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A blog dedicated to custom commercial signage, vehicle wraps and graphics, and business signs of all kinds!

How To Prepare Your Vehicle for a Vinyl Wrap

Posted on February 22, 2019 | Posted by Kris Williamson

Before we can apply a vinyl wrap to a vehicle’s painted surfaces, a little prep work is recommended. Just taking a little time to properly clean your vehicle can save our installers hours of prep work, therefore reducing your total cost. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your new mobile branding.

Handwashing Vinyl Wrap We recommend thoroughly washing every surface of your vehicle before a vinyl wrap is applied. That includes wheel wells, inside the edges of mirrors and lights, etc.

Wash With Mild Detergent and Water

We ask our customers to thoroughly wash their vehicles with mild detergent and water the day before or at least several hours before dropping it off. It’s important that all parts are completely dry prior to installation, including under-body molding, wheel wells and seams.

To ensure the best adhesion, we also re-clean all surfaces that will be wrapped once more prior to installation. This process ensures all hints of dirt, wax and tar have been removed.

DON’T Use Wax!

Wondering if a good wax job will help with a vinyl wrap? Believe us when we say "IT WON’T!" Wax makes the surface very slippery, and vinyl doesn’t want to stick or stay adhered to slick surfaces.

Rust and Other Issues

We prefer to see vehicles before they’re dropped off for installation, but sometimes that’s just not an option. So, it’s important to let us know about any spots that might have rust, peeling paint or other issues. If possible, have those areas repaired prior to installing a wrap. If you would like us to take a look at your vehicle, bring it by our shop or send us photos at hello@12psw.com. We would be happy to provide recommendations.

Dented hood We can apply vinyl on small dents like this, however, an indentation will show in the vinyl. 

In some cases, we can “camouflage” issues in the design, but vinyl is thin and will show indentations or dents. We will take photos of any issues we see when the vehicle comes into our shop and discuss options with the owner when necessary.

Want to learn more about acceptable paint conditions for vinyl wraps? Read this article: Best Paint Conditions for Vehicle Wraps: Our Answers to Your FAQs!

After the wrap is installed, we have another list of recommendations for keeping your vehicle looking great during its lifespan. Check out this article: Keeping It Clean: Care and Maintenance Tips for Vehicle Wraps.

Vehicle wrap installation at 12-Point SignWorks in Franklin, TN. A clean vehicle with a good paint job is especially important for full coverage wraps to look their best!

Are you ready to take advantage of mobile advertising? We have the talent and experience to create a bold, unique design that will get noticed!

We’re open Monday thru Friday, 8-5. Consultations and estimates are always free! Give us a call at (615) 595-6564 or click on the button below.

We specialize in advertising wraps, environmental branding, custom signage, architectural displays, wall murals, window graphics and custom projects. We serve Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, and Smyrna. We look forward to working with you!

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