- Low-tack masking tape—for positioning your vinyl in place
- Felt-tipped squeegee—for applying the graphic
- Hobby knife (OLFA or XACTO knife)—for trimming away excess vinyl
- Air release tool—for removing air bubble
- Rivet brush—for installation over rivets
- Heat gun—for heating the vinyl on complicated applications
- First of all, you’ll need to wash the whole exterior of your vehicle removing all loose dirt, grime or road film. Next remove anything that could pose as an obstruction to you while you’re installing your vinyl. Mirrors, moldings, handles, locks, emblems or anything that you’ve stuck to the vehicle can be removed but not necessary for installation.
- For best results use 70% Isopropyl Alcohol as a final wipe before installation. If there is any stubborn residue on the vehicle you can use a bug and tar remover but remember to come back and wipe with alcohol as the final step before installation.
It is advisable for you to start the installation process at the rear of the vehicle working forward overlapping each panel.
- To ensure that you’ve got the size and placement correct, try placing vinyl against the panel to ensure that it fits just right. If it doesn’t, this is the time that you can still make some minor changes so that it fits to your vehicle to the “T”. When you’re absolutely sure that it’s in place, apply masking tape at top edge to hold in place.
- From the edge of the tape hinge, take off the back lining from your vinyl and slowly pull it downward applying mild squeegee pressure over the material slowly and gently. Squeegee the area from center outward, and left to right continuing downward. Along the way smooth out any wrinkles and bubbles that are visible.
- It’s important that you should not attempt to stretch vinyl over areas that are hard to reach, body indentations or tight curves. This may result in tearing the material accidentally. What you should do is lift vinyl away from the panel and squeegee it firmly into the recessed areas carefully.
- Once you’re done trimming the material around any obstruction you can find, use an air release tool or pin to puncture the bubbles gently and then push all of the air out of the bubbles. Or you can opt to squeegee toward the puncture.
- If you have to contend with lots of curves and dents when installing vinyl on your vehicle, use a heat gun or hair dryer and applicator brush to work out the wrinkles and bunches. Remember to apply low temperature only. Just heat it slightly while holding the heat source several inches away from the material and smooth vinyl over your vehicle panels.
- When making relief cuts for contoured edges and curves cut slits at the edge of the material and overlap them so that one piece covers the other. The pieces should normally overlap at least ¼ inch to ensure proper coverage. Press the edges together firmly with your fingers and apply slight heat.
- Once you have completed the installation check and see if there are any air bubbles, wrinkles or areas that need further attention. If there are, use firm pressure and heat then squeegee or brush out areas until smooth.
If you’re satisfied with your work, reinstall all obstructions that you’ve earlier removed.