18 Mar 2021

Car wrapping... it's time to decorate your vehicle!

The application we are going to highlight today is the so-called car wrapping, that is, the decoration of vehicles. A solution which allows you to customize vehicles by changing their exterior with a specific objective, which can include advertising and protection, among others.


People are more used to this application than they think, but it is natural that doubts arise. Is it your case? Throughout this article we explain everything you need to know.

Let's start “at the beginning”: car wrapping... what is it?

Car wrapping is characterized by the total or partial change of the exterior of a vehicle, through the application of vinyl, without compromising the initial painting. This application can be done on cars, trucks, motorcycles and even boats.

What choices do I have when personalizing?

The personalization of the vinyl which is going to be applied is a personal decision. There exist many options for vehicle decoration, which can vary with a diverse range of colors, micronage and, to give the final touch, the finishes (matte, clear glossy, white glossy, textured and carbons).

What can it be used for?

You can use this product for advertising campaigns, protect the original painting or even for the style. The application durability is variable and it depends on the intended purpose, but you can decorate your vehicle for a period of time that can go from 5 to 10 years.

How is it done?

The car wrapping process takes place in four phases: design, production, cleaning and application. In the first, it is essential to measure the vehicle and work on the design. The choice of colors is very important at this stage, you must adapt the layout so that the message to be transmitted is as clear as possible, as well as the selection of places to apply vinyl and what type of information and images you want to place.

In the second phase, the choice of materials is made. Taking into account the chosen layout, it is time to choose the best application to use, either with colored vinyl or with digital printing vinyl, solvent or UV LED. Decal recommends lamination in UV LED printing, not only due to its durability, but also for its resistance to mechanical friction.

For vehicle decoration (car wrapping) using digital printing, our advice is to use flexible UV LED inks, such as those used by the equipment Mimaki UCJV300, the ink LUS-170 or the ink LUS-200, especially designed for this type of applications, with great flexibility, guaranteeing an aligned final result.

The third stage can be crucial and is related to the cleaning and degreasing of the vehicle, so make sure that you clean and degrease the creases and edges of the panel’s joints, the fenders and, whenever possible, you must dismantle the side protection plastic to clean, dry and apply again.

Finally, when applying, the chosen layout must be considered. Magnets should be used as an aid. When starting the process you should remove a good part of the support paper (liner) and apply with spatula. Then, remove the liner, apply heat at 40o, sealing the application with the spatula and giving the final finishes. We recommend a 20mm vinyl superposition whenever necessary.

There is also a fifth operation, that of removing the material, especially in cases in which the decoration is temporary. It must be done using a heat gun to uniformly heat the surface from which the vinyl is to be removed and follow the remaining technical indications of the product in question.

Which are the advantages for your customer?

Those who choose car wrapping applications to communicate their brand will enjoy numerous advantages. Wherever you go, you are promoting, giving visibility to your brand, through the vehicle.

It is an effective way to get new customers and boost your business. Convey professionalism and confidence when moving on the road. Now, the company is no longer just the person in the car, but also the brand present in the vehicle.

It also has an excellent cost / benefit relation, as it will be doing outdoor advertising on the streets where the car passes and parks. In addition, it can protect the original painting, enhancing the vehicle, with the advantage of being able to easily remove the vinyl at any time.

To keep in mind!

At this point, you must be wondering if this application outside the vehicle does not involve bureaucratic issues. Each country has its own legislation for this type of application. In the Portuguese case, for example, each municipality has specific rules and you should contact the local authority where the company that owns the vehicle is based.

The vinyl application method requires experience, being recommended to be done by professionals.

Despite being a long-lasting product, when washing the vehicle some precautions are necessary so that the life span is preserved. For example, vehicles should not be washed in the week following application to ensure that the maximum level of adhesion is established.
When using high pressure cleaning tools, you must ensure that the water temperature does not exceed 60o. The hose must be at a distance of about 50cm from the vehicle and must not point directly at the ends of the film, as there is a risk that the vinyl will start to peel off at the edges.


If you want to highlight your brand through your car by using car wrapping, but you still have questions related to this application, please contact us.