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Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 8:45 a.m.

I can't stand how much my paint is faded, it looks pink in spots.  I'm also too cheap to have it painted especially since it's mainly used as a track car and I could wad it up at any moment.  This led me to explore vinyl wrapping it.

I was quoted $2900 to have it professionally wrapped.  The words "Go ____ yourself" is all that came to mind, lol.

So, here I am doing it myself.  I'm using a roll of Vivvid vinyl from Amazon.  It was a little under $300 for a 50ft roll which I'm hoping will be enough to finish the car.  If I run out you can buy smaller rolls and I'll keep on trucking.

Since these pictures were taken I've finished the passenger side and all I have left are the bumpers, trunk, roof, and sideskirts.

So far I would say it is not hard, but very tedious and time consuming.  Last night I finished a fender in an hour, that is the fastest I have done a section so far.  Since I'm doing this outdoors(my truck is occupying the shop) my main concern is dirt.  So far I think I've done a pretty good job and I'm very happy with how it's looking.

My processes for cleaning before the wrap:

-Soapy warm water with Dawn dish soap.

-Rinse with water

-Dry with air hose

-Spray with Rapid Prep and wipe down with blue shop towel

-Wipe down with 50% isopropyl alcohol on microfiber towel just before sticking the vinyl on.

My vinyl wrapping experience consists of about 6 Youtube videos, seriously, anyone can do this.


The progress.


I will get some more pictures of where it's at currently and update this thread as I go.

Feel free to ask questions or give me pointers.

dclafleur Reader
6/14/19 8:49 a.m.

I've wondered about doing this on a couple of my cars, good to hear that it's more tedious than difficult.

slowbird New Reader
6/14/19 8:54 a.m.

Looks good so far! I also was shocked by how much it costs to have someone "professionally" wrap a car. Almost as much as just painting the damn thing, it seemed.

6/14/19 9:09 a.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

So far I would say it is not hard, but very tedious and time consuming.


THAT is why it cost $$$ to have it done. Wrapping is easy the same way doing a paintjob is easy. It is just the time and attention to details that make it expensive. I dont consider $3000 for a good job to be a rip-off, just market rate.


The deal breaker with wrap for me is that it has a life of about 3 years. And I figure that the wear will start to be evident during the sophomore year.

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 9:16 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

The pro's can do a whole car in less than a day.  I'm not paying $2000 for a day of someone's time.  Even at $100/hr shop rate that is too expensive.

ebelements New Reader
6/14/19 10:19 a.m.

Just chiming in to let you know that this is awesome. Killer work, can't wait to see it done!

I might actually try this myself after seeing how nice yours is coming along. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/19 10:33 a.m.

You're paying for skill, facilities and time. DIY is always an option, but don't discount the value of what the pros bring to the table. Sure, they may be able to do it faster than you but that's part of their skill. 

A coworker DIY wrapped a Miata and found a few things:

- Oracal car wrap vinyl sucks to work with. Go 3M. I don't know about Vivvid.

- compound curves are part of the challenge, as are inlets and sharp corners. Big body panels like hoods are really easy and gratifiying. The right vinyl helps a LOT.

- paint chips, door dings, any surface imperfection will show just like it does with paint

- vinyl takes a slightly different care regimen than paint.

- No matter how bad a job you do, it'll still look better than Plastidip :)

- We had one of our shop cars wrapped in 2011, and peeled it about two years ago. The car saw a bunch of track time and the stuff held up pretty well. It lived inside, which helps a lot. The coworker car looked pretty good when it was done, but it wasn't cared for, has lived outside in the harsh sun here and the vinyl has sunburned badly. We just had another shop car wrapped and we discovered just how many door dings it has!



java230 UltraDork
6/14/19 10:34 a.m.

Can you post some in process pics or details (or the youtube you watched :D ) I too am curious about DIY vinyl.

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 10:48 a.m.

In reply to java230 :

I'll try to take some pictures of the process.

artur1808 GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/14/19 10:52 a.m.

Can you post up a link to the vinyl you used/recommend? What has been the most difficult part of the Mustang to wrap so far?

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 10:58 a.m.

This is the exact vinyl that I'm using.



So far the most difficult part has been the hood.  My wife is 8 months pregnant and wasn't able to help me get the vinyl stretched as well as I would have liked so it made getting the wrinkles out kind of difficult.

If you can get a good stretch on the vinyl when you initially put it on it is infinitely easier to get the wrinkles out.

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 11:41 a.m.

Here are a few more pictures of the progress. 

My original fender had a dent in the top body line from a tree branch(previous owner).  It was cheaper to replace the fender than have the dent fixed.

ValourUnbound New Reader
6/14/19 12:07 p.m.

I'm leaving this thread before I end up on Amazon. I have too much work to do as it is, but this would make some of my cars look so much better...

Maybe I'll just put it on my wishlist...

Hoondavan Reader
6/14/19 12:13 p.m.

This looks really good.  Did you remove the window trim and door handles when you wrapped those sections?

I need to do this w/the family minivan.  The mid 00's honda non-metallic paint is terrible.  From what I've read, you'll know the quality of the vinyl when you have to remove it.  

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 12:14 p.m.

For comparison sake I originally bought a piece of red to test out the process and see if it was something I wanted to try.  The red seemed to be more "glossy" than the grey I'm currently using.  Here is what it looked like.

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 12:16 p.m.

In reply to Hoondavan :

Yes, I removed everything that is removable.  Window trim, door handles, badges, side scoops, bumpers, side skirts, and luckily on the SN95 the A/C pillar piece is removable so that helps too.

xflowgolf SuperDork
6/14/19 12:57 p.m.

My biggest question, and I've spent no time with it, but can you make the less visible parts look good?  i.e. how do you do the jams?  Or do you just keep the doors closed.  I'm less concerned with the big panel exterior finish, and more curious how it looks with hood open, doors open, trunk open, etc.  

Though I suppose you could just paint to match jams if you didn't care about the finish on a beater anyways... 

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
6/14/19 1:04 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

- No matter how bad a job you do, it'll still look better than Plastidip :)

One internet beer for Keith since that is probably the best thing I will read all day. 

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 1:04 p.m.

In reply to xflowgolf :

I'm not at all worried about the jams because it's a race car.  I'm sure you could wrap the door jams if you were concerned about that but I don't guarantee how good it would turn out.  Alot of abstract curves there.

Another option would be to wrap the car a similiar color to the paint to make the jams less noticeable which was my original plan but I said F it.  If I'm going to spend the time I want to make it a color that I'm happy with.  Never really cared for the red.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/14/19 1:05 p.m.

Looks good to me

java230 UltraDork
6/14/19 1:17 p.m.

That looks REALLY good.

Ill add a piece of info for removal, buy Rapid Remover. Its on Amazon, and not cheap, but my god does it work. I got that tip when trying to peel my box truck..... Half thru. The other half took literally 1/4 of the time.

Patientzero New Reader
6/14/19 1:32 p.m.

Hopefully I don't have to remove for a couple years at least.  They claim it will last 3-7 years outdoors.  Unfortunately it stays parked outdoors for now.  I hope to remedy that at least for winter.

java230 UltraDork
6/14/19 1:44 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

Yeah it will still leave glue behind when it is time to peel.... Just for the future!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/19 1:51 p.m.

The one we peeled here actually required little to no cleanup. I'm not sure what kind of vinyl the shop used, unfortunately. It was a printed wrap, not just a color change.

For the doors and engine bay, my recommendation is to start with a black car :) Seriously, if I ever buy my own ND it'll probably be black so I can wrap it in something crazy. If it's a car that you don't ever want to take back to the original color, I'd hose down the sills with black rattlecan.

wearymicrobe UberDork
6/14/19 2:41 p.m.
Patientzero said:

In reply to NOHOME :

The pro's can do a whole car in less than a day.  I'm not paying $2000 for a day of someone's time.  Even at $100/hr shop rate that is too expensive.

Three guys at the pro shop can do a car in a day and not perfectly. It's a 3-4 ay even with two installers to do a Viper according to owners who have had it done. The material is not as cheap as you think as well in the wide width high quality stuff. 

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