Applying Vinyl Stripes / wrap

  • I got photos back from a pal after we spent the day applying vinyl wrap stripes to Ruby. I used Vivid vinyl wrap and 3M knifeless tape for the job, thought some here might be interested in the technique. After careful planning of what the design would look like - I used a graphics program to do a digital design on top of a photo first - I planned out the length of each stripe and made a paper template to show me the positions where the tape would be cut.

    After planning, the first step was to wash and dry the surface, then wipe down thoroughly with rubbing alcohol - I used the 91% kind for better stripping action. This removed all traces of the regular polish that I use and insured the surface was clean.

    I used a sharpie marker to mark points where my design began and ended, then applied the knifeless tape. The tape is easy to apply and follows contours and curves well. Be sure to leave 6-inches past the each end of the design and use a soft cloth to press the tape down thoroughly along its length.

    Notice that I put the tape down along its length first, then applied tape that would cut the ends of the stripes on top. This way, the ends of the stripes would all be cut first - and then the individual stripes would be cut out. This insured that the ends were all consistent and even.

    You can see that the tape along the curved edge of the hood follows the curve nicely. For the inner edge, I marked two points equidistant from the fold for an even inner edge. I had originally planned to have the stripes go all the way into the crease of the hood, but working the vinyl in that confined space proved impractical, so I cut the stripes off about 2 inches from the crease.

    The next step was to apply the vinyl...

    Getting the vinyl down smoothly took several tries, and Doug and I had our hands full - that's why there are no photos of the actual application! I watched several how-to videos from a youtube site called C K Wraps that were a great help!

    With the vinyl smoothed down and bubble free, it was time to pull the tape. Believe it or not, getting the tape started was the hardest part! Videos from 3M were a blessing. With a little practice, things got easier. If you do this yourself, remember to hold down the edge of the vinyl as you snap up on the string. Once the cut is started, everything proceeds smoothly. For this application, I pulled away the waste vinyl, then pulled away the tape residue from under the wrap and smoothed down the edges with a squeegee. A heat gun was helpful in smoothing some of the edges.

    With all the stripes cut and a final seal and buff with the heat gun, the design was finished!

    Hope this is helpful if you are thinking of doing vinyl wrap designs yourself! Let me know if you have questions!


    Vivid vinyl Wrap on Amazon

    3M Knifeless Tape on Amazon (50 meter roll) Yes, you're gonna need plenty! LoL!

    C K Wraps - Racing Stripes

    Knifeless Tape Tutorial

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.

  • That turned out pretty rad! I'd like to see a few shots of this from a distance. When you visit... link me to the product and come lend a hand. :D

    Joey | 2016.5 Base Black :BLACKSS:
    "Defensor Vindex" | "Born of Freedom" | "None Shall Pass" | "Deter. Defend. Respond." | "Supra Et Ultra" | "Valor Honor"

    "Dating a skinny chick is fun until you hit 110mph in the Slingshot and she flies out like a napkin... thumbsup.png" - 2W2X1

  • That turned out pretty rad! I'd like to see a few shots of this from a distance. When you visit... link me to the product and come lend a hand. :D

    Happy to do that!

    All the links to product & how-to videos are at the bottom of the post. 8o If you are coming to Eureka Springs, we could do a job there.

    Great 1 afternoon project, and if you do all the planning and measuring before hand, having a few beers in the garage won't ruin the job! :D

    Here's a couple good shots of Ruby strutting her new stripes!

    The smarter you get, the funnier I am.