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DIY vinyl car wrap?

  1. #1
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    DIY vinyl car wrap?


    So.....
    09 audi A4. 166k. Nothing special but the paint is annoying
    Scratch here. Spider web on bumper from kid. Sooooo many chips on the hood

    I have had it paint corrected. Helped 30%
    A full proper paint would be 4k. Not for a 7k$ car

    I'd like to DIY the vinyl wrap but.... the chips
    I'd have to fill and level them . But too many to attack 1x1.
    So a couple options
    Cheap Maaco paint job and hope this covers the chips $500
    Or get have a body shop fill and sand and primer and then wrap? ( not sure the cost)

    I could just get the hood painted but there are so other little nicks everywhere

    I'll keep the audi for ever till it explodes I think, but if and when I sell it expect the fact that it's wrapped with just a primer base to hurt the sale

    So I'm asking. What should I do, is DIY possible?
    And if I wrap, will the Maaco job work? Prior to wrapping?

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    hmmmm......

  2. #2
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I dabbled in vinyl wrapping a batwing style fairing for my harley. It is harder that it looks on TV. I felt I did okay for my first time out until it came to the concave portions. Total nightmare.
    Also edges are a thing.
    Also vinyl on a car scale isn't that cheap. I probably have >$100 into just what I bought for the fairing. Admittedly I overbought; got enough to do the fairing 3-4 times as I expected trouble and couldn't decide on colors.

    In the end I ripped it off and went for plastidip.

    Good luck!

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  3. #3
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    yeah a good professional vinyl wrap is expensive as fuck, and i can see the case for diy, with the issues are trying to solve, how about one of the dip you car kits? it will be less annoying than wrapping. and at least you can get creative with colors, and its easier to change.

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  4. #4
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    yeah a good professional vinyl wrap is expensive as fuck, and i can see the case for diy, with the issues are trying to solve, how about one of the dip you car kits? it will be less annoying than wrapping. and at least you can get creative with colors, and its easier to change.
    I just heard about the DIP your own and that it was less than stellar. Its not a 30k car anymore but I still want to look nice in it.
    I'll google see what they look like dipped

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    hmmmm......

  5. #5
    Lifer JohnnyV's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    I just heard about the DIP your own and that it was less than stellar. Its not a 30k car anymore but I still want to look nice in it.
    I'll google see what they look like dipped
    I've seen a few dipped cars in person and if done correctly can look nice.

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  6. #6
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I would probably just to a Maaco pain job. I did my van a while back and I was happy with it. Choose the right color and the quality won't matter as much.

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  7. #7
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    I would probably just to a Maaco pain job. I did my van a while back and I was happy with it. Choose the right color and the quality won't matter as much.
    Just get the door jams done if you change colors

    For a car of that vintage, its probably cheaper/easier to find panels that have nicer paint and replace them. I scored a trunk and 2 doors for like $300 bucks for my Jetta just for the paint. I really just wanted the doors cause the paint was trashed by the previous owner and I was broke, but I got the trunk to shave the badge. If I recall, the trunk shave and paint was $400 12 years ago and I just gave them the trunk off the car. I had tried to DIY with my friends dad who was a pretty good welder, but it warped (he wasn't an auto welder). Looked okay until you actually looked at it.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 04-05-21 at 11:17 AM.
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  8. #8
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Either way, you’ll need to fix the dings before painting, plastidipping, or wrapping it, if you want it to look ok. None are going to cover or fill chips on their own.

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  9. #9
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    Just get the door jams done if you change colors
    Yeah, that was annoying, but I would have had to basically paint the whole inside of the van. That was going to cost a fortune even at Maaco

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  10. #10
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Yeah, that was annoying, but I would have had to basically paint the whole inside of the van. That was going to cost a fortune even at Maaco
    Completely, just a little dig.
    If you were tearing the van apart and doing a full rebuild, wouldn't have been too bad, maybe even easier for Maaco since they wouldn't need to tape anything! Its part of the character of the van, though.

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  11. #11

    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Vinyl will cost more and take a lot longer than you think.

    If you want it to look good and you're worried about little blemishes here and there, your first attempt at vinyl won't fix that. It does take skill, which comes with experience. The flat areas will be rather easy as expected but any bendy areas and corners will be difficult to make look good. Vinyl doesn't look good when not applied right and it will be an obvious blemish of it bunching up.

    I believe unofficial test it, if you can wrap a bowling ball without obvious defects then you're ready to wrap a car.

    After more than 30 hours of wrapping misc things, I still wouldn't be able to do it. Flat panels are easy, things like bumpers and other ball like panels are a PITA even with knife tape, heat gun, etc.

    MAACO will be your best bet.

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  12. #12
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    There was also that rumor that you could give it to a Vocational school for training and only pay for supplies. That still a thing?

    I have a decent amount of experience painting as a hobbyist, and with access to professional materials, tools, and facilities (friends family owned a body shop) it isn't THAT hard. And you CAN fix mistakes pretty easily. I'd trust some kids under professional instruction to do it.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 04-05-21 at 05:56 PM.
    A man of many names...Jay, Gennaro, Gerry, etc.

  13. #13
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I tried the vocational school thing with thee van. I couldn't find one that would do it.

    Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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  14. #14
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Lawrence Voc does it. Not sure if they are with Covid right now.

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  15. #15
    Lifer virtualbong's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I am not sure what people have recommended so far, but I would not go the Maaco route and then vinyl wrap. I was curious about DIY vinyl wrapping so I started watching youtube videos and specifically this channel called, "Paradox The Wrapper" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC44...NubxBSTT0KKwIw He educated people that putting vinyl on a poorly painted vehicle would most likely rip the paint off the vehicle when it's time to change the vinyl or if you want to remove it. And the adhesion is not great. What he recommended was to just go to a body shop, fix the areas with chip and just get it to the point of prepping to paint. That way the vinyl will adhere to that area much better than a poorly painted area.

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  16. #16
    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I've gone pretty deep into car painting on the side over the last couple years. Easily done yourself for less than what a wrap would cost. Just need to be patient and take your time and dont skip on the prep work.

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  17. #17
    Dunk'n Donuts Junky™ duey's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    You can't vinyl wrap over a maaco paint job. The vinyl will lift that crap paint right off your panels. I've been wrapping full vehicles for the past decade now and I see it all the time. Even some half decent body shops don't prep paint well enough for vinyl. The thing with vinyl is it needs to be lifted multiple times to pull wrinkles and stuff, one lift on an edge and your maaco paint job is done for sure.

    I see your in Wilmington (I am too), I can help with the vinyl once you're ready for the vinyl part of the project.

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  18. #18
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    For the record, I wasn't suggesting Maaco then a wrap. Just that a Maaco paint job can be the cheapest way to get an older car looking much better.

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  19. #19
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    I'm going back and forth on this.
    Recap ( thinking oout loud here)
    its my commuter car but not a beater I still like it to look nice. I Plan on keeping it for at least 4 more years.
    A proper outsourced paint job is 4k
    spray the hood and fron lip 1300?

    Looks like a maaco and vinyl wont work
    Maaco every 2 years ( $500) but I doubt they prep work

    I could prep and paint myself but space is the issue in my garage.
    My local voc has does this however only a couple kids in the program for body work and they are working only on student cars

    Maybe just outsource the hood and lip where its accounts for 80% of the issues.

    Even paying 4k for a proper paint job sort of makes sense to me if I keep it for 5 years.
    I was planning some mods for it (stage 1 tune, HFC) was going to swap some new coilovers in the next month myself


    Got to think about this maybe send some PMs out I have enough projects to do. figure assembling materials, reading, youtube, prep, and paint would take ME.... 16 hours


    So I think its either Maaco every 2 years or( and confirm if they dont body prep) or have a pro spray the front/ problem areas

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    Last edited by black; 04-06-21 at 08:12 AM.
    hmmmm......

  20. #20
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    10 year old Audi with 166k on it. Save the money for repairs....

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  21. #21
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    10 year old Audi with 166k on it. Save the money for repairs....
    she was went thru entirely at 120k by an audi tech after the timing chain went. ( new head, pistons turbo etc...) Then sold to me

    Most of the repairs are done by me, including the HPFP, rotors, pads and the brake pump recently. as well as the decarbonization. New coil overs coming as the stock ones are almost shot. She sees maybe 12k yr. maybe. Ill keep an eye on the chain using vagcom but I'll outsource that.

    The complex ones i'll outsource. Thus why I feel comfortable saying ill keep it. I have the GX470 to drive while the audi is done


    EDIT:
    But your point is taken. and why there is a voice in my head to sell what I have at 6 or 7k then use the 4k i'd spend on a new paint job and buy a 2011 or so at 100k or so, but then I'd have to redo all i've done on my current car again ( timing, carbon, suspension, etc.. and not know the history)

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    Last edited by black; 04-06-21 at 08:43 AM.
    hmmmm......

  22. #22
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    she was went thru entirely at 120k by an audi tech after the timing chain went. ( new head, pistons turbo etc...) Then sold to me

    Most of the repairs are done by me, including the HPFP, rotors, pads and the brake pump recently. as well as the decarbonization. New coil overs coming as the stock ones are almost shot. She sees maybe 12k yr. maybe. Ill keep an eye on the chain using vagcom but I'll outsource that.

    The complex ones i'll outsource. Thus why I feel comfortable saying ill keep it. I have the GX470 to drive while the audi is done


    EDIT:
    But your point is taken. and why there is a voice in my head to sell what I have at 6 or 7k then use the 4k i'd spend on a new paint job and buy a 2011 or so at 100k or so, but then I'd have to redo all i've done on my current car again ( timing, carbon, suspension, etc.. and not know the history)

    With all that work, I'd lean towards keeping it as well. The devil you know.....

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  23. #23

    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    I'm going back and forth on this.
    Recap ( thinking oout loud here)
    its my commuter car but not a beater I still like it to look nice. I Plan on keeping it for at least 4 more years.
    A proper outsourced paint job is 4k
    spray the hood and fron lip 1300?

    Looks like a maaco and vinyl wont work
    Maaco every 2 years ( $500) but I doubt they prep work

    I could prep and paint myself but space is the issue in my garage.
    My local voc has does this however only a couple kids in the program for body work and they are working only on student cars

    Maybe just outsource the hood and lip where its accounts for 80% of the issues.

    Even paying 4k for a proper paint job sort of makes sense to me if I keep it for 5 years.
    I was planning some mods for it (stage 1 tune, HFC) was going to swap some new coilovers in the next month myself


    Got to think about this maybe send some PMs out I have enough projects to do. figure assembling materials, reading, youtube, prep, and paint would take ME.... 16 hours


    So I think its either Maaco every 2 years or( and confirm if they dont body prep) or have a pro spray the front/ problem areas
    If you do get new paint regardless of where and you have a lot of highway driving (judging by your rock chips comment) I'd order 3M clear vinyl protective film regardless and apply that on the front end at the very least.

    Drastically cheaper and easier to do the front end than the whole car. Also will give you a hint of what it is like to wrap an entire car.

    Also, you'd be surprised at how long Maaco can last. No personal experience but I heard good things. I believe you do the prep yourself but if you do it good, the paint will last good..

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  24. #24
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    A repaint will still show the chips unless the body shop takes the time to sand down to metal or skims everything with a body filler. Either way, it's going to be $$$ to have someone do any sort of paint correction to where the chips have been concealed/ corrected.

    For any of the DIY stuff you're considering, dust mitigation would be my top concern regardless of wrap or paint

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  25. #25
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: DIY vinyl car wrap?

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    A repaint will still show the chips unless the body shop takes the time to sand down to metal or skims everything with a body filler. Either way, it's going to be $$$ to have someone do any sort of paint correction to where the chips have been concealed/ corrected.

    For any of the DIY stuff you're considering, dust mitigation would be my top concern regardless of wrap or paint
    exactly dust. ( have the garage but... its narrow on one side, a plastic spray booth woud be very cramped)
    yes a pro job would include the fill and sand of the chips...

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    hmmmm......

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