5 Common Vinyl Wrapping Mistakes You Need To Avoid


June 29, 2023

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Good news. You’re not stuck with that weird lime green paint job for the rest of your car’s life.

Vinyl wrapping is a popular technique used to transform the appearance of cars. Although it offers versatility and creativity, vinyl wrapping requires precision and attention to detail – or else you might damage the vinyl wrapping or your vehicle. No one wants that.

Here, we discuss five common vinyl wrapping mistakes that you must avoid to ensure a successful and professional-looking wrap. Otherwise, these common vinyl wrapping mistakes will lead to an uneven wrap filled with air bubbles that won’t last.

Mistake 1: Overstretching the Film

It’s important to remember that a successful wrap does not mean stretching it as much as possible. If it’s your first time wrapping a vehicle, this might seem counterintuitive, as you might think aggressively stretching the film might be a way to get more out of the wrap.

That’s wrong. Trust that overstretching the film will cause distortion in the finish or color – transforming the look and feel of the finished vinyl wrap. 

  • Example: Stretching a glossy film too much can make it appear matte while overstretching matte film can become glossy.

Mistake 2: Stretching the Edge

Stretching the film directly to the edge might seem like the right idea – you want it to be tight, right? 

Actually, no. When vinyl film is stretched directly to the edge, it draws all the tension to the edge – and that means it’s likely to retract or pull back. 

  • Protip: Lay the film outwards across the edge so it pulls itself naturally back, helping it adhere better. 

Mistake 3: Incorrect Squeegee Pressure

Finding the right level of squeegee pressure for vinyl wraps is a delicate balance. You must find a balance where you’re able to force the air out of the film and not leave any behind. 

Think of it similar to applying a sticker to a surface. Put your thumb in the middle of your squeegee and firmly distribute the vinyl wrap across the surface of the car. Be firm, but no brute force. Don’t overdue it. 

  • Not enough pressure causes air bubbles, wrinkles, creases, and other unwanted blips in your vinyl wrap.

Mistake 4: Leaving Too Much Film Around Edges and Corners

A common beginner mistake is leaving too much film around edges and corners. Leaving too much film in these areas can cause extra vinyl film to hang down and not stick to the underside of the panel. On top of wrinkles on the film, it looks cheap and messy. 

  • If you end up with too much film around the edge and don’t want to reapply the film, you can simply cut it off. Removing the excess film will sharpen and clean up the look.

Mistake 5: Incorrect Hand Placement When Heating and Stretching

For correct car wrap application, hand placement is very, very important. When heating and stretching vinyl wraps, you must take a balanced approach. 

Common mistakes are pulling too much from one direction or another, creating uneven warping or air bubbles. This is particularly important for more complex areas like mirrors.

  • Protip: A bigger size of wrap does not necessarily make placement easier. When dealing with excess wrap, it’s much tougher to correctly place your hands.

Got questions about any of these tips? Contact us about your fleet wrap project or business car wraps, we’ll be happy to give you some pro tips or a quote for your next wrap job.

Connect with a car wraps expert today!