car for vinyl wraps varies depending on the area you want to cover — you'll need to take different measurements for a full wrap than if you're only wrapping the hood or rocker panel. Here are some tips for measuring your vehicle for full and partial wraps.
Measuring for a Full-Wrap
Since vinyl wrap film rolls are wide enough to cover the width of cars or trucks easily, you'll only need to measure the length to determine how much you'll need. The driver and passenger side lengths are the same — you can measure from the front fender edge to the rear fender edge on either side.
To account for your vehicle's curvature, add six inches to both the front and back. You'll use this extra material, called bleed material, to pull the film over the vehicle during installation.
Once you've measured the length, you can use this handy formula to make sure you get the right amount of vinyl wrap:
- Full wraps on sedans, including bumpers: Multiply the length by four.
- Full wraps on sedans without bumpers: Multiply the length by 3.25.
- Full wraps on trucks, including bumpers: Multiply the length by 3.75.
- Full wraps on trucks without bumpers: Multiply the length by three.
Keep in mind that you may need extra wrap for the roof. As you prepare to install the wrap, you'll need to measure each section so you can make precise cuts in the material.
Measuring for a Partial Wrap
Partial wrap measurements vary according to the area you want to cover. For example, calculating vinyl for a hood wrap means that while the width measurement is straightforward, you'll need to measure the length along both the sides and center of the hood to account for any curvature. Moreover, hood, door, trunk and other car body parts vary with different makes and models.
Make sure to measure the area you intend to wrap thoroughly. Account for curvature by making perpendicular measurements across the curve and adding a few inches of bleed material for pulling.
Always Buy More vinyl Than You Need
No matter how careful you were with your measurements and how confident you are in your calculations, it's wise to buy a few extra yards to account for any potential mistakes during the installation process.
You may also benefit from purchasing surplus wrap in case you need bodywork done in the future. Wrap shades vary with each seller and sometimes go out of production. If the color doesn't match, the wrap that once put your car a tier above the rest may become more of an eyesore. Buying extra at the outset can save you from having to start from scratch for a seamless look.
Other Vinyl Wrap Tips
After measuring your wrapping area and ordering the vinyl, you want to make sure you make the most of the material you receive. Here are some tips to help you use your vinyl wrap efficiently with as little waste as possible:
- Ensure the surface is perfectly smooth and clean: Wraps magnify any debris on the surface, from a clump of dirt to the tiniest speck of dust. Be sure to give your ride a thorough clean and polish before installing the wrap.
- Install the wrap in a clean, sheltered space: Keeping your car's surface clean while installing a wrap can be an uphill battle if you're working in the open air or a dirty garage. It takes several days to install a complete wrap, so find a clean, sheltered space where it's easy to keep the surface free from debris.
- If possible, wrap your ride in the summer on dry, warm days: Cold weather makes the vinyl stiff and more prone to cracking as you stretch it across your car, while increased humidity prolongs the curing process. The optimal time to install a wrap is on a hot, dry summer day.
- Gather all the tools you need to perform the wrap before starting: There's not much worse than getting to the middle of a project and realizing you're missing an essential tool to keep going. To avoid this and the errors that often follow, make sure you have all the tools you need before starting the installation process.
- Open the vinyl on a table, not on the ground: Just as you want your car's surface to be pristine, you also want to prevent any debris from sticking to the underside of the wrap.
Order Your Wrap From Rvinyl
Once you know how much vinyl wrap you need for your project, Rvinyl can help you take the next step. Our experts can answer any questions regarding vinyl wrap sizing and other matters related to car wraps. Browse our selection of wraps to find one that suits your preference and shop with Rvinyl today!